The talk amongst Challengers this morning was of Monday's weather - winds of up to 130mph on the tops. Our route today would have been through Glen Callater, Jock's Road to Acharn and tomorrow would be from Acharn down to Clova and then up to Loch Brandy over to Tarfside, heights of 800-900m. It was thought inadvisable so we switched to our planned foul weather alternative route.
So, today our route took us to Invercauld Bridge, through Ballochbuie Forest, being part of the Balmoral Estate, and out on a track south of Ripe Hill. We lunched outside Gelder Shiel bothy just as some rain swept across in front of us. Frank, Lawrence and Lesley caught up with us here but the three of us, me, Sean and Ian left first to go up a generally indistinct path through heather alongside Gelder Burn for 1.5km to meet the track at Little Conachcraig. It was quite hard going.
The track ascended with fine views of Lochnagar. The wind began to pick up and stayed with us as we descended towards Spittal of Glenmuick. We had been intending to pitch at Shielin of Mark about 5km further on but reckoned that the wind would make it a very rough night. Therefore, we stopped early and are camped in woodland next to a burn at Allt-na-giubhsaich. There are probably around ten tents scattered about amongst the trees and we seem to be below wind level. Quite idyllic.
Sent using BlackBerry® from Orange