Scotland

Present: Claire (organiser), Alan, Keyna, James, Martin B, Dave W, Si Kirby

Location: Corrour Estate, Loch Ossian, near Rannoch Moor, Scotland

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For Martin and Dave the adventure started Thursday evening on the Caledonian Sleeper from Euston all the way through to Corrour, arriving Friday morning. Whilst they enjoyed some fine weather climbing Beinn a Bhric and Leum Uilleim (909m), the rest of us had an early morning start from Southampton Airport. At Glasgow, time was tight as we rushed from the airport to Queen Street Station and a visit to Sainsburys to buy the supplies for the weekend. The check out lady was bemused by the amount of food and alcohol -“it’s just 3 days you’re going for?” she asked.

After a 3 hour relaxing train ride to Corrour we all met up at this isolated railway station and had our gear and food collected by a truck, whilst we made the 1½ hour trek to the other end of Loch Ossian and our accommodation in the estate “village”. We were staying in the Chapel, done up in the style of a 1950’s ski cabin with the walls papered in newspapers from the 1950’s. The highlight was the 2 big tin baths! Certainly one of the best places the club has stayed, we all loved it, and it made up for the lack of snow.

As forecast, the weather turned wet and cloudy, but not to be deterred, we set off on Saturday morning for some munro climbing. As all the snow had melted in the last couple of week’s mild “spring” weather, this meant very wet and boggy conditions under foot. After climbing Carn Dearg (941m) (where Martin found a bit of snow to use his ice axe on), Sgor Gaibhre (955m) and Sgor Choinnich (929m) the wet and windy weather got the better of us, and as we all now had wet pants/knickers from the persistent wind and rain it was time to turn back to our warm welcoming cabin to try out the tin baths. The boys had hoped to watch the rugby on the 60’’ TV in the community centre, but alas it was not connected to a TV signal and was for DVD use only! A few more boxes of wine were consumed accompanied by Martin’s delicious chilli made with Corrour Estate venison.

The weather was not any better on Sunday, so it was just one munro today, Beinn na Lap (935m) but also involving several miles of valley walking below the cloud line. Another evening of fine food (Chorizo pasta by James), wine & whisky by the log fire was enjoyed by all.

On Monday, it was the walk out back to Corrour station (again in the drizzle), this time carrying all our gear (though we had managed to consume all the food and alcohol taken in). A little bit of apprehension at the station “what if the train doesn’t stop, we’ll be stranded here”, but despite the speed the train appeared to be doing it did pull up and let us board.

A brilliant weekend in this magical place – hopefully next time we’ll get the snow too!

Claire White (words & pics)

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