Cape Wrath Trail Spectacular adventure, the best of Scotland

Date walked: 19/04/2024

Time taken: 10 days

Distance: 232km

Cape Wrath Trail
Fort William to Ullapool, 10 days, 144 miles. Weather’s looking not too bad. Just hope I haven’t forgotten something really obvious, like the tent

Day 1 Fort William to Coire Thollaidh Hard going. Went further than planned as under a bit of time pressure to get to my b&b and resupply parcel on night 5, so did 23ish miles 11 hours today. Never walk so far with a pack on - in fact, never walk so far. Exhausted by the time I got to Corry Thollaidh bothy. Was planning to sleep in tent as the bothies are a wee bit spooky, but was so tired I didn’t care

The wee Camusngaul ferry

On the road

Cona Glen

Towards Glenfinnan

Glenfinnan viaduct

Coire Thollaidh bothy

All to myself

Day 2. Coire Thollaidh to Sourlies bothy Another really tough and long day, walking from 8.30am until 8pm. About 2/3s of the way my pack was biting into my shoulders, blisters has appeared and my spirits were low. At one point I was bent over my walking poles asking myself why I thought I could do this. Very boggy, slippy and rocky coming over from Glenn Dessary along the Finiskaig river. Very remote now. The magnificent view of Loch Nevis and Sourlies Bothy couldn’t have been more welcome. Again, knackered, so slept in the bothy. Even the scritching of the mice didn’t keep me awake

Leaving Glenfinnan

Loch Nevis

Sourlies Bothy

Loch Nevis at sunset

Day 3. Sourlies to Barisdale A much better day, seemed to find my rhythm, and my body fell into line. Pack was a wee bit lighter, having eaten almost half the food I was carrying, and blisters dealt with. Across a huge marsh at the foot of the River Carnoch, stunning waterfalls and then a massive climb up and over into Gleann Unndalain. The walk down to Barisdale Bay was splendid and sunny. Camped at Barisdale bothy, in the tent tonight. A gorgeous spot and sunset but loads of ticks

Towards Barisdale

Barisdale resident

In the tent tonight

Evening at Loch Hourn

Day 4. Barisdale to Forcan Ridge Packed up early in the sun and had a four hour walk around the beautiful lochside path to Kinloch Hourn for a cracking lunch in the very out the way but really good cafe and B&B @kinlochourn. Had lunch with Anna, a brewer at @dunbrewing, who hails from Malaga originally. Had an hours walk and good chat with Anna before heading off in different directions. My path took me up a very testing climb up to the highest point of my walk to the Bealach Coire Mhàlagain (great names) to wild camp under the shadow of the Saddle and Forcan Ridge. Feels very dramatic up here, windy, and chilly, so sleeping with all my layers on. This was the part of the whole thing I was most nervous about, but all went according to plan

The stalker's hut

Happy in Kinlochourn forest

Kinlochourn Forest area

Camp beneath The Saddle and Forcan ridge. Cold and dramatic

Day 5. Forcan Ridge to Morvich Was a windy night at about 700m and got progressively colder through the night, my sleeping bag reaching its limits. Woke up to sunrise and chill. Had ice on the tent, inside and out. Scraped it off, had breakfast and packed up sharpish. Had a cracking walk down Coire Caol to Glenshiel and had a bacon roll and coffee @kintailodgehotel before heading to the luxury of my beautiful b&b @ruarach near Morvich, my halfway point. I’ve been lucky with the weather but that’s going to change a bit. Got my resupply food package, so pack will be back up to full weight again so will be crying into my dehydrated meal tomorrow night

Icy start

Breakfast beneath the ridge at sunrise

The Forcan Ridge

Towards Glen Shiel

A mild river crossing, refreshes the feet

Back on the road

High and dry in Shiel Bridge

Day 6 Morvich to Maol-Bhuidhe bothy After a hearty breakfast at the wonderful @ruarach b&b I headed out towards the Falls of Glomach, (the longest drop waterfall in the UK?). The falls were impressive, but not as dramatic as the path back down the other side, about 12 inches wide with a massive drop on one side. I’d been walking for six hours when I realised I’d dropped debit, credit and driving licence cards in a little wallet somewhere. I turned round and started retracing my steps, it could be anywhere in the last 8 miles. 10 minutes later I saw another walker coming towards me with a big smile on his face, my wallet in hand. Rolf, a shepherd from Switzerland, also doing the CWT, had found it about 4 miles away on the lochside path. The two of us spent the next couple of hours walking together to Maol-Bhuidhe. Camped nearby, as six workmen , also camping for 10 days while they refurbished the bothy, which was looking fantastic. Weather changing. ❄️ very cold night

