TGO Challenge 2015: Day 5

Ft Augustus to Glen Markie

Distance: 25.3km
Ascent: 1,048m

Day 5

click to enlarge

Maybe today’s weather would be better? Er, no. I looked out the window. Disappointingly it was raining and looked blowy. At least I had a good breakfast. After settling my bill, I walked to the camp site where I met up with fellow nutters Challengers, Andy, Carl, Lyndsey and Gordon. While the others were going to the Chalybeate Spring, our routes coincided for most of the way until I turned off to Stronelairg.

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Road out of Ft Augustus and Glen Doe track

After two days of walking mainly on my own, it was good to have some company, especially when the weather was so miserable. Although the rain wasn’t as persistent as the previous two days, the wind was bitterly cold. Conversation kept our minds off the weather. Although the construction road is a bit of an eyesore, it did have the merit of making progress relativley quick and easy. A couple of kilometres up the track we all piled into a hut as a heavy shower hit us.

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Glen Doe reservoir track

As we climbed higher, drifts of snow covered parts of the track. In places a corridor had been driven through the snow. Eventually we reached the reservoir. The wind was still biting and we only stopped for a few minutes for a quick bite of lunch. At least, by this time, the rain had abated.

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Glen Doe reservoir and track beyond

At one of the sluice gates, I left the others to make my way to Stronelairg. Amazingly, within a couple of minutes, I met with Dave and Graham, who I’d met in the Lock Inn at Ft Augustus the previous evening. They were going the same way as me. Although there was a path marked on the map going down the Allt na Craigdhleig, it was quite elusive and we indulged in a bit of bog hopping. Further down the river opened out into an impressive wide gorge.

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Allt na Craigdhleig and Allt Odhar

Eventually we reached a track, by which time the weather had started to brighten, although it was still very windy. After the rough stuff, a good track was very welcome. It was not long before Stronelairg Lodge came into view, looking like a prop for a horror movie.

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Allt Odhar and Stronelairg Lodge

Some Challengers were pitching tents, some behind the shelter of the trees, some down by the river. Bob and Rose swung by for a chat. Dave and Graham decided to camp here, but I wanted to push on a bit further to Glen Markie, partly for some extra mileage and partly in the hope of a more sheltered pitch. Bob and Rose had a the same idea, so we all set off up the glen. Although the wind hardly abated, there were some decent places to pitch. Bob and Rose decided to pitch a bit further downstream, while I chose a spot not far from some ruins.

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Glen Markie

The high winds made me glad I’d chosen the Scarp for my shelter. It was absolutely rock solid despite the howling wind. At least the day was ending in sunshine. I was looking forward to the next day walking up Glen Markie and over to the Dulnain.

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7 thoughts on “TGO Challenge 2015: Day 5”

    1. I’d like to say I think deep thoughts, but generally I don’t think about much. Just where am I going to put my feet and am I going in the right direction!

      1. A recurring theme of conversation on the Challenge this year amongst the girls was that men can think ‘nothing’…

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