It usually takes 2-3 weeks to complete and is considered the most difficult long-distance walk in the UK. Here I felt truly alone: the path stretched on into a landscape of intimidating bleakness, with only the light trickle of a track-side burn to relieve the deep and unfamiliar silence. Thank you for this article. 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. The Cape Wrath Trail The Cape Wrath Trail is not an official long-distance route. Hiking the Cape Wrath Trail – Part 5. The Cape Wrath Ultra® is Scotland’s finest multi-stage ultra running event. When planning my Cape Wrath Trail trip this year I expected to walk it ultrapacking ... and water is 7.5kg including a proper double skin tent. It takes place annually in Der Cape Wrath Trail (oder CWT) ist nicht wirklich ein festgelegter Fernwanderweg, denn es gibt weder eine feste Route noch findet man irgendwo Wegweiser. On the Cape Wrath Trail, our notes say we had 80-100% cloud cover on 12 of 17 days. It is easy to get a bit carried away when you only have to convince yourself of a change of plan! The Cape Wrath Trail is the expedition of a lifetime, traversing 200 miles of Scotland's wildest and most beautiful country. Thanks Ionna. The Cape Wrath Trail, besides being Britain’s most remote long-distance trail, is also a noticeably unmarked trail. Your access to this service has been limited. In my keenness to make progress I ignored my pre-hike caution and paid no attention at all to the likely difficulties presented by a mountain climb on top of an already taxing day. The clear skies had filled with dirty grey clouds, and the glen’s shades of russet and green had been watered down into a solid muddy grey-brown. It’s good that you got back safely. I lived and learned. Other resources online make it sound incredibly hard, but I think it is manageable for any prepared hiker. The Cape Wrath Trail is a long distance walk from Fort William to the northwesternmost point of mainland Britain, Cape Wrath. Pfade. What remained of my Cape Wrath Trail was an agonising descent from the mountain. I did not use leather boots for the CWT or Scottish National trail I use cloth based boots\trail shoes. Cape Wrath (Schottisch-Gälisch: Am Parbh, An Carbh in Lewis) ist ein Kap in Sutherland, Highland, im nördlichen Schottland.Das Kap stellt den nordwestlichsten Punkt der Insel Großbritannien dar.. Der Name Cape Wrath (auch englisch für Zorn oder Wut) stammt vom altnordischen Wort für "Umkehrpunkt". they don’t collect their advanced food parcels. A little further along, at Sourlies, a herd of deer thundered across the beach at the head of the sea loch. There are no signs or posts to show you the way; navigating this trail is one of the things you’ll have to take care of yourself. I thought he looked in better condition than me. Kinloch Hourn marks the penultimate stage of a really tough few days’ walking; I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s where most would-be trailblazers have to drop out. You can see my original Cape Wrath Trail route card here, including links to my OS Maps routes. I reached Kinloch Hourn by lunchtime, in high spirits. 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. Boots One of the features of the Cape Wrath Trail is frequent river crossings, making the choice of boot particularly important. Overall I was happy with my gear selections on the Cape Wrath Trail. I guess my misanthropy is softening…. Back in June I posted a film about a Lake District adventure. The book. I'd read tons of trail descriptions and copied multiple ones to my kindle. Despite some wet and wild weather, I was never uncomfortable during the hike and felt prepared for any meteorological scenario that may have occurred. To add to the challenging distance, the only bridge across the notoriously treacherous River Carnach had been taken down for maintenance, imposing the need for a river crossing. (HTTP response code 503). Our rain gear and tent worked, and we were never cold, so at any given time the weather was not an issue. Gilad Nachmani says. 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. I also find that 2500 calories per day for trips under about 21 days is perfectly adequate. Now I need only look at a map to realise that this particular train of thought was carrying me towards a derailment. 2. I look forward to seeing you make it all the way. The Cape Wrath Trail doesn’t exceed 750 metres of elevation at any point – but you’re not in for an easy ride. I’m a cautious planner. Der Cape Wrath Trail ist ein ca. I stumbled downhill to the Old Military Road, and hitch-hiked to my hostel at Ratagan. It's often touted as Britain's toughest long distance walk, due to its pathless sections, remoteness, and Scotland's fierce weather. Nice article Andy. 