cape wrath trail stages

Quantity. The weather followed us down from the bealach into the valley towards Glen Pean. Leaving the river where it runs south at a right angle, we climbed steeply north to find the Bealach Undalain. The lure of hotel comforts was proving too strong, and on arrival I made enquiries about the bothy rooms, with thoughts of a cheeseburger and pint in the bar very real in my mind. I set the tent below a dune to try and give some cover from the wind, and cooked sausages for both the dog and me. In this two-part planning guide, TGO’s Alex Roddie introduces the Cape Wrath Trail in winter and shares his tips for planning a successful and safe hike. From Lochstack Lodge there is a good 4×4 track that you want to leave after around 5km. One of them dropped a shawl, and the French boy quickly began to try and douse the flames with a bottle of water he had. More about this in NAVIGATION. 3) Walking poles. Here’s what to expect: 1.Wet feet. Wild fires dotted the hillside opposite to give a dramatic scene. I didn’t have a definite idea in mind where I would finish. Fantastic Views of the Torridon Mountain Range. My mood was definitely brightened and I walked with a smile on my face. A small and simple gesture that made this bothy infinitely more comfortable for us. 12/04/19 Stage 14: Glendu Bothy to Loch Garb-bhaid Mòr, 15 miles (24km). The Cape Wrath Trail (CWT) has a deceiving name: it is actually not a trail, but a route, running the length of the Scottish Highlands between Fort William in the south and Cape Wrath in the north. Cross to the west of the loch, whatever the conditions. I hitched the 6km into Durness. Looking back it is possible to see Am Buachaille one last time. I have more armour now to weigh up whether it is a possible or impossible dream for me. Wednesday (25km): We will head further north, on relatively easy/flat terrain, eventually reaching the coast and a camp on a small hilly peak Loch Garb-bhaid Mòr is visible about 1km northwest. Just be sure to book in advance. Crossing the Kyle takes approx 10 mins in his boat. It is with a heavy heart that we can confirm that the Cape Wrath Challenge must come to a close We have been working through the implications for the event since the initial lockdown in March. From such highs there soon followed depths of despair that will live in harrowing echoes amongst my darkest moments in the hill. I dropped into the glen and pitched the tent by the ruins there, on good ground and by the river. Another night in a windy tent; no surprise that I was up for dawn to get some ‘blue hour’ shots of the bay. Hard and steep, 90 minutes to climb 500m. Small lochans were useful for navigation. I made a navigational error here and trended northwest through a small pass. I made another error before this point; by taking the wrong left turn, I took a path that went southwest instead of northwest. It easily kept me going through each day without having to stop for lunch. Meals in the bar were £10. Cape Wrath Trail (Stage 3) - 17 Apr. The dog was getting all the off-cuts from the kitchen; he had won more hearts. Almost every stage has at least two, if not three, possibilities. After I had bought the excellent Cicerone guidebook by Iain Harper and the two Harvey’s maps for the Trail, the real planning began. 31/03/19 Stage 4: Sourlies to Barrisdale, 8½ miles (13½ km). Experience the remote wilderness of the Fisherfields. The 5km left to walk were mostly downhill; we gained the final 4×4 track that takes you to the buildings, the first view of the lighthouse finally emerging as we contoured around Dunan Mòr. Onyx had a plate of sausages; a fine way to mark the end of our journey. 05/04/19 Stage 8: Coire Fionnaraich Bothy to Kinlochewe, 19 miles (30½ km). I was supposed to find myself dropping down to a 4×4 track alongside Loch an Eircill however I was about 1.5km to the west. They are free to use; all they ask is that you follow the Bothy Code. The long-awaited view of the Cape Wrath lighthouse, and the road carrying my last steps on the Cape Wrath Trail. Cape Wrath Ferry ( from Keoldale jetty) 2. However, the disappointment was to continue. The Cape Wrath Trail takes you to beaches, glens and mountaintops that see very few humans pass by in a year. Taking out food, this meant a base weight of around 12kg, which is at the top end of where you want to be. My navigating was usually good, and this was simply down to not concentrating and missing the bridge over the river (dur!). Located in Sutherland in the Highlands of Scotland, Cape Wrath is the most northwestern point of the UK. Angie came to our rescue, and for a modest fee took us to Kearvaig Bothy and agreed to meet us in the morning and take us as far as the ferry berth. I could have stayed at the bothy, but this is Sandwood Bay; tomorrow everything will be full of sand but it didn’t matter. This guidebook describes the Cape Wrath Trail, a long-distance trek from Fort William to Cape Wrath crossing the wild northwest of the Scottish Highlands. The bag felt noticeably lighter, and after coffee and breakfast I felt able to carry on. The next 2 miles to reach Morvich campsite were incredibly hard, given the level of disappointment I had just