November Weekend to Roybridge

It was a good turn-out of 13 for the last weekend trip of 2015.  We were based at the Stronlossit Inn situated in Roybridge.  The Club had used the Inn for food and drink in the past, but not for accommodation.  Half the group were in the 'budget' accommodation, which was comfortable .. and the other half were in the 'luxury accommodation' located in the main hotel.

On Friday Bob picked me up at 8am and we headed for the Green Welly for breakfast.  Over breakfast I persuaded Bob to climb the Graham, Cnap Cruinn from the Fersit road.  We set off walking around midday and the weather was reasonably dry.  After an hour we left the forest and made a direct ascent.  Surprisingly, the weather improved whilst we were at the summit and closed in as we made our way back down.  Gwen and Andy walked a short section of the Great Glen Way from its start in Fort William to a point where they had left it on an earlier visit.  It was then Christmas shopping in Fort William before heading for Roybridge.  Gordon and Andrew travelled up a little later in the day and managed to climb Leana Mhor (West) in Glen Roy, before it got too dark.  The rest of the group arrived at various times throughout the evening.

Lunch on Cnap Cruinn

On Saturday Bob, Heidi, Steven and myself opted for the Munro Beinn Teallach.  The start point was close to the Laggan Dam and the weather dry.  The initial walk was through the forest on a reasonable track and then onto open ground, which headed for the south slope of the Munro.  It was a long slog up the ridge and it felt as though we would never get to the summit.  The snow covering was making progress slower than normal.  Finally, we reached the summit and took a well-earned break.  We also agreed that the one Munro was enough for the day and we would leave the other for another day.  At this point the cloud did clear for a while to show the surrounding hills.  Rather than retrace our steps, we decided to make our way down to the head of the glen at Tom Mor.  From here it was a reasonable track back along the glen floor to our start point.  We arrived back at the cars just before it started to get dark .. good timing !

Ally, James and Cat set off up Glen Roy with the aim of climbing Carn Deag (SE) and Beinn Iaruinn.  However, the road was very icy and it was felt imprudent to drive beyond the start of Beinn Iaruinn’s ridge.  Leaving Susan to negotiate the road back out of Glen Roy, they set off from the bridge at the south end of Leana Mhor’s ridge, initially following a Land Rover track (not marked on the map) to a col and then heading north up steepening slopes to the summit of the Graham.  It was clear that the cloud was trying to break but there were no views from the summit.  The cold wind meant that a quick descent was made to the col and then up to the summit of Beinn Iaruinn.  Again, the route was steep in places but the snow was only deep in patches which could mostly be avoided.  After a stop for lunch, the route was retraced back to the col rather than face the steeper, more direct descent to the Glen Roy road.  During the return along Beinn Iaruinn’s ridge, the cloud finally broke and views were enjoyed towards the Easains, Grey Corries and Ben Nevis.  Once back down on the road there was a 5km walk back to the Glen Roy viewpoint.  After 10 minutes Susan arrived to transport them back to the hotel.

On Beinn Teallach      Henry the Hiker in the Great Glen

Andy and Gwen walked the 2nd section of the GGW from Gairlochy to Laggan Locks, leaving their car at the Locks and getting to the start point at Gairlochy with the assistance of chauffeur Susan.  They covered a distance of 12.5 miles taking 4.5 hours, just making the car at dark o’clock!  Gordon and Andrew climbed the other Leana Mhor (East) in Glen Roy, and Hilary and Susan carried out some research on the local coffee shops.

On Sunday we were all heading home, but some extra walking activities were planned by some.  Andy and Gwen checked out the mountain biking tracks at Aonach Mor (on foot).  Bob and myself targeted another Graham, Creag Dhubh, as the day was looking promising with the sun making a showing.  The day didn't disappoint and we had good views of the surrounding hills during the ascent.  We had a brief rest at the top, then retraced our steps back to the car.  For James, Ally and Cat there were no problems driving up the road to Inverskilavulin Lodge in Glen Loy.  The ascent by the left side of the burn onto the horseshoe ridge of Beinn Bhan was steep but levelled out just about the snow level.  Under blue skies and a warm sun, they made a circuit of the ridge to the summit trig point enjoying fine views for miles in every direction, particularly south to Ben Bevis and Aonach Mor.  The descent and return to the Lodge seemed slightly less steep than the ascent.

Henry the Hiker at breakfast  On Creag Dhubh 

It was a surprisingly good weekend weather-wise, bearing in mind the stormy weather we had experienced this autumn, and a nice stay in Roybridge.

Mark Setford

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