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Scotland's Watershed Part 11, The Rough Bounds

Scotland's Watershed Part 11, The Rough Bounds


Postby rohan » Thu Sep 06, 2018 6:25 pm

Date walked: 23/08/2018

Time taken: 4 days

Distance: 50 km

Ascent: 3981m

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Sunday 26th August
It was like the game of twister but I was the only player as I tried to stop various tent parts taking off down the hill as I hurriedly dismantled it in the pouring rain and gusty wind. I had one foot on the fly sheet another on the footprint as I hastily bundled the inner tent into a dry bag and then sat on that whilst I dealt with the other components, my fingers already numb with cold, my glasses covered in raindrops. Somehow nothing was lost but the MWIS forecast for the day was not encouraging. Things were going downhill and that wasn’t just me. With 40 mph winds and – 6 degrees of wind chill forecast I needed to make some decisions. I still had almost 24 km (15 miles) with 2400m of climb (and a little bit more in descent) before my end point on the A87 road, a couple of miles west of the Cluanie Inn on Tuesday morning. My aim for today was to camp in the vicinity of the Bealach Coire Sgoireadail between Sgurr Thoinail and Sgurr a Bhac Chaolais This would be at about 600m in height. Most of today’s walking would be above 600m, it would be grim and probably even slower than my usual snail-like pace. My alternative was trying to hitch out on the long, Kinlochourn road. This latest trip to the Watershed had started well enough with sunshine and showers on Thursday and Friday then a stunning day yesterday but now it was repeating a familiar pattern; I have a few days to spare, the weather looks “nae bad”, I set off from the east coast, a journey that takes 1-2 days by public transport during which the weather changes. I make slow progress then am grounded by weather so time and other matters start to become major issues.
There is a glimmer of hope, instead of walking /hitching the 20 plus miles to Invergarry and the bus to Inverness, I could walk out to the A87 using the Wester Glenquoich stalkers path and catch the Skye-Inverness bus but I am getting ahead of myself, let’s rewind.

Monday 20th, finds me trying to find numbers for the Barrisdale and Wester Glenquoich estates. My route will take me from Inverie to Loch Quoich on Thursday, not a problem as it is a major walking route. The route from Sgurr na Ciche is an estate boundary so that’s ok but then the Watershed goes on from Loch Quoich dam up Druim Choisaidh to Sgurr a’Choire-Beithe, straight through the Barrisdale esate. Trouble is the website “Heading for the Hills” didn’t have numbers for either estate and my hard copy only had a number for the Wester Glenquoich estate. I left a message on its answerphone and then e-mailed Jim, the stalker at Knoydart. NB Later I also found the relevant numbers on the Knoydart Foundation website under “Stalking”. I packed whilst waiting for responses but aware that they all maybe out…stalking. Bingo! Jim let me know that Fred, formerly of Knoydart, was the new stalker at Barrisdale. A friendly face, I fired off an e-mail to him and he promptly e-mailed back that they would not be stalking on the days that I was walking. Wester Glenquoich got back to me after I had set out but my sister was able to pass on the message that it was OK to walk. I had suspected that this would be ok as I would be walking through Wester Glenquoich Sat/Sunday. I would then be on the S.Cluanie ridge separating Wester Glenquoich from Cluanie/Glensheil estate so that also should be ok.

Tuesday midday I set off by public transport; from the East Coast this is a long trek, I am a few miles south of Stonehaven and the choice is either south via Glasgow or north via Inverness the latter without a megabus, fast link from Aberdeen. I go south as I am accessing the Watershed via Inverie on Knoydart where I hope to have an evening at The Table, catching up on news and gossip. South also means an overnight with my son, daughter-in-law and newest grandchild in Glasgow.
Wednesday and Rhona meets me off the ferry at Inverie. Jacqui is also there with my order of ½ cucumber and 6 tomatoe from Salad ‘n’ Stuff, what service. Rhona brings me up to date with Knoydart news, not least the shocking info that the police are currently over investigating an incident on that occurred on Saturday when the chef at the “Old Forge” had received a black eye from the new owner. This is the latest sad incident at what was once a “go to” place when over in Inverie. Instead, people now gather at The Table, particularly on a wednesday night when the pub (formerly open 7 days a week) is now closed.


