Ardgartan Adventure

Since the weather done its favourite trick of being bloody aw full for the weekend causing a thaw, I decided to stay low level and put some miles in.

I parked up at the event car park on PTC’s recommendation’s that way I wouldn’t have to touch tarmac on the second day.

The last time I was in this area was for The Argyl Forrest Challenge it was wet and the midges were unreal !

I struck out about 10:30 am and headed back up the road I had driven.

After about 10 minutes I passed a guy going the other way on the track and I debated if he was doing the same route in the other direction (I did not see him again).

After about 5km I was starting to heat up and stopped to take of the PS3 so I was just wearing a Dale Merino base layer.

The path for The Brack branched off here and I debated heading upwards but it would be pointless as the mist was coming right down low.

I headed of again in a mixture of running and walking and praying the mist and cloud would lift.

The track is similar to bit of The West Highland Way and is well way marked as a red Mountain Bike route.

At the top of Glen Croe I took a left into Gleann Mhor and the cloud lifted a bit to give me a glance of the retreating snow line.

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I dropped down the single track mountain bike route just before Lochgoilhead after looking at the map as the big track comes to an end, this meant dropping onto the road for a couple of hundred meters.

Skirting round the outskirts of Lochgoilhead (I had forgotten my wallet and £1 in my pocket ) I headed back up hill through the Highland cows .

I took the small track that branches of the main one and started heading up the hill to Corran Lochan.

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There are some great wee streams coming off the hill along this track giving fresh water and I would think a great place to cool off in summer.

I stopped and had some jerky and a drink, I contemplated  having a brew but decided to push on.

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My legs were starting to get tired as I pushed on for the Lochan which eventually loomed out the mist.

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My feet were also starting to hurt a bit in the Hardrock Mids the insole just seems all wrong and different from the ones in the Namche’s.

I arrived at the Lochan and stood surveying the ground for a campsite as well as watching a few deer standing on the hillside.

I headed up off the path up the hill and found a prime spot to spend the night.

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As I sat waiting for the water to boil there was a distinct sound coming from the distant ranges of Garelochhead, GPMG volleys tapped away for about 10 minutes and then it was silent.

I walked up to the trig point on Clach Bheinn and watched the dear roam around as the light started to fade.

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I topped up my water bottle from one of the many streams feeding the lochan and headed back to my wee vantage point to make dinner, I was starving.

The gas was getting low and I did not have a spare as I waited for the water to boil for another brew.

It started to drizzle as I climbed into the Three wire to drink my coffee and read my book.

I was in my bag with just a pair of boxers on and was roasting despite having the zip of the PHD Minim 500 bag undone.

The zip on the Three wire was also open as far as possible without letting in the rain that started to fall.

I woke up about 7:30 and it was starting to get light through the very grey sky.

I boiled some water with the last of the gas and ate a couple of muesli bars for breakfast as I packed up my kit.

I figured it was about 6 km back to the car (it turned out to be just over 7km)

Based on the pace yesterday I reckoned an hour and a half max to get back.

The fine drizzle continued and occasionally got heavier as I ticked of the track junctions in my head as I passed them.

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I arrived back at the car at 10am happy and reluctant to head home.

I drove down the road passing numpties with fog lights on despite the fact you could see across the Loch to the other side.

When I took the Hardrock mids off I had a big red line on each foot where the foot-bed edge was, I also noticed that on the inside of each shoe the stitching was starting to give way !.

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I will have to try them with different foot-beds to see if it makes a difference.

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3 thoughts on “Ardgartan Adventure

  1. Ha!

    Good lad. It’s a badass route right enough, it’s hard on you, but great training. I did that loop twice in the two weeks before my WHW FnL last year and I’m convinced that’s what set me up for it.
    I’m just back from a late o’clock ascent of Ben Lomond which was interesting indeed.
    Cuppas in the week to swap war stories.

  2. Nice pitch and good one nighter. I’m ever more convinced that the key to getting out more is to settle for as many of these as possible. Bit more difficult for us midlanders where the land is as flat as the proverbial pancake.

    What’s your take on the Big Agnes 3 wire – that is what it is right?

  3. Ah The 3 Wire! Yes it is.
    I love it to bits having used double hooped systems etc for years.
    You have to be a bit more organised making sure you put kit away after use etc as you dont have the luxury of a porch to leave it all in.
    It pitches fast and does not need too much footprint space which gives it a bit more versitility than a tent in certain situations.
    I have noticed that condensation builds up on the sidewall of the fly sheet even with the door zip open as wide as you can.
    The E-vent top is bomber and breathes well.
    If you dont have hills just put the mileage in, the key as I keep saying is getting out !
    I just love the wilderness and at risk of sounding all hippyish I feel much better after a “wee oot” even if its just a 20 min run in a park.

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