This can usually be determined by studying the flow forms of the water. However, it was still reassuring to join the path! Here I ran into a couple who were walking back towards the bull field where I had camped for the night. Some dry wood to light a fire would have been great! The length of the walk depends on the exact route taken. I found a lovely bit of flat ground right by a waterfall. If walking it north to south, it takes you from the north western tip of Scotland at the Cape Wrath lighthouse, through Knoydart, Torridon and Assynt, ending up at Fort William. My feet have only been wet on two occasions during the walk – the river crossings and the shower. It helped me to perfect the route to the north end of Gorm Loch Mor and to find the track marked on the map starting below Loch Bealoch a Mhadaidh, which is not apparent on the ground initially. He had worked on both the Schoolhouse and the Kearvaig bothies). However, it looked to be a mile or more further on down the road and I didn’t think I’d make it, so instead I stopped and cooked dinner under a tree in the pouring rain. River crossings present a significant hazard on the Cape Wrath Trail. Water Height: Below knee Special Techniques: None. Follow me on Twitter: @wildwalkingUK. The Cape Wrath Trail (CWT) is a walking route beginning in Fort William and ending at Cape Wrath on the north western tip of Scotland. I joined the road at Morvich but struggled to put one foot in front of the other. There's nothing else in Britain like it. As my confidence grew, so did the scale of the coronavirus crisis. Luckily I had perfect weather and had no worries at all. This can be briefly practiced on dry land before starting into the river for real. At worst, this would require the organisers to arrange for diversionary transport logistics to the next overnight camp. This can be completed with any larger number of participants. If you have gone off-route and are forging a path that we have not specified as the event route. This was the first time that I’d had a problem with midges on the whole walk. This might include observing others completing their crossing OR. I love the convenience of just adding water, waiting and eating out of the bag! So I headed off again for a great walk across Coire a Chadha Ruaidh Mor and down to Iron Lodge. There could be a shelter or bothy of some use nearby. Participants may choose to take additional equipment for the whole event and for each respective day stage, if you feel that this may help e.g. I had a couple of weeks free after Christmas so decided to head up north and hike a … No waymarkings but plenty of hazardous river crossings. Something I definitely wasn’t at this point! Essential reading: The best treks in the world Choose a section of river that is wider (often shallower), has a uniform riverbed, even flow and no deep channels. In spate these rivers may not be deep, but they will be fast-flowing, and our graphic and advice reflect this trait, rather than that of deeper, slower river crossings that will exist off-route. It was quite a thrill crossing a bridge with a large sign saying ‘bridge in dangerous condition – users do so at own risk’. In hindsight, I probably should have eaten my meal before I drank that second pint, as now I can’t remember what I ate. I found it useful being able to vent either end of the tent, so I didn’t suffer with condensation in the inner. It was a long, remote walk following a four-wheel-drive track around Ben More Assynt, but a walk I would happily do again. She drove us to Spean Bridge and then friends of hers drove us along Loch Arkaig and dropped us at Strathan for a 3 mile walk along forest tracks in rain to A’Chuil Bothy, which we shared with five others. Managed: The Mountain Safety Team may ‘supervise’ and/or ‘equip’ a crossing of a marginal river. Face Upstream: Face upstream as you cross. Use Trekking Poles: Use of trekking poles for river crossings will increase confidence and stability in the water. It became easy enough to follow after a few miles. Looking at my maps I could see that there were long ways around them if necessary, but the idea of more river crossings did cause me to feel a little more cautious. Well, not hungry so much, but every time I stopped to eat my pack got lighter, so 10am sounded like lunchtime to me! The Cape Wrath Trail is a long-distance hike stretching for well over 200 miles between Fort William and Cape Wrath, the north-westernmost point of mainland Britain. I waited a few minutes for the cafe to open and had the best cooked breakfast and coffee I’ve ever tasted. Intervene and go to intercept when a fellow participant appears to be isolating themselves on a solo endeavour or journey. It is possible to keep socks dry (if already dry) by removing shoes, then socks, replacing shoes and then crossing the river. I came out of the woods to cross the River Pean which thankfully has a bridge over it after yesterday’s rain. See our graphics for Relative River Heights and explanations at the top of this article. Read my surprise Gore-Tex refund. Wet feet would be the least of your challenges! Look upstream and downstream of your position. The route is roughly 230 miles, and it took me 15 days to walk it north to south. This will aid stability and avoid falling injury, or full body immersion. The rain came in as we began the long walk up the road. This chapter is the fourth part of my walk along the Scottish National Trail, from Pitlochry to Blair Atholl, then through Glen Tilt and Glen Feshie in … Need to Know Info | Cape Wrath Trail North to South – Cape Wrath to Sandwood Bay The Cape Wrath ferry (£4.50) leaves from Durness between 08.30 and 09.30 depending on tides and the ferry man. This is another wild and remote bothy that I can’t believe somebody used to live in. This had ended up being a very long day, through some beautiful scenery. (During the TGO Challenge that I completed the