Monday, 29 August 2016

Kinlochleven Day 2 - Highlands 23 August 2016.

Kinlochleven Day 2
Distance 5km Climb 70m
Tuesday 23 August 2016

I was in Scotland for a few days and took an opportunity to take in a quick walk. Due to the traffic on my way up yesterday I did not have the time to walk as far as I would have liked. 

For most of the night I was nice and comfortable until about 0500 when the temperature suddenly dropped enough to wake me up. Then the rain started, I could feel that the wind had changed direction as well. I just pulled my sleeping bag tighter round me and settled back down to sleep for another couple of hours.

Eventually the rain stopped and I decided to make a break for it before it started again. After a warm breakfast I packed up and moved off, back down hill. 

I followed the same route down as I had walked up. Taking the steep twisty path down hill to cross the footbridge over the Allt Nathrach. As it had been a little cooler when I started I had kept my coat on. Once over the footbridge I took my coat off as it was turning very warm. There was the short climb up the path to join the track on the West Highland Way.

On the West Highland Way I passed lots of walkers heading north west, towards Fort William. Many of them foreign visitors.

It did not take me long to reach Kinlochleven.

A few midges were about where I had parked my car, but not enough to cause any bother. The last of the campers were packing up there stuff and getting ready to move on.

I had not walked far but it had been good to stretch my legs and check out my tent. I had walked 5 km with approx 70m climb.

More to follow

Boz North
Follow link to Kinlochleven Day 1

Kinlochleven Day 1 - Highlands 22 August 2016.

Kinlochleven Day 1
Distance 7.5km Climb 810m
Monday 22 August 2016

I was in Scotland for a few days and took an opportunity to take in a quick walk. Due to the traffic on my way up I did not have the time I would have liked to go a little further. 

I left my car at Kinlochleven near the Blackwater campsite (20m). A place I have stayed a couple of times in the past. I stayed here on my WHW in March 2009 and again when I did the WHW in June 2012 with Anne and my brother.

I could see people walking around with midges nets on and within seconds of stepping out of the car I was getting eaten alive. So as soon as I was ready I was on my way. I followed the route of The West Highland Way north west through the town.

I had seen a number of walkers as I passed through the town. Following the B863 I took the footpath that started climbing north west along the WHW as it left the town.

Climbing through the forest there was no let up from the midges, even as the path cleared the trees.

The WHW dropped down slightly to cross the Allt Coire na h-Eirghe, then climbs gently north west.

Approximately 150m west of the 237m height I turned further west and took the narrow path that drops sharply down hill. In places the path was slippery, I could see across the small glen, the steep path I was looking for on the other side, before that I had to drop down through a gate and down to a footbridge over the Allt Nathrach.

Then it was a steep climb west as the path started to twist and turn its way up hill.

I reached an area of fairly level ground and found an area for my campsite (510m), there were very few midges here. After a call home I set up my tent and had a quick meal.

When I was ready I set off again, west and started climbing again.

As I climbed I could see the mist coming down and visibility was reducing.

After a couple of photos on the Beinn na Caillich (764m) I climbed back down to my campsite.

Light was fading as I was returning to my tent and I could see the lights on in Kinlochleven.

I woke up a couple of times in the night and the stars were bright, unfortunately none of the photos came out.

I had walked 7.5 km with 810m climb.

More to follow

Boz North
Follow link to Kinlochleven Day 2

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

My Northumbrian Trail Day 2 - Northumberland 5 Aug 2016.

My Northumbrian Trail Day 2

Distance 21km Climb 850m
Friday 5 August 2016

Following on from Day 1 of my Northumbrian Trail, this was certainly turning into a challenge as I woke early and packed my kit. I was ready to go again for 04.30. I followed the fence line back up to Steel Crag (350m).  Moving north westerly I followed the fence line towards Langlee Crags. The path by the fence was fairly easy to follow with the odd bog to clear. 

As the fence turned west then north westerly again the path I was on joined a track and I walked down hill I could see across the valley.

It was as I was walking down towards Harthope Burn I stopped and had a think about my options. Time was turning against me, the ferns on the previous day had took a lot out of me.

I continued down hill to Harthope Burn (230m) where I spent a few minutes filling my water bottles and as soon as I was ready I moved up onto the road. I followed the road westerly for a few hundred meters to where the footpath heads towards Scald Hill.

The footpath heads almost directly west as it climbs.

It does not take too long to reach a height with good views back along the valley and the way I had walked down. A small helicopter started buzzing to the south east, a farmer counting his sheep I presumed.

I continued climbing and as usual found Scald Hill boggy. The small helicopter came back and buzzed around the valley again.

As usual the higher I climbed The Cheviot the more mist appeared. It was still warm and although there was a hint of rain nothing persistent.

I reached The Cheviot (815m) and after a photo continued south west along the stone path.

Following the path down and the small climb up to Cairn Hill.

From Cairn Hill (777m) I continued west to join the Pennine Way. Mist still obscured the views.

I continued west along The Pennine Way.

Moving down hill the mist cleared a little as I passed the plaque in memory of Stan Hudson. The peat was slippery in places, time to get some new boots I think. It was also time to put my coat on as it turned colder and the rain was trying to make a point.

I continued following The Pennine Way looking out for the wild Northumbrian goats but did not see any today. Passing Kings Seat I took a few photos.

Until I reached the crossroads cairn (542m). From here I turned left, south east and headed down hill.

Following the path between two large woods it turned south and after a small rise took me down on the west side of Hazely Law. On my way I saw a young deer in the long grass, she was away before I could get another photo.

Walking to the south of Hazely Law I crossed the track and continued south into a field of young bulls, some pushing and banging heads. Hope they did not want to push and shove me like that.

They parted as I approached and started following for a few meters as I walked up the centre of The Middle (399m). It was then a short drop down to the style into the wood on Middle Hill.

A short steep climb on Middle Hill and I turned right onto the footpath that narrows. The footpath sign through the trees is nearly hidden. The sign leads to a vehicle track that continues south to a gate. 

Over the style the grass path continues south, dropping down then rising near a small wood. This was the path I turned off yesterday to climb Shillhope Law.

Passed the Barrowburn camping barns I continued on the footpath outside of the buildings south down by a broken wall through the gate turn right, west and over the footbridge back to Wedder Leap car park.

It had not been the route I had wanted to take but under the circumstances the most sensible and safest. I had been walking about 6.5 hours, covering 21 km with 850m climb.

Over both days this was 64 km and 2560 m climb.

Still I had enjoyed the walk, now it was time to go home have a long soak and a nice cup of tea. With a few beers later. 

More to follow

Boz North
Details correct at time of writing.
Follow link to My Northumbrian Trail Day 1.