September Weekend to Roybridge
8 members attended the September Weekend Trip, staying at the Aite Cruinnichidh bunkhouse near Roy Bridge.
On Friday, Bob and I met at Glen Roy at lunchtime and had an afternoon walk up the Corbett Beinn Iaruinn and then walked along the ridge to the neighbouring Graham Leana Mhor. It was quite a rough walk, ascending steep slopes, as well as having to contend with strong winds higher up. Also, there were no views as the cloud lingered around the 550m mark.
The rest of the group .. Willie, Steven, Hilary, Heidi, Cat and Ally .. travelled up from the central belt and arrived at Roy Bridge during the course of the day.
The theme throughout the weekend was the current staff shortage issues within the hospitality industry and so there were limited opportunities for drinking and eating out within the area as the hotels were operating at a limited capacity. Due to this, we could not drink or eat in the Glenspean Hotel across the road from the bunkhouse, because they had their hands full with servicing a group that were staying at the hotel. On Friday, we had to make do with either a takeaway from, or eating in, at the Roy Bridge Hotel.
On Saturday, Cat and Ally ascended the Creag Meagaidh Munros, with Ally adding the Munro Top Stob Coire Dubh to the day’s itinerary. It was cloudy on the ridge and there were a few rain showers.
Bob and I ascended the two Gleann Eachach Carn Dearg Corbetts in Glen Roy. It was quite a challenging walk with rough wet conditions underfoot. Again, the cloud lingered around the 550 metre mark all day and throughout the day we were treated to a few showers.
Willie, Steven, Heidi and Hilary had plans to tackle all or part of the local Graham Cnap Cruinn .. unfortunately due to the bridge across the Monessie Gorge being closed, they changed their plans and walked to the nearby old church of Cille Choirill, St Cyril. From there the group split into walkers and shoppers. Willie and Steven tackled the other local Graham Creag Dhubh. They fared slightly better weatherwise, having avoided not being clagged in. Hilary and Heidi went on a shopping trip to Fort William and visited the new Highland Soap Café at the site of the former Alcan Social Club.
On Saturday night we had a group meal at the Stronlossit Inn, then headed back to the bunkhouse to help Bob celebrate his 75th Birthday .. with a birthday cake and a couple of drinks.
On Sunday, the weather was still looking the same as the previous days .. Bob attempted the final Carn Dearg Corbett in Glen Roy but turned back near the summit due to strong winds.
Cat and Ally climbed the two Drumochter Munros Geal-charn and A’Mharconaich.
Willie had a walk to Lubvan near Lochan na Earba.
Steven, Heidi and Hilary went for a walk up Glen Roy.
In summary, a very good weekend with a good company and despite the weather being not at its best, a good number of hills were climbed. The bunkhouse was adequate and very comfortable and is recommended as a good base for a smaller group outing in the future. Despite what has happened in the world over the last eighteen months, it was great to have a weekend trip and to meet up again.
September Weekday Walk to Aberfoyle
There were 10, plus 1, who met up at the former David Marshall Lodge above Aberfoyle for a wee jaunt into the Menteith range.
Queuing at the parking ticket machine (£3 for the day) were Gwen, Andy, Diane, Steven, Heidi, Bob, Hamish, Allan, John, and Elena with her dog Gaius .. queuing because the machine was being selective about the pound coins proffered, but eventually every car became properly ticketed.
The low cloud and drizzly rain were predicted to last for most of the day according to Accuweather, so it was on with the waterproofs before heading off. After a short comfort stop at the Lodge, it was onwards and upwards past the Go Ape zip wires and aerial adventure playground .. curiously quiet on a wet day .. marvelling at the spectacular swollen waterfalls and the cloud hugging the trees at lower levels. This route follows good tracks until the top of the forest is reached, then it's real hill climbing for a short steep ascent to the former transmitter site .. which has just been fitted in the last month with what looks like a BT relay station.
Here, the low hanging cloud was easily seen, particularly in the valley below Aberfoyle. After a sandwich break, it was downwards .. once again on good forest tracks .. towards the Braeval end of the Aberfoyle Golf Course, with return to the Lodge along the Rob Roy Way. Just at the end of the Golf Course, we spotted a sign quite low down, and maybe left from the previous weekend .. just as well we were going in the opposite direction ..!
And, of course, as we arrived back at the cars the sun made its appearance! Refreshments were enjoyed at our old favourite the Faerie Tree Inn in Aberfoyle, before returning home.
No GPS data I'm afraid .. I forgot to switch it on at the start. But the estimate is 8km (5miles) with 310m ascent, and done in 2 hours 45 min.