Gelder Shiel – Tarfside
We wanted to be gone before Tony cooked his breakfast!
It is a bit of a way, but the weather was good.
What a change 12 hours can make.
There was a goodly dump of snow on the top.
There is a track from the bothy, but it is easier just to yomp up and over the heather to pick up the higher LRT.
Lochnagar from near Gelder Shiel
If we had been doing a shorter day, in better conditions, I would have considered taking the track up to Lochnagar. But today was not the day for such an adventure.
Actually, it is good walking with Dave when he is not at top speed, because we can talk about heaps of stuff.
Today with a bit of care, this was quite crossable, although poles helped, and I lent mine to Dave. I can only imagine what it must have been like yesterday.
Rhododendron bushes just before crossing to Glen Muick
This may have been the lure of the toilets in the car park, or it may just have been that Dave and I were chatting away.
As we got half way across, Dave realised that he had dropped his gloves.
We could see them lying on the track.
So I took some photo’s, walked very slowly while Dave received his gloves at some speed.
It was very windy crossing, and as we went across, there was a brief shower.
Looking back to the Rainbow as we crossed to the Spittal
The river half way across, from the bridge
So Dave and I dropped our packs, and also headed to the car park, where the temporary toilets are sited.
This is a very nice little track up by the river, crossing about half way along on a small bridge. One of Al’s favourite types of bridges, narrow, and with no rails.
And today it was windy. Very windy, and interesting.
Fortunately, he did not hurt his ankle or knee, when he fell.
He did almost lose his rucksack cover, but we persuaded him to take it off at the bridge.
Dave gets water at the bridge
The river just past the bridge
I think the bearing is approx 105° from the end of the river.
Despite the weather, it was actually dry, and nice walking.
Al was off on a mission again, and Dave although he did not say anything until much later in the day, was struggling with blisters.
View from the top on the way over to the Sheilin, looking back to Lochnagar
Al and Dave heading over to the Shelin of Mark bothy
Then we collected some water, and made some soup for lunch.
Although the weather was good, it was still very windy, and the bothy gave a nice shelter.
Just after we got the soup on the go, Ian arrived.
Maybe not the best socks, being cotton.
On a good day, this is not a bad route.
The ground underfoot was still surprisingly dry, and the river crossing easy.
Looking back from the top of Muckle Cairn
This was mainly so that I could have a shoe and gaiter faf.
Well, a shoe Faf and take off my gaiters.
We could also see another Challenger in the distance who turned out to be Maggie.
Me Al and Maggie in Glen Lee
Ian would overtake us, then take some photo’s, then overtake us …….
Al and I were really cracking along at a goodly pace. Indeed I had fallen out of Al’s slipstream, and was now being buffeted by the wind.
These were blisters that were on the increase.
Later at Tarfside we would discover that he was developing some fine Blisters
Along Loch Lee
Waves on the shore at Loch Lee
Just as we were about to do the final run into Tarfside, Maggie caught us up.
Al and I were chatting, and Dave was walking with Maggie.
The Keep at Kirkton.
Al stopped for a Pee just round the corner, by the sign that says danger falling masonary.
On the way down, Al and I had deliberated on tent first, or St Drostans, but eventually came down on St Drostans, on the grounds that this involved, Tea, Biscuits, Beer, Bacon Butties, and booking the evening meal early. As well as a reunion with all those wonderful Tarfside Ladies.
But this was the Pieman, so of course we just assumed this was a windup.
And there was the beer as well, and the company.
So we got our tents up quickly lest it rained.
Wendy and Wanda on the green in Tarfside
It is not often in the UK that you see one Stephenson Warmlite, let alone two side by side.
It was at this point that Dave’s feet needed some attention.
I went to have a look at his blisters with my blister packs.
Dave’s blisters were to say the least, impressive.
Unfortunately, Dave had left his feet without care and attention for too long.
This was compounded by cotton socks, shoes that were just not fully up to the job, and water ingress during Monday.
Result, wet feet, then blisters, then bigger blisters, then more blisters.
I suggested new skin, or decent size padding and also draining the blisters.
I was going to have a go at the sorting them out, but in the end I left it to Dave.
They were after all his feet, and he is a big boy.
I do not think he drained them, but to drain or not to drain is an individual decision.
Eventually, Nurse Maggie came to Dave’s rescue, and administered chiropody and tlc.
Some waited for the Retreat delivery, I decided I would cook some food up, and as I had not allowed for an extra nights food, Al gave me a bag of his fine own dehydrated food.
So fully sustained, it was time to head over to the Mason’s for one or pints of something or other.
So we popped into the Masons, and managed to grab the last few cans of Guinness.
While Al was acquiring these, I got a can of Mckewans, and headed off to try and lure Dave out of his hermit like state.
Al, Ian, Jim and Dave in the Masons