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Day 83 - 84 'foot off the gas - last day is Friday'

24 June 2023 – Day 83

Munros – 1 Total Munros – 270

Glas Leathad Mor – Big Greenish/Grey Slope

(Ben Wyvis – Terror)

Ghlas Leathad Mor is the official summit on this long whale like mountain which everyone knows as Ben Wyvis. In Rosshire, Ben Wyvis is pronounced “weevus” and is known here as the Ben. It has been translated as terror, dismal or gloomy. A better translation is majestic or awful – awe full.

Euan made the short ride in drizzly rain from the Fannich Estate exit to the busy carpark at Ben Wyvis. He would be accompanied on the climb by Tony who along with Euan debated on the best clothes for a warm but damp day. Shorts and T shirts won the day with the option of more clothes from their packs. They returned a bit wet but that was sweat due to the warm weather and fast pace. A more leisurely lunch was made better by Tony’s big doorstep focaccia sandwich from Grantown and his wife Rachel’s banana and chocolate chip cake some of which remained for a treat on another day.

While enjoying the tea and cake, Euan, Tony and the commander heard a loud bang from the entrance to the relatively small carpark. The noise came from a large campervan whose roof had just hit the hanging boards over the entrance to stop large campers using the carpark. The commander had checked on entry that Cr282 could safely get under these weighted boards. The van made it by a couple of feet of headroom. This bigger campervan was clearly much bigger and higher but somehow entered the carpark without doing much sign of damage to its roof despite crashing into the boards. The problem remained, however, since with no parking spaces left, this large van had to manoeuvre around to face the exit. The exit roadway was quite a bit higher than the entrance roadway so when the van tried to exit, it jammed itself between the overhanging boards and the fragile roof of the camper. Two cars also wanted to exit but the way out was blocked – gridlock! To Cr282’s audience astonishment, the campervan reversed and accelerated faster toward the entrance. This second attempt to leave also failed. Tony offered to help with tools from his van but before this was fully considered, a faster third attempt succeeded but not without some damage including the TV dish on the roof of the campervan landing on the road. No words can adequately do justice to this bizarre episode of tourists in a hired campervan who need a lot more practice before being allowed to hire such a vehicle.

Euan then cycled to the top of Loch of Glascarnoch, tomorrow’s start point. An overnight stop at Ullapool was planned to wash clothes and bodies in that order in an average campsite by Cr282’s standards. There was a lovely view over Loch Broom and the Minch but the showers were just adequate and it had no campsite wifi to upload the blog which you’re reading or provide frivolous entertainment for the commander. Engaging conversation and some debate more than made up for the camp’s facilities.

Powered by cake!

25 June 2023 – Day 84

Today’s Munros - 6 Total Munros – 278

Am Faochagach – The Heathery Place

Cona Mheall – Adjoining Place

Beinn Dearg – Red Hill

Meall nan Ceapraichean – Hill of the Stubby Hillocks

Eilidh nan Clach Geala – Web of the White Stones

Seana Bhraigh – Old Height

Scottish power shower! - waterfall crossing point with water going the wrong way

Am Faochagach has a disputed translation since “faochag” means whelk like in a ribbed style just what the mountain is like. It’s also covered in grass and not heather so perhaps the shell-like formation may be a better fit. The “old” referred to in Seana Bhraigh is due to its wrinkled appearance, not very complimentary then. These hills lie in the very remote Inverlael and Strathmulzie areas with little or no vehicle access. Euan planned to bag all 6 Munros and then have an overnight in the equally remote CoireMor, Magoo’s Bothy followed by a very long walk/cycle out to Oykel Bridge.

Cr282 had a very interesting meeting at the starting point for these Munros. Jaimie Aarons, the American/Scot who is attempting to beat the record which Donnie Campbell set for completing the fastest round of Munros unaided. His record of 31 days is currently being surpassed by Jaimie Aarons by only 10/11 hours according to her support team of four at one of the support vans. Ch282 wished them well as Euan set off with his overnight sack to follow Jaimie Aarons who had left 10 minutes earlier. Later, Euan caught up with her and her team of 8 as they made a river crossing. Euan chatted to her and her team before he headed of on his own.

Euan had “invited” the commander to accompany him for an overnight at the aforementioned bothy. It has been described as the “boutique hotel of bothies” and it certainly lived up to this description. The commander had stayed and visited bothies which were rudimentary in terms of sleeping/cooking areas, basically they normally are a dry roof over your head and a welcome refuge in poor weather.

Bring your own malt!

This bothy has three separate spaces all with furniture, stoves or open fire (firewood included) and cooking utensils and dishes. The original bothy was one the first to be renovated by the newly formed Mountain Bothy Association but then extended and renovated in memory of Mark “Magoo” Maguire who along with a colleague lost their lives in a peacekeeping mission in Kosovo in 2001.

The RAF – 33 Squadron – along with family and friends helped with the further modernisation. The many glowing comments in the visitor book is testament to walker’s appreciation of this remote and special bothy.

Euan arrived at the bothy before a wet commander made the long walk in. The rain seemed to start and stop when the commander left the van and arrived at the bothy. Euan also had a wet interlude when he had to cross above a waterfall, but the strength of the wind blew the falling water above and horizontally as Euan made the crossing.

The bothy residents had a very comfortable and dry night apart from a small wet glass of Speyside’s best. It was a peaceful night save for a loud bang at 1.20am which woke the sleepers in their bunks. Both Euan and the commander sat up, startled, not knowing the source of the noise in this very remote building. Armed with headtorches and dressed in night gear (“Armed”, unfortunate choice of phrase in the circumstances – The Editor), they discovered that the poorly secured front door had blown open in the gusty wind. After some time, sleep returned to both until morning.


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Darren Sharp
Darren Sharp
Jun 27, 2023

Well done Euan, yer some boy! Utmost respect. Hopefully see you at the museum sometime. Bydand.


Robert Smith
Robert Smith
Jun 26, 2023

It’s been great to keep abreast of your challenge and reading these brilliant updates. Great effort Euan. Bydand. (Madness)

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