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The route from Inverie, via Barrisdale to Loch Quoich

Thursday 23rd August
I am off up over Mam Barrisdale in sunshine interspersed with short, heavy showers. Views are much better than my walk out at the end of July. I pop into see Fred at Barrisdale. He is full of enthusiasm for his new job and is hopeful that the new owners at Barrisdale will be good for the area. Replenished with a cup of tea I continue up and over Mam Unndalain. Scotch Argus butterflies have been present all through today's walk. Better weather means better views but Loch Quoich still looks very low. Sgurr Mor seem closer to the head of the loch than I rememebr. I camp between the dams this time. Not so attractive but a better position for my “onward” journey. Just as I am settling down I discover a huge tick looking for a bare patch of skin to head into. I dispatch it rapidly.

ImageLochan west of southern dam at Loch Quoich by Seal54, on Flickr


Imageview from the rail by Seal54, on Flickr

Friday 24th August

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Doubling back

I have a fair bit planned due to having avoided the descent down from Sgurr na Ciche to the dam last time out as the visibility was so poor. This time I have cunning ploy if the visibility is low (it is). I would double back over the Watershed to the summit, taking photos of any tricky bits and using a piece of chalk to mark the route. The latter washes off quickly (too quickly, I discover!) and shouldn’t cause any long term damage. The rain is beating a tattoo on the tent (and has done most of the night). I remain optimistic. “Rain before 7, dry by 11”. I leave the tent at 7.30 but by 8.30 realise that my progress is very slow.
ImageCloud over Sgurr a Choire-Beithe by Seal54, on Flickr
ImageClear over Sgur nan Coireachan with An Stuc behind by Seal54, on Flickr
There are no obvious difficulties and although the cloud level is variable it gradually lifts above 600m and the better visibility low down means the route is easy to pick but I spend far too long taking photos of every bit. This was totally unnecessary and I should have saved my energies and time. All the while “Rocking All Over the World” was firmly stuck as an earworm in my head. I am no fan of Status Quo and tried to shift it but no.
ImageBen Aden by Seal54, on Flickr

Eventually I reached Meal nan Clach Eiteag, only half way but I had expected to be at the summit of Sgurr na Ciche by this time. I made a decision to abandon the final 1.5 km and 400m in climb and retrace my steps down the Watershed. This did not feel good. This was the first time I had abandoned a section of the Watershed because of time. On my way back down the gloom really set in. How could I have taken so long (4 hours!) to climb such a short distance to Meall nan Eiteag? Who was I trying to kid with this Watershed lark? I have some serious walking up ahead and this section wasn’t that difficult. I was an imposter. The weather didn’t help my mood. I had also ripped my jacket sleeve when I had banged my elbow (ouch) off a rock. I had repaired it but missed a small hole and the rain had penetrated my sleeve so my arm was bruised, wet and cold.
ImageSgurr na Ciche and Loch Nevis from Meall nan Clach Eitag by Seal54, on Flickr

The good news was “Rockin all over the World had gone but had been replaced by “Down Down” aargh! So much for dry by eleven but as I approached the tent the sun started to break through and I stopped feeling sorry for myself. I started singing “Me, Myself, I” which started to lift the mood. There is no room for self-indulgent whinging on the Watershed.
ImageLoch Cuaich (Quioch) by Seal54, on Flickr

ImageLooking back up Watershed by Seal54, on Flickr
I decided to walk under the dam. I may never get another chance to do this
ImageDown in Loch Quioch by Seal54, on Flickr

