EXPEDITION REPORT: DOFE GOLD
2nd July, 2018
We set off on Sunday 24 June with a long day ahead of us. We drove to Fort William for dinner and then embarked on the 6 hours of shuttling, so that we had transport at the finish point and all students at the start. At camp that night, conditions were clear, warm and infested with midges. Everyone went to bed straight away at midnight.
Day 1 expedition
Group 1 set off at 8am, with group 2 departing an hour later. Whilst this first day promised to be moderate in terms of distance, with Knoydart, nothing is moderate when it comes to the terrain! With undulating overgrown paths and plus- 20 degree heat to contend with, the group made good progress in spite of the horseflies and midges. The second group had a very long day ahead so decided to push on towards the waterfalls, beyond Sourlies.
Both groups went off in separate directions and the coastal path was the more challenging day for group 2. Dean rolled his ankle midway along but bravely managed this, with support and encouragement from Fin, Douglas and Charlie. The day finished close to 7pm for this group, and they collapsed at Barrisdale campsite, tired and hungry. The weather was a little kinder in the afternoon, with increasing cloud and an odd spot of rain.
Both groups were forced awake by the hot sunshine in the morning and made steady progress along the coast into Kinloch Hourn. William was the first to rise, followed by John-Ross and James. By the time they got over the coastal path, it was 26 degrees and the prospect of another big uphill was not appealing. Thankfully, a lot of the steepest sections were in shade and the high point was quickly overcome, with downhill terrain all the rest of the way to camp. The river beside the campsite was welcome, although, unfortunately, it did harbour an awful lot of horseflies and midges. Both groups made early camp for an early start on the final day.
Slight cloud and cool conditions rewarded both groups for their 6:30am start. Most of the uphill ground was covered before the sun became really strong. With the finish line in sight, all boys pushed hard and sweated their way to the final ascent, to finish by Glen Shiell by 2.30pm.
It was certainly a tough expedition, but one to look back on with a sense of pride and achievement.