Do-able or a bad idea?
I'm considering walking from Aviemore to Fort William (mid to end of April into early May), or more specifically from the plateau south of Loch Einich to Corrour, it's likely I'd decide to get the train into Fort William from Corrour (or Rannoch), will likely have run out of food by then for one thing. Depends how I'd feel by then I guess, knackered I expect.
I don't have any time constraints (I'll have about 2 weeks worth of food on my back). Getting mapping of the area (in detail) could be a problem and I don't have/use GPS. I'll be wild camping.
Off trail, the way I like it, I'm not planning on intentionally following any route unless there happens to be one where I'm going. Will just head south then southwest until eventually meeting the A9, near or at Dalnaspidal, continuing to Loch Ericht, which is so big I can't miss it which is just as well because I doubt I'll know where I am , south to the bottom of that to Rannoch then west to Blackwater Reservoir or NW to Corrour, whatever I feel like when I get there.
My biggest problem doing this is likely to be river crossings/finding bridges? Not to mention having to go over/around some mountains in my path.
Any comments on this? i.e. you're mad is this do-able or too much hard work? Obviously I consider myself fit & experienced enough to do this or I would't be planning it.
Sounds like it could be a great trip.
"Getting mapping of the area (in detail) could be a problem"
I don't quite understand this. Four OS 1:50k sheets (36, 41, 42, 43) cover the entire area you're looking at. (In fact 41 and 42 cover the bulk, you'd only need a portion of 36 and 41 if you're happy to cut them). With the covers removed that's only 300g (or less), which is nothing compared with 2 weeks' food!
Or are you saying you want to do the trip in the style of a "stravaig" without maps?
Haven't heard of that before means to wander aimlessly it seems, sounds about right! One of the OS Landranger maps (42) seems to cover a lot of it, but not all, I might just print off what I need from google maps & the streetmap website and mark off where the bridges are etc. Not sure yet but I'd rather not have to carry more than one map with me.
Really? I've roughly worked it out as 10 days, but that's at my usual pace, need time to stop and munch on some reindeer moss and look at the scenery. I can cover a lot of miles if I really want to but it's not a race and the quicker I go just means the sooner I'll get into Fort William, in total I'm planning on a 3 week trip. Most I've done with a heavy loaded rucksack in a day is about 28 miles I think. The food I take along wont weigh me down anyway it's all dried stuff. I'd rather have too much than go hungry. I think for this trip I'll mash up weetabix/shreaded wheat/cornflakes/sugar together into a ziplock bag (I use powdered milk), the rest is mainly instant noodles (mixed with dried soup), savoury rice, and stuff I make with instant mash. Mmmm nice. You want some? Actually though it's usually quite nice what I throw together and it's all calories that's all that counts. You'd be surprised how much powdered milk I need for my trips though, a kilo isn't enough, and last time I ran out of coffee as well.
Pitched my Zephyros 1 outside earlier for speedier pitching in anger, it's a nice little tent, bought it last year but still haven't got around to using it yet but it'll be put to the test soon. I'm quite looking forward to doing this now the more I think about it the better it sounds, I think I'll go for it it'll be a real blast.
I reckon on an about 1.5-2mph 'off trail' pace; that includes ascent up to (normally) about 1300-1600m on days from 12-18 miles....depends on lots of 'things' - I tend to walk all day and not stop much and certainly don't hang around to idly chew reindeer moss though....in fact I don't hang around; impatience is not a virtue..
The 'thieves road' runs from the 'Gorms to Glen Nevis - a classic cross country route. But with the map you can find all manner of variations. Definitely go for it! A great route, spendid scenery and few good hills along the way. The main part is Dalwhinnie to Culra bothy to Loch Ossian to Loch Treig and thence Glen Nevis.
There are pretty good paths most of the way as shown on the relevant OS maps - though of course you can wander off route as you please.
A 'day off' on the train into the Fort from Corrour before finishing the journey sounds a fine idea - you could also do the same from Dalwhinnie into Newtonmore? Should mean only needing to carry in a few days food at a time (used to be a shop in Dawhinnie but not sure if it's still there?) Edit: rivers shouldn't be a problem unless in spate after heavy rain. In which case, wait a few hours - once the rains stop the rivers drop.
Gneiss Boots wrote (see)
Well this may be of some use - East Highland Way . I have seen it advertised in some of the bunkhouses on the route. No doubt inspired by the huge numbers of people doing the West Highland Way.
go along the Blackwater Reservoir into Kinlochleven but will take a few days I've done it before.
Masterluuke, i remember you talking about this trip before but didnt read anything about you having done it. What route did you take and how did it work out?
I don't think I'm going to be able to do this trip, yet, was going next week but too much snow / too cold. I've been to the Cairngorms before in April and the snow has messed up my plans. I need to make my mind up as I'll have to book the train & bus if I'm doing it. The mountain forecast looks nasty and I'd be high up. Problem is I've arranged to meet a friend in Fort William early May, which means just hanging about in that area (not necessarily a bad thing though) or doing my plan in reverse which I don't want to do, would be more difficult to navigate for one thing.
Perhaps this is one to do another time?
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