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The Cape Wrath trail part 2 Ullapool to Glendu Bothy

The Cape Wrath trail part 2 Ullapool to Glendu Bothy


Postby mountainstar » Sun Dec 20, 2009 5:51 pm

Route description: Cape Wrath Trail

Date walked: 02/05/2009

Distance: 326 km

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The Cape Wrath trail part 2. Ullapool to Duag Bridge

Link to Part 1


Map of Part 2 Ullapool to Duag Bridge

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Day 9 Sun 10th Ullapool to Duag Bridge. Approx 15.5 miles
Weather; sunny, warm and calm.
It was today that I was to say goodbye to Michelle, she had less time to complete the rest of the walk, so was going to skip my next 2 nights stops, and head north straight for Inchnadamph, I would miss her company, but it was also nice to be solo again. Up at 7.30 to a lovely sunny morning, after breakfast I said my goodbyes to Michelle, and was away by 9.15am. I took the long but easy going track that leads east, past Loch Achail
24 Loch Achall.JPG
Loch Achall

25 Glen Achall.JPG
Glen Achall

26 Knockdamph Bothy.JPG
Knockdamph Bothy

& Loch an Daimh, I popped in Knockdamph Bothy (at 1.30pm) and noted in the Bothy book that a couple had stopped there last night and were also doing the CWT, so were a day ahead of me. The walking was a joy today in the warm sunshine, what a contrast from last week! After the Bothy the path leads down gradually to a river crossing which was fine today, but there were stories in book of people having to go miles upstream in bad weather to get across. At 3.30pm I reached the old schoolhouse Bothy at Duag Bridge.
27 The old school house Bothy.JPG
The old school house Bothy

A wooden building that doesn’t look like a Bothy, with double glazing, curtains & nets etc. This was going to be my home for the night. I sat outside, soaking up the sun, until it set at 8pm.
Day 10
Mon 11th Knockdamph to Benmore Approx 14.7 miles

Weather; sunny, warm and calm.
Had one of my longest night’s sleep, from 9.45pm till 8.10am, earlier on I went for a leak outside at 7am to find a crisp frost on the ground. Away by 9.15am in shorts and t-shirt, down the forest road to reach Oykel bridge by 10.30am, were the couple from the Bothy book, who had just packed up and were then ready for the off. After a chat I left ahead of them to walk up Glen Oykel, I thought that I wouldn’t enjoy the stretch that leads through the trees (I don’t like walking through forests) but it was really nice walking, with some distance views of mountains and a wide river on one side for most of the way.
28 Glen Oykel.JPG
Glen Oykel

29  Glen Oykel.JPG
Glen Oykel

30  Glen Oykel.JPG
Glen Oykel

I then passed Loch Ailsh and Benmore lodge,
31 Loch Ailish.JPG
Loch Ailish

33 Loch Ailish.JPG
Loch Ailish

and continued for about another mile to 329131 where there is a confluence of the rivers and a good wild camp site in between on a nice grassy spot.
34 River Oykel.JPG
River Oykel

35 River Oykel.JPG
River Oykel

36 River Oykel.JPG
River Oykel

So I set camp here at 2.45pm and again relaxed in the sun for the rest of the afternoon. Some time later the couple came by and camped a little higher up the river. He came down later to chat about our past weeks adventures and our plans for the days ahead. I lost the sun behind the hills by 8.30, after that it soon became chilly again, so to bed by 9.30pm and had another good nights sleep.
Day 11
Tues 12th Benmore to Inchnadamph approx 7.8miles

