|Day 13: Hot weather in the Glen Doll hills.|
The hot weather expanded and grew during the last three days as I crossed the hills from Glen Shee to Glen Doll, Glen Clova and Glen Lethnot before a final foot hammering road walk to Montrose. The weather of the previous week seemed unreal as I strode across crunchy dry turf and heather, my main concerns being sunburn and blisters rather than being blown over, soaked and frozen. This really was a Challenge of contrasts. Below are a few images showing some of the variety.
Overall for me it was an enjoyable Challenge, with only the three overcast days of low cloud and drizzle in the middle being at all dull. The rain, wind and snow and the ever-changing clouds made the first six days exciting, spectacular and challenging. The sunshine and clear views made the last five days delightful and relaxing (though I was glad when the final road walk to Montrose was over).
The evening in the Park Hotel in Montrose was as enjoyable as ever, talking to old friends and making new ones, and listening to the speakers and awards. Having seen no other Challengers since the third day I heard many stories for the first time and realised that this year it really was an adventure. The drop-out rate was the highest ever at 53. Given the weather of the first week, especially the 100+mph winds and month's rainfall in 24 hours on the third day, I think that's actually quite a low number.
|Day 1: Snow, wind and cloud on Beinn Liath Mhor.|
|Day 3: The Allt Innis a'Mhuilt after hours of torrential rain.|
|Day 5: Spindrift and cloud on Toll Creagach.|
|Day 14: Last camp, Glen Lethnot|