Pictures and Reports from Recent Walks
Here are some comments and images from some of our recent walks. Not surprisingly, those outings favoured by sunshine and spectacular scenery are better represented here. (Of course, the sun always shines on Club outings - it is just that some people don't notice it.)
This page contains reports and pictures for 2012 walks only. Older walks can be found here.
Sunday 16th December 2012 - Buchaille Etive Mor
Eight people, including two visitors, turned up for the walk. There were several options on the programme but the summits were shrouded in cloud and there was definitely snow on high so we opted to follow the new path from the Lairig Gartain to the coll on the ridge.
Following overnight rain the river was in spate, but we managed to cross dry shod despite the icy boulders. The new path was great until it disappeared under the wet snow. The view also disappeared and the rain started. It was just a shower and we continued up into the coire but the going was very slow. It was surprisingly warm and the snow was melting fast. Ken and John were keen to do Stob na Broige first but as the visibility was so bad we decided to keep together and turned left onto the summit ridge. It was easier under foot but we had to pay attention to the navigation. Surprising how much that ridge twists and turns! Several tracks in the snow had us guessing as to the wild life up there- hare, fox, deer…
Eventually the cairn, marking the top of Coire na Tulaich, appeared out of the mist but no-one had the energy left to go on to Stob Dearg. We took a bearing and headed down into Coire Cloiche Finne, disturbing a hare as we went. As usual, the mist then thinned and lifted and we could see down to Glen Etive and back up to the ridge. A coffee in Glencoe and we all headed home for a well earned rest.
Sunday 2nd December 2012 - Sgurr Ghiubhsachain and Sgorr Craobh a'Chaorainn
A very cold day with a light high cloud cover filtering the low winter sun, and almost windless. The walk in to Guesachan along the track beside Loch Shiel required great care. The track surface was covered in ice and fast progress could be made only on the rough ground on either side. However the cold weather proved to be an advantage on the boggy lower slopes of the northeast ridge of Sgurr Ghiubhsachain. The numerous rocky outcrops, which make this ascent so interesting, bore patches of hard ice. These were easily avoided.
Above the snow-line at about 600m, the icy bits could be detected gingerly underfoot whilst scrambling. The snowpack was stable, a single layer of powder snow, unconsolidated because of the recent sustained cold spell. There was little evidence of wind-slab forming.
Gavin and John pressed on ahead to bag both Corbetts. Roy and I contented ourselves with the main peak and returned via Coire Ghiubhsachain, meeting the faster pair further down. Ron and Gerry had a shorter day, all meeting up in the Moorings at Banavie.
Saturday 24th November 2012 - Stob Coire Easain and Stob a' Choire Mheadhoin
Gavin, myself, Andrew, Martine got the train to Corrour. Ken joined us at Roy Bridge.
We walked along the infamous boggy track from Corrour - thankfully some of the ground was frozen. Then onto to a good track past Loch Treig to Creaguaineach Lodge where we enjoyed a welcome food stop. It was then over a delicate bridge across the river at OS296701 and up a fairly steep route to Stob Coire Easain . The lower part of the route was bathed in sunshine which was mingled with snow higher up. The final ridge which felt like it was going on forever was covered in soft snow and the cloud was quite down.
On to Stob a' Choire Mheadhoin which was a soft snowy route and deep in places. Here Gavin and Suzanne veered off in an easterly direction and the others were also eastwards but on a lower line. They came down the nose of Meall Cian Dearg. Gavin and Suzanne contoured around Stob a' Choire Mheadhoin.
Gerry was our taxi service at Fesit and ferried us to the Stronlossit at Roy Bridge for welcome refreshments.
Sunday 18th November 2012 - Mam na Gualainn and Beinn na Caillich
The programmed walk was at Mallaig but the forecast was not good, so some local hills were done instead.
A visitor, Sam Black, joined John Forbes and Andrew. Despite the forecast the weather was quite good until later in the day. Extensive views out to Schiehallion from the ridge and snow lying above 500m. Worth going out.
Saturday 10th November 2012 - A' Chailleach and Carn Sgulain Hill
Gavin and Suzanne, Ken and Liz set off for Newtonmore - we expected to meet a visitor, but in the end he was not able to make it.
With the water level well up we decided to avoid the river crossing at Dalballoch on the programme route and instead tackle A' Chailleach and Carn Sgulain. After a steep climb up Creag na h-lolare the gradients became easier as we followed on to Geal Charn and then the first Munro summit of A' Chailleach. The weather was a bit driech and the ground very boggy in places - but there was some snow on the tops and occasional good views, particularly on the lower ground. More boggy ground to cross to reach the summit of Carn Sgulain and then the very pleasant walk out along the path beside Allt Fionndrigh. Of course, this route was not nearly enough for Gavin and he took off to do several additional summits on the way…
Sunday 4th November 2012 - Beinn Mheadhoin, West Kingairloch Horseshoe, Morvern
The forecast was good - but unfortunately, it was not accurate. Andrew and Gerry, Martine, John Forbes and Ken met in the drizzle at the Corran ferry and travelled round to Kingairloch. The drizzle turned to rain then heavy snow (huge snowflakes) as we headed up the Meall an Doire Dhuich ridge. A strange orange flashing light emerging from the mist signalled the start of Glensanda Quarry. We had good views over the huge quarry as the mist swirled around and about. The snow became deeper as we continued along the ridge above the quarry to Beinn Mheadhoin. Here we decided to head back down via the NE ridge, which was a surprisingly delightful descent along a steep and narrow ridge with lots of snow. The weather eased as we headed back down to the cars.
