Thursday, 24 July 2014

Ardgour and Moidart, a turning point

I was on the Ardgour, Moidart peninsula for 8 days in total and it turned out to be pretty tough. One evening cycling from Strontian to Garbh Bheinn in a torrential downpour I lost my map. The next day, I got up early and retraced my steps but could not find it being a Sunday and very misty i thought it may be difficult to get one and so changed my plans to climb 2 hills i did have a map for, Cruach Beinn and Fuar Beinn. On the cycle to start the route my bike chain snapped and I managed to fix it but it snapped again.
Hollie to the rescue - a friend of a friend came out and got my bike while I took the chance of the mist clearing and headed up Garbh Bheinn without a map, the mist cleared as the day went on and I managed to pull something out of the day with the bonus of being invited to stay the night with Hollie, Ishbel and Dugald, dry off for the night and watch the world cup.

The following day Rob and his nephews drove all the way down from Conon Bridge to fix my bike chain while i went off to climb Cruach Bheinn and fuar Bheinn. Torrential rain and strong winds again made the going pretty hard work made even more so when I discovered on top of the first summit I had lost my compass. Not good. I managed to use the wind direction to navigate my way down to the bealach and up to the next summit but do not recommend this as a navigation tool. I was trashed, drookit and feeling pretty drained by the time I came off of here and booked into a b and b to dry out. The next day was a tough round of Beinn na h-uama, Sgurr Dhomhuill, and Carn na Natrach, bonnie but lots of steep ascents and descents and it was a good 10 hours on the hill. A cycle round the peninsula the next day to climb Sgurr Coire A chearcaill, blessedly straightforward once we found the track! I was joined this day by Irene and Janice, 2 women from Perth mountaineering club who had being staying at the b and b. It was a long time since I had company on the hill and the time passed quickly and pleasantly, at least until the girls left and I had to fix yet another puncture in the pissing rain. A frustrating time was spent trying to get the rear wheel back on the bike before setting up camp on the shore of Loch Eil.
There are not too many corbetts where you get the chance to stay on a ridge all day and the round of Sgurr craobh a chaorainn, sgurr guibsachan and bealach an Sgridain  is a cracking high level traverse and a good way to finish the peninsula.
I was happy to cycle away the next morning though, it felt like I had reached a turning point and I was cycling into the sunshine..............................

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