Weather; sunny, warm with a slight breeze.
Awoke to a cloudless sky, and so it remained for the day, packed and away by 9.15am, a track leads up the glen for a couple of miles,
37 River Oykel.JPG
River Oykel

then disappeared until I reached the 510metres pass at 11.30am, from there a path leads directly down to Inchnadamph, along this part I passed many heading up for Ben more Assynt & Conival. I reached my pre-booked B&B at 1pm (tried to book in the hostel about 3 weeks earlier to find it was booked up by a University group, so if anybody hopes to turn up here, they could be unlucky, try to book ahead, as it can get booked up with groups) Although about £10 more than the hostel, the b&b was great, more like self catering, the owner lived nearby, and left you alone to use the facilities:- lounge with sky TV, kitchen with washer (I washed a load), cooker, microwave etc. Fridge stocked with everything in it for a cold breakfast, (you helped/and did it yourself) I shared it with another couple who had been stopping for a few days. Again I sat in the sun, with cups of tea and toast when needed, and with the bar only yards away it was like heaven…except there was no real ale (just keg) in the bar…so only at the gates! Later I met the couple doing the CWT again in the bar, who had to camp nearby due to the “No Vacancies” situation.
EDIT April 2012 The lady in the bungalow no longer does B&B

38 Loch Assynt.JPG
Dusk, Loch Assynt from Inchnadamph.

Day 12
Wed 12th Inchnadamph to Glendu approx 16.2 miles.

Weather; sunny, windy and cold up high, warmer later.
To make my rucksack somewhat lighter (the food parcel I’d sent here had food for the best part of 5 days :- with only 1 more shop at Kinlochbervie to restock) I left some clothes I no longer needed at the hostel, as I would be able to pick them up when passing again next week, and luckily the couple stopping with me in the b&b were driving north, so would drop off a food parcel of any food I didn’t need for the next 2 days at the Rhinconich Hotel where I was due to pass in 2 days time. So with a lighter load…until later…read on, I set of at 9am up the excellent path that leads eventually to the top of the Eas a’Chual Aluinn waterfall, as I got higher even though it was sunny, it got windier and colder. I reached the high pass (630metres) at 10.45am.
39 South from Pass east of Glas Bheinn.JPG
South from Pass east of Glas Bheinn

40 North from  Pass east of Glas Bheinn.JPG
North from Pass east of Glas Bheinn

This was one of my best high view points of the trip, with the excellent visibility I could look back south across mountains as far as I could see to the distant horizon, that only covered part of my trip so far, and then looking north to mountains I was to pass in the next few days, it certainly gave me a sense of the achievement that I was gaining.
The path from here led to the east, but I had to leave this path after some distance to continue downwards and then west to get to the glen, and although there was no path shown on my map, I found a good track down to the glen about 1 mile east of the waterfall, once I reached the glen there was no path, and I just followed the river passed the waterfall,
41 Eas a Chual Aluinn waterfall.JPG
Eas a Chual Aluinn waterfall

(which was also a “waterrise” with the wind today!) which eventually led to a very choppy Loch Beag, from here I followed the loch side to pick up a path that led over to Glencoul Bothy (1.15pm),
42 Glencoul bothy.JPG
Glencoul bothy

44 Loch Glencoul.JPG
Loch Glencoul

46 Loch Glendhu.JPG
Loch Glencoul

it was here that my rucksack became heavy again, as I took a bag of coal left here (there was plenty to spare, and loads of wood here) to carry to Glendu Bothy, as I knew there wasn’t any fuel locally there. After a 15min break, I headed for the path to take me over the headland to the high point at 205metres,
this path was no more than a series of sheep like tracks on very steep precarious hillside, care had to be taken here as the drop was very severe, once higher up it eased, and once over the high 205metres point I was pleased to find a good path continue (not shown on my map) down to the edge of Loch Glendu and around to Glendu Bothy, by now 3.35pm.
47 Glendhu Bothy.JPG
Glendhu Bothy