And then there is the strange story of the mystery dogs. At Glensanda we were confronted by a pack of 5 barking and very boisterous dogs - could these be guard dogs for the quarry - it seemed unlikely as they looked more like stalking gun dogs. Then 3 of these dogs proceeded to follow us all the way along the top and down the steep ridge mentioned above but eventually they left us to answer the calls of a handler on the other side of the valley. He made his way down with now 10 dogs in tow, loaded them into a trailer and drove off. So, we never did find out exactly what was going on.
Saturday 27th October 2012 - Ledge Route (Ben Nevis)
Luckily the good weather held out just long enough for us to complete the ascent of Ledge Route in fine clear weather. John Forbes, Wesley, Ken and Pete (Ken's son-in-law) left from the North Face car park and made our way to the CIC hut to survey the route.
We set off towards the lochans in Coire na Ciste then across No. 5 gully to the prominent rock pinnacle with fine views over the whole of the North Face and out over Loch Lochy and the River Lochy. From here the scramble really commenced as we moved over rock well marked with crampon scrapes to emerge at the summit of Carn Dearg.
Time for another brew before joining the "hoards" on the tourist track to the summit of the Ben. By now the weather had closed in and it was cold, misty, snowing and icy underfoot - much more treacherous than the rock scramble - and sadly, a dog had just disappeared over the cliffs as we approached the summit.
The route down was straightforward and we arrived back at the cars just before 4pm. Time for a pint at the Achintee and some reflection on a fine day out before heading home.
Sunday 21st October 2012 - Bidean nam Bian
A dry day forecast with little wind - sounded perfect. Ron, Andrew, Gerry and a guest John Forbes, from Oban, set off up the coire towards our first peak Stob coire nan Lochan. Sadly Ron was under the weather and retired early for an easier day.
We saw several deer on the ridge and as we approached the coire, a herd of about 30 appeared, leaving their shelter and ambling off to join the others. We were obviously the first walkers of the day. We made good time to our first peak and with mist and sunshine around we had fleeting glimpses of brockenspectres. On the ridge over to Bidean we met another walker, the only one we saw all day. It was very quiet. Since Ron had taken his car, we decided to head for Stob Coire nam Beith and down to the Clachaig, anticipating a long walk back to our cars at Glencoe.
A refreshing coffee, and just as we left, a rejuvenated Ron appeared saving us the last three miles of the day.
Saturday 13th October 2012 - Sgorr an Tarmaichan
Gavin and Suzanne, Andrew and Gerry and Ken and Liz headed over the Corran Narrows to Ardgour in unsettled weather. From Kinlochan, the walk in along Glen Hurich was through pleasant woodland and we arrived at a significant ford at the end of the main track. With some glimpses of sunshine we made the decision to continue the walk as planned. Gavin and Andrew managed to leap the stream higher up with "more or less" dry feet but the rest of us took boots off to wade the ford. Of course, having decided to continue the weather soon started to close in to heavy drizzle and then rain. A game of navigation by numbers along the ridge then commenced - 575, 607, 701, 714 and 756 - were all summited. At the large cairn on 756 we decided for a straight descent back to the glen. This was fine until another game of "over this one", "under that one" etc. was required to navigate the fallen trees in the lower forest - but in the end we made it back to the track.
So, all in all, a long but very pleasant day out.
Sunday 7th October 2012 - Beinn a'Bhuiridh
Five of us - Andrew, Gerry, Norman (confessed Corbett bagger), a visitor from Tarbet on Loch Fyne and Ron - met at the end of the track with the day's hill looming large over us for once. We followed the track into Coire Ghlais. There is a lot of work going on here in preparation for several small hydro schemes but we soon left that behind us. The route up the headwall of the coire becomes very steep and some of us, at least, admitted we were glad of a rest at the Larig Torran. Impressive to think that Robert the Bruce brought his army this way and they were wearing steel jackets not Paramo - they were hard men those days!
There is then a steep slope, covered in loose rock, up to the summit plateau. Not pleasant at all but we all made it safely. The views, especially over Loch Awe, were impressive.
We descended by the E ridge over the Monadh Driseag - a much less strenuous route.
We saw two ptarmigan near the summit and heard stags roaring, on and off, all day. Very appropriate as Beinn a'Bhuiridh means the hill of roaring. So that at least has not changed since the days when the hills got their names.
