After travelling down the long, long road by Loch Arkaig, Ruth, Ali and I set off with our huge packs to Upper Glendessarry. Can you guess whose pack was the heaviest? We set-up camp at Upper Glendessarry and after lunch started along the track to Carn Mor. Our route took us up onto Meall nan Spardan, round to Carn Mor then down onto Drum a Choire Odhair, returning to camp at 8.30 pm to find Tansy and a note from the Glendessarry estate asking us to move to A Chuil Bothy. Feeling tired and hungry we packed up camp and move. The ground round A Chuil, is so boggy we struggled to find a dry patch of ground. Base camp was re-established, food cooked and Tansy shared her gin ‘n’ tonic.
Saturday morning Tansy set off on her bike earlier to meet Robert and climb Sgurr Mor. Following our late night relocation, we took a stroll back to Upper Glendessarry to see if anyone else was joining the gang. Today’s corbett was Bidean a Chabair, a really spectacular cone shaped mountain, the terrain was deja vu of Ben Aiden, but we have a beautiful clear day with great views.
The route we took was following the ridge up onto Meall an Sroine, Druim Corie nan Laogh and reaching the summit of Bidein a Chabair.
Early evening the rain started as expected and we thanked the Glendessarry estate for moving us the night before as we had the bothy to shelter in.
But the rain still didn’t affect plan A, it seemed to brighten up and the rain eased on Sunday morning and we headed for Sgurr Cos na Breachd-Laoigh as planned. The route was a lovely ridge walk which to us over Druim a Chuirn to start, with nice atmospheric conditions as the clouds and rain came and went, giving us some really nice views until we reached Sgurr Cos na Breachd-Laoigh.
Party No.2 (Tansy & Robert)
24 hours into the wild west
Depositing my wee boy at auntie’s house at 5 on Friday teatime, I made my now familiar dash of freedom west to the hills with great anticipation….The drive up Glen Dessary is like a rollercoaster….but luckily both myself and my car tyres survived intact, and I headed in on my mountain bike up the glen to try to find Susan, Ruth and Ali somewhere in Upper GlenDessary.
The weather was beautiful, it was a lovely cycle in and I found their tents on a lovely grassy plot in front of the cottage at Upper Glendessaary. After pitching my tent, the ladies arrived back from the hill to find a note inside one tent to ask us politely to camp at the bothy across the river…..Exhausted as we all were, the tents were duly taken down and we then negotiated half an hour of bog carrying our kit in the darkening evening to reach the bothy where we found a wet dark site to make home for the night. Luckily it was a beautiful clear starry night so spirits were not dampened…and I soon had my one camping luxury of a premixed G+T to hand.
After the usual dreadful night’s sleep I awoke to a fantastic clear morning with long views up the glen which made the effort of camping up the glen more than worthwhile. I was up early as I had arranged to cycle back to meet Robert to walk Sgurr Mor.
After a hard cycle back to the road end and then out again to the lodge, I met Robert at 830 as agreed, but was fairly well warmed up to say the Least ! We headed up to the endless bealach and over into the wonderfully remote Glen Kingie. The river crossing out the way, and not one slip, we did a quick ‘high 5’ to celebrate dry feet then headed up the steep slope to the bealcah between Sgurr Mor and the neighbouring Corbett Sgurr an Fhuarain. Making good progress, we continued to the summit up into the midday drizzle for a quick snap then down to shelter for lunch with excellent views north towards Loch Quoich.
Feeling pleased with our time – it was still only 12 – we took in the Corbett too which was a relaxing and pleasant stroll along the ridge north. And well worth the effort.
Back down the steep slopes we headed and across the river and up to the bealach again…only this time for some reason the bealach seems to have lengthened at least threefold as we endlessly trudged across it, eventually reaching the quick slope down to the lodge.
The weather had stayed off and we had enjoyed a rewarding and fairly speedy outing – another fantastic day on the hill.
This was where I selfishly mounted my bike and luxuriated in the downhill ride back to the car and home, leaving Robert to his campsite near the loch and the next day’s outing.
And I was even home in time for the Eurovision Song Contest !