Sunday, 17 October 2010

More along than up, take two

So, back to yesterday. (You may find it helpful to read the previous post first, to make more sense of this one!)
We set off along the good tracks once again, through Ryvoan pass, past the Green Lochan and off towards Bynack Stables. It’s always very busy around here, which is a draw back and we were passed by several walkers and cyclists, although mostly on their way back. We met one rather large group of around two dozen OAPs coming down the path from Ryvoan Bothy towards Glenmore. “Where’s the coach?” whispered David.
SDC10682@ On our way
SDC10686@ The Green Lochan was as green and strangely beautiful as ever, so we made the effort to go down the steps for a better view.
We soon had views of Ryvoan Bothy and Meall a Bhuachaille behind us as we continued up the winding path towards the remains of Bynack Stables and the little bridge across the River Nethy.
SDC10689@Ryvoan Bothy
The last time we were up there was for my **th birthday and we took our children (even the non-outdoorsy one!) up their first Corbett.
SDC10694On we went
When we reached the bridge, we had a lunch break whilst we enjoyed the views behind and ahead and counted red deer at the top of the hill in front of us.
SDC10702@The bridge over the River Nethy
SDC10707@ Looking towards Bynack Mor
Not clapping, gelling!
We crossed the bridge to find the ‘vague path’
We continued on this disappearing and reappearing path, staying close to the Nethy, clambering our way over rocks, through knee high heather, hopping boggy bits and over slightly cleared bits.
We had a GPS with us this time, to help us pinpoint where the path supposedly peters out and we should cross the ‘dried loch bed’, but we had also been set some navigational tasks by our team leader to practice map and compass skills. I also practiced my route finding skills and suggested we circumnavigate anti-clockwise (we went clockwise last time, it was a real mare!) or alternatively, cross where the ground was less green and therefore marshy looking, to try to keep dry feet. We could at least see the rubble of a previous settlement we were supposed to head for and pick up the next path, so that was the route we took. And stayed dry. Even when we had to cross Allt Fionna Choire!
SDC10718@ Spot the boggy bit
The path meanders on past a few small lochans before reaching the first ford and entering Abernethy Forest, then dropping down to the River Nethy.
SDC10726@ We crossed the first ford, Ministry of Funny Walks style
As Ciara and I waited for David and the boys to cross, Ciara had a little wobble and was understandably a bit nervous. I reassured her she’d be fine and David came back to give her a hand, but I was determined to cross alone…
Crossing the second ford
On foot
SDC10735And bum
SDC10736With style
This has obviously become a well known route, the tree trunk has been worn quite smooth and is muddy. It had been raining earlier. I had a mucky bum, but dry feet! (I did have to help in the end, but I didn’t cry.)
We had a bit of a struggle through the undergrowth to cross the little burn and climb the bank to rejoin the path, but we were all in one piece and mostly dry, Ciara and Aedan had gained a wet foot each somewhere along the way. The path winds it’s way gently back along the Pass to the bothy and then on to Glenmore Lodge once more and the  only reason it was getting dark at this point again was because we’d set off so late, just before midday, but we were in the car eating the rest of our snacks and drinking hot chocolate and soup before we needed to get torches out of our packs.
It was a better walk this time, there were definitely cleared bits in the middle of nowhere that helped and finding a better route across the the dried loch bed rather than struggling round the edge made up a lot of time. The weather was perfect, dry after a little early drizzle, clear but not baking sun and warm enough not to need a coat with no breeze to cause a chill at rest stops.
Roughly 10.3 miles
4 hours 30 minutes walking
1 hour 58 resting
1128 ft of up overall
This was obviously not a test of climbing ability, but of endurance. I think it’s the longest walk to date that the children have done and they all coped very well, they certainly weren’t as exhausted as I had been last time! It was also good to practice and gain confidence with my compass and map reading abilities in an area I know well enough to not get lost!
Another Grand Day Out.


Alan Sloman said...

A Grand Day Out! It's good to get the little darlings out - the thing is, they usually outperform the old hands by a country mile. Nice pictures.

Louise said...

Absolutely right they do, little treasures! The boys just strolled over that tree, (Ciara had a wobble, so like her mother that one) and then they raced to the car when it came into view! I let them win 'cos I'm that kind of a mum, ahem...
The hand is obviously improving, soon be back in full working order I'm sure.