Sunday 23rd September 2012 - Another Kingairloch Circuit
Only three people (Andrew, Gerry and Ron) met at the Corran Ferry. The forecast was for a reasonable day with a bit of wind later on and so it proved. Two local Corbetts seemed about right.
At Kingairloch, we had the usual discussion about where to go. As usual, Andrew got his way - straight up ! We climbed up beside a stony gully next to a plantation. Extremely steep and covered in bracken and brambles. The only good point was that the brambles were just ready and made an excellent second breakfast! Everything comes to an end, however, and we emerged onto the open hill which led to the summit of Beinn na Cille. This very fine hill is only 652m so is not even a Corbett. From there it is an easy stroll to the first Corbett - Fuar Bheinn, which means the cold hill and it certainly was today as the wind was increasing by now.
A gentle descent and the second Corbett (Creach Bheinn) loomed large in front of us. However, our eyes were drawn to a broad grassy ridge, with the sun shining on it, which reached out to the west. Change of plan ! We turned left and crossed the Bealach a Mhonmhuir, then followed the ridge all the way round Coire Ghardail. Very pleasant walking on dry springy turf - quite unusual for Ardgour. Some easy scrambling on granite outcrops (avoidable!). There were lots of deer here - one herd must have been well over 50. We then dropped down to the public road and followed this back to Kingairloch.
Saturday 15th September 2012 - The Cobbler
The forecast was for better weather south and east and for once we went the right way. Three of us met at Arrochar to climb "the Cobbler" - a corbett with a tricky summit. A good path led up through the trees and on to the open hillside. The wind was chilly but it was dry and cloud just brushing the tops. We were not alone, as this is a very popular hill not far from Glasgow. A brief coffee at the Narnairn boulders and then steeply up to the summit ridge. The cloud had lifted and we could see the infamous central peak ahead. Andrew and Norman disappeared through the hole as I waited with both cameras. They were greeted by spontaneous applause from other walkers when they appeared on top. Well done Norman -another tick.
The hill soon became crowded as a party of 50 or so Edinburgh students arrived. We headed over to the North peak and down to the bealach. Another good day which a lot of members missed.
Sunday 9th September 2012 - The Saddle
Only five members (Stewart, Lydia, Andrew, Gerry and Ron) turned up at the Spean Bridge car park. The forecast was a bit windy for scrambling up an exposed ridge but we decided to go and have a look at it.
It is a long slog up to the Forcan Ridge and, as forecast, we got blasted as soon as we got above the bealach. The other four decided to do some exploring and went off up the corrie on the W of the Forcan while I decided to do my own thing and continued by the old wall on the E of the ridge. We all met up at the little summit. A surprising number of people were crowded on the crag and regaled us with tales of the wind on the ridge !
We descended by the usual route as the rain blew in around 2pm. Coffee in the Cluanie Inn.
Sunday 26th August 2012 - Stob Dubh
Seven people turned up for the hike, six members (Alan, Andrew, Cris, Kevin, Norman and Susan) and one potential member (Lorna). We decided to go straight for the top of Stob Dubh. This was a steep, unrelenting way up. A few breathers were needed which we used to admire the view along Loch Etive. Once on the top a undulating ridge led us to Beinn Ceitlein. A descent to Alltchaorunn house was enlivened by the ascent of point 494 which is a steep rocky knoll with views straight down to the valley. Though the clouds threatened rain, the day was dry. Drinks were had in the Kingshouse Hotel, from where we went our disparate ways.
Sunday 12th August 2012 - Ben Chabhair
Ten people turned up, seven members (Alan, Andrew, Gerry, John, Mary, Ron and Susan), one prospective new member (Laura) and two visitors (Nuala and Sinead). It was a dry day but the views were too murky to call it a great day but I think everybody had a good time. From Inverarnan we followed the 'standard' way up Ben Chabhair where we were entertained by a raven begging for food. We then varied the return by going over a few bumps to get to Lochan a'Chaisteil. A steep descant led us to the ice-cream shop at the campsite and then to the Drovers Arms.
Saturday 4th August 2012 - Fraochaidh
Eight members turned out for the ascent of the Corbett, Fraochaidh which was climbed from Achindaroch, near Duror. This ascent is not recommended in the SMC Corbetts Guidebook, but Nevis walkers are made of strong stuff ! In fact after a 2k forest road, once across the footbridge the climb up through the forest was a dawdle - Andrew knew where the rough path was, and locating it was easy enough with recent adjacent timber felling. Out on to the hill and in glorious weather conditions we all made our way to the summit at varying speeds depending on the need to soak up the incredible views especially to the West. At the summit we enjoyed naming the far distant hills, as far as Rum, Islay, Jura and beyond.