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Back on the Watershed

I had lunch then packed up, removing a hitchhiking fox moth caterpillar from the tent and continued on the Watershed, trying to forget the missing 1.5 km and focussing on the route ahead. Some small, dark coloured hawkers /darters were flying around the puddles on the track across the dam. I think they were black darters. Grasshoppers joined frogs in the competition as to who could leap further downhill when disturbed. The ground vegetation was mainly longish wet grasses and sedges and although the sun was making longer and longer appearances, I kept my waterproof trousers on through laziness. With the progression of the season, the abundance of the flowers was greatly reduced. Still a few milk and lousewort flowers but scabious was the most prolific flower with eyebright a close second. The cloud base was lifting and by the time Sgurr na Ciche was visible over Meall na Eiteag, its summit was clear.
ImageSgurr na Ciche by Seal54, on Flickr

ImagePrehistoric Ben Aden by Seal54, on Flickr

The grey green slabs of Ben Aden glistening in the sunshine making it look like a large pre-historic lizard, cue *Mythical Kings “ by Dory Previn
Reaching the Druim Chosaidh ridge at Sgurr Airigh na Beinne, the view west is of a lot of up and down with rocky outcrops over the left shoulder of which is Luinhe Bheinne whilst Loch Hourn can be seen over the right . Back on the ridge there were two impressive castellations, shortly before the summit of Sgurr Choirea’Beithe, that looked steep and formidable. I began to wish that the cloud was still in.
ImageRidge out to Sgurr a Choire-Beithe by Seal54, on Flickr
Conscious of my tendency to slow down if I can see something difficult ahead I pressed on. The rock was still wet from the rain and some of the down climbs needed care but the minor scrambles were enjoyable. Finally, I reached the 2 big pinnacles. The first, I decided not to tackle head on. The sloping grassy ledges and rock would be tricky in the wet conditions. An escape route goes around the base to the north and I followed this then, as soon as I could, scrambled up through large rocks to the top. The next one was far more straightforward. I could see all the way back to Ben Tee almost due east of me along with the Creag Meagaidh window behind and offset to the south, the Watershed having been on a long, westerly jaunt since the Great Glen. I am now heading north albeit with some zigs and zags, like a well-built stalkers path climbing upwards. Both this and Sgurr Eugalt’s ridge (for tomorrow) mean good views first to the west and then to the east and even though the Rough Bounds are indeed rough, the ups and downs are of small account. I once again had the honour of seeing an eagle at fairly close quarters as it flew along the glen. On this day of sunshine and showers there is a bit of a rainbow
ImageRainbow remnant by Seal54, on Flickr
Now in the later part of the afternoon, the cloud was beginning to build again and gather around the tops. I had been eyeing up the steep descent and the route across to Slat Bheinn, a rocky crag and tail sitting at the head of Gleann Chosaidh, a plug that if removed looked as though it would drain Loch Quoich out to the west. I was still a couple of miles short of my planned camp down at the bealach. The route down looked slow so I decided that I would pitch an early, high camp in the lee of Sgurr Choire a’ Beithe’s ridge , nip up to the summit and catch the sun going down. Great plan, thwarted by the return of cloud, gathering around me as the temperature cooled. At 840m this was my highest camp yet on the Watershed, but I could have been at sea level for all the views I had once the cloud closed in. Before this I was able to enjoy looking down to Loch Nevis.
ImageEvening camp looking down to the head of Loch Nevis by Seal54, on Flickr
ImageBen Aden with Sgurr nan Coireachan to Sgur na Ciche behind by Seal54, on Flickr
I reviewed my progress; I had once again overestimated what I could acheive. Today I had done a total of 9.6 km (6 miles) instead of my planned 16km (9.75m). Realistically I wouldn’t make the Kinlochhourn road tomorrow and therefore would not make the planned end at the A87 2 miles west of Cluanie Inn by the 10.30 Inverness bus Monday. I had enough food for an extra day and I could either head off at Bealach Dubh Leac early Monday morning (the only other bus is too late for me), or head along the Watershed route of the S Cluanie Ridge on Monday and catch the bus Tuesday morning but this would mean camping high on the ridge and possibly running foul of any stalking on the Tuesday. Once again I berated myself for thinking I could do this. Then the rain started and I predicted that I would not I have my longed for views from the western point of the Watershed. Happy days. Both deer and raven barked at me as they came close to the tent during the night. Fancifully, I thought they were mocking my feeble attempt.

