Thursday 19 May 2016

TGO Challenge 2016 - Day 3: Glencoe to Above Coire Bhalach

Sunday 15th May 2016

I woke to another morning of blue skies and sunshine, which was a surprise as the forecast had suggested that it would be overcast today. However I didn't complain! The campsite warden kindly let me charge my backup battery pack in reception whilst I enjoyed a breakfast of crunchy nut cornflakes and started to get myself ready.

I set off walking just after 10am this morning and followed the B863 road east along the south shore of Loch Leven. I passed another challenger who was resting in the shade at the bottom of the track over the shoulder from Glencoe. I realised that since arriving back on the mainland on Friday afternoon I had yet to dip my feet in the sea! Therefore I took the opportunity to nip down to the seaweedy shore of Loch Leven to get my boots wet before leaving the west coast.

It was turning into another warm day so i stopped at a picnic area for a break, from where there was a lovely view west down Loch Leven, as shown in the first photo below:

After a bit more road walking I reached Kinlochleven, where I popped into the Coop to resupply with food, before heading into the Ice Factor cafe for a late lunch of burger and chips (again!). Here I met David from Devon who was on his 3rd crossing, but the first for several years. He'd started from Acharacle and was the first challenger I'd met on my crossing who hadn't started at Oban!

After much chatting I thought I'd better actually make some more progress eastwards, so I set off up the West Highland Way sometime after 2:30pm. This section of path was very, very busy and I reckoned I must have passed at least 50 other walkers descending to Kinlochleven whilst I headed the other way. Eventually I left the West Highland Way and continued on the vehicle track towards the Blackwater Reservoir; I saw no one else for the rest of the day!

It was a pleasant walk up through the woods with lovely views northwards across to the Mamores, as shown in my photo below:

At around 6pm I reached the end of the track at the Blackwater Reservoir dam. I considered trying to camp somewhere alongside the reservoir and then picking up a new track 3km east of the dam in the morning, which I had noticed on satellite images shortly before the challenge. However as the weather was nice, I decided to continue with my planned high camp as I might not have another opportunity this challenge if the weather deteriorates.

Therefore I headed up into Coire Garbh, visiting several of the burns before deciding to follow the largest one upstream. After a while I stopped to collect water from the burn whilst there was still sufficient flow. My bag was now much heavier as I picked up water for tomorrow to so I could avoid descending in the morning.

I reached the bealach at around 8pm, to be greeted by the view in the photo below. It had definitely been worth climbing up here as the views across Rannoch Moor to the Bridge of Orchy hills was excellent :-)

I soon found somewhere mostly free of heather to pitch my tent and set about cooking whilst enjoying the view from my tent. It had been another good day of walking!

See my current progress on Social Hiking

Route map and more photos will be added once I get home

posted from Bloggeroid


  1. This is brilliant, Sir.
    As far as it goes.
    Will it be be completed before TGOC 2017?

  2. Your photos are lovely! I can't wait to get out there hiking again myself. It's finally warming up again!

    x Sarah