Whilst thundery showers were forecast we only had a brief downpour on the way down, and were all dry again by the time we returned to the vehicles. Meantime, Gavin had taken off in a south-westerly direction to make a more extended walk. Then it was on to Martine's nearby home in Duror, to be joined by Ken and Roy who had been unable to walk with us, and just as we all arrived so did Gavin, on foot ,from his far-flung tops.
The barbecue which followed, ably hosted by Martine and Alan, was quite simply one of the best in the Club's history. The food was excellent, the sun shone warmly, and the conversation flowed. One of the best days in a long time !
8 people set off to do Fraichaidh in wonderful hot and sunny weather with lovely clear skies. We took the track nearest to the River Duror where we had wonderful views of our hill and decided it looked very good to go up. After two km we came to a footbridge grid ref. NN017537 over the River Duror and noticed how low the water was. We then went west up a path and then came to an area which had recently been felled. To the left of the felled area, is a path which takes you fairly steepy along the edge of quite rough going forest and is marked by red arrows.
It was then on to fairly steep open hillside for about 300 metres. We then went south on the ridge past the lochan where red throated divers were spotted. We then followed the ridge to the summit and here the route was far less steep. We were greeted by small wee beasties at the top. We returned by the same route and on our return had a sharp heavy shower which lasted for about 10 minutes and then evened out to light rain. By the time we got to our route through the forest; all rain had stopped and we were in bright sunlight.
It was then on to Martine’s house for an amazing barbecue, good weather and no midges. Some more people joined us for the evening.
Saturday 21st July 2012 - Ben Lui and Beinn a'Chleibh
Andrew, Gerry, Gavin, Liz and Ken were out on Saturday for this walk. We decided to investigate the bridge over the River Lochy and after some searching, found a reasonable path down to this from a convenient lay-by on the road. We crossed the bridge and the railway line and then had a rough walk through forest plantation to open ground. From here we headed through a steep lush meadow with an abundance of wild flowers - all skillfully identified by Gerry and Gavin - to the west ridge of Beinn a'Chleibh and on to the summit. The weather was reasonable, though not as good as we had anticipated from the forecast - but no rain. From a'Chleibh we followed the well trodden path to Ben Lui. There were quite a number of other walkers around in this area. We had great views of Corrie Gaothach, the River Cononish and the new gold mine area. From Ben Lui we backtracked to the bealach and down to the forest and the boggy path beside the stream to the forest road (not shown on the map) and west again to the bridge.
Gavin had left us on the summit to do several more peaks and he arrived back at Tyndrum sometime later and made his own way back to Fort William.
Wednesday 18th July 2012 - Glen Nevis - Club Social Evening
7pm start time saw seven people meet up at the Ben Nevis Woollen Mill car park. We then divided up into cars and set off along Glen Nevis to a wooden bridge over River Nevis (our height at this stage was 100 metres - grid reference 159684). The water was in fine foaming form.
We went along the river bank upstream and then onto a boggy path. The rain was coming down in a moderate fashion and there were the 'wee small beasties' namely midges to cope with. The aim at this stage was to search for Samuel's cave - time was getting short; so the cave was left for another day. Onwards and upwards fairly steeply along a metal fence line and through trees to a height of 270 metres. Then down and along the river bank to Steall water wire bridge.
The return upper path route was abandoned as time again was getting short so a pleasant walk was enjoyed through the gorge. On to well-deserved refreshments at the Ben Nevis Inn where four more people joined us.
Sunday 15th July 2012 - Streap
The weather forecast was for it to be wet and windy. And so it turned out. Four braved the elements, Andrew, Gerry, Norman and me. We left the estate road in Glen Finnan to cross the river by the bridge into the forest, leaving it almost immediately, to follow the Allt anTuim. After battling through the wet grass and heather, we discovered that we could have just stayed on the forest track to end up at the same place. Shortly after, we left the track to climb on to the ridge heading for Beinn an Tuim. On the ridge, the weather was atrocious--heavy rain and strong winds. Approaching Beinn an Tuim, we entered the mist, but decided that the wind was too strong to carry on (it would have been even stronger higher up). So we then thought that we would do a circular return to Gerry's car that had been left at the foot of Gleann Dubh Lighe. This involved contouring round east to the ridge below Beinn an Tuim, over lots of humps and bumps, and then descending to the telecom mast via Lochan na Carnaich. At the mast, we took a break, and discovered a foot-path (the badger trail) going along the edge of the forest. This we followed to a view point, and it did have glorious views. But the path petered out here, so we just took the forestry track back to the car. The shortened day was finished off in the Glenfinnan House Hotel. So yet again, the weather stopped our third or fourth (?) attempt to climb Streap. It's such a wonderful hill that it will almost certainly appear on the programme again shortly--let's hope for better luck next time.
