Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Torridon 5

Tuesday 23rd - August

Meall Lochan Chleirich NG 872 716 - 403m. - 4 hours there and back.

For Gimmer - I think this one is in Wester Ross.

A slightly unpleasant start this morning. One look through the caravan window revealed a density of midges. All preparations were made so that I could exit quickly with all my gear in one go and jump into the car. That included finally donning my midge shirt. On the spur of the moment I decided to blow my nose - my handkerchief was accessible from trouser's pocket, but my nose, unrealised by me, wasn't, and I blew into midge shirt rather than handkerchief which of course was outside the shirt, ugh!

A twelve mile drive north got me to the track at NG 856 721 which I followed for a bit less than a kilometre then set off across rough ground north-east, then up steep slopes where I picked up a meagre path. That eventually lead very steeply right to the base of the summit crags and a twenty foot rock pitch of perhaps "moderate" grade, but hairy enough for me. That was followed by a steep alternately grassy and rocky open gully and over more bare rock and grass to the summit - a real mountaineering feel to this little Marilyn; I certainly had no intention of returning the same way.

There were splendid views of Loch Maree with her islands and then out to the sea. I spent half an hour there. Looking the the map there were crags barring the route north-west direct back to my start so I headed for the road just over a kilometre to the east of my start. That was ok but there was the inevitable deer fence about two hundred metres before the road. I scaled that - it wasn't pretty. The two hundred metres to the road was over felled forest terrain, by far the worst stuff you can ever encounter; it took me about half an hour to get across.

I am now the only person in the Loch Maree Hotel having a pot of tea. It is surprisingly quiet up here in north-west Scotland, the Caravan Club site is only about half full.

I'm off back to the caravan now for a shower and to hunker down from the midges.

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6 comments:

Gayle said...

Oh, how I laughed at your midge-shirt-nose-blowing incident!

We were surprised at this time last year how quiet the campsites were up in Scotland. I know that Scottish school holidays are now over, but I had thought that the campsites would be full of English/other European families.

As a result of tales of midge-horror coming from all over Scotland at the moment, it looks like our trip (starting first thing tomorrow morning) is being redirected to finish my last remaining bit of the Welsh Coast. We'll then head up to Scotland in a couple of weeks' time, in the hope that the midges have calmed down by then.

Sir Hugh said...

Gayle - sounds like a good plan. Midges are not bad once you get walking. They seem worse round the camp site whilst doing domestics. One develops strategies. My caravan fly screens allow midges through! I definitely recommend a midge shirt with hood, although mine seems hugely sweat inducing for walking in warm weather, but they are great for round the camp.

Roderick Robinson said...

These references to lack of WiFi/signal strength, etc, characterise the modern condition; the man out to sea, trying desperately to tell the world he is not waving but drowning, imagining that if the world only knew it would do something about it. The world would but it's not what he wants; they'll debate the culpability of the local authority for not putting up a notice saying SEA + PERSON = POSSIBLE DROWNING. As he goes down for the third time he realises, with pitiless clarity, the world's apparent puckishness. "After all," he gurgles, "they went away and voted Brexit."

The midges are at least taking your mind off the Leave campaigners. Perhaps the midges also impede the progress of radio wave transmissions. In that sense you are twice blessed.

Sir Hugh said...

RR - I got a bit lost with that analogy, as I suspect did the main character. As for the leavers it all seems a long time ago. The news about this, and the Government, seem to have gone quiet. The effects and implications and implementations will only drip through slowly. I haven't seen or heard anything about when, and by who Article 50 will be triggered?

The midge/radio wave theory is compelling, especially with my recently admitted, on this blog, meagre grasp of science. We will have to ask for an opinion from Gimmer.

Sent from my iPad

gimmer said...

my only opinion, from Perigord at 38.5 in the shade for three weeks or so, with no insects brave enough to risk being baked, is 'go south, young man'
your posts sound like a repeat of that epic at the end of Loch Arkaig all over again - when full blast car heater at 60mph was the only remedy
midges are good at concentrating along microwave beams, so maybe RR has a point, tentative perhaps: who knows, maybe they become more aggressive when 'excited' (in the electronic sense, of course) by the rays !

Sir Hugh said...

With the caravan and a fair amount of discipline the little beasts can be kept under acceptable control. Once one gets walking on the hill the problem is almost non-existent.

When I packed up the caravan yesterday morning I didn't bother as I was dodging in and out. When I arrived home I went back into the caravan to start unloading and was eaten alive. I hope those little so-and-sos that have now involuntarily emigrated to England don't start breeding here.