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The Cape Wrath Trail 2012 walk report chapter 5 & 6

The Cape Wrath Trail 2012 walk report chapter 5 & 6

Postby Billymaca » Sat Jun 09, 2012 5:53 pm

Route description: Cape Wrath Trail

Date walked: 08/05/2012

Time taken: 1 day

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(Link to Chapter 1 of this report)

Chapter 5

Bearneas Bothy to Kinlochewe
8th May

Stage_5 Kinlochewe C.S 18.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts


The fifth day started cold and bright with good views outside the Bothy, all the hill tops had a new cap of snow on them and a mist was rolling down into the glen over Bealach Bearnais with the sun rising above it in the background, a great start to the day!.


Once packed we headed off up the path at the side of the Bothy, which was to take us over Baobh-bhacan Dubha, again this was an intermittent path, visibility deteriorated nearer to the top due to low cloud base. I was carrying a Satmap with me and used it to confirm our position when the path faded out near to the top, the plan was to find the two small lochs to our right so that we could connect with the path once more,


this done it was easy going on the path which leads to the cliffs of Creag a` Chaorainn. Visibility was poor at the cliffs but the rocky path down was easy to follow, zigging and zagging until it levelled out under the cloud base, now we had a great view of Achnashellach with Sgorr Ruadh in the background and the coulin Pass which was the route we were going to be taking.


The path down enters the forest and soon we were on the forest road at the bottom, from here we turned left (rather than complete the 3 mile dog-leg to the bridge and back) to find the planned spot to cross the river Carron, this spot was where the river was at its widest with an island in it.
Now!, Shaun has a novel way of crossing a river, it looks a bit odd to say the least but it works, he arrived on the far bank with dry feet, I am going to leave it to Shaun to explain his method if he wants, I on the other hand I had a pair of trainers for the job, but I took about four times the amount of time that shaun took to cross.


With the crossing complete we made our way along the road to the train station or should I say platform where we were to take a short break before ascending to the Coulin Pass.
With the break over we set off on the ascent through the forest refreshed by our break on a good metaled road only to be turned back down to almost the road side again by a diversion due to forest operations, this was Bl##dy frustrating as we ended up back at where we first reached the road before our break only to start the ascent all over again. This time it was on a narrow footpath which led to the East side of the forest before it meandered up to the top where it joined the metaled road once more,


through a gate at the back side of the forest and down the other side with great views down, presumably of Glen Coulin.


We stopped under the buckled bridge that crosses the river Coulin at Torran Coulin for our main break of the day as it had started to drizzle now. After our break we entered the forest directly behind Torran Coulin house on a good forest road, about half a mile into the forest we turned off to the right onto a boggy intermittent footpath which had blown trees over it, it led out of the forest and onto the open ground of Feith an Tairbh.


All over the open ground there was white fleece about 10’x10’ pegged to the ground, we have no idea what they were for but we did have a few guesses which included insect research and markers for personal food drops by air, if anyone has any idea, let us know! Now the path enters what was once a forest at a deer fence with a large gate, the descent isn’t as straight forward as you would think, because of the tree felling, the old path has presumably been obliterated and the new path descends and then ascends over and over again until you finally reach the far corner at the bottom,


the path from here is marked with posts but it wasn’t long before we lost them, fafing about wasting time looking for them we decided to cross the open field and river in front of Cromasaig to complete the days walk on the horrid black stuff into Kinlochewe.
On arrival at Kinlochewe we went straight round to the caravan park because this was where I had sent a food parcel, once collected the next stop was the shop to get the elusive fruit scones and stock up for the second half of the walk, but alas still no scones to be had. Our night was at the Kinlochewe Hotel Bunkhouse, good hot showers and a soft pillow. I think it was at this point that Shaun heard from Stevie, He was too unwell to continue so had returned home, As I am writing this he should be in the middle of giving it another crack. Once organised in the bunkhouse dinner was high on the list of priorities, “Sod it, a bar meal! NO CHIPS ON THE BAR MENU!” What’s that all about? There were five other people (canoeists) in the bunkhouse they also were in for a bar meal, but when they heard me go on about no chips on the menu they left and went to the café around the corner where they could get chips. Steak pie and mashed spuds, it’s not quite the same! Anyway, moan out of the way and moving on, back to the bunkhouse to catch up with home and get ready for bed.


No planning needed for tomorrow as it was to be my day off, Shaun was going to have his day off at Ullapool the day after. We agreed to meet up at either Knockdamph Bothy or the Schoolhouse Bothy, whichever of us reached Knockdamph Bothy first would leave a message in the bothy book if they were going on to the schoolhouse Bothy. ZZZZzzzz!

Chapter 6

Kinlochewe - day off at the bunkhouse

9th May

The day started overcast and cool, Shaun packed up his kit and said his goodbyes, he was heading for Ullapool today while I lay about.
As this was a day of rest, organising my kit and doing my laundry, I’ll use this opportunity to blab on about the kit I had with me, to some it may be interesting if they are considering doing the CWT but to others it will be dull, so just skip this chapter out.


