Welcome to my blog. I'm an outdoor writer and photographer with a passion for wilderness and mountains. Use the links above to find out more about me and my books and walks. Click on a blog heading to see any comments or to add your own. -Chris Townsend

Sunday, 23 June 2013

And The Storm Came: Scottish Watershed

The pitch looked good, just below the lip of the col, sheltered, I thought, from the wind. Dinner over I settled down to sleep listening to the light patter of drizzle on the nylon just above my head. Then the wind started, roaring down on me, shaking my shelter. The rain was now hard and loud, bouncing off the fabric. As the wind grew I realized I wouldn't sleep so midnight saw me out in the storm moving camp. Just 50 metres further downhill and I was out of the worst of it. A bumpier site but at least I could sleep. I woke to thick mist and continuing rain. A slog up a greasy path and I was on Ben Lui, shared with four others who loomed up out of the cloud, the only other walkers I saw in three days. The Watershed ran down the north side of the mountain. Steep and craggy, this is not a good way to descend in mist and rain. Picking a safe route down ledges, shelves and gullies wasn't easy but it was an intense experience, requiring concentration. Easier, grassier hills followed and then another wet and windy camp. The winds are supposed to ease tomorrow.

The picture shows my first camp on the col below Ben Lui.

2 comments:

  1. That's a great view from camp, but I can just imagine the wind coming roaring through there, looks like a big wind funnel :)

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  2. Ey up Chris, have just this morning caught up on all your blogs from the Watershed; very entertaining and I'm living vicariously through your adventures! Also enjoyed the initial debate back in December about who did what and when and where and why and whether and wither and whatever… - suspect there's a book in that topic by itself, perhaps a companion volume to whatever you write about on completing this hike!

    All that said, you've got it easy, trudging along in the hills without a care in the world. Here in Stainforth we're constantly battling against the elements. In fact last night's village barbeque was beset by blazing sunshine and seriously blighted by midges. Several people were bitten. And the barrel of beer sold out. Don't talk to me about bumpy campgrounds, wind and constant rain…

    Have fun, stay safe!

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