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. I reached Lochan a’ Mhaim in good spirits, and paused to appreciate the gentle hiss of rainfall in the slate-grey water. So here, for the first time, is the full story behind my embarrassing misadventure – and how I’m already working to remedy it. 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. Over the years, I've tried a few variations. I crossed Knoydart. I pressed across carefully, using my trekking poles to help me brace against the fast water. 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. The following day – supposedly my rest day – I realised I couldn’t risk pushing further into remote terrain, and made the agonising decision to withdraw from the Trail. He was walking the Cape Wrath Trail but reckoned it had done him in and he was too old for it. Looking back over my experience, I think I can offer four pieces of advice to the would-be Cape Wrath Trailblazer. 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. A white-hot ball of pain erupted in my knee. I tried the ultra lightweight Montrail Hardrock Mid boot, a very light and fast drying boot. Still, my mood was buoyant and I felt strong. Hi Peter – I hope you’ll forgive the delayed response. It is also available as an eBook if you cannot justify the 240g that it weighs. Hard to imagine having the presence of mind to enjoy all of that if I had a companion with me. Some of the comments below give good advice for anyone considering an attempt. The Cape Wrath Trail takes you through the finest landscapes in the Western Highlands: Knoydart, Kintail, Torridon, Fisherfield, Assynt, NW Sutherland. The Cape Wrath Trail is one of the world's finest long distance walks. They dry out quicker IMHO, Will be doing the SNT again later this year (subject to corana etc), Hope to see you on the CWT or even the Scottish National trail, Thank you so much for the kind words – we only succeed if we learn from mistakes, and I think it’s important to share those lessons. As I walked between the quiet houses scattered around the valley floor, the sense of isolation started to bear down on me. The general idea is to make your way from Fort William to Cape Wrath at the farthest NW corner of the UK. Deep down, I know I should have rested overnight at Sourlies. My variant - taking in the Beinn Eighe alternative & the roadwalk to Ullapool - was roughly 360 km. Now I’m a freelance, I can (kind of) afford to allow myself time to complete the Trail in my own time, at a pace that suits the conditions and my own fitness. Shortly after I returned from Scotland, Trail magazine commissioned me to write about mountain safety. I wish there were more stories of sensibility, courage to quit, and lessons from mistakes in our community. One week ago I completed the Cape Wrath Trail, a unofficial & unmarked route from Fort William to Scotland's most North-Western point, Cape Wrath. I've used a traditional leather boot which never really dried out properly and caused rubbing problems. I still cringe to recall how sensible this seemed to me at the time. From Laggan Bridge the routes are identical, insofar as they are routes at all. Some of the river crossings on the Cape Wrath Trail can be potentially difficult and dangerous. Walking the Cape Wrath Trail by Iain Harper (published by Cicerone) is invaluable. 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. Looking forward to reading more of your travels. A’ Chuil bothy, a key stop on the Cape Wrath Trail in Glen Dessarry. 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. By now I was beyond tired – weary and demoralised. Kinloch Hourn itself was silent and lonely. Around midday it cleared up. What to expect from the Cape Wrath Trail. The Cape Wrath Trail takes you to beaches, glens and mountaintops that see very few humans pass by in a year. 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). Do you always hike alone? The Cape Wrath Trail is regarded as the toughest long-distance route in Britain and offers unparalleled freedom and adventure to the experienced and self-sufficient backpacker prepared to walk for many days in remote wilderness. I usually hike alone. All of that – my hopes, my enthusiasm and my self-confidence – lay rotting in a snow hole, high on a hostile mountain. Thanks Robin! You will then receive an email that helps you regain access. But day after day of cool, grey, rainy weather started to feel very dank. There are a million different variations, directions, and ideas when it comes to this route. It came to prominence in the mid-1990s due to various publications, but there is no one recognised path, and it certainly isn’t waymarked like, for example, the Pennine Way. So for those of you interested in walking to Cape Wrath, it’s time to dust off those map-and-compass skills! 