Saturday, 13 January 2007

24 hour flew

Breakfast of coffee and porridge the left bothy at 9am. I was outside all packed when I remembered that I hadn't signed the bothy book. I made the terrible decision to just crack on rather than step over and disturb the bodies in the bothy. Walking towards Derry Lodge, I pass an Akto pitched in the trees. I feel slightly guilty for choosing a warm bothy instead of a spacious tent.


Luibeg Bridge.
Been walking for an hour and a half. Spotted another tent, some big orange TNF affair above the Derry Fords. Saw 2 deer, young ones, about 10m away - I wouldn't have seen them but they started moving. Only saw one small unspecified black bird. Heavy shower, light rain continuous. Nothing to see above low cloud. Speckled snow on the hills. River is in spate, which may cause me a problem in Glen Dee, as the map shows the path intersecting a number of streams.


Got to the start of the Lairig Ghru. Was passed by 2 climbers who'd camped out last night and were heading up one of the ridges (if the weather was okay). Saw a few deer grazing on Creagan nan Gabhar, but nothing else. Had a fine view of the hills below the low cloud, highlighted by the snow. Like a living Wainwright sketch. Bod an Deamhain pictured above. Before I turned south down Glen Dee, one of the guys from last night (and his dog) came bounding up from Corrour Bothy. So, I wasn't the first out, and I hadn't even noticed that there was only one dog in the bothy that morning.

Headed down to Glen Dee, and, apart from crossing some streams that were in spate, and the driving rain, there wasn't much else. Some good work has been done on the path (photo taken looking north):

Elsewhere, the work had been submerged by water, or hadn't started. It must take the teams years to do a stretch like this, and their efforts are much appreciated. Got to White Bridge just after 3pm.
10 to 5 on Saturday, and the GPS says 24.5km (15 miles) tabbed since yesterday, and it's not even 5 o'clock. Hence the title. Heavens still falling. Getting changed out of wet gear in car park toilets. I'll need to apply Nikwax to the Salomon gloves, as they started frothing. I'll also need to organise the names of waypoints - I've too many in the Cairngorms and they are starting to cause me problems when I come to pick them out of the list.

Boots did well, but I can feel some dampness in the socks - checked later and no blisters. I don't know what the expectation is for Gore-Tex XCR, but the boots were getting rained on from above, and having to cope with ankle-deep puddles and streams.

Found it difficult to get the e+Lite comfortable on my forehead, but it was handy to have. I didn't get the feeling of losing my peripheral vision like I did with the Tikka. But I found that to get the torch low enough to see what was in front of me, it started to shine off my nose.

New leggings were warm, without feeling over-warm in the bothy. Car thermometer read 3'c, but I didn't feel it on my legs - though I was wearing overtrousers as well as Montane Terras.