Watershed stats 7km 4.5m 945m height gain (total for the day 9.75 km 6.25 miles) .

Saturday 25th August

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I went to bed in cloud and rain, it rained through the night although at one point when I stuck my head out there was a disc of blurry light as the almost full moon tried to shine through the cloud. I woke to cloud and rain. No signal so no forecast but Fred had said the weekend was to be good. I decided to hang on. I was only 10-15 minutes below the summit. My patience was rewarded and there was increasing lightness in the cloud and once, a vague hint of Loch Nevis far below.
ImageView at camp, mist clearing by Seal54, on Flickr
I hastily packed the tent and made the summit for 09.00. It was still clad in cloud so I decided to wait. Then at 09.10 it started to clear. I fired off (camera) shots down to Barrisdale and Loch Hourn. The tide was midway between high and low. In a few days’ time it would reach high spring tides and I speculated that being at the most western point of the Watershed, on a spring or autumn equinox spring tide would bring you even closer to the Atlantic seaboard. No, I have no plans to return for this event!
ImageGhostl;y Barisdale by Seal54, on Flickr

ImageAtlantic sea-board from Sgurr a'Choire-Beithe by Seal54, on Flickr

I made an error with the descent. Careful to pick a doable route I came off the slightly lower summit of Sgurr Choire a’ Bheithe only to realise that this was not the Watershed which actually leaves the ridge further back. I crossed over to the correct descent about halfway down. Both were tricky on the slippery, wet rocks and even more slippery grass but at least the latter offered flat footholds, so progress was slow and careful. At one point I caught and ripped my waterproofs on a protruding rock. I know that ripped jeans are a fashion statement but I didn’t think I was going to make the front page of Vogue (other fashion mags are available) anytime soon. Views to Loch Quoich were excellent and the ridge above me, impressive
Imagenear start of descent from Sgurr a' Choire-Beithe by Seal54, on Flickr

ImageDruim Choisaidh ridge by Seal54, on Flickr

All this gave the rocks over on Slat Bheinn a chance to dry off in the now blazing sunshine. The flanks of Sgurr Choire a’Beithe looked as though they had been sprinkled with diamonds as each hollow harboured tiny rock pools. “Diamonds on the soles of my shoes” sang Paul Simon, my rendition was fortunately heard by none (I hope). The metamorphic rock was folded into contorted toffee shapes, with evidence of at least two deformation events in its history. I look briefly for garnets but saw none.

Imagerock toffee by Seal54, on Flickr

Imagemetamorphic folds by Seal54, on Flickr

ImageDescent from Sgurr a'Choire-Beithe by Seal54, on Flickr

ImageWatershed looking to Atlantic system at Bealach between SaCB and Slat Bheinn by Seal54, on Flickr

ImageWatershed looking east at belach between SaCB and Slat Bheinn by Seal54, on Flickr

Today was a day of slow descents with the ascents actually going quicker. The bounce of seeing the western seaboard so close had lifted my mood and I was once again enjoying my walk and realising that I had been more than a bit self-absorbed the previous day. Enjoyment is the key. So what if it takes me 3-4 years. I am in no rush. These wonderful hills are to be treasured and enjoyed and the warmth of the sunshine, the easy scrambling on Slat Bheinn meant I could do just that. There is a liberal sprinkling of lochans on the approach to the summit and I start to hanker after a swim but feel I do need to get a bit further before another stop.
More stunning views to feast on from the summit. Knoydart with Ladhar Bheinn and Luinne Bheinn tunnelling a view down to Inverie Bay and out to Rum. The shoulders of Sgurr Coire Coinneachean and Sgurr nan Gillean on Rum looking like they were cut from the same cloth. Skye and The Cuillins visible beyond Loch Hourn. To the east, Loch Quoich, ever present and a very interesting looking ridge for the descent to the stalkers path.

