Sunday, 29 April 2012

29th -30th April 2012 - Days 3 and 4 Gold D of E Expedition

A stunning camp spot, the river looked somewhat different the next morning

Going for a wander with Anna

Ben Lui and Ben Oss look somewhat tamer from this direction
Day 3 saw the group set off a bit later than scheduled again, but the day was very short in distance, so it was important that the team used the time to explore glaciated features on the way, and we had scheduled in some nav training and a Q & A session at the camp. We met up with Dougie again for a brief catch up, before setting off on the teams heels.

We camped at the very end of the track in a rather remote feeling spot by the Allt nan Coarainn. The girls opted to camp at the opposite side of the river, whilst Anna chose for us (now joined by Adam again) to camp on an island in the river (one side was dry, so not really an 'island') but the ground was nice and flat. After an extensive nav class with the team we went back to our camp for dinner, and found a terrific little spot in the sun and out of the wind. It was so warm the three of us lazed around by the river and chatted for a few hours, until suddenly a chill in the air disturbed us. After washing up, Anna and I went for a wander to find a suitable supply of water (away from the camps). We noted a change in the weather, and a distinctive front moving in from the east. We hoped that it would pass overnight as we had become accustomed to the lovely weather, but we hoped in vain. No sooner had we got to bed that night than all hell broke loose and it lashed down all night. The wind really tested the tent out, or so Anna told me as I slept through most of it :)

The next morning the river had risen dramatically and the usual crossings we had been using became untenable. The girls had to travel far upstream to find a suitable crossing, and with a bit of help from us, we managed to get everyone safely over. Needless to say the four girls loved this adventure and made light work of the horrible, now saturated terrain underfoot as we headed towards Succoth Lodge. It seemed to take an age to reach the tree line and a bit of protection from the harsh cold wind, but once there we clocked up the km's quickly, meeting Dougie on the way down. Soon we were back on a feasible forest track (which seemed hugely overgrown and boggy - a remnant of the original forestry plantations perhaps?) and making good time past the lodge and down towards Corryghoil, our finishing point.

The rain had eased off, and overall it was a tremendous expedition and a trully top class performance from the candidates who took on every obstacle and problem with ease, keeping moral high and never having a dull moment. It was great for us supervisors as well, giving some educational input throughout the 4 days and building upon our knowledge base. Hopefully the team got alot out of the weekend, I know that I certainly did and very much look forward to working with Janet, Dougie, Adam and the rest of the Cowal Award Group in the future.

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