Saturday 7th July 2012 - Beinn Sgulaird
On a day that was almost ideal for hillwalking--bright, but no sun, enough wind to keep the midges away (although it was fairly breezy on the top), and no rain--a new route was chosen. This invoved leaving the track in Glen Ure earlier than planned, to go up a gully leading to the lochan below Stob Gaibhre. It turned out to be steep but OK. Then it was over to the other side of the corrie below Beinn Sgulaird, to do a clock-wise circuit of the corrie taking in the summit on the way. This meant a little easy scrambling on the way to the cairn. The views were extensive for 360 degrees, with the cloud just touching Ben Starav and Beinn Bheithir. Then it was back down steeply to the lochan. Here it was decided to try another way down--to take a different gully to the track. There are some crags marked on the map towards the bottom of the gully, and these proved tricky. Being in sight of and only about 200 metres from the track, it was slightly annoying. But after some manoevering around and then climbing back up a short distance, a route down to the track and home was found.
Sunday 1st July 2012 - Ben Lawers
Andrew, Gerry, Ken and Liz drove through Glencoe in increasing sunshine heading for Killin. The walk started from the NT car park - no visitors centre any more - up the good path to Beinn Glas and Ben Lawers. The lush green grass covering the hills and valleys hereabouts contrasted sharply with the craggy outcrops we are more accustomed to in the West. Beinn Glas summit was just in the mist, but from thereon conditions deteriorated rapidly with heavy rain and surprising cold (for July) . We continued to Ben Lawers, but given the conditions, the decision not to go any further was easily made. We returned via the pleasant lower level track to traverse below Beinn Glas and return to the car park.
The sun was out again now so we have a pleasant cuppa in Killin and a enjoyed the glorious Fall of Dochart before returning home.
Saturday 23rd June 2012 - Glen Nevis
The weather was poor on this day so Mary and I gave it a miss but we decided that at the next bit of fine weather we would go out. We went on the Mamores and on the way down we came to the wire bridge at Steall Hut. I'd often looked at the map and noticed the cave marked lower down Glen Nevis. I'd never been there and couldn't remember anybody else saying that they'd been. I knew it was opposite the upper carpark and at about the same altitude. This looked a good opportunity to find it. First of all we had to descend Glen Nevis on the 'wrong' side of the river. This was easier than I expected. There was a path most of the way. First it followed the river and when the gorge started it zigzagged uphill before going over smooth rock slabs to a glorious viewpoint. Luckily the trees haven't yet smothered this area and the view up Glen Nevis and of Steall waterfall is stunning. The way wasn't obvious now but by following the wear marks in the grass and, whenever that failed, keeping near a broken-down fence we made our way to the flats below the gorge. Now we had to find the cave. We could see the waterslide above the carpark and when we were close to that we aimed up. There was a big rockface above us and we got to the bottom of that. Then a path went leftwards and then back rightwards to bring us out by the cave halfway up on the leftside of the rockface. If anyone wants to go there, its OSGR is NN 16801 68835. The cave is formed by a massive block coming to rest with a massive hole behind it. A step down led to a big chamber and then a dirty step down led to a equally big chamber. Samuel's Cave is well worth the effort.
Saturday 23rd June 2012 - Ben Ledi
As expected the weather was pretty grim, so it was with no surprise that only three members turned up. John B, Ian and myself met in Tyndrum.
The start of the walk was wet but quite pleasant and we were overjoyed when half way to the summit of Ben Ledi the clouds cleared away, but only for a few minutes .A small dog wearing a very unusual waterproof outfit didn't seem to be bother by the climatic conditions.Then the weather turned bad and we were lucky to find a sheltered spot below the summit for a quick break and also to put on a few more layers. None of us was going to Ben Vane, so from Ben Ledi we descended into Stank Glen avoiding Lochan nan Corp. On the way back through the forest we walked amongst many wind blown trees and needless to say that the waterfalls were at their best.
Coffee break was at the Strathyre Inn and back to Tyndrum where we parted. Then I realised I had left my car key in Ian's car: quite inconvenient.
Saturday 9th June 2012 - Carn Dearg and Sgor Gaibre (Loch Ossian)
Four of us stepped of the train at Corrour Halt having set of from Bridge of Orchy on the scheduled 10:46 train which was running about 8 min late, this was cutting in to our 7hr window we were allowing ourselves ( including tea breaks ) . Sarah had suggested geting the later 10:46 train in order to save hanging around at the end in the possible rain or midges, the return train was at 6:25 and the Cafe at the station is still closed. Just as well as the 8:14 from Bridge of Orchy did not turn up anyway due to a problem with the previous sleeper train.
Luck stayed with us when the M.W.I.S. forcast was wrong giving a 30 percent chance of cloud free Munros the previous evening with 10 percent in the morning, we set of up the track from the station with beautiful cloud free munros in every direction and a nice gentle breeze. After about a kilometer just south of the Hostel we struck of to the right following the track to Peters Rock after which a faint track on the north side of the Allt a Choire led almost to the col before disappearing.