following year, I did meet one of these volunteers and was able to personally thank him . It’s safe enough as long as you are careful, and it demands full concentration. Randonnées de 15 jours ou plus : Traversée du Cape Wrath Trail. We do have some affiliate links and adverts on the site. The draw of the Cape Wrath Trail: in conversation with backpackers taking on Britain's premier long-distance route. It made for difficult and slow walking but it was wonderful to be so remote. It’s in a dream location at the end of Loch Beag. Cape Wrath trail route. There is some margin for independent decision making, as smaller participants may opt to cross rivers in a team with the assistance of larger participants they may be running with. I decided to carry on, wanting my solitude back! Given the weight of my pack (and my belly full of breakfast), I decided to follow the road for an hour. Over the last few weeks, we’ve published a number of features about the Cape Wrath Trail , with an emphasis on planning a winter trip (although we’re moving into the summer season now, winter trips take a lot of planning! There was another cool traverse around Sgurr na Sgine to eventually join a path around to cross Allt a Choire Reidh. My pace had slowed to around 1 mile an hour, but I pushed on as I had got it into my head that I would reach the hotel bar at Kintail Lodge rather than camp at the commercial site. A new Cape Wrath Trail route alternative for Assynt. My pack itself is great. No waymarkings but plenty of hazardous river crossings. This crossing was a simple paddle as there had been little rain lately, but I can imagine this could get difficult if the river was in spate. In fact it's only 200 - 250 miles. And lastly, some participants might be over-confident, even if the river is deep and fast-flowing.The following advice is split into four sections: The following advice is designed to inform, and present a gauge as to the considerations to be made at various relative heights of rivers. It is a number of mapped routes through the western highlands between Fort William and Cape Wrath, following a mix of high and low quality jeep tracks, high quality footpaths, faint use paths, and off trail travel. The rain had turned up, but I finally made it to A’ Chuil Bothy where I made use of all the hooks and clothes lines in the biggest room to dry my gear. River crossings. At the end of the loch, I joined a path heading for the Falls of Glomach. © Ben Winston, Do not hurry this task. It was used as a schoolhouse up until the 1930s, and up to 20 pupils came to school here, supervised by a teacher who probably lived on site. However, they can be quite monotonous but I have found buying a range of different meals from different manufacturers helps to alleviate the repetitiveness. Team Up: Use the assistance of another to cross the river, where possible, and consented. I spent some time pumping up my airbed, putting my sleeping bag out to air and hanging my clothes all around to dry. It was then a very enjoyable walk down the valley, passing a tent in a perfect spot by the river and cliffs. It's not the longest. All known bridges will be mapped. Walking the Cape Wrath Trail by Iain Harper (published by Cicerone) is invaluable. We were very grateful as the still, warm weather had stirred up the midges for the first time on the trail. He obviously knew the track well, but I couldn’t see a thing. I enjoyed chatting to them very much, and it gave me a reason to stop for a while. *FOOTNOTE: the boots were great on the Cape Wrath Trail, but the waterproof lining failed after about 500 miles. Adopt any workaround that the Mountain Safety Team or Organisers may have explained. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Participants should not cross if the river is clearly at Relative Height 4 (unless supervised), and must NOT cross if at Relative Height 5. This is a rough walk where good map reading skills are essential. It is important to note  that even minor streams, such as this one (location HERE) could become uncrossable during heavy and prolonged  rainfall. Starting at Fort William and heading inexorably north to the northwestern tip of Scotland, the Cape Wrath Trail is 230 miles long, with around 12,000m of ascent. Since completing the trail, I have spoken to people who have started it but had to give up due to the poor weather and impassable rivers. After a testing river crossing, you should take some time to gather yourselves before continuing. The Cape Wrath Trail is often referred to as Britain’s toughest long distance trail, and is an unofficial route through some of the most spectacularly wild parts of Scotland. I should have stopped at the hotel here, but it was too late for lunch time and too early to stop for the day, so I pressed on up a track into the woods to the Schoolhouse Bothy at Duag Bridge. Today’s weather was cloudy and dry with sunny spells. The Cape Wrath Trail is unusual in that there is no set route – walkers effectively make their own version of the trail, taking a line between Fort William and Cape Wrath. I followed the detour and joined the vehicle track to Benmore Lodge. News and advice from our Mountain Safety Team will be displayed each morning during the event (from 0500 in the main mess tent). Who’s to know? They spent 15 days walking the route, much of which formed the Cape Wrath Ultra™ race route. Cape Wrath Trail (South) Guided Walking Itinerary Daily Plan. River crossings, along with midges, will become the bane of your trip. Perfect. Wlld pitch by River Carron . Unsupervised participants finding themselves at a Groin Deep river crossing MUST STOP racing and seek an alternative crossing location as a group with other participants. The Cape Wrath Trail is an amazing walk for the experienced and I loved every minute of it. I ate the last of my chocolate here as I knew I had a resupply package waiting for me at the campsite the next