ImagePano east from top of Slat Bheinn from Sgurr a Chleidheimh round to Ladhar Bheinn by Seal54, on Flickr

ImagePanorama from top of Slat Bheinn from Ladhar on left by Seal54, on Flickr

ImageView from Slat Bheinn to East. Ben Tee in far distance, Gairich and Sgur Mor by Seal54, on Flickr

ImageView from Slat Bheinn Knoydart, Skye. Loch Hourn , Bein Sgritheal by Seal54, on Flickr

ImageSlat Behinn summit with L-R Sgurr a Choire Coinneachan with Sgurr nan Gillean just visible behind, Luinne Bhein and Ladhar Bheinn by Seal54, on Flickr

ImageView north from Slat Bheinn, The Forcan Ridge and The Saddle by Seal54, on Flickr

ImageRidge down Slat Bheinn by Seal54, on Flickr


Half way down the ridge, I stopped for a late and long lunch, drying off boots and socks in the warmth. Then Loch an Aintheich appeared and was calling me in. It was too beautiful to pass by and would offer a cooling soother to this hot and sweaty ‘shedder. What a perfect camping spot (today complete with breeze to keep off the midges). No wonder Dave Hewiit stopped here on his epic journey.
ImageLoch an Lochain Aintheich from Slat Bheinn by Seal54, on Flickr

ImageLoch an Lochain AIntheich by Seal54, on Flickr

I dried off in the sun after my swim and a bit reluctantly headed on over the lumpy col to tackle the steep ascent to the ridge between Sgurr nan Eugallt and Sgurr a’Claidheimh. No chance, after all my extended breaks of today, of heading west along the ridge to Sgurr nan Eugallt, a Corbett I have visited in the past. Instead I joined the line of fence posts heading east to Sgurr a’Chlaidheimh.

ImageThe fence is back by Seal54, on Flickr


ImageThe jewel in the Slat by Seal54, on Flickr

ImageLooking west from ridge toSgurr a' Chlaidheimh over Sgurr nan Eugallt to Loch Hourn by Seal54, on Flickr

Imageview east by Seal54, on Flickr

ImageBen Nevis over Gairich from Sgurr Cheildheimh ridge, Sgurr a' Chleidheimh ahead by Seal54, on Flickr

ImagePanorama from Sgurr a'Chlaidheimh, west through north to east by Seal54, on Flickr

ImagePanorama from Sgurr a'; Chlaidheimh east trhough south to west by Seal54, on Flickr


The good weather and the easterly direction of the ridge means once again I can see all the way to Creag Meagaidh. I remember "popping out" onto the summit of Stob Coire Dubh and spotting Sgurr na Ciche and a whole jumble of other hills. I am now in that jumble and what a lovely jumble it is. Further round to the south is the unmistakabIe bulk of The Ben. feel full of energy and let out some loud whoops of joy. There is definitely something in the water of these hills. Talking of which...

I had hoped to reach the Kinlochhourn road but shortly before reaching Sgurr a’Chlaidheimh I ran out of water, having passed plentiful supplies close by and failing to fill up. Sod's law there was now none. I followed every damp puddle of peat to see if it turned into a stream but without a lot of down climbing nothing seemed promising. I eventually found a more substantial peat hag with pools and a bit of a trickle further downhill. It wasn’t great water and, judging by the amount of deer scat around, probably none to healthy. I decided to camp, although I still had a couple of good walking hours left, so that I could use the water, boiled.