suffered. She generously offered to put us up for the night, and I enjoyed a nice pint, which had been most definitely well-earned. Shenavall Bothy is one of the more popular bothies on the Trail, and there was a party of French teens as well as a couple with their two children. I did 11 of the 14 stages in this book and I must say Iain Harper did a great job writing this book. Description: A 15/16-stage unmarked (!!!) All was now where it should have been and as I crested the hill Loch Càrn nan Conbhairean came into view. I camped by the loch and it was so beautiful, perfectly calm and peaceful. The path down is well paved in places, and your imagination is often drawn to the poor pack-mules that would have had to haul various goods when these ancient trails were used as traditional drovers’ routes. The Cape Wrath Trail is not way-marked at any time and often you will find yourself in pathless terrain. The wind had continued all day and wasn’t stopping. I pressed on with a degree of urgency trying to make up some of the time. Clicking the 'Add To Cart' button is taken as confirmation that you have read and understood the Participation Statement. Highs and lows. As stated, I was forced to dump some stuff and over the course of the first few stages the pack weight was brought down to around 16kg. I arrived at the bothy in the dark, at 2145hrs. In the end it is about 1kg too heavy (2.2kg), and I am looking to replace this. There are many variations along the length of the Trail. Poor Onyx! Nor was it a surprise to see the soiled sleeping mat had long since vacated camp. My supplies were running low, the nearest petrol station being at my destination in Shiel Bridge. Everyone was in good spirits, and after laying out my mat and sleeping bag upstairs I went to the kitchen area to prepare some food. All this was instantly shattered though, when I was told the rooms need to be booked well in advance as they are very popular and they were all taken. The Cape Wrath Trail does not offer hikers the luxury of certainty: flexibility is a critical part of the trailblazer’s mountain kit. I hoped they would have fuel; having a fire is always a great way to spend a night in a bothy. Erwin is the proprietor of London Stores, where I had my final resupply package delivered to. The main issue with this tent was the weight. You can join for 1-week, 2-weeks* or for all 3-weeks** of awesome, remote hiking! A lot of this decision was about the dog as much as me, but to be fair we both needed it. Awoke from the best sleep of the whole trip so far, despite the howling weather outside. We breakfasted on the last of the sausages and readied for the final stage to reach the lighthouse at Cape Wrath. Cape Wrath / ˈ r æ θ / (Scottish Gaelic: Am Parbh, known as An Carbh in Lewis) is a cape in the Durness parish of the county of Sutherland in the Highlands of Scotland.It is the most north-westerly point in mainland Britain. Stage 17: Inchnadamph to Kylesku, 19,2 km . There were two occupants who had a good supply of fuel, however it was late in the afternoon and there was still plenty of time for me to press on and climb the ridge to the north that lies between Glencoul Bothy and Glendu Bothy. When walking the Cape Wrath Trail, shops are so few and far between that when you do find one you tend to go nuts. It will be more difficult to follow the route in poor weather or low visibility, especially on the sections of indistinct ground. Comfortable, hardwearing, weighs 1.2kg. The fine 4×4 path crosses a bridge to lead a way up the valley, bound by the magnificent Streap to the right and Sgurr Thuilm to the left. There was a little whisky to follow our meals, and a memorable night was had. I had the Viewranger app on my phone, and although I didn’t use this for constant reference, I did refer to it on occasion to confirm or check a position. I doubt I could have completed it without him. Cape Wrath (Schottisch-Gälisch: Am Parbh, An Carbh in Lewis) ist ein Kap in Sutherland, Highland, im nördlichen Schottland.Das Kap stellt den nordwestlichsten Punkt der Insel Großbritannien dar.. Der Name Cape Wrath (auch englisch für Zorn oder Wut) stammt vom altnordischen Wort für "Umkehrpunkt". I took a Zajo Gotland 1-person tent, which was good enough, easy to pitch; Onyx and I were comfortable in it. Though I think you can probably guess which end of the scale most tend towards (in difficulty and length). Stage 16: Loch Ailsh to Inchnadamph, 16,5 km. The book. The only downside was they didn’t serve cheeseburgers; will we ever get one I wondered? Snow dominated the scene as we passed the first of two 500m ascents. 