TGO Challenge 2015: Day 8 – Feeling brand new on the Lairig Ghru

cairngorm club footbridge
Cairngorm Club Footbridge

The forecast was good for the morning with heavy rain and high winds for the afternoon. Challenge Control seemed to be concerned about this, and said I should try and get an early start, but 0850 is early enough.

I was surprised that the cafe/shop at Inverdruie was now closed, and chatted to one of the Rothiemurchus workers who was filling up leaflet bins etc. I mentioned about the Italian restaurant in Aviemore being shut, but he thought that the owners were probably just on holiday, as the place is always busy. I headed up the road, and into the forest. I met a few joggers and cyclists, but after 2 hours on the move I caught up with Paul and Wayne, and a group from Blantyre, who were all having a rest. I also passed, and then they passed me at various times, the three Danish guys, Michael, Rasmus and Thomas.

There was photographer camped at a narrow bit of the pass, near to the steps leading to where the Sinclair Hut used to be. I took a few photographs, as the last time I was here (in 1976!), four of us stayed in the hut after a bit of an epic winter journey from Glen Feshie when we were young and stupid.

non tgo folk in bothy
Non TGO folk in Corrour Bothy

The weather was still OK, but just after the high part of the pass the rain started although but the wind did not really come too much. A bit of a damp squib of a weather forecast. After passing a few more TGO folk, I passed the Danish boys then hurried down to the Corrour Bothy where I had some soup. The Blantyre guys were just leaving and there were a few other folk either making themselves at home or cooking a meal, having set up a tent outside, no TGOers though. The bothy seems quite cramped, and probably not a good choice of venue for a weekend.

luibeg bridge
Luibeg Bridge

Not long after I left the bothy, the rain went off, and stayed off for the rest of the evening. I caught up with the Danish boys at the Luibeg Bridge (they were headed for Bob Scott’s Bothy), and eventually reached Glen Derry at 1820hrs. The temporary bridge is very well constructed and looks better than the original bridge if you ask me. Well done to those who built it.

new derry bridge
The new Glen Derry bridge

I turned left after the bridge, and camped in that area, there were only two other tents. I was surprised it was so quiet. There was a packed up Eurohike tent sitting against a tree next to where I pitched, with some empty whisky bottles. Looks like the owner did not fancy carrying it home with a hangover.

This was probably my favourite day of the trip and the first time that I had walked the complete length of the Lairig Ghru, which was one of my mini-objectives of this crossing. Yes, it’s a long way, and the path goes quite high but the way is obvious and I did not find it serious at all. Maybe I was just “in the groove” at this stage of the walk. I can’t see why this could not be a FWA – there you go, that’s my controversial statement.

See more photographs in my Flickr pages TGO Challenge 2015 Part 1 and TGO Challenge 2015 Part 2

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