ImageVIew to Forcan Ridge from camp by Seal54, on Flickr

I hadn’t noticed the clouds sneaking up behind me, but had just put on the water to boil for hot chocolate when the rain started, a near perfect day had come to an abrupt end and with the rain came the wind. I was in a reasonably sheltered spot so I wasn’t unduly worried and so far the rain been concentrated overnight.
I read for a while, and excellent book called, The Namesake and must have dozed off waking to something trying to get into the tent. I shouted out in alarm and it stopped, but I heard no sounds of breathing or movement, it appeared to just disappear. I couldn’t think what it was as no deer surely would blunder into a tent and certainly would make more noise as it moved off. There was nothing else big enough to have caused the noise and pressure. Then, just as I was settling down again, something pushed on the inner tent causing my bag of food to move. I screamed as I sat bolt upright, my heart thumping. Again it disappeared without noise. I thought of the animal that had disturbed Dave Hewitt not 2 miles distant at Loch an Lagain Aintheimh. Maybe there is a beast of Knoydart (the ancient, sleeping lizard of Ben Aden perhaps) but far more likely that it was an over active imagination on my part. I figured that the cause was probably short, sharp gusts of wind that knocked the fly sheet against my boots which in turn banged against the inner tent. I moved my boots and fully expected to lay awake worrying, but thankfully fell straight back to sleep until morning.

8.5 km 5.5 miles 1072 m ascent.

Monday 26th

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Today my mother would have been 100. A keen hillwalker she didn’t know that I had finally understood the attraction, nor did she ever see me compleat both my Munro and Corbett rounds. It would be good to celebrate her life by climbing Sgurr Mhaoraich, a hill I know she and my father climbed (judging from the tick in their Munro book). Unfortunately, the weather had other ideas. I woke to rain, wind and the poor forecast of 40 mph winds and -6 degrees wind chill this afternoon. Over breakfast I studied the map and decided that the stalkers path over to the A87 would be a possible alternative. On a day like today there would be precious little traffic on the Kinlochhourn road, “the longest cul de sac in Britain” (Dave Hewitt). Maybe there would be people who had come for the weekend at Barrisdale, leaving early. Maybe there would be hillwalkers going for a jaunt to the tea room at Kinlochhourn but I wasn’t sure if that was still open.Maybe I would just be lucky. I didn’t expect much and I did have an alternative that would feel less like my usual of running home at the first sign of bad weather.
As I descended (and started to warm up) down the ridge to the mast on the Kinlochhourn road, I saw just one car going west and none going east. The map shows lots of squiggles on the ridge and I had expected crags but there was nothing difficult, just the usual slippery wet grass and rocks witrh plenty of ups and downs.
ImageWatershed at Kinlochhourn road looking back by Seal54, on Flickr

Once on the road a car passed going east but the driver apologised, her car was full to the gunnels (with what looked like everything including the kitchen sink). A mile further on another car but when I looked at its immaculate, cream coloured interior and equally immaculate occupants (who didn’t speak English as a first language), I tried to convey to them that I was worried about being wet and filthy something that didn't need explaining, They were also probably none to concerned about their hired car. As we spoke a landrover drew up behind. I said that I would try it, but it was again full. Was everyone moving out of Kinlochhourn? There can’t be anyone left. The cars continued east and I continued after them. Another mile and a car heading west. I tried not to get my hopes up that they would be back before I turned off. Finally, I was at the turn off to the stalkers path. I was about to cross the road when the westward heading car returned and stopped and offered a lift, not just to Invergarry and the bus but all the way to Inverness. Oh me of the weak backbone; I only made the slightest of protests before I agreed, stowed my smelly, damp socks (which I had been drying off about my person) and hopped in before they had second thoughts. Thank-you, Jane, who got me to Inverness 10 minutes before the Aberdeen bus. After dropping off her hillwalking companion at his campervan (they had been up Gairaich the day before), we swopped stories all the way. Good luck with your remaining 40.
Here endeth the Rough Bounds but not the rough ground. Will I be back before the clocks go back? I need good weather but hopefully I will make the A87 on the next trip. Then it is a long, multi day walk between the A87 and A890, 4 miles west of Achnasheen with precious few escape routes. Not something I want to contemplate in poor weather the wrong side of the equinox at my slow speeds. Once through NTS ground, stalking will once again be an issue on the Killilan, Attadale and West Monar Estates where the Watershed doesn’t heed boundaries.