07/04/19 Stage 10: Strath na Sealga to Glen Douchary, 19 miles (30½ km). We finally descended into Strathcarron feeling very miserable. My main food was several vacuum-packed meals (I had access to a vacuum packer!) The first sight of Loch Nevis soon follows a fairly straightforward river crossing. The dog shivered as I readied the pack for departure. The ground around was rough and uneven; camping would have been difficult. The walk from here to the bothy was relatively straightforward, if long. Saturday: Contingency Day - used if we decide to shorten hiking days, or decide to spend 2-nights in one location to explore, relax or avoid bad weather, Sunday: After breakfast, we will spend the morning on the beach, exploring the Smoo Caves before heading to Inverness for a return home (expect to be in Inverness for 3pm), Success! The Cape Wrath Trail is one of the world's finest long distance walks. My plan was to optimise the use of bothies, and I tailored my schedule to make the most of the shelters available. Guidebook: Iain Harper, Walking the Cape Wrath Trail (Cicerone Guides) | Kindle version available | The book includes logistical beta, basic trekking notes, elevation profiles, maps, town information, and time and distance estimates for each of the 14 stages. The first summit was relatively straightforward; it was cold across the bealach, with ice and snow crusting the ground. Der Cape Wrath Trail (oder CWT) ist nicht wirklich ein festgelegter Fernwanderweg, denn es gibt weder eine feste Route noch findet man irgendwo Wegweiser. Onyx had a good day too; he seems to sense when we are nearing bothies, and trots ahead to arrive first. There were photograph opportunities at every turn. The bothy rooms cost £35 per night, with a full Scottish breakfast an extra £10. Heading north in the shadow of the ridge system that leads to Ben More Assynt I was absorbed by the silence. The route is not waymarked on the ground, and so you will be required to navigate using a GPS device and/or map. The first issue leaving this place was always going to be crossing the River Carnoch. Now I’m a freelance, I can (kind of) afford to allow myself time to complete the Trail in my own time, at a pace that suits the conditions and my own fitness. It took 2 hours to clear the bog, through driving sleet and icy rain, and when I established the north bound path around the headland the bothy was heartbreakingly still in sight. 17-25 April 2021 . He is a very engaging character, and following my little shopping spree I went outside to repack my bag. Pack light. 5) iPhone 5s. There was also the likelihood that we could get a cheeseburger in the hotel bar…. I walked him around the campsite, watching his gait and trying to gauge his feeling. Onyx and I were cold, wet and tired after a full 10-hour day on the hill; imagine the joy I felt on discovering firelighters, kindling, logs and coal sitting neatly by the fireplace, which was most welcome after the difficult approach. Onyx and me again, felt nice to be alone. The Scottish National Trail. While my resupply package was being retrieved, the proprietor checked the register and noticed that nobody had actually booked into the bothy rooms yet. I was still keen to lighten the load I was carrying, and was able to rid myself of another 1½ kg of unwanted kit. • All accommodation (tents provided for wild camping sections, hostels/bunkhouses/B&Bs) The Cape Wrath Trail is actually not one path but an entire system of them. I hated it; loved it more. I spent a lot of time worrying about the dog; I thought that if I was hurting so much, then so must he. 30/03/19 Stage 3: A’Chuil to Sourlies Bothy, 7 miles (11km). This is rated as 3-season, however I just found it a little too cold for comfort, even in bothies. 4) Boots. Did some laundry and then spent a wonderful evening in the company of Sophie and Tony, who introduced me to the infectious game of ‘Making Bacon’! Crossing such empty country, it is for the experienced backpacker only. I saw a policeman in his car at the Strathcarron Hotel, and asked him. Video documenting my April 2018 attempt of the Cape Wrath Trail. It is well appointed and has a pub right next door, which helps take the edge off the stranded feeling you may get. The 8 stages of Cape Wrath Ultra vary from 16 miles to 45 miles and these rank somewhere along a scale of ‘quite easy’ to ‘very hard indeed’. This was likely to be the final stage that was to present any difficulties. I had to find strength to continue at times when all I wanted was for it to end. My feet gave me no issues at all. It was very tempting to stay. BOOK IT! There used to be a website that he ran until around 4 years ago, helping to try and get the route out there for people to discover. It was devastating to see that I had somehow gone around 5km off-route. walk from Fort William all the way to Cape Wrath.There are very long pathless sections where you need skillful navigation (An absolute requirement!) 29/03/19 Stage 2: Glenfinnan to A’Chuil Bothy, 11½ miles (18½ km). The ascent was a steep 200m, affording some incredible views back toward the bothy. Some of his pictures still adorn the walls, and it was an immersive experience to absorb the silence of the rooms and imagine that simple but doubtless tough existence. By the time I had corrected this error I estimated I was some 2.5hrs behind on my day. Following quite a difficult river crossing we neared Riconich, and the ground became flatter and much easier. I carried water in a 1 litre Sigg bottle that I had attached to the waist belt on my rucksack. There is little in the way of a path; the ground is rough and undulating as you follow the river downstream. A fairly straightforward day after the desperation of the previous stage; dry and overcast, cool conditions made for good