It’s not actually a trail though, but a route. So for those of you interested in walking to Cape Wrath, it’s time to dust off those map-and-compass skills! If you are a WordPress user with administrative privileges on this site, please enter your email address in the box below and click "Send". I appreciate the solitude, and I think there are some experiences you simply cannot have unless you’re completely solitary: I remember, for example, wild-camping on Ickornshaw Moor on the Pennine Way, and spending a night listening to lapwings swooping above my tent, snipes diving and drumming, and the mournful call of a curlew. Coupled with the two Harvey’s maps (Cape Wrath Trail South and Cape Wrath Trail North) this was all I needed to get me through the whole thing. Beyond the river lay another 16km of almost entirely unmarked terrain. Hope your knee has fully recovered. Our rain gear and tent worked, and we were never cold, so at any given time the weather was not an issue. The next day dawned dreich. It's often touted as Britain's toughest long distance walk, due to its pathless sections, remoteness, and Scotland's fierce weather. Looking back over my experience, I think I can offer four pieces of advice to the would-be Cape Wrath Trailblazer. I wish there were more stories of sensibility, courage to quit, and lessons from mistakes in our community. Trigger warning: this is not an ultralight gear list! Although 2019 had been unseasonably mild, 700m is well above the snow line in April, and the bealach was almost in winter conditions. (EVERY day in Knoydart is tough.) It’s good that you got back safely. Some of the comments below give good advice for anyone considering an attempt. As it happened, the crossing was straightforward: the water was rushing just below knee-height, and was so clear I was able to see my footing with ease. Other resources online make it sound incredibly hard, but I think it is manageable for any prepared hiker. I walk alone out of choice I take a Personal locater Beacon and I also use a Garmin Inreach to allow a pre formatted message to be sent to my wife ; ‘saying I’m ok’ every day, the message contains a link to a map giving co-ordinates. The Cape Wrath Ultra® is Scotland’s finest multi-stage ultra running event. What to expect from the Cape Wrath Trail. Ahead of me I had to follow a long path clinging close to the edge of a steep drop – but the path had been buried under what was left of the winter’s snow. As I walked between the quiet houses scattered around the valley floor, the sense of isolation started to bear down on me. The hills had robbed me of any sensory input beyond the sight of the tortured bogs and peaks, and the increasing scale of my own exhaustion. From Kinloch Hourn the path lofted high into the wild terrain of Kinlochourn Forest, leaving behind the mineral scent of the sea loch. A white-hot ball of pain erupted in my knee. Many trail walks end in a fluster, a scuttle or even a bit of a struggle. He was walking the Cape Wrath Trail but reckoned it had done him in and he was too old for it. As I entered the Rough Bounds I realised my 15.4kg pack was too heavy (you can see my pack weight on LighterPack – a fantastic resource). Boots One of the features of the Cape Wrath Trail is frequent river crossings, making the choice of boot particularly important. Wordfence is a security plugin installed on over 3 million WordPress sites. „Trail“ in diesem Fall mit „Weg“ zu übersetzen mag aber bereits irreführend sein. Most CWT hikes are roughly 230-250 miles in length, depending on the exact route taken, and you’ll need at least two weeks to do it. Deep down, I know I should have rested overnight at Sourlies. Some of the river crossings on the Cape Wrath Trail can be potentially difficult and dangerous. The Cape Wrath Trail is an unofficial long distance trail and as such it is very remote and rarely walked. Based on evidence from Kinlochewe Post Office approx. If you think you have been blocked in error, contact the owner of this site for assistance. All of that – my hopes, my enthusiasm and my self-confidence – lay rotting in a snow hole, high on a hostile mountain. After resting at Sourlies I’d been caught up by the German team from A’ Chuil, two of whom agreed to see me safely across the river. I picked my way along the snow as carefully as I could, but by now I was tired and frustrated; every few steps I slipped just a little, and although I used my poles to test for voids in the snow eventually I missed one. You will then receive an email that helps you regain access. It is also available as an eBook if you cannot justify the 240g that it weighs. It combines footpaths, Land Rover tracks, pathless sections and varies in length. The ground was boggy and slick, and at Carn Mòr I had a shattering climb to join my original planned route. My re-route via A’Chuil added another 9km to my planned route: 33km in total, a hell of a stretch even on relatively easy terrain. I'd read tons of trail descriptions and copied multiple ones to my kindle. I stumbled downhill to the Old Military Road, and hitch-hiked to my hostel at Ratagan. In it, I saw an opportunity to better my exhilarating hike along the Pennine Way, and to create new stories for myself about my own confidence and resilience. The Cape Wrath Trail is a remote and challenging 200-mile hike through the Scottish Highlands. I guess my misanthropy is softening…. You can also read the documentation to learn about Wordfence's blocking tools, or visit wordfence.com to learn more about Wordfence. Thank you for this article. That said, April’s mishap reminds me that the Pennine Way was also helped by spending some time trekking with a fellow wayfarer over a storm-blown Knock Fell, and on the final marathon to Kirk Yetholm. Walking the Cape Wrath Trail by Iain Harper (published by Cicerone) is invaluable. Pack light. I was planning on completing the West Highland Way, which I did, and then hoped to do parts of the extremely difficult Cape Wrath Trail. The general idea is to make your way from Fort William to Cape Wrath at the farthest NW corner of the UK. I’ve