Today Watershed 2 km 1.5 miles plus 5km, 3 miles to the stalkers path
Total Watershed this trip a meagre 17.5 km, 11.5 miles 2120m ascent
Total Watershed 674.5 km 436.5 miles

See also Parts Scotland's Watershed Parts 1-10
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rohan
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Re: Scotland's Watershed Part 11, The Rough Bounds

Postby Alteknacker » Thu Sep 06, 2018 10:26 pm

Great stuff :clap: :clap: :clap: .

Love the picture of the Ben Aden lizard.

I'm pretty impressed at your sticking out the iffy weather - even if I could summon up the mental fortitude to walk so far, I think I'd have given up after a few hours rain.

But then the Rough Bounds are very wonderful - I was up there myself earlier this year - but in blisteringly hot and fine weather.
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Alteknacker
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Re: Scotland's Watershed Part 11, The Rough Bounds

Postby rohan » Tue Sep 11, 2018 9:20 pm

I'm pretty impressed at your sticking out the iffy weather - even if I could summon up the mental fortitude to walk so far, I think I'd have given up after a few hours rain.


Thank-you for this encouragement. I did give up after a few hours rain and as always when one stops early, wonder if I made the right decision but I can't change that and I will be back!
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rohan
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Re: Scotland's Watershed Part 11, The Rough Bounds

Postby Sgurr » Wed Sep 12, 2018 10:00 pm

I am amazed that you have got thus far with barely a comment in response. This is a fearsome challenge to set yourself, even in separate walks and I am full of admiration for the way you have set about it. I can only assume that people read and comment on reports of something they have done, as they then have some sort of yardstick, or comments to swap, and NOBODY has done anything like it with the exception of Peter Wright, and of course Dave Hewitt, whom I don't think Wright mentions. They took different routes in the far north

https://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=Dave+hewitt

but Hewitt did it first. There was also the guy we met in a B & B who was doing it north to south. He told us how he had tried to explain what he was doing to a US tourist and heard her tell her friend "This man is walking the length of Britain without passing water. "

Well done you. We stayed in The Stables at Barisdale once when the stalker who supplied us with coal was Craig. Shame to hear about the fall and fall of the Old Forge.
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Sgurr
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Re: Scotland's Watershed Part 11, The Rough Bounds

Postby rohan » Wed Sep 12, 2018 10:49 pm

and NOBODY has done anything like it with the exception of Peter Wright, and of course Dave Hewitt, whom I don't think Wright mentions. They took different routes in the far north

A few have done it. Some of whom I have communicated with. I love Dave Hewitt's account as it is so personal and I can really identify with some of it but not with the tremendous acheivement of doing it as a continuous first without the benefit of mobile phones, lightweight gear, WH route planner (not that I have a GPS)etc . Peter's book is very different (he does mention Dave near the beginning and when their routes diverged)and a really useful reference book. Chris Townsend's book on his experience ( another continuous walk) is out next week and I look forward to reading that. Mike Allen did the whole of the Uk in stages south-north. Dave Edgar is currently doing it North -South ( and on through England) in stages (would he be your B&B guy, with the "dry" American?), and someone hoping to set off to do the whole Scotland-England Watershed as a continuous walk in the next few months, we hope to cross paths at some point. Elspeth Luke ran it in 34 days and was the first woman to complete it. Colin Meek ran it in 27 days, both amazing feats.
I think you maybe right about the comments. I cover parts of many other well walked routes on my way but I must say I am really enjoying seeing some old favourites from new angles and using different approaches.
Thank-you for your support, it means a lot and I will get there...eventually. I may well earn the title of oldest and slowest to finish!
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rohan
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Re: Scotland's Watershed Part 11, The Rough Bounds

Postby Sgurr » Thu Sep 13, 2018 9:47 am

Nothing wrong with old and slow...I meant NO-ONE on this site, should have made that clearer.
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Sgurr
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