day. I finally got my chance to … When in spate, the rivers can flow at full force up to your thighs, hips or waist. The evening was spent eating, walking along the beach and enjoying this idyllic spot, but it definitely wasn’t warm enough to go for a swim! I now had to follow the A890 for a mile or so. After the adrenaline rush and remote wilderness of the last few days, unexpectedly coming across hoards of people meant my walk was over. My midge head net paid for itself in seconds as I had never seen such a large swarm. I climbed up an old coffin route out of Croftown, which was very steep, and camped right by the path in the first flat spot possible just as it got dark. The river crossing was easy and it was a nice climb up and along the Allt Leathad an Tobair. He complained about the trail being rough and boring. On my map the track stopped, but when I arrived it had been recently improved and continued all the way over to Coulin and beyond. Today’s weather was sunshine and no wind, turning to showers later. The Cape Wrath Trail is often referred to as Britain’s toughest long distance trail, and is an unofficial route through some of the most spectacularly wild parts of Scotland. The remoteness of the walk means you need to be carrying both camping gear and a number of days’ worth of food. I knew that at the end of such a challenging walk, I would want to get home as soon as possible, and this was easier to arrange from Fort William. The trail offers a number of activity options. Considered Foot Placement: Plant your feet into the river bed between boulders (you will be glad to have your shoes on) rather than attempt to stand on submerged boulders. When in spate, the rivers can flow at full force up to your thighs, hips or waist. It was then a nice enough walk around to the well positioned (and well used) Knockdamph Bothy. I packed up in the dry and walked down the road to the cafe. Unknown measures: Be aware during the day that other solutions may have been devised. In hindsight, I might have been better off following the river. The crossing of Loch Linnhe provided a somewhat dramatic start to the Cape Wrath Trail; the longest, toughest and most spectacular part of my trek across the Scottish highlands. As I wanted to stay as remote as possible for as long as possible, I carried a week’s worth of food at a time, relying mainly on dehydrated meals. Race Control have a part to play: Remember that the Race Control will eventually be seeing your deviations from the route, due to the GPS (YB) Tracker. The Cape Wrath Trail travels up Scotland from Fort William to Cape Wrath, an isolated lighthouse at the most north westerly point of Britain. I wanted to start heading home so I missed out Cona Glen which saved me having to get a ferry across to Fort William. There is a choice of routes here. I always over-equip myself for safety and peace of mind, so I could perhaps have saved some weight, but I always prefer safe to sorry. There is a ferry and minibus that operates along here, but it is very dependent on the weather conditions and demand. I’ve gone too far. I’d been living solely on them since the Rhiconich Hotel with Max and had got used to them. I could really feel the weight difference as I set off on day 10, and it slowed me down for a while. Once I’d eaten, I set off again, only to spot a bus shelter on the other side of the road where I could have eaten my dinner in the dry. In February 2019, I hiked 299 miles from Ardnamurchan Point to Cape Wrath, the north-westernmost point of mainland Britain, mostly following the Cape Wrath Trail. Pitlochry to Loch Cluanie . © Ben Winston. It should be stressed that in the two previous of this event, such severe river crossing difficulties have NOT been encountered. It is also available as an eBook if you cannot justify the 240g that it weighs. It made me feel lucky to still be out in the wilderness – it wasn’t yet time for me to head home! Here's how it went, plus a few photos. This walk is part of a segment to walk the Cape Wrath Trail between Fort William and Strathcarron. Rather than backtrack down the track to re-join the road, we followed the river around the hill which joined the road to the Cape Wrath lighthouse further up. My son and I began by walking to Grudie. Length 219.3 mi Elevation gain 24291 ft Route type Point to point. A number of times I didn’t think I was going to make it, even though the ground was good with nice grass to walk on. I navigated most of the first week using just this book and a Silva compass. The rain kept threatening to put my stove out, so I had to stand over it as a sort of human shield. Due to the colder temperatures and high risk of snow and ice, I will be hiking in boots, not trail shoes. As followers of this blog may be aware, I’m currently working on a replacement for the venerable North to the Cape to be published by Cicerone next year. According to the guide book, Strathchailleach bothy is worth a visit, but it was out of our way and we wanted to camp at Sandwood Bay. It typically takes between two and three weeks to walk. There was such simple pleasure in cooking my meal at a table and sitting on a chair to eat it. I had a lovely walk along the deserted beach before packing up and setting off to join the path, track and road to Kinlochbervie. Max and I got to the bothy early enough to lay our gear out to dry, and the rain stopped just long enough for us to walk along Kearvaig beach. Be observant of how your actions influence other participants. An early tea, an early night, ready for an early start tomorrow. You can start the day at Na Socachan, and finish just past A'Chuil bothy. You can head for Inchnadamph and the hotel, but as I was enjoying the remoteness and isolation, I chose the rougher route up Glen Coul and past Loch Eircill. ’ ve ever tasted enough as long as you are careful, and I haven ’ walk! 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