June Day Trip to the Glencoe area

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Seven walkers met at the Green Welly in Tyndrum for the June day trip.  Debbie and Susan were planning to walk the West Highland Way from Bridge of Orchy back to Tyndrum.  Over breakfast, Miriam, Mark, James, David and I discussed various hill options and decided to join James on an ascent of Stob Dubh (Corbett, 883m) in Glen Etive, instead of the advertised Beinn a’ Chrulaiste behind the Kingshouse Hotel.

We set off for Bridge of Orchy in two cars where we said goodbye to Debbie and Susan and squeezed into James’ car for the last leg of the journey to Glen Etive.  James had picked a start point at Alltchaorunn, where the huge prison-style gate across the bridge is now unlocked and open to walkers.  After a signposted detour around the deserted-looking farmhouses we crossed some woodland and ascended the eastern flank of Beinn Ceitlein.  We made our way onto the uneven ridge and over the two bumps that form the highest points of Beinn Ceitlein.  We had to drop back down to around 760m before the final pull up to the summit of Stob Dubh.  Despite the occasional shower sweeping through on a fairly strong wind, we had great views along the ridge and at the summit.

Resting on the ascent  On the summit of Stob Dubh  On the summit of Stob Dubh  On the descent

A return route that involved a more direct descent eastwards to the Allt a Chaorainn was planned, but the way down looked very steep and we opted to follow the upward route back to the car.  We headed back to Bridge of Orchy to pick up the car that had been left there and, of course, for a round of drinks in the hotel. 

In the meantime, Debbie and Susan had walked back to Tyndrum and the Green Welly (where their car was parked and refreshments were available).  They report a great walk in good weather, having avoided any showers.

Cornel Brozio

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... and Willie made a solo trip ...

On Beinn Inverveigh

"My plan for the day was to meet up with the others at the Green Welly and then climb Beinn Inverveigh at Bridge of Orchy, but an alarm clock malfunction meant a late start and a missed rendezvous.  My route started by following the West Highland Way to the high point on the northern shoulder of the hill, and from there a vehicle track then a path were used to gain the summit.  The day was sunny with blustery winds and only a few light showers near the end of the walk, and the hill was an excellent viewpoint for the surrounding peaks and glens".

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June Weekend to Helmsdale

I picked up Cornel and Allan, and after getting the bikes on the rack and loading up the luggage, we set off.  A quick stop was needed on the M73 as one of the rack's straps had come loose but after that it was a straightforward trip to Helmsdale.

We arrived around 12.15 but the hostel wasn’t open until 4.00. Gordon and Andrew arrived shortly after, so we set off further north for Braemore.  Parking the cars, we were soon ready and set off for Scaraben.  It was a fairly easy walk and we were soon at the summit with views of the oil rigs out at sea.  We took the customary summit photo and then returned to the cars.  As we had made good time, Gordon and Andrew decided to go and climb Beinn Dhorain.

On Scaraben

The rest headed back to Helmsdale and got booked into the hostel.  We got settled in and showered before Gordon and Andrew arrived having bagged their 2nd Graham of the day.  We eventually made our way to the Bannockburn Inn, where we enjoyed good food and ale with reasonable prices, but they could do with a couple more staff to speed up the service.

Back at the hostel there was a group who had done the 3 peaks and were now cycling from John O'Groats to Land's End.  They were getting up at 5.00 so we were expecting an interrupted sleep.

It turned out they didn't disturb us too much and we were planning an early start.  We set off early and arrived at Badanoch Lodge and were able to drive down to a parking area.  Having got ready, we set off on the bikes for the 13km cycle.  The track was excellent being made of sand and gravel, so we made good time.

There was a good track that took us past Ben Armine and up to the bealach.  We then headed up the slopes to Creag Mhor.  On the way, I disturbed a grouse that had been sitting on its nest.  This was the first time I had seen a grouse nest and quickly took a photo before leaving.  A short distance from the summit it started to rain heavily so we all had to get the waterproofs on.  After a short stay at the summit, we headed back to the bealach.  The rain stopped and we had a break before starting the climb to Ben Armine.

On the 13km cycle  On Creag Mhor  Grouse's nest  Bealach break  On Ben Armine

Having reached the summit, we descended to a bealach and then headed back to the track to walk back to where we had left the bikes.  After that, it was an easy cycle back to the cars.  The return journey to Helmsdale was difficult as there had been a fatal accident on the A9 and the single track A897 was the detour.  However, we eventually got back to the hostel and after showering we went to the Inn for another good meal, although the service if anything was slower.

Sunday arrived and we headed back to Braemore.  This time, we cycled in to the bothy at Corrichoich.  From there, we had a walk over boggy ground before starting the steep climb of Morven.  The views on the summit were good.  We retraced our route back to the bikes and cycled out.  Having changed and loaded up the car, we then set off for home.

Morven  Approaching Morven summit  On Morven summit

On the drive we had a mixture of heavy rain and sunshine .. not quite what we were expecting for the longest day!  It was a good weekend and I got the 4 Grahams I needed. Now only 2 to go!!

Bob MacDonald

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