Fantastic day, but got lost (our fault)

Route: Mayar and Driesh, Glen Clova

Munros: Driesh, Mayar

Date walked: 02/08/2020

Distance: 14.5km

We had a brilliant day, but arrived late knowing we were cutting it fine to sunset. Beautiful views, if a little too chilly for my partner who was acclimatised to 40 degrees heat at the time.

The description and route is incredibly easy to follow. Coming down from Driesh we were greeted by hundreds of deer running over the ridge.

Where we went wrong:

We reached the top of Driesh with 15 mins spare to sunset (maybe a bit more?). Walking back, my partner was so cold that we walked along a well trodden/eroded route along the east facing side of the ridge in the final instruction. This resulted in us reaching the bottom of the ridge with fast fading sunlight, a deer fence that had no clear gate as described and a pole that designed to put your camera on for a view into the valley.

We made the decision to head West here and stay out of the treeline. We couldn't see a clear route here, and heading into the trees without this would have been incredibly bad in my opinion (pitch black).

After pulling out the headtorch I always carry, I figured we had several options. Go back up the ridge and get 4G. Re-hike the route that we knew and take the extremely long way back (we had layers too). My partner's foot was bad, so if she injured herself further I could carry her. If we both received injuries, I also knew again that there was signal on top of the mountain. We had some food and a little water, so could also wait out until 4am when it starts getting light again.

We chose, however, the more immediate option: to crack on. At the bottom of the ridge and turning West (relative left), and after going through endless undulating grass and following the treeline, I could see what looked to be a road, and I could see the waterfall on the left. I could also see an opening in the trees to the right of the path. Hoping it was at least a farmers road and at most the road we drove to the car park on, we double timed it across the awful and mostly boggy terrain, through a deer fence (no damage, went through gaps). At the very least we could follow the road, or even a river, upstream and at some point we would reach the path or the waterfall, which is next to the path.

Long story short, the faint path you can see at the bottom of the West-side of the ridge is in fact the path following alongside the river. We were both so incredibly relieved, and I think it's the last time we ever do a new route to us that close to sunset!

Getting lost aside, we had an incredible day full of beautiful views, exercise and laughs. We also met Mairi/Melmum by the waterfall and had a lovely chat. I'd happily do again after I bag more Munros.

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Activity: Mountain Walker
Mountain: Ben Nevis
Place: Gruinard Bay View Point
Gear: £15 spikes from Amazon!
Member: No clubs, just my podcast 'Between The Mountains'.
Ideal day out: Up early, hiking all day, relax in the evening/drive to next location. Ideally in Winter.

Munros: 3

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Trips: 1
Distance: 14.5 km
Munros: 2

Joined: Aug 11, 2020
Last visited: Aug 11, 2020
Total posts: 1 | Search posts