On reaching the Col we realised we were making good time and turned south to reach the summit cairn of Carn Dearg exactly on predicted time . We headed down the broken ridge to the wide col then climbed easily to Sgor Gaibhre . No one really wanted to go to the minor top of Sgor Choinnich and preferd to have the extra time to enjoy the relaxed walk back along the South side of Loch Ossian . After skirting round the west flank of the top we dropped easly and crossed the Dam . A Bullfinch kept us company for a short streach of the track hoping fom branch to branch. Halfway along the Loch we stopped at a lovely spot for a final cuppa , unfortunatly the midges only allowed us 10 minutes before decending in droves so we headed for the Station. A great day out in good company
Sunday 3rd June 2012 - Beinn Udlaidh and Beinn Bhreac-liath
Two members turned up: Gerry and Martine.
A great day we had with clear views but with a wind chill we didn't expect. Gerry had done this walk before so we decided to climb Beinn Bhreac-liath first. The whole circuit was pretty straightforward. At the summit of Beinn Udlaidh, what used to be a mast is now a mass of cables and metal lying near the cairn, it's certainly not a pretty sight; we were curious enough to find out if there was some copper in the cables but that was not the day to become rich so instead we commented on the eventual Gold mine above Tyndrum. Our descent from Beinn Udlaidh was more interesting as we were walking on a very distinct vein of quartz, clearly seen from the main road. As we approached the forestry ground, we reached a newly build track and followed it to the road.
Saturday 26th May 2012 - Sgurr Mor, Glen Kingie
In glorious sunshine Sarah, Anna (Guest) and Ken set off for Sgurr Mor from the somewhat busy parking area at the end of Loch Arkaig. Fortunately there was a good breeze most of the day, which made the conditions hot, but mostly very pleasant. Crossing the river was no problem in these dry conditions and we made good progress up the stalkers' path to Sgurr Beag and on to the summit. Splendid views from the top. Apart from the usual deer we also saw several lizards in the grass and, surprisingly, a fox on the way down. A swift drink at the Aonach Mor Hotel rounded off a long, but very pleasant day.
Weekend 18th to 20 th May 2012 - Barisdale
On Friday Les, Ralph and Jimmy and I drove to KinlochHourn. The road gets narrower, steeper and twistier, until we eventually reached the car park. We headed off along the path about half past three in good spirits despite the heavy packs. Spirits were not dampened by the first climb, although there turned out to be a lot more ascent than we had assumed. 630m in total according to my GPS! However we made good time (3hours 10), and were on the last descent to the bay when we were met by Liz and Ken who had paddled in earlier, pitched their tent, and lit the fire in the Stable "bothy". The accommodation is well set up with a fire and reclining leather couches, kitchen area with gas oven and a fridge, and a bathroom.
On Saturday morning we woke early and, after a debate on which route to take, headed off at about 9am. The route we had settled on followed a stalkers path round the bay and into Coire Dhorrcail. The bluebells were out, the sun was warm, and the light breeze kept us cool and the midges at bay. We followed the river up to the sheilings and then a slog up to the ridge of Druim a Choire Odhair. Once on the ridge we regrouped and stopped again for refreshments. An eagle soared above us. The views to the north were stunning, with snow covered hills all around, and over to the Skye cuillin in the west. We climbed the ridge each at his own pace, taking care toward the summit which still had patches of late snow, and ice. It took us four hours to get to the summit. After lunch we headed off along the main ladhar bheinn ridge which drops and gains height over several rocky tops. There was still a lot of ascent, and our legs were tired, but we were heading in the right direction for Mam Barrisdale and home. The path continues towards Stob a Chearcaill and then heads east before fizzling out over rough grass south of Stob na Muicraidh. It was a relief to be on the Barrisdale path, and we were back at the bothy about half past five.
On Sunday morning we packed up and headed back to KinlochHourn. Ken and Liz paddled across the loch to climb Ben Sgrithall from Arnisdale before heading home. A wonderful weekend, great company, good accommodation, and a superb walk.
On sunday morning Liz and I paddled across from Barrisdale to Arnisdale. We set off up Beinn Sgritheall from the path near the Post Office, up to the coll then a steep pull up to the East end of the ridge and along to the summit. We considered continuing down the west ridge but didn't fancy the walk back along the road so we retraced our steps to Arnisdale. We then had a lovely paddle in the evening sunshine back to Kinloch Hourn.
Sunday 20th May 2012 - An Stac, Sgurr na Ba Glaise, Rois bheinn
This was one of two Club events this weekend so it was not surprising that only four of us turned up on this fine dry day with a cool breeze. These three hills and the associated ridge of Fiaclach make a splendid walk in spectacular rugged surroundings with grand views of sea, islands and mountains.
We took the clockwise route, which I found arduous compared to ascending the shapely An Stac first. It was two hours before we crested Druim Fiaclach. From there on the broad ridge leads delightfully to the three Corbetts with little variation in altitude. From the first one Ron descended by Coire Bhuiridh and Gerry went direct to An Stac.