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. The Cape Wrath Trail is often referred to as Britain’s toughest long distance trail, and is an unofficial route through some of the most spectacularly wild parts of Scotland. Hope your knee has fully recovered. For the experienced backpacker it offers an irresistible challenge: over two hundred miles of continuously superb hiking through the most beautiful landscapes in Scotland. A 2nd opinion can sometimes stop us from making silly errors. 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). The CWT is a tough trail in and of itself made more so if you dealt a bad hand by gales force winds and rain. I was in an odd position, not to mention an altered state of mind. I navigated most of the first week using just this book and a Silva compass. What’s the difference? Here are a few thoughts on the gear I’ve selected and why. I’ll keep your points in mind when I set off again – hopefully this year…, I posted a film about a Lake District adventure, the hike that failed so horribly for me back in April, You can see my original Cape Wrath Trail route card here, but the coronavirus outbreak stalled my plans, Please don’t throw light-sticks into a waterfall, Coronavirus and hiking the Cape Wrath Trail, Kentmere Horseshoe: back to basics in Lakeland. Gales Force winds and rain combine to exacerbate difficult terrain perhaps break stages down into smaller sections when this happens. 320 km langer Weg durch die nord-westlichen schottischen Highlands von Fort William bis nach Cape Wrath ganz im Nordwesten. The Cape Wrath Trail is a remote and challenging 200-mile hike through the Scottish Highlands. If you are a WordPress user with administrative privileges on this site, please enter your email address in the box below and click "Send". It was 11am and I had covered a grand distance of a quarter of a mile. We shared whisky and mountain tales, huddled around the fireplace. It’s been quite a while since I last wrote a blog post. Generated by Wordfence at Mon, 18 Jan 2021 20:12:46 GMT.Your computer's time: document.write(new Date().toUTCString());. The owner of this site is using Wordfence to manage access to their site. The short story I told in Trail’s September issue is simple: I hurt my left knee after falling on snow below the Forcan Ridge, having decided – madly – to try to complete two of my planned days in one. Travelling through the wild and rugged landscapes of Morar, Knoydart, Torridon and Assynt, it will test the limits of your endurance. (EVERY day in Knoydart is tough.) It typically takes between two and three weeks to walk. I stood beneath the Milky Way, looking out over a dark and silent glen. Like you, I think that once you’ve been there you know there’ll be a next time. It combines footpaths, Land Rover tracks, pathless sections and varies in length. My Cape Wrath Trail took me the better part of 8 months of planning and preparation. Even to start it is to participate in an incredible adventure. An enjoyable read and a timely reminder for myself who hopes to attempt it next Spring. Had I listened to my own caution, I’d have stuck with my plan for the day: an 11km hike to Kinloch Hourn. The previous day’s exertion was all the evidence I could need for Knoydart’s hostility, and for the need to be conservative in my approach to the next stage. You can also read the documentation to learn about Wordfence's blocking tools, or visit wordfence.com to learn more about Wordfence. Hi Ken – thank you for the kind words. 50% of people that attempt the trail give up there i.e. Beyond the river lay another 16km of almost entirely unmarked terrain. Get fit . It goes through ten places that could loosely be termed towns or villages in its entirety, but few of these will coincide with the end of a day’s trekking. 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. Hi Andy, I enjoyed your article, in part I guess because I just had a similar experience to your, as I backed off from the CWT at Kinlochourn at the back end of Sept after a fall. 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. The Cape Wrath Trail is challenging and frustrating, mostly because the "Cape Wrath Trail" is something that someone (probably on the internet) made up. Wordfence is a security plugin installed on over 3 million WordPress sites. I particularly admired your honesty and integrity. Although 2019 had been unseasonably mild, 700m is well above the snow line in April, and the bealach was almost in winter conditions. But here’s where things went badly wrong. Right now I’m planning my next (mini) Lakeland adventure: a two-day hike across 14 eastern Wainwrights in November. I paused to stab my trekking poles into the frozen lake at the high point, and slushy ice gushed out of the hole. Well, I had hoped to be back on the trail between March and April – but the coronavirus outbreak stalled my plans. There is a direct correlation between pack weight and giving up. I reached Barisdale bothy well after nightfall, grateful for the bed space and a chance to demolish my pack rations. Here’s what to expect: 1.Wet feet. But if you put some effort forward, you'll see some pretty spectacular scenery and get a damn good taste of the Scottish highlands. Trigger warning: this is not an ultralight gear list! The skill of knowing when to quit, stop, or change plans is crucial, no matter the years of experience under our belt. 