Holy shit, what a ride. What a nightmare of a ride!
I thought I was well prepared for this ride - I had an alternative route planned along landrover track in Strath Ossian which I would take if the weather was really bad.
In the morning while getting the train from Mallaig though the weather was great so I got off at Spean Bridge in sunshine and started heading for the Lairig. Just as I was climbing/walking up it started raining. Then it rained harder. Then I got a headwind.
The bothy was great relief and a perfect opportunity to stop for lunch. I was soaked to the skin. My TNF waterproof sure ain't waterproof enough! Whilst I was inside the rain stopped a few times before returning.
From the bothy I had the option of whether to head up the path stuartie recommended towards Luibeilt or taking the shorter route 13 had already warned wasn't very good! Stuartie's route was very uphill at the start, but I'd been looking forward to the singletrack descent. The other route looked like it started off on a fine surface and was reasonably flat. With the wind the last thing I wanted was to go higher, and by this point I was having such a horrible time that I didn't want to go anywhere but Corrour train station. And as fast as possible!
So I took the "quick" route by the river, which seemed alright for just long enough to make turning back seem stupid. I ended up wading through bogs for the best part of 2 hours and crossing calf-deep rivers. Of course, the rain stayed off for the whole time and I even got a fair amount of sunshine. I really wish I'd taken that other path.
One of the other parts of the ride I'd been looking forward to most was a circuit of Loch Ossian, but when I got there I could barely take in the views through the dull haze. The sun came out just long enough for some photos before coffee & cake in the station tearoom. I had originally planned to follow on to Rannoch, but I just wanted out so got the train home!
The first bad decision of the day was going to Spean Bridge. I knew that it had been raining heavily the day before so I should have headed to Tulloch to ride the landrover tracks which (should) have been better in the wet.
So I went to Spean Bridge so I could ride that singletrack... then didn't even ride it! Which just means I'll have to go all the way up the Lairig to do it again another day...
(Pics to follow)