More drizzle to start with. The track is straightforward and climbs steadily to Corrour Old Lodge, after passing a strange hydroelectric building that looks like a nuclear shelter.
There were a few Challengers going the opposite way, as usually happens on the Challenge at times apparently. I chatted to first timer Tim who told me his tick experience story. One had embedded itself in his groin and he required assistance to remove it. Luckily this had been done before I met him.
I turned right at Peter’s Rock and headed down to Loch Ossian. At the head of the Loch, near the lodge, the terrain looked quite different to that on my map. The path heading east from Loch Ossian is now a bulldozed track with not much sympathy for the surrounding heather. There is also a small power station after a few hundred yards. After a while, the track ends at a small dam, and the old path begins.
The rain now started again. Quite heavy. My next target, the Bealach Dubh, between Ben Alder and Aonach Beag looked miles away, that is when I could see it. So it was just get the head down and take it a bit at a time. There are a few good camping spots along here; I suppose it is a reasonable base for Munro Bagging. There were a few backpackers heading up the Bealach Cumhann, probably Challengers heading for Benalder Cottage.
I reached the Bealach Dubh just before 3pm, just as the weather changed completely, from rain to quite clear, but a bit windy. It seemed to take ages to reach Culra, and it was a bit tricky getting across the burn coming out of Loch an Sgior, quite a contrast to the burns down the side of Loch Etive which were almost dry.
There were four Challengers in the big room at Culra and two other in the small room. I went in the back room. I know the bothy is officially closed due to asbestos hazard, but it was a good chance to hang stuff up to dry, so it seemed a reasonable risk to take. But in hindsight it was a bit stupid.