48 Glendhu bothy.JPG
Glendhu Bothy

An hour later a couple turned up by chance, as they never knew a Bothy was here, they were fairly glad as the wind was still strong and finding a good sheltered suitable camping spot would have been a problem. We sat in the sun in the lee of the wind at the gable end, and later we had a good fire for the evening, that extra weight was now being rewarded. So we chatted into the evening, it turned out that they only lived about 15 miles away from me. During the day I had picked up a text from Michelle saying that she had been told of a big MOD/NATO exercise taking place around Cape Wrath this week and next, and would keep me posted when she knew more, not good news.
Day 13
Link to Part 3
Attachments
50 Loch Glendhu.JPG
Loch Glendhu
44 Loch Glencoul.JPG
Loch Glencoul
Last edited by mountainstar on Sun Apr 15, 2012 10:19 am, edited 2 times in total.
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mountainstar
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Re: The Cape Wrath trail part 2 Ullapool to Glendu Bothy

Postby HighlandSC » Sun Dec 20, 2009 6:18 pm

Another great report, nice to see you got some blue sky during this stretch.
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Re: The Cape Wrath trail part 2 Ullapool to Glendu Bothy

Postby davetherave » Mon Dec 21, 2009 12:37 pm

No time to waste, must get going and read part 3.
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Re: The Cape Wrath trail part 2 Ullapool to Glendu Bothy

Postby signpostman » Fri Jan 01, 2010 6:48 pm

I enjoyed all of it, until you stole the coal from Glencoul. I trust that you have now joined the MBA and are devoting yourself to replenishing coal-stocks at their most remote bothies and otherwise giving something back.
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Re: The Cape Wrath trail part 2 Ullapool to Glendu Bothy

Postby fsavigny » Wed Jul 27, 2011 10:15 am

The path from here led to the east, but I had to leave this path after some distance to continue downwards and then west to get to the glen, and although there was no path shown on my map, I found a good track down to the glen about 1 mile east of the waterfall, once I reached the glen there was no path, and I just followed the river passed the waterfall, (which was also a “waterrise” with the wind today!) which eventually led to a very choppy Loch Beag, from here I followed the loch side to pick up a path that led over to Glencoul Bothy


I would be very interested into which glen exactly you descended. It sounds very much like you meant the glen into which Eas a Chual Aluinn empties (i.e. the one with Abhainn an Loch Bhig). It doesn't look easy on the map to enter that glen: There is a path branching off southeast exactly at 280 270, and leads to an (apparently) unnamed lochan at 300 256, which seems to be an important tributary to Abhainn an Loch Bhig. I figured that if at all, you could enter the glen from there. Is that what you did?

(The alternative seems to be to walk via Glen Coul, but that is much more indirect, via Gorm Loch Mor and Loch an Eircill. But "one mile east of the waterfall" would about fit to Glen Coul ...)

(And yes, I agree with signpostman. You don't take things you haven't brought. I'm not sure why they stock coal there at all, but maybe that's simply for emergencies.)

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Re: The Cape Wrath trail part 2 Ullapool to Glendu Bothy

Postby mountainstar » Wed Jul 27, 2011 12:51 pm

hi, camping on South Uist at the moment, will reply when I get home and can have another look at my map.
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Re: The Cape Wrath trail part 2 Ullapool to Glendu Bothy

Postby mountainstar » Sun Aug 07, 2011 11:37 am

The path I took leads SE from the lochan at 280 270 then after a short distance splits at 282 268, this can be seen if you look carefully on the OS Landranger 15 map, it then leads South of East to 285 267 where it turns NW and can be seen finishing at the burn at 284 271 on the map, but does actually continue in a northerly direction to the river Abhainn an Loch Bhig, petering out lower down.

Moving the coal....I would never normally take coal or fuel from a bothy, in fact I very often leave fuel that I have brought in myself (which I always do if possible) when I have found some locally, (obviously could not carry fuel in on this long trip) but this was slightly different...taking some from one bothy to another, and as there was an abundance of stored wood and coal there, I felt the shoebox sized load I took would not be missed, and having been to Glendhu Bothy before I knew that there was no fuel locally to be found, so thought that there would possibly be no fuel stored in that Bothy (there was not)
So that was the reasoning I made at the time, and I must admit that I did question myself if I should do it, on reflection... probably not, but we all make mistakes sometimes :(

PS I am a MBA member, and have been for about 10 years :)
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