TGO Challenge 2017: Day 9

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Distance: 23km, ascent: 375m

It started raining at about 8 o’clock the previous evening and continued raining for nearly 24 hours. There was no point in going high to Cairn Toul as the clouds were low and visibility would have been limited, so, yet again, I took my Foul Weather Alternative. I wasn’t too unhappy as it gave me the chance to walk the length of Glen Feshie

I would classify the rain as persistent rather than heavy. It wasn’t too windy either. I packed most of my gear under the cover of the tent and  donned full hard shell. At least taking down the tent under the tree meant some protection.

While not ideal, it wasn’t unpleasant walking in the rain. I bumped into fellow Challengers Chris and Jessica who had been camping at Ruigh-aiteachain. After a brief chat, I pushed on.

After about half an hour or so, I spied someone delving into their rucksack under the shelter of a tree. It was Ali, co-organiser of the Challenge. She was so impressed with my hands-free umbrella set up that she took a photo:

Ali was suffering from a bad ankle and said that she would be quite slow, suggesting that I should walk on. I wasn’t in a big hurry, so I said I’d be happy to have some company, so we walked and talked together until early afternoon. For both us of us, it made the miles go by quicker.

Before the Eidart Falls we had a spot of lunch at the ruined pony hut. Chris and Jessica caught up with and another Challenger whose name I’m afraid I’ve forgotten. After a bite to eat we carried on. At the Allt Daidh Mor, Ali wanted a rest. I said I wanted to keep walking so I hopped across the rocks and kept going. It was a bit boring without Ali’s company, but at least it wasn’t raining too hard.

Onward, onward, ever onward! I reached Whitebridge at around 3:30pm. There was an Akto pitched there. I did consider stopping, but thought better of it.

It wasn’t far to reach my intended camping spot. My intention had been to camp in the lee of the woods, but the hillock opposite seemed to offer a better spot. Who else should be there than Sandy, who had the same idea. By the time I got the tent up, it started to rain harder, so there was no chance for socialising. Later on a few others had the same idea as us. It was a good spot to camp and reasonably sheltered too. Despite the rain, I had kept pretty dry. Even my feet were only slightly damp, so it was actually not a bad day at all. Next stop Braemar.

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