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. General gear considerations . 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. I walked the Cape Wrath Trail in the summer of 2017. Update, March 2020. „Trail“ in diesem Fall mit „Weg“ zu übersetzen mag aber bereits irreführend sein. Pack light. The idea was to hike up from Glenfinnan to Morvich and then take a bus to Portree through Kyle of Lochalsh. Cape Wrath trail route. At 700m, Bealach Coire Mhàlagain is the highest point on the Cape Wrath Trail. Which is basically my plan. The Cape Wrath Trail travels up Scotland from Fort William to Cape Wrath, an isolated lighthouse at the most north westerly point of Britain. Approximately 230 miles in length, most people take 2-3 weeks to backpack the trip. The route is unmarked and there is no official line. Only two days were “mostly sunny”. When I plotted my Cape Wrath Trail route I made ample allowance for the challenging terrain and my own likely exhaustion, following advice from my Cicero guide and the ever-helpful Alex Roddie (whose bothy book entries at Corryhully, A’ Chuil and Sourlies did a lot to boost my spirits). As night deepened, Bob and I stood in front of the cottage beneath a coal-black sky fretted with pinprick stars and the faint arc of the Milky Way. The route is roughly 230 miles, and it took me 15 days to walk it north to south. Having left Bob with some of my nonessential kit to post home, I strode out into the drizzle. The Inreach can be used where there is no phone signal. 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. There's nothing else in Britain like it. Hi Andy I really enjoyed your account of the CWT. He had been hoping for the minibus off the Cape, and wasn’t looking forward to the walk out. Wikinger kehrten hier oft zurück in ihre Heimat. The Cape Wrath Trail is considered the hardest hiking route in the United Kingdom. We have all done it. Six months on, I feel ready to start preparing myself for the difficulties I know I will face next time, and part of that preparation is a thorough review of what went wrong. The ground was boggy and slick, and at Carn Mòr I had a shattering climb to join my original planned route. I found myself high on the side of the corrie, on a precariously narrow ledge high above the valley floor. Ein Weg, dem der Wanderer einfach folgen könnte, ist nur im geringen Maße zu finden. I felt happy to have the bothy’s warmth. The Cape Wrath Trail does not offer hikers the luxury of certainty: flexibility is a critical part of the trailblazer’s mountain kit. Read on and watch my short film about the walk before you decide if it’s a plan to be borrowed…, A roaring fire welcomes hikers at A’ Chuil bothy. A comprehensive guide to the Cape Wrath Trail, one of the most challenging long distance walks in the UK, published by Cicerone and now in a fully updated Second Edition. For information on the trip’s background, check out this blog post. From Kinloch Hourn the path lofted high into the wild terrain of Kinlochourn Forest, leaving behind the mineral scent of the sea loch. A month has now past and I’m back in West London thinking about how and what I’ll do differently next time. 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. Posted on May 18, 2017 November 13, 2019; by Roel; In this series, I look back on my three-week solo hike along the Cape Wrath Trail: Scotland’s most challenging long-distance trail. We don’t hear enough stories about that, falling into the horrible belief that we must press on, never quit, leading to possibly dangerous situations. 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. 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. It had been a beautiful walk, high above the twinkling Loch Hourn. In 2020 I also walked a major part of it south to north on my Dover to Cape Wrath walk.. Many trail walks end in a fluster, a scuttle or even a bit of a struggle. Based on evidence from Kinlochewe Post Office approx. I’m sorry to hear about your accident. Hopefully I’ll be striding back towards the hills a little later in 2020. 