Osprey Exos 46 (1.09kg) and rain cover – I decided to change this year from my Hagloffs Matrix 70 (1.7kg) due to its reviews, weight, functionality of the external pockets and back system. There was an annoying squeak from it which I wasn’t aware of until Shaun pointed it out to me on the second last day; this had been bugging him since almost the start of the walk. The pole carrying system on the shoulder strap worked well for holding the waterproof map case.


GoLite Shangri-la 3 (1.2kg) – Another change from last year as mentioned before, a huge amount of space to weight ratio which was incorporating the Oook nest half inner with an inverted T zip, This was purchased from Oookworks.com , made to the specifications that you desire and is worth every penny, this inner opens up the entire floor space allowing you to cook indoors in poor weather or even hold a barn dance. The only down side with the tent is its high profile, I had no confidence with it in a high wind, of which there was plenty in the second half of the walk.

Sleeping (1,210g)

The sleeping mat was the Neo Air regular (410g)
Sleeping bag was the Vango Venom 300 down bag (800g)

Cooking (2,788g)

Honey stove (362g)
Trangia meth’s burner (120g)
Evernew Titanium Solo Cook Set (149g)
Trangia 1ltr meths bottle (1,160g)
Sigg 600ml water bottle (750g)
Travel tap 500ml (180g)
Titanium long spoon (17g)
Light My Fire Oak Fire Steel (50g)
50ml Fairy liquid and pot scourer (65g)

Food (6.5 kg) – half posted forward to Kinlochewe and the Kinlochbervie Hotel

5 X freeze dried main meals & 5 X freeze dried puddings from be-well.co.uk
5 X Home-made dehydrated meals
10 X Alpen Porridge oats vacuum packed with sugar and powdered milk
20 X sachets of 3 in1 coffee
20 x Cereal snack bars (more picked up along the way)

Washing Kit (240g)

Medium travel towel, half a bar of Dettol soap, cut down toothbrush and mini paste, nappy rash cream, disposable razor with detachable head, mini deodorant, tissues and folding wash bowl.

Clothing (4,182g)

Salamon Cosmic 4D boots (620g)
Merrell waterpro mesh trainers (350g)
Berghaus extreme Gore-Tex jacket (480g)
Montane Atomic waterproof trousers (170g)
Outdoor Designs Gore-Tex gaiters (280g)
Outdoor research cap (50g)
Sealskinz waterproof gloves (180g)
Karrimor down jacket (450g)
Montane trousers (255g) and shorts (200g)
Montane Featherlite Smock (100g)
Salomon Trail Runner II 1/2 Zip Tech Tee (130g)
Mountain Hardwear wicked lite T shirt (120)
Berghaus long sleeve zip T shirt (212g)
4 pairs of Coolmax socks (240g)
3 pairs of Baw bags (270g)
Sunglasses & case (75g)

First aid kit (270g)

Medium dressing, T bandage, assorted plasters, roll of fabric tape, Anadin extra, anti diahorrea tablets, burns gel, scissors, Rennies, Lightweight Emergency Bivvy/survival bag, chap stick, Wound glue and paper stiches.

Electrical (2,182g)

Samsung waterproof phone (100g)
Apple ipod shuffle & headphones (25g)
Canon SX40HS camera/case and 4 spare batteries (1,150g) 2 x batteries posted forward
Satmap Active 10 and 9 x 2900mah batteries (480g) 6 x batteries posted forward
10,000 mah battery pack (250g)
Spot 2 GPS tracker & 3 X spare AAA batteries (150g)
Pizel E+Lite head torch (27g)

Miscellaneous (1,677g)

Leki Makalu Corklite speedlock poles (542g) pair
Zippo lighter and other stuff to go with it! (150g)
Combination knife (100g)
6 x various sized dry bags (250g)
10 x OS Land Ranger maps cut down (460g) 5 posted forward
Compass (50g)
Suntan lotion & insect repellent (125g)

21,339 = Take away what I was wearing and what was posted forward, plus me at 14.5st at the start and 13.5st at the end!

Chapter 7 &8 http://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=25&t=22262
Last edited by Billymaca on Wed Jun 13, 2012 11:51 am, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: Cape Wrath Trail 2012 chapter 5 & 6

Postby gammy leg walker » Sat Jun 09, 2012 8:13 pm

Another fine read........................more soon please.
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Re: Cape Wrath Trail 2012 chapter 5 & 6

Postby mountainstar » Sat Jun 09, 2012 9:34 pm

Hi Billy, catching up with your TR in Ullapool, a very apt place to read your excellent report, brings back some great memories :) and I'm starting the Sutherland trail tomorrow, so back on some ground covered on the CWT in the next few days.
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