progress over a single 600m ascent and then finding a thin stalker’s path that leads to Loch an Nid. As I cleared the small copse above the stalker’s cottage, birds sang and flew from tree to tree along the route. Other factors were possibly favourable, such as the cooler weather and the lack of traffic, however the shorter days would mean less time to complete each stage. – we will then continue our journey along the north coast until we reach the small coastal town of Durness, where we will check-in to our hostel accommodation for the night. From here the scenery becomes much more dramatic; the remote nature of Knoydart really begins to hit home. It was in a plastic Primus bottle, which had a security lid that needed pressing down to unscrew. The CWT is about survival, and I soon realised that I had brought quite a bit of kit I didn’t need. ( Log Out /  It typically takes between two and three weeks to walk. 320 km langer Weg durch die nord-westlichen schottischen Highlands von Fort William bis nach Cape Wrath ganz im Nordwesten. However, I underestimated the time it would take, covering over 20 miles and with three ascents. The glen drifts north then cuts northwest to find Strath na Sealga and Shenavall Bothy. The ground here is flat, but very long grass made it feel spongy, like walking across a huge mattress; incredibly energy sapping. Very soon I was eating a good meal, in front of a warm fire, while enjoying a cold beer saved from yesterday’s booty. Cold sleet buffeted around me, adding to the difficult nature of the descent away from the waterfall. The Cape Wrath Trail is a remote and challenging 200-mile hike through the Scottish Highlands. This is such an important thing, leaving fuel for the next visitor. We chatted for a short while and I let them feed the dog some treats, before we continued on our ways. The Great North Trail links the Pennine Bridleway with the northern tips of mainland Scotland, through some of Britain’s most stunning upland areas and four National Parks. After a well earned shower, we will have food and drinks to celebrate our achievement. If you want to view the falls it is worth it, but bear in mind the route off follows a line from the sign above the falls. Stage 15: Oykel Bridge to Loch Ailsh, 13,3 km. I was elated, and planned to treat myself to a sausage sandwich at the tearoom there. The descent into warmer air was good, and I passed the Ling Hut and main road around lunchtime. The dog ate about 250g of cooked square sausage or liver per day, plus treats. Everything was now measured in steps rather than kilometres and seconds instead of hours. I headed there and found a fine spot to pitch the tent. The Cape Wrath Trail is generally regarded as the hardest walking challenge in Great Britain. Soon I was replacing my rucksack, sleeping bag and tent. Thankfully there is a decent 4×4 track which takes you on past Bendronaig Bothy, but the path over the final bealach is difficult to find and we missed it first time, having to retrace steps to get back on track. The route is described from south to north in 14 stages, with 6 alternative stages along the way, allowing for a … You can start from the ferry to Camusnagaul and go through Knoydart, or you can take the Great Glen route to the east. I set off with 4 days worth of food, and made up 4 resupply packages each containing 3 days rations. The sun shone down from a windy blue sky as I reached the lighthouse and touched its walls. It is a relatively short distance into Sourlies Bothy from A’Chuil, however that doesn’t make it easy at all. Coupled with the two Harvey’s maps (Cape Wrath Trail South and Cape Wrath Trail North) this was all I needed to get me through the whole thing. It sits right on the shores of Loch Glencoul, surrounded by a magnificent expanse of water and mountains. My initial pack weight was in excess of 21kg, which proved to be far too much. 2. This was significant, considering the difficult ground that crosses Ben Dreavie. • food & drink before/after the hike and on any rest days. It was very picturesque and there were many photo opportunities, but progress was quite slow and it took over three hours to reach Knockdamph Bothy. The incredible atmosphere in the cathedral-like amphitheatre at the head of the waterfall was breath-taking, and again simply being in such a sensational place lifted my mood. Viel mehr ist es ein Netzwerk an einander gereihten Wanderstrecken (durch teils wegloses Gelände) mit vielen Alternativrouten, die dich über 370 km durch die nordwestlichen Highlands von Fort William nach Cape Wrath führen. I carried a bag of trail mix that I made up, and some treats like Rocky bars. It is one of the charms of hiking through such a remote wilderness that you can do most of it with neither phone signal nor Wi-Fi, and when you achieve your goal, arguably one of the greatest moments you will have, you cannot let your friends and loved ones know what you have just done. Cape Wrath Trail Complete is a 219.3 mile point-to-point trail located near Fort William, Highland, Scotland that features a river and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail offers a number of activity options. This is a little trodden and for the most part deserted route of 350km (220 miles) amongst some of the most remote and beautiful areas of the UK. It was difficult finding a decent spot to cross the river outside the bothy. All the rest were at bothies, with the exception of the bunkhouse at Kinlochewe. The plan had been to stay at the bunkhouse attached to the hotel, however it is not dog friendly and we were turned away. The scene was terrifying. I chose Knoydart, since this goes through familiar territory and it also takes the line of the original route. Not included: The Cape Wrath Trail is challenging and frustrating, mostly because the "Cape Wrath Trail" is something that someone (probably on the internet) made up. I took this but never used it. Unfortunately they didn’t serve cheeseburgers. 