July Day to Glencoe

I had been contacted by Willie and Hamish to say that they would make their way to Tyndrum independently, and so I duly went to Cathcart.  The only other person to turn up was Allan Boyd.

We had a good drive up to Tyndrum and were the first to arrive at the Green Welly.  We got our coffee and food and not long after we had settled, Hamish, Elena, Cornel and Gilbert arrived.  While we were planning to do Buachaille Etive Beag, they were heading for Bidean nam Bian.  Willie arrived before we had finished our food, and having found out our plans, set off for Glen Etive to climb Beinn Trilleachan.

Allan and I were soon parked at the layby and set off along the Lairig Eilde path.  We soon cut off and headed straight up the slope to the summit of Stob Coire Raineach.  The wind was quite strong at the summit but we found some shelter for our lunch.  We then followed the track along the ridge to our second summit Stob Dubh.  Although overcast, the cloud level was high enough that we got good views.

On Stob Coire Raineach  On Stob Dubh

We retraced our steps to the col and then followed the path back to the car for 3.30 pm.  As we arrived it started to rain!  We were soon changed and headed for the Kingshouse Hotel.  We had a drink but no one else arrived so we headed home.

I got a text from Hamish.  They arrived back at the car at 7pm.  Their route was up Coire nan Lochan to the summit of Stob Coire nan Lochan, then over to Bidean nam Bian, and on to Stob Coire Sgreamhach.  They then descended into the Lost Valley .. a long day but no rain.

Willie reported that he had had a good walk, except for the boggy start and finish, with some light rain showers on the way down.  He got to the Kingshouse just after six and, finding nobody in the bar, waited in the car and finished his sandwiches.  He left about seven and headed home.

The summit of Beinn Trilleachan

Although we didn't meet up at the end of the walks, I think everyone enjoyed their day on the hills.

Bob MacDonald

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July Weekend to Fort William

284 on Aonach Mor

What do the numbers 284, 11 and 1 have in common ... ?

There were a few hardies who set off to walk on Friday ...

*  Bob and Allan went to Sgurr Eilde Mor and Binnein Beag, with Allan continuing on with his big Munro bash to do Binnein Mor.

Allan on Sgurr Eilde Mor

*  Willie very casually left home about 11am to drive up to Loch Arkaig area and went up Sgurr Mhurlagain, arriving at the hostel in what is becoming his usual fashion between 11 pm and midnight!

*  Gordon deposited Iris at their very luxurious B&B before setting off to climb Meall a’ Phubuill.

The rest of us travelled up a bit later, with the exception of Chris and Kate who were first to find the hostel, even although they weren’t staying there.  Some poor people even had to work on Friday and travel up after that!

Anyway, we arrived in dribs and drabs in the evening at the Moorings – some to eat – some just to partake of some refreshments.

On Saturday morning, most of us met up at the hostel and Bill, very generously (since he wasn’t walking with us) transported several people up to Glen Nevis for the start.  The rest of us managed to get up in 2 cars, and at the Glen Nevis car park we met Chris who had driven up from his B&B in Fort William and Jim, who had driven all the way up from Glasgow that morning.  It was no surprise to learn that Jim was first in the car park – forever up with the lark!

We all set off together until we reached the Steall ruin, then Miriam and Mark, Kenny and Renee struck off to take the scenic route to Aonach Beag, taking in a couple of tops on the way.  The rest of us went directly up the south west ridge to Aonach Beag.  We arrived on the summit of Aonach Beag within 5 or 10 minutes of the other party.

The group in Glen Nevis at the start of the day  The group on Aonach Beag

We then all set off together for Aonach Mor, Ian stopping off on the way at one of the snow-filled corries to fill up his drysac with snow to cool down the bubbly, carried up to celebrate my last Munro.  Just before the summit – not wanting to get hugs and kisses while I was wearing a horribly sweaty top - I changed into a dry, clean blouse.  The only problem was that I forgot to turn the collar out and no-one thought to tell me that when the paparazzi were lined up taking photos!

It was rather misty, so we didn’t get views, but it was at least warm and dry.  The bubbly was popped and a few nibbles consumed over what turned out to be a fairly lengthy period.

Iris arrives at the summit of Aonach Mor  284 on Aonach Mor  The celebrations begin ....  The group on the summit of Aonach Mor  The happy couple

The intention then was to carry on down to the Aonach Mor gondola station when everyone could decide whether to take the gondola down or to walk.  Jim, however, decided he would rather just go back and down to Glen Nevis, so he set off on his own to do that.  Miriam, James, Kenny and Willie decided to take in another couple of tops before heading down.

The rest of us carried on as intended and there was a bit of debate about gondola or not and about how much it would cost to go down that way.  Ian investigated and, when he came back and said it was free for a downward trip .. strangely enough no-one wanted to walk down any more!  Allan said later it was the highlight of his day as the hills had been pretty boring and he got a lot of stick for that comment.

Bill had come to the Aonach Mor car park to pick up the drivers and take them back round to Glen Nevis to pick up their cars, and he also dropped Gordon at the hostel to collect his car so that he could pick up those left at Aonach Mor, so it all worked out very well.

By the time we got back to the hostel, Heather and Calum, who had got caught up with work commitments and didn’t make it up on Friday, had arrived, and most of us had a quick drink in the pub before Jim headed off back to Glasgow.

Kate spent the day in Fort William with some relatives, Iris K took the train up the West Highland line to Mallaig, and Bill pottered around between his chauffeuring trips.

In the evening, we all met up again at the Moorings Hotel where we had arranged to have a bar meal, and we had an excellent night there.

The 284 cake

On Sunday, most folk were just planning to have a relaxed trip down the road.  Willie and Gordon (who are now ticking off the Corbetts) decided to each get another tick – Willie heading back to Loch Arkaig, this time to do Sgurr an Fhuarain, and I believe he didn’t get home until very late again on Sunday night, and Gordon headed up Sgurr an Utha in Glenfinnan.

Bob and Allan (like many of the rest of us) spent some time watching boats move up the locks at Neptune’s Staircare, then (for Allan’s future tick list) had a quick recce of the start point for the Grey Corries and a look at Torlundy, before meeting up with some of the others in a tea room at Ballachulish.  Apparently, the famous Jimmy Saville was also spotted in that area signing autographs.  Kate had seen him too, the day before, in Fort William .. apparently he had performed the opening ceremony for the Highland Games.

Renee and Bill had booked a trip on the Steam Train to Mallaig on Sunday.

Heather and Calum appear to have taken a bit of a leisurely detour to go home, mentioning that they had been in Cruachan on the way down.

All in all, certainly a wonderful weekend for me, with lots of good company to finish my Munros – now I can relax!

There were a few other notable numbers – Allan reached 184 on Saturday, leaving only a round hundred to go – and the way he’s getting through them at the moment, it won’t be long.  Chris reached the quarter-point (although he did say that it was his last munro too!) and Renee not only did her first and second Munro, but a couple of tops too!  Very well done and don’t lose that enthusiasm, girl!

Iris Moffatt (Compleat Munroist)

(284 Munros climbed, 11th Club Munroist and 1st female Club Munroist)

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