TGO Challenge 2015: Day 1

Dornie to Falls of Glomach

Distance: 17.3 km
Ascent: 740m

Day 1

click to enlarge

DSC02209The motley crew

After a good breakfast at the Dornie Hotel, our motley crew of Challengers gathered outside for a group photo. It was a beautiful day with barely a cloud in the sky and no breeze. This gave an opportunity for some lovely photos of Loch Long.

DSC02213 DSC02213aaLoch Long

After a short walk along the shore of Loch Long, our cavalcade turned east to walk up the River Glennan. Some people have been quite disparaging about the Glennan, but in good weather, I thought it was a lovely walk. After a stretch of mildly boggy ground in the lower reaches, there were attractive stands of dwarf birch, giving it a slightly Scandinavian feel. Higher up, the path wound through heather and boulders to reach an incongruous patch of grass near the bealach.

DSC02219DSC02226DSC02230DSC02231DSC02237River Glennan

Inevitably our group spread out as we climbed up the valley. Martin and Sue forged ahead. Emma and I followed some distance behind. Once over the bealach, we descended on an indistinct path above Camas-lunie. Part way down we met with Martin and Sue having a brew. As we were under no time pressure, Emma and I joined them for a spot of refreshment.

DSC02238 DSC02240Glen Elchaig

Not long after, Jeremy and Greg caught up with us, but they decided to continue down to Glen Elchaig. At a distance, Jeremy amused us with a totally unnecessary climb over a deer fence, ignoring a gate only 50 metres away. All good things come to an end and we had to make a move. The farm track along Glen Elchaig was unpleasantly muddy. When we reached the bridge crossing the river, we spied John and Norma sunning themselves on pleasant grassy bank. It seemed rude not to join them!

DSC02244R&R in Glen Elchaig

A few minutes later, Ian joined us for a bit of R&R. However, time was getting on and we had to get to the Falls of Glomach. We spent a pleasant hour or so walking with John, Norma and Ian before we had to turn south to the Falls.

DSC02247 DSC02249 DSC02252DSC02257Glen Elchaig

Emma and I said our goodbyes to the others, and crossed the bridge for the path to the Falls of Glomach. The path up the ravine has a bit of a reputation for being tricky. However, in good weather, it held no terrors. While there is an element of exposure and some minor scrambles, the path is well-defined and easy. The ravine and the Falls themselves were one of the highlights of the trip and I highly recommend visiting them if you can.

DSC02264 DSC02267 DSC02271 DSC02272 DSC02277 DSC02278 DSC02279 DSC02280Falls of Glomach

At the top we followed the Allt a Ghlomaich for a while. I was a bit concerned that we might not find a suitable place to camp. However, just before a stream confluence we saw a reasonable spot. We had to go further upstream before we found a place to cross.

DSC02283 DSC02284 DSC02285 DSC02287Allt a Ghlomaich

We found a good patch of dry ground suitable for two tents. It was a wonderful place to camp. The icing on the cake was the setting sun set the flank of Creag nan Clachan Geala aglow with a wonderful orange and red light.

DSC02289 DSC02290 DSC02291Creag nan Clachan Geala

A fitting end to a glorious start to the Challenge!

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