01-09 April 2021 This is the first of three, back-to-back, 1-week trips in total taking in the entire Cape Wrath Trail, an unofficial long-distance route from the foot of Ben Nevis, to the far north-west coast of Scotland. I guess it’s Ultralight because they say so – who can say how heavy a UL tent should be…but 2.2kgs is NOT UL in my view! The day was straightforward, however there was an incident at the bothy, which could have been very serious indeed. There are a million different variations, directions, and ideas when it comes to this route. The Cape Wrath Trail is the expedition of a lifetime, traversing 200 miles of Scotland's wildest and most beautiful country. I attached a note, and collected it on my return (I live fairly close by in Mallaig) so everything was safe! Part one covers the what and the why; part two covers the how, with a more detailed look at skills and experience, fitness, gear, … Nach erstem Anschein ist der Trail noch anspruchsvoller geworden, weil er jetzt für die Asphaltstrecken Ersatz bietet. The strong winds accompanied me, and sands were being whipped past us as we made our first steps onto the beach. Nonetheless, my trip was amazing! 3) 3 litre bladder. The Trail climbs to 500m before following rough, pathless ground toward Loch Stack. Our South and North sections are available back-to-back 3 times a year, and don’t require any wild camping! 3. The location of all MBA bothies can be found on their website here. The fact that I am a fire-fighter in Mallaig and I was wearing my charity fire-fighter’s T shirt didn’t go unnoticed; soon enough we were able to laugh about the situation. Dry shelter and wet company. 1) My rucksack. You can plot the whole route before you go, and have it all downloaded onto your phone so you can easily navigate in airplane mode with neither signal nor Wi-Fi. This book definitely does justice to the tough character of the trail. Really interesting blog – thank you. The gear that was left at Corryhully I had wrapped in a large tarp that was there. Oh, I see. The fuel cylinder for my MSR Whisperlite needed refilling, and I had the litre of unleaded petrol that Malcolm from Kinlochourn had generously given me. However, luck was with me. The route follows a metalled road for a short distance before crossing left through some houses- keep looking for Falls of Glomach signs. A short climb (400m) gives but a whiff of what’s to come; the stage is long, however there is nothing you can do but get on with it. ( Log Out /  A windy tent means a restless night. I walked for over an hour along this track before I checked Viewranger. Onyx looked fine, no obvious signs of distress. ( Log Out /  Cape Wrath trail route. In die Endbewertung zählt viele Eigenschaften, damit relevantes Ergebniss zu sehen. Iain has found a good balance between guiding the reader in rough terrain and offering challenging or safer alternatives. Here you want to turn left to find Ben Dreavie. Während wir unterwegs waren ist eine neue Auflage herausgekommen. Auch das Wetter trägt seinen Teil dazu bei. That’s handy – I did wonder if you’d got it back somehow and I recall now you said you lived close by. The Trail gave me perfect isolation. Maps, Guidebooks & GPS . It is also available as an eBook if you cannot justify the 240g that it weighs. You can join for 1-week, 2-weeks* or for all 3-weeks** of awesome, remote hiking! The idea of another night under canvas was a bitter pill to swallow, especially after most of the day had been spent thinking of all the good things the hotel could offer, not least a rest day. Fine weather forced a way through, and I prepared coffee with confidence and good feelings around me. Guided Walking: A Cape Wrath Trail Very achievable, definitely adventurous, continuous trek, from Fort William in the heart of the Highlands, to Cape Wrath, the north west tip of the UK mainland; about 225 miles of fascinating wild landscapes and ever changing vistas in 17 one day stages. I had to stop and go back for him; he just sat at the door. Cape Wrath Trail, GPS Tour, Stage 15-21 Stage 15, Oykel Bridge to Loch Ailsh. There was promise of rain, but still a milky sun tried to break through the high cloud. I enjoyed a full river wash, following the departure of my colleagues for the night. This is the point a decision has to be made- west takes you to Inchnadamph and right enters more remote and desolate country.

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