The 9.15 from Euston reaches this bit of wildness almost 12 hours later.
The miracle at Corrour is that the train doesn't sink beneath the bogs, but seems to float between here and Rannock in some of the wildest land in Scotland.
Me I don't float on the bogs and within 100m of the station I was floundering waist deep in the myre. Thank you to the other passenger alighting from the 9.15 from Euston who gave a helping tug on my rucksack to get me back to the path.
|Passing the end of Loch Treig|
The two of us negotiated lots of water on the ground and in the air passing the end of Loch Treig to the bothy at Lairrig Laadach. For me this was to be the start of the Grey Corries traverse. My fell-running companion from Sheffield was off in the opposite direction.
Sometimes the wind is so high and noisey that it is difficult to stand or think. So it was on the ridge to Stob Choire na Ceannain that afternoon and I I withdrew to the valley and in the evening light swarmed up a good looking nearby top called Sgurr Innse.
|Sgurr Innse with Lairrig Laadach bothy in foreground|
|Lairrig Laadach with munro Stob Ban behind|
|Munro Stob Ban|
Meanach was recommended by the fell-runner from Sheffield. He failed to mention that it is surrounded by rivers without any bridges. Nevertheless a comparatively comfortable stopover with Billy the dog and 2 companions from Huddesfield. A 2 roomer one with a wooden floor the other in stone but no sleeping platforms. I could imagine skiing out here in winter with a bit of wood for the fire to make a cosy stop, but this is pure fantasy - I don't know how the weather is in winter and skis work well on snow but not so useful for crossing rivers.
|Meanach bothy - centre across the river and to left from 3 trees and the shell of a lodge|
|The ridge up to Sgurr Eilde Mor|
|A steep path drops from the summit of Sgur Eilde Mor|
A fine narrow path zig-zagged up the middle of the steep amphitheatre to reach the ridge just to the west of Sgur Eilde Beag. Now in bright sun the views are stunning and the ridge eastwards reaches Binnean Mor. Unfortunately a little late in the day to extend over more tops even though they beckon in two directions.
|Ridge to Binnean Mor|
I dropped down off the north west end of the top to a valley mad with the cries of the deer. From on high I could see a flat piece of land in the bend of a river.
|Summit of Binnean Mor with camping spot in distant bottom lh corner and Ben Nevis touching the cloud above|
|A pitch surrounded by deer|
A pathless valley in the Mamores with several flocks of deer on both sides and competing stags calling. Is this the season? I don't know. But could be an idyllic pitch in dry weather.
Wind and rain makes the Laser Comp feel small. This is my first trip with it since I got a Trailstar tarp a year ago. The Trailstar is a bit large - in the UK mountains there are not so many large level and dry pitches. With the Laser Competition there is not quite room to arrange everything tidily undercover and I find that when I sit up in the night my head sweeps across the surface of the inner picking up lots of condensation.
This spot is just below the ridge which starts or ends the Ring of Steal. I scattered the deer as I moved upwards in the morning. Up into the cloud. And drizzle. One peak follows another round eventually to Sgurr a' Mhaim. I can imagine that this is one of the best walks in the UK. A 10 out of 10. In the mist this becomes just another walk.
|Ring of Steal in the mist|
The Glen Nevis Hostel is a homely place but in a inconvenient position. Except for Ben Nevis, that is, because the main path up starts just across the road. Transport links arrive at Fort William however, a few miles to the North; and the interesting hill area is accessed from a few miles in the opposite direction.
|An hour on the tarmac to reach Achriabhach & the path to the hills|
The ridge round to Stob Ban was more of the same, with just two couples appearing out of the mist as they traversed in the opposite direction. I planned to camp if the weather improved, but this ambition was quashed well before arriving at the top of Stob Ban where the cloud lifted slightly to reveal the landscape below – including the east ridge route down, some of the impressive crags on the NE face, and the stalkers path leading back down to Achriabhach on the road.
As on the previous evening I had walked most of the way along the road to the hostel before someone responded to my request for a lift.
My final day arrived. With low cloud and rain. This time I kept to the valley. I left my camping gear in a bin-bag at the hostel and tramped down the road again, and on to the path to Steal Falls in upper Glen Nevis. Here was a sign pointing to Corrour - the station I had arrived at a few days earlier, just 13 miles away.
|Upper Glen Nevis|
|Glen Nevis beyond the gorge with Mountain Rescue helicopter over Steal Falls|
|Cable bridge to Steal Climbing Hut|
|Afternoon sunshine improves the view|
The timing is fine to explore a little, then return down the path and road to the hostel for an afternoon cup of tea. And to pickup the rest of the gear for the walk down to Fort William and the night train.