how hard is the cape wrath trail

All that time I was thinking hard and long what to do next. Because of Tori's bum knee, we decided to turn off the official route and hike out to Inverie. We started off the day by hitch hiking to Craig. Approximately 230 miles in length, most people take 2-3 weeks to backpack the trip. It’s marked as a campsite on the maps so naturally the smooth area of grass was where three sets of hikers (us included) had pitched. This is a gorgeous section. She told me the Ozone Cafe was open if I wanted anything. Of course, this is also what makes it so very special. hard (!!) Next was a gradual uphill followed by a fucking brutal downhill, with little path and lots of bog. The Cape Wrath Trail is one of the UK’s toughest long-distance trails, covering roughly 240 challenging (and often pathless) miles from Fort William to Cape Wrath. Choice of maps is a particularly important decision when planning an expedition on the Cape Wrath Trail. Don’t underestimate this section! Then path turns mildly nonexistent and boggy before reaching a good gravel road. Hitch hiking may have been possible, but the roads got quite large a few hours south of Fort William. We also wrote our best tips for the trek in another article, here. We could see the tracks of an impressive machine that we later learned had made the journey earlier that day. Which route variation to take? Plus there's a little store in town. Today was the first day that we started to have joint issues. The last view of the Great Glen, looking back northeast from above Laggan Bridge. We camped next to a lovely rope swing and fire pit, a good four kilometers before it. The bridge is technically out at the river before the bothy. But it was a good ride. For the experienced backpacker it offers an irresistible challenge: over two hundred miles of continuously superb hiking through the most beautiful landscapes in Scotland. Instead of taking yet another bus all the way to Cape Wrath, we walked about 8km along a dirt road through MOD territory to Kearvaig bothy, which is an absolutely lovely place to start your journey and is located about 3km before the official start of the Cape Wrath Trail. It's all old fire road, and pretty flat. What’s the difference? So plan your gear accordingly. A 15/16-stage unmarked (!!!) The CWT is one of those routes that become part of a bucket list or a "one day" kind of adventure - don't let this happen. Britain’s wildest weather, which can leave you hiking for days without dry gear, is one thing that slows you down. We spent an extra hour or so waffling about this. We got hopelessly lost after leaving the Schoolhouse. The bottom of the valley is a great place for a picnic. A few hours later a shrieking woman appeared demanding that everyone get off her lawn. We camped smack dab in the middle of Kinlochewe. The route is unmarked and there is no official line. And goddamn it poured. When planning my Cape Wrath Trail trip this year I expected to walk it ultrapacking-style, going for long days with no stops at a steady 5km/h pace. The Cape Wrath Trail is a real gem; the diamond in the rough. We camped next to the river, right before Inverlael. Lastly, the Cape Wrath Trail crosses the Scottish Highlands and as such has three major challenges: the weather, the fact that it is so remote and rarely travelled, and the critters (midges and ticks). Other resources online make it sound incredibly hard, but I think it is manageable for any prepared hiker. We made the rather bold decision, after walking down the other side of Ben Stack on a gravel road, to abandon the trail. It can be hard to find the little path there is, and if you take a wrong turn, you could end up at the bottom of a cliff and have to turn around (like we did). You can connect the two endpoints by hiking over any trails you want, even hiking cross-country or a mix, if it suits you. One of the toughest (and also most spectacular) long distance walks is the Cape Wrath Trail in the Scottish Highlands. Located in Scotland, it runs from Fort William, through the Highlands and Western Scotland, to the lighthouse at Cape Wrath, the northwestern-most point of Scotland. This 200-mile, two-to-three-week tramp up the rugged northwest edge of the Highlands whets hard-core adventurers’ appetites. We would highly recommend pushing on to Maol Bhuide, though. Stefan also managed to lose his one and only shirt at the bottom, so he got to hike it once and run it a second time. We left our little campsite and walked for an annoyingly long time through the town of Morvich. We had no trouble crossing, although the water level was low. It courteously takes just an arm as payment, rather than both an arm and a leg. Mar 16, 2014; Keeping your feet in working order . The Cape Wrath Trail is a remote and challenging 200-mile hike through the Scottish Highlands. I walked the Cape Wrath Trail in the summer of 2017. It still took a couple hours to get there. Got any more questions? The CWT is, mostly, a non-technical walking route that includes no high peaks and only has short and simple trackless sections that require navigational skills. The area after Glencoul bothy was mostly pathless, but gorgeous. best eats, Cape Wrath Trail, bothies, bothies Cape Wrath Trail, Accommodation Cape Wrath trail, best bothies on the Cape Wrath Trail, where to stay on the Cape Wrath Trail, Cape Wrath bothy list, Scottish bothies, budget accommodation Cape Wrath trail, Scotland, Bothy, Bothies, Wilderness huts, Free wilderness huts, Scottish bothies, what is a bothy, are bothies free, wild camping, wild camping Scotland, Mountain Bothy Association, MBA, cheap Scotland, Budget backpacking Scotland, backpacking Scotland, Scotland on a budget, is scotland expensive, is Scotland cheap, where to stay in Scotland, Bothy trip, Hiking, Camp for Free in Scotland with the Outdoor Access Code, Our