Saturday 24th May
Today was the start of a couple of big days; not in distance or high gained but in what we would hopeful get to see.
After yesterday's early start, we had a lie-in and didn't get started until 9:50. While packed up I noticed a small hole in the groundsheet of the tent, there didn't seem to be anything under the tent to cause this, so I don't know how it got there.
Again; the paths were the same as yesterday, easy to follow and easy of the feet.
As we started to climb, the views started to open out the show the higher peaks still with snow on them.
Snow covered peaks
On the way to Bynack Lodge; we realised that we had crossed the watershed as the Allt an t-Seilich was flowing Northwards, where yesterday the streams had flowed South.
As the weather was so good and there was no need to rush, we stopped at Bynack Lodge for elevenses.
Now came the first test of our river crossing skills as the path we wanted was on the other side of a fairly wide stream. Keith seemed to bound across like a gazelle, leaving me to wondered where was the best place to cross. Eventually I made it across without any drama's and dry feet.
The path along here was pretty non-existence and we just headed in a Northerly direction occasionally following deer tracks, eventually we joined up with a Land rover track which lead us to the Geldie burn.
The Geldie burn crossing was the biggest river crossing we would encounter, it was also the thing I was worried about most. I'm not very confident when crossing rivers, even stepping stones can be a problem for me.
We did had a scout down the burn to see if there was a better place to cross but ended up back at the main crossing point. As I had been warned about this crossing I had come prepared. So it was off with the boots and on with crocs and sealskinz socks.
As usual Keith seemed to cross in a flash, and as usual I was more tentative. I was about 1/4 of the way across when a young lady came bounding through the burn only stopping to have a quick chat (she was in training for the Braemar to Aviemore marathon).
The rocks under the water had a green slime on them which made them quite slippery the water also seemed deeper than the height of the sealskinz and I expected the water to go over the tops.
Crossing the Geldie Burn
I finally made it across without to much trouble; the sealskinz worked a treat no wet feet.
One thing I did find out though; putting your boots around your neck isn't a great idea, as they tend to block the view downwards to where your feet are going.
From here it was only a short distance to White Bridge, along the way we saw a young deer pop out onto the track about 20 metres in front of us. To begin with it didn't know we were there but once it sensed us it was off like a rocket.
We got to White Bridge just on 13:00, so stopped for lunch. This seemed to be quite a busy junction, as there were many people passing by. We were due to meet up with AktoMan (Duncan) at some point during the day. So while eating lunch I kept an eye out incase he passed by.
We stayed at White Bridge until 14:00 then decided to start up Glen Dee, as we weren't to sure how long it would take to get to the bothy, plus we were hearing tales that there could be a lot of people camping up there.
We set off up Glen Dee and noticed a hiker coming towards us, just as he drew level I remembered that AktoMan had said that Big Galloot was walking in the area. "Are you Big Galloot, Big Kev?" I asked. "Yes" was the reply, we had a quick chat about the weather, scenery and general outdoorsy stuff. I asked Big Kev that if he bumped into Duncan, to let him know we were continuing up the Glen. We then set off again on our routes.
The track up Glen Dee starts out as an easy walk up to the Chest Of Dee, this early part follows along side the river.
Gradually the path start to move away for the river and climb up. We saw very few people on this part of the walk and although we could see the Devil's Point it never seem to get any closer. after climbing to around 550m we did finally meet someone coming the other way but still no sight of the bothy. They stopped to have a chat and said that the bothy was about a further hour walking. Although the walking hadn't been to bad, we had been walking for quite some time and it was demoralising to know we still had an hours walking ahead.
We finally arrived at Corrour Bothy about 17:00. There were quite a few people milling around but no tents pitched yet, so while I chatted Keith looked around for a decent pitch. There was a couple of chaps already settled in the bothy and the rest of the people were only resting up after a day up on the tops.
While we were pitching up a few more people were coming of the mountains, there was an American couple who pitched up and other two chaps came down and pitched.
Shortly after this Duncan turned up. Once he was pitched we stood around chatting and watching the deer bounding pass.
Duncan had also bought along some treats, some sake and some of Darren's overflow food from his recent TGOC. Thanks to Duncan and Darren for these.
By now the sun had dropped below the mountains and it was getting chilly plus Duncan haven't eaten, so I disappeared into the tent to get some shut eye.