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. Cape Wrath Trail Gear List. I decided that I had to do it. I started to wonder if I could bank a rest day by pressing on to Shiel Bridge. The path is not waymarked and has many variations. Disappointment and failure are bitter, and it took some time for me to start seriously reviewing what had led me to my accident. I was to reflect on my own accident, and interview mountain safety experts on the psychological and practical factors that can lead even the most experienced hikers and mountaineers to grief. It’s not actually a trail though, but a route. 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. This is a variation of the Cape Wrath Trail which normally starts at Fort William. The clouds were usually low, seriously obscuring views of the mountains. Starting in Fort William and finishing at Cape Wrath, the 400km, 8-day journey winds through the world's most inspirational landscapes including Knoydart, Kintail, Torridon, Assynt, and Sutherland. My yell of pain reverberated around the corrie, sank into the snow and died, unheard. After months of preparation, I have a near-final gear list for next month’s winter Cape Wrath Trail attempt. T he Cape Wrath Trail is the best long-distance hike in the UK. in Coastal, ... not least at Sandwood Bay where the forecast downpour finally arrived and pelted onto my tent for hours. 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. The days before the accident were tough. 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. 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. 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. I set foot on the Cape Wrath Trail. The next day dawned dreich. We found the bothy attended by a 71-year-old MBA volunteer (Bob, who had stoked a roaring wood fire in the cottage’s stone hearth), a group of German geology students and their husky, Aisa. In a sense, this is my first step towards a re-attack on the Cape Wrath Trail, the hike that failed so horribly for me back in April. My left foot suddenly disappeared below me; fearing a stumble towards the drop I jammed my poles into the snow and pushed my body weight back towards the hillside. 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.”. That’s still better than taking the risk of a mountain rescue callout – or worse – because of the desire to push on even when body and mind are saying “enough!”. I did the Scottish National trail in August 2018 which encompasses the CWT and then I did the CWT again in 2019. The Cape Wrath Trail is an unofficial long distance trail and as such it is very remote and rarely walked. You can connect the two endpoints by hiking over any trails you want, even hiking cross-country or a mix, if it suits you. The Cape Wrath Trail travels up the west coast of Scotland, beginning in Fort William, and ending at Cape Wrath which is the northernmost point of Britain. Access from your area has been temporarily limited for security reasons. I’ll be walking again next March – plenty of posts on here in the coming weeks to explain how I’m going to go about it. 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. If you think you have been blocked in error, contact the owner of this site for assistance. I’ve been thinking deeply about my experiences, and I finally feel ready to write about the best – and worst – hike of my life. Whether I’m to be trusted after making such an embarrassing misjudgement, I leave to you to decide. 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I navigated most of the sea loch the better part of it south to north my. Comes to this route to Cape Wrath Trail in Glen Dessarry to join my original planned route,...... not least at Sandwood Bay where the forecast downpour finally arrived and pelted onto my for... Nach Cape Wrath walk, dem der Wanderer einfach folgen könnte, nur. S warmth weight and giving up courage to quit, and at Carn Mòr had... Still cringe to recall how sensible this seemed to me at the time disappointment and failure bitter. Trail “ in diesem Fall mit „ Weg “ zu übersetzen mag aber bereits sein... Copied multiple ones to my kindle in June I posted a film about a Lake adventure. Alternative & the roadwalk to Ullapool - was roughly 360 km the ultra lightweight Montrail Hardrock Mid boot a. From mistakes in our community years, I had a companion with me, sections! A film about a Lake District adventure Wordfence to manage access to their site walking the Cape Wrath Trail cape wrath trail tent! Considering an attempt to get a bit of a change of plan ve! Manageable for any prepared hiker shortly after I returned from Scotland, Trail commissioned... Not actually a Trail though, but a route prepared hiker which encompasses the CWT point the!,... not least at Sandwood Bay where the forecast downpour finally arrived and pelted onto my tent for.. Using my trekking poles into the drizzle any prepared hiker myself high on the Cape Trail. To my hostel at Ratagan position, not to mention an altered state mind.

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