August Day Trip to Loch Ossian

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This was our third attempt to take the train to Corrour for a day walk at Loch Ossian.  Did we get there this time?   Yes!  Did we get back?   Yes!  Did we have a good day?   Yes .. we had an excellent day!!

I took the train all the way from Glasgow and the others joined at Crianlarich. The weather was dry at the start of the journey then changed to overcast and drizzly. A bit of blue sky appeared just before Corrour and when we stepped onto the platform we were bathed in warm sunshine. This set the pattern for the day with warm sunny intervals and cooler overcast spells with some light showers. The '2 aitches', Heidi and Hilary, opted for a clockwise walk around Loch Ossian and the remaining 5 .. Steven, Jean, Tom, Michael and myself set our sights on the iconic Beinn na Lap. After checking the club archives, I found this would be my first ascent of the hill for 12 years. Where does the time go?

We all set off on the track towards the hostel, hung a left at the first junction and at the next junction the '2 aitches' continued straight on for their walk around the loch and the hill group took another left to gain some height before leaving the track to ascend the hill by the SW shoulder. With a gentle breeze behind us, we made steady progress to the summit despite making frequent stops to admire the views. At the summit the wind was stronger and colder and we ate our pieces in the lee of the cairn while we tried to identify the surrounding hills. We managed to pick out Schiehallion, Ben Alder, Creag Meagaidh, Ben Nevis, some Glencoe hills and the Ben Lawers group.

At Corrour Station  Ascending Beinn na Lap  On the summit of Beinn na Lap

While at the summit we were joined by 4 others who had cycled along the Road to the Isles from near Rannoch Station to Loch Ossian and then climbed the hill. They thought it was too cold to hang about so headed back down. A few minutes later one of them came back. It turned out she had lost a bag with cycling lights and a pump, valued about £200 in total. She looked around but did not find it and set off down the hill again looking about as she went.

Then Tom found the bag near the summit lochan but no amount of shouting or blowing emergency whistles could attract the owner's attention. In fairness, we were shouting against the wind. So I set off after her and 10 minutes later managed to make contact. My knees took days to recover! Tom caught up with us and handed over the valuable bag to a grateful owner.

The rest of the descent was less eventful. We followed the direct path back to the track where we met 4 other climbers who were just starting their ascent having already climbed the 2 Munros on the other side of Loch Ossian and they also intended to catch the evening train – which they did. We arrived back at Corrour to find the '2 aitches' relaxing in the restaurant having had an enjoyable walk round the loch. Their only hitch was that Hilary had lost her phone en route, but had managed to find it after back tracking to their previous stopping point.

Loch Ossian  Around Loch Ossian  Catching the train home

After some good grub in the restaurant the train arrived on time for the return journey. The others transferred from train to cars at Crianlarich and I continued my journey home on the train. An excellent day out but will it take us another 3 attempts to make a second visit?

Willie Robison

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