been thinking deeply about my experiences, and I finally feel ready to write about the best – and worst – hike of my life. Hi Andy I really enjoyed your account of the CWT. For information on the trip’s background, check out this blog post. This is a variation of the Cape Wrath Trail which normally starts at Fort William. The route is roughly 230 miles, and it took me 15 days to walk it north to south. Hard to imagine having the presence of mind to enjoy all of that if I had a companion with me. Cape Wrath Trail Tip 15 – Pack One Gas Canister and Refuel on the Trip You can buy additional gas canisters at London stores in Rhiconich; Ullapool (there are two hiking shops so you can get most things inc. tent repair splints); the shop at Kinlochewe (9am-5.30pm) and the garage/campsite shop at Shiel Bridge (closes at 6pm). It’s been quite a while since I last wrote a blog post. As best as I can recall, my logic went like this: “Yesterday I managed to walk 33.5km, including a serious climb; if I press on to Shiel Bridge, I’ll be walking 3km short of yesterday’s distance; and if I manage to rest up for a day, I’ll be all the stronger for the next stage of the trail.”. It was 11am and I had covered a grand distance of a quarter of a mile. Thanks Robin! I reached Barisdale bothy well after nightfall, grateful for the bed space and a chance to demolish my pack rations. For the experienced backpacker it offers an irresistible challenge: over two hundred miles of continuously superb hiking through the most beautiful landscapes in Scotland. I decided that I had to do it. We shared whisky and mountain tales, huddled around the fireplace. The owner of this site is using Wordfence to manage access to their site. Travelling through the wild and rugged landscapes of Morar, Knoydart, Torridon and Assynt, it will test the limits of your endurance. Viel mehr ist es ein Netzwerk an einander gereihten Wanderstrecken (durch teils wegloses Gelände) mit vielen Alternativrouten, die dich über 370 km durch die nordwestlichen Highlands von Fort William nach Cape Wrath führen. Hopefully I’ll be striding back towards the hills a little later in 2020. The Cape Wrath Trail is considered the hardest hiking route in the United Kingdom. I have always been drawn to those remote and hard trails – maybe it is my need to feel that I’m on the edge and pushing my survival limits – so the Cape Wrath Trail became my goal in the UK. Get fit . Wary of growing too tired too quickly, I abandoned my planned route to the spectacularly isolated Kinbreack bothy; instead, I fell in with three fellow hikers and headed for A’ Chuil bothy. Here are a few thoughts on the gear I’ve selected and why. Right now I’m planning my next (mini) Lakeland adventure: a two-day hike across 14 eastern Wainwrights in November. Thankfully the injury wasn’t as serious as it felt at the time; after six weeks or so of rest I was back in the hills. Cape Wrath trail route. The book. I had hoped to be on the trail again – right now, in fact, I should have been enjoying a rest day in Morvich – but coronavirus put paid to my plans. Wikinger kehrten hier oft zurück in ihre Heimat. But day after day of cool, grey, rainy weather started to feel very dank. The Cape Wrath Trail is challenging and frustrating, mostly because the "Cape Wrath Trail" is something that someone (probably on the internet) made up. The route leads you across most of the north west coast of Scotland via Morar, Knoydart, Torridon and Assynt, winding through its most beautiful glens and mountains. Soon I reached the deep corrie between Mullach Gorm and Sgurr na Sgine, whose bare rocky tops glowered down at me as I pressed uphill. A’ Chuil bothy, a key stop on the Cape Wrath Trail in Glen Dessarry. The Cape Wrath Trail is the expedition of a lifetime, traversing 200 miles of Scotland's wildest and most beautiful country. Generated by Wordfence at Mon, 18 Jan 2021 20:12:46 GMT.Your computer's time: document.write(new Date().toUTCString());. Cape Wrath Trail Gear List. The Cape Wrath Trail takes you through the finest landscapes in the Western Highlands: Knoydart, Kintail, Torridon, Fisherfield, Assynt, NW Sutherland. There I was to camp for the night before tackling the serious challenge of a 19km hike to Shiel Bridge, crossing over the Cape Wrath Trail’s highest point just below the Forcan Ridge. I paused to stab my trekking poles into the frozen lake at the high point, and slushy ice gushed out of the hole. I stood beneath the Milky Way, looking out over a dark and silent glen. By now I was beyond tired – weary and demoralised. For what it’s worth I completed the CWT in 14 days ln February /March 2015 solo and unsupported – I will be 85 this year. The path is not waymarked and has many variations. On the Cape Wrath Trail, our notes say we had 80-100% cloud cover on 12 of 17 days. I usually hike alone. Had I listened to my own caution, I’d have stuck with my plan for the day: an 11km hike to Kinloch Hourn. It takes place annually in I pressed across carefully, using my trekking poles to help me brace against the fast water. I thought he looked in better condition than me. At 700m, Bealach Coire Mhàlagain is the highest point on the Cape Wrath Trail. On the opposite side of the glen we could see torches shining high on Sgurr Còs na Breachd-Iaoidh – carried by hardier souls, presumably, camping on top of the Corbett. There are a million different variations, directions, and ideas when it comes to this route. they don’t collect their advanced food parcels. Having left Bob with some of my nonessential kit to post home, I strode out into the drizzle. I've used a traditional leather boot which never really dried out properly and caused rubbing problems. The Inreach can be used where there is no phone signal. So here, for the first time, is the full story behind my embarrassing misadventure – and how I’m already working to remedy it. General gear considerations . There’s really no shame at all in deciding it’s unsafe to proceed, even though the immediate feeling of failure can be all-consuming. 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