A mighty breakfast at Ruarach B&B


Top of the Falls

Falls of Glomach

Maol-bhuidhe bothy

Day 7, Maol-Bhuidhe to Coire Fionnarraich bothy Really cold last night, scraping ice off the tent with a peg. Got my morning routine down to two hours from wake up to walking away inc breakfast and pack up. A boggy start, then a climb, then around the beautiful Loch Calavie. Had lunch with some folk out with @hayleywebbmountainguides. Then up, up and down to Strathcarron , looking forward to being dry and warm in the local hotel bar…which was closed. Sat on a bench in the rain and called home, feeling a bit sorry for myself. A few snacks, then the long haul up to Coire Fionnarraich bothy in the rain. Bothy very busy with Munro baggers. Great bothy, two floors, four rooms. Share with two guys from Edinburgh. Almost forgot to send my gps preset check in message home which would have meant mountain rescue turning up in the middle of the night to get me

Beautiful Loch Calavie

Very glad to see Coire Fionnarraich bothy

Inside Coire Fionnarraich, a cracking bothy

Day 8 Coire Fionnarraich to Kinlochewe pt1. Hardest day so far and the hardest of the whole thing. First part of the day fine with climb away from bothy and then down into the stunning Torridon Glen, Ling Hut and the A896. Long climb on a path up behind Beinn Eighe and the Triple Buttress to a loch, an incredible place, like being in the cone of a huge volcano. Heading east with no path, took almost 2 hours to descend 200m. Very steep and rocky, then heather bashing and bogs for another 2 until I picked up a path to Kinlochewe. Just got to the wee campsite as the were closing for the night at 8.30. Hot(ish) shower, dinner, bed

The lochan beneath the Triple Buttress behind Beinn Eighe

Fishing hut in Glen Torridon

Campsite at Kinlochewe

Day 9 Kinlochewe to Sheneval Bothy More mountains and paths, enough already I hear you cry. Nearly there, this being the penultimate day. Another toughie, very wet in the afternoon, running out of steam a bit, so looking forward to getting to Ullapool tomorrow. Nice evening in the bothy with a guy from Stirling and a father and son from Horsham

Sunset over Loch na seal

Day 10. Sheneval to Ullapool. Done! Completed what I set out to do. Arrived in Ullapool feeling cock-a-hoop, as my Aunt Margaret would say. Had a spring in my step today for my final 11 miles, probably because I knew there was a shower, meal and bed waiting for me @theferryboatinn. The CWT route doesn’t actually go to Ullapool which is 7 miles off , so hitched a lift and only had to wait 10 mins for a lovely family to pick me up.
Has been an absolute adventure, highs and lows. I’ve met loads of good people from 15+ different countries, lots of different stories and backgrounds. The scenery has been absolutely breathtaking. I just couldn’t capture the scale of it in the photographs. Felt absolutely **** at the end of each day and the CWT is something I’ll only do once. Went over on my ankle 5 times, right on my arse twice, got sunburnt neck and tops of ears, wind burn, blisters, lip and nose sores, bites and stings. But I’ll be coming back next April to do the final section, Ullapool to Cape Wrath. All the pics and posts are on my Instagram grid if you fancy a gander
Scotland 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿, England 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿, Ireland 🇮🇪, Wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿, Netherlands 🇳🇱, Germany 🇩🇪, Spain 🇪🇸, Switzerland 🇨🇭 , France 🇫🇷, Italy 🇮🇹 , Australia 🇦🇺, USA 🇺🇸, Canada 🇨🇦, New Zealand 🇳🇿, Poland 🇵🇱 , Denmark 🇩🇰

Ready for next year

Foot comfort

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Comments: 2

Roddy M

Activity: Walker

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Trips: 1
Distance: 232 km

Joined: May 03, 2024
Last visited: Jun 23, 2024
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