Day 7(1) : Strathcarron to Faochaig
Friday 11th May
Signed out after a good breakfast in the hotel, I joined small groups of Challengers heading off in different directions for the start, or in my case the continuation, of the walk. This was the last time I saw a fellow Challenger until I arrived at Montrose! Montezuma was extracting his revenge today; he obviously took a dislike to the venison stew last night!
The weather was dry but overcast as I took the path over the hills towards Bendronaig Lodge giving good views back to the Achnashellach hills then past a line of old telegraph poles beside Lochan Fuara, a strange place for a line of poles, to Bealach Alltan Ruairidh where the rest of the days route appeared ahead.
The path down, sketchy in places, meets the track to Bendronaig Lodge and a delightful bridge crosses the Uisge Dubh where I took to the hillside for a direct line, reasonable at first and then very steep, up to Carn Poll-eisg and a seemingly never ending ridge climbing to Beinn Dronaig.
The view down Glen Ling kept me fortified on the climb and I was rewarded at the top by a panorama of surrounding hills and lakes. The dry weather made the descent to and crossing of the river by Maol-bhuidhe bothy easy, I hardly got the boots wet!
|Maol-bhuidhe is a lovely bothy and I was encouraged to stop for a brew by a passing rain shower. I always find bothys very dark and claustrophobic after being out in the open all day and, while being very useful in poor conditions, I am never sorry to leave.|
The climb up Aonach Buidhe starts gently enough through the heather behind the bothy but becomes a steep ridge up to Aonach Cas before a very pleasant ridge walk to the summit. A very steep descent took me to the bealach where I found a nice pitch by the path to Faochaig.
It had been suggested that it would be easier to take the path from Maol Bhuidhe to the bealach and then nip up Aonach Bhuidhe without the pack but I am glad that I didn't as I would have missed a lovely ridge walk and it seems right, to me, to include the hills as part of your walk and not add them like extras in a coach tour (Oh dear I have stirred it now!).