Roy and I went on to Rois-Bheinn and descended northwards to the Alisary Burn which we followed down to the road. This was steep all the way and not as easy as it appeared from the map. Roy vaguely remembered using this route before, but I could recall nothing from a previous ascent in foul weather.
Saturday 12th May 2012 - Beinn Trilleachan
After a 23km drive along a single track road which leaves the A82 just west of the Kingshouse Hotel; we arrived near the shores of Loch Etive. The loch was looking rather resplendent as it shimmered in the morning sunlight. Along the glen road, there are many fine looking hills to do.
Our walk took us up besides the forest edge north west to gain the shoulder of the hill. Along this route bluebells, primroses, milkworts, louseworts, wood anemones and tormentils were all spotted. At this point, three group members left us to do some of the grade 3 scramble on Coire Criche slab route. Four remaining members walked on south west to the crest of the ridge to the Corbett top and met the three scramblers. At this stage, one member decided to go off and do Beinn Fhionnlade.
So six explorers carried on and reached the summit cairn. The three scramblers descended the hill down a steep gully on the eastern face of the hill straight down to Loch Etive. The remaining members returned by the ascent route.
We had the sun on our backs on our ascent; met rain/snow flurries at the summit and then it was rain showers for the afternoon. We were thrilled to see quite a few rainbows. It was amusing to have a big coach in front of us for some of our drive back along the glen road.
Three of us went round the back of Trilleachan to find some scrambling. The grade 3 was too wet to attempt but Martene spotted some slabs to the right. This was rough granite and at a easy enough angle to attempt, so we linked some together to get to Trilleachans forepeak where we rejoined the others. On the way back we again split off from the main group and went down the mainly grassy gully between the two tops. This led steeply down to where we could get across to the bottom of the Etive Slabs. I was disappointed that no-one was climbing there today as it looks very impressive. Then it was back to the carpark and meeting the others.
Sunday 6th May 2012 - A Ghlas-bheinn
Forecast was for a cold but mainly dry day with some snow on the hills. Sounded ideal. The walk in from Morvich was longer than I remembered but we reached the bealach in good time, the notorious river crossing posing no problem for once. The air was very clear and we had excellent views eastwards towards Glen Affric and many more remote munros. The good path continued up the ridge to the summit. The sun was warm but the air was still very cold and showers were beginning to form around us. We had a few flakes of snow but otherwise escaped dry compared to other hills nearby. The Torridon peaks to the north were blanketed in snow, contrasting with the black Cuillin ridge on the skyline round to the west. A tremendous view. We headed down to meet the Glomach path where it emerges from the forest. It was a relatively easy descent over very dry grassy ground but it would be a different story after a spell of rain. By the river we were met by several wild goats, complete with serious looking horns, and hundreds of primroses and blue bells. A great day.
Saturday 28th April 2012 - Stob Coire nan Lochan
The forecast could not have been better but only 5 turned out for this classic Glencoe walk. Two of them had not done this route before and we were all looking forward to an interesting day. The west face of Aonach Dubh was in deep shadow as we crossed the burn, climbed up the grassy moraine ridge and followed the path cut into its crest. There was a cold northeast wind but the steep angle kept us working hard and warm. The snow clad peaks above glistened in the morning sunshine.
Further up we arrived at the foot of the rock band. The path here branches right into Number 2 Gully but we all decided to scramble up the rock. It was steep at first but the holds were plentiful on sound rock. A few patches of ice were easily avoided and we were soon in the tiny coire that forms the notch in the skyline as seen from lower Glencoe. Slanting leftwards led us directly to the summit of Aonach Dubh, in warm sunshine, with splendid distant views.
Heading up to the summit of Stob Coire nan Lochan we were into snow, and Bidean nam Bian, viewed across the col, was plastered with rather more than could be seen from the floor of the Glen. Gavin decided to head that way in order to bag some extra summits. The rest of the party headed down the east ridge on to Gearr Aonach and descended its nose on the delightful path, punctuated with interesting short scrambles.
Sunday 22nd April 2012 - Beinn Chaorach, Cam Chreag and Beinn Challum Hill
Two Corbetts and a Munro sounded a tough day but the route round Gleann a' Chlachain looked good on the map.We started at Auchtertyre farm and headed up the grassy slopes to the first Corbett. Sadly, Sue was having problems with her knee and opted to walk on easier ground up the glen with Ian. The remaining five carried on. Nearing the summit we met our first snow and then the cold NE wind. A sheltered hollow made a welcome stop for elevenses then an easy hour later we were on the second Corbett. A long knobbly summit ridge led to some dispute as to which was the actual top. More deep snow patches but all very wet and extensive views all round in the clear air. Next came a drop of over 300m to the bealach followed by a climb of nearly 500m to the Munro. Two of us opted to drop into the glen and take the convenient rough track back to the farm. We soon left the snow behind and once out of the wind it felt more like Spring. Purple saxifrage and anemones were making a brave show. The three who did the Munro made good time and we only had a short wait in the car park. Paddy's bar in Tyndrum then provided the essential coffees at the end of the day.