Top Tips to Hike the Cape Wrath Trail Fast and Cheap. In this case, the ankles. It took surprisingly long to reach Barrisdale, so we stopped there for lunch. The southern section of the trail has a few possible routes available for hikers, as their is no official route. Many describe the CWT as the hardest (or toughest) route in the UK, but I think it is not the route that makes it hard - it is the setting it is in. The real challenge with the CWT is that it crosses the Scottish Highlands: one of the last wild areas in the British Isles. © Ordnance Survey document.write(new Date().getFullYear()); / Privacy Policy. This is because the difficulty of the terrain and the lack of way marking (or even defined paths in many places). The trail is EXTREMELY good here, the best of the whole trip, so soak it in. The Cape Wrath Trail (CWT) has a deceiving name: it is actually not a trail, but a route, running the length of the Scottish Highlands between Fort William in the south and Cape Wrath in the north. I was looking into all possible directions, checking buses, ferries and trains. We completed this journey during the second half of May 2018. Once in town, we decided to save some time and hitch hiked from Blairmore to Rinconich. The CWT is not a trail on which to learn those much needed outdoors skills and it is not a trail to take friends or relatives who would like to get a taste of the outdoors on - they might never try again. It … Despite some wet and wild weather, I was never uncomfortable during the hike and felt prepared for any meteorological scenario that may have occurred. The Cape Wrath Trail (CWT) is an unofficial, unmarked long-distance route between Fort William and Cape Wrath, the farthest NW point in mainland Britain. The usual seasonal window for hiking the Cape Wrath Trail in summer-like conditions (i.e. There's nothing else in Britain like it. Near the top, there was a fun wire bridge crossing that offered many opportunities for pictures. It then broke into open bog land (which wasn't too hard to navigate) before meeting up with a 4x4 track. It seemed like the end when we finally reached a 4x4 and indeed we did pass Bendronaig Lodge. Generally the north is more populated than the South so you'll see more through hikers there. It was a bit torturous, being able to see the bothy from miles away. It probably wouldn't have been any cheaper anyway, since we booked the busses in advance. There weren't any trains that day, because it was a bank holiday. We would highly recommend this, as much of the track is along the road - no fun at all to walk. The trail was gentle, and we saw a fair few day hikers. Many consider this trail to be one of the most difficult trails in the United Kingdom. We made a bold choice at this point in the trail. The route is roughly 230 miles, and it took me 15 days to walk it north to south. Overall I was happy with my gear selections on the Cape Wrath Trail. The walk to the School House bothy is very easy from Oykel, and highly recommended. We climbed past some sheep farms and walked a clear path through pretty, if high, terrain. without extensive snow and ice) extends from roughly April to October in an average year, but non-trivial snow could be encountered for weeks at either end of this window, making the trail a significantly tougher proposition. Here is exactly how we did it with (mostly) public transport This is where we made the biggest decision on the Cape Wrath Trail. Cape Wrath Trail Tip 20 – Don’t Camp on the Lawn at Kinloch Hourn. The Cape Wrath Trail is the UK’s best long-distance hike. You should be comfortable with long days on the hills, exposed to the elements and with very little shelter. Unlike some other, better known and organised trails, the CWT is best enjoyed when you are actually out there, coming to terms with the weather and seeing the landscape. With a very painful knee and an altered itinerary, it didn't really feel like the end of a mighty trek. Last year when I walked the trail I kept a pretty good pace, and my experience on recent trips showed me that 5 km/h is a reasonable pace for me. Let us know below. This has little to do with its duration or elevation levels. Resources. I knew from my previous walk of the Cape Wrath Trail that there are often bits of a path on the coastal route, but it’s hard going whichever way you choose. No one seemed to care, and it meant that we had a toilet and running water at our disposal. Some of the river crossings on the Cape Wrath Trail can be potentially difficult and dangerous. Will you be camping or will you plan on using a mix of bothies and commercial accommodation? We were told this was the best part of the trek. We left early, and traversed a pleasantly undulating trail along the loch. The trail follows a good path downhill past Maol Bhuide. The CWT can still be walked in any way you would like, but has, in general, roughly followed the route suggested by Denis Brook and Phil Hinchliffe since they proposed it in 1999. Most sections have at least one climb over a bealach that can be very challenging, especially if there is snow present. Cape Wrath lighthouse. Glendhu is beautifully situated and would make a great overnight stop. Will you be hunkering down every time the weather turns? Instead, we kept chugging and made it to Glencoul bothy. Aug 06, 2014; Choice of maps is a particularly important decision when planning an expedition on the Cape Wrath Trail. There's an overpriced cafe there, and likely some weathered hikers just finishing up their own journey. His primary interest is ultrapacking - long distance, fast multi-day self supported trips, including the Cape Wrath Trail - you can see more about how he took it on twice - in 2015 and 2016 on his blog. Definitely camp there - afterwards, the trail disintegrates into gnarly bog.

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