Sarurday 14th April 2012 - Bla Bheinn
Eight members turned out to traverse this iconic hill. The forecast promised frozen ground down to the glens and minus 4 deg on the summits. However, Bla Bheinn was devoid of snow and we left the winter tools in the cars. It was a lengthy walk in to start up the South Ridge. At 1140 we stopped at its foot for a bite. It was a long while since breakfast for some of us.
There were showers of rain and snow in view near and far but none came our way. We made brisk progress up the ridge, each picking an individual route, as hard or as easy one wished. There was plenty of delightful short scrambles, on sun-drenched warm dry rock. However, the air was cold and wind was brisk at times, reminding one that winter was not long past.
The ridge between the twin summits demands a careful scramble down. This was easier to negotiate going up when we returned to the South Summit. From here we turned southeast for a bone-jarring steep descent over rocky ground and scree to reach the broad plateau of Slat Bheinn. From here it was easy ground southwards to the path leading back to the cars. A splendid day, and a new route for me, both up and down.
Sunday 8th April 2012 - Streap
It wasn't a good forecast for the day so I wasn't that surprised when there were only four of us at the meeting point. We were Alan, Andrew G, Gerry and Mary. None of us were that keen to go up Streap in the rain so we decided on a low-level hike up Glen Dubh Lighe. We went past the burned remains of the bothy. Work has been done to secure the walls and apparently work will be done in the summer to restore it. Andrew studied the evidence from the fire to see if it had been started deliberately. After a break we carried on up and then kept right into the upper valley. We then turned round and retraced our steps to the road. Warming drinks were taken in the Moorings. We were joined by Ron. He had also turned out and followed us up the valley but somehow we hadn't met.
Saturday 31st March 2012 - A'Chralaig and Mullach Fraoch-Choire
Ron, Gerry, myself and Peter (my guest) met Ralph at the start. Despite road works we were early. It's a steep climb up a grassy slope to A'Chralaig, but Gerry found something resembling a path so we made good progress. On the ridge we met Bill and we were all grateful to stop for a cup of tea. Then we headed off, each at his own pace up the ridge to the summit. The showers became snow and the cloud obscured any views. It was cold as we regrouped at the enormous cairn on the summit.
As we continued along the ridge the cloud lifted and the sun came out. The views to the north were amazing, and we stopped to name as many of the surrounding hills as we could. Gerry and Ron decided to head down the east ridge of Stob Coire na Cralaig. Ralph, Peter and myself continued along the ridge to Mullach Fraoch-Choire. We bypassed the pinnacles following a narrow path on the east side of the ridge. Instead of coming back over the pinnacles Ron had advised us that by following the ridge north we could choose a suitable descent further on. We found a grassy slope and descended back to the path and then followed the An Coarann Mor back to the start.
Saturday 17th March 2012 - Gairich
Decent weather was forecast for a change and we were looking forward to a good day, and so it was, even with more precipitation than expected. Plenty of sunshine between the showers though.
This is a grand hill, classically mountain-shaped. In view throughout the approach, it was resplendent in a dusting of snow that highlighted is magnificent northeast facing scoop. Crossing the dam was the only section that was dry underfoot. The path (yes, there is some sort of stalker's path beneath the mud) was worse than ever remembered for over two kilometres before it reached higher and better-drained ground. In contrast, zig-zagging up the steep pyramid of the upper slopes was a delight. Showers of snow came and went, The longest started at the summit and deterred us from going on a much longer return route.
We retraced our steps and headed for the Tomdoun Inn. Finding this closed, we ended up at Letterfinlay Lodge. A satisfying day out. Only six of us though. We need some new locally based members who are not shy of the bracing climate.
Sunday 11th March 2012 - Beinn Resipol
Eight people (Andrew, Gerry, Ken, Liz, Ian, Milena, Ron and Roy) met at the Corran ferry at 8.20 am. For future reference, the first ferry is not until 8.45 on a Sunday so some pain could be saved here! The weather was well-described as "dreich"- one of those light drizzles which gets into everything. However it was not cold and the winds, which had been forecast, did not appear.
We parked up at Scotstoun (2km N of Strontian) and set off along the road and then the old miners' track. This is extremely muddy in places - the likely suspects for making this mess (large sad-eyed cows) eyed us curiously as we sped past. By the time we got to the high point of the track and set off across the bog, we were in the cloud and the visibility was poor. The ground was also confusing - lots of rocky humps and valleys, many of which are not big enough to be marked on the map. Clearly it was going to be a day for serious navigation. When we reached the summmit the weather had changed to proper rain.
The rain eased a little on the way back and we saw some magnificent rainbows. We had a coffee in the Ariundle cafe which, surprisingly, was open. Then it was off to catch the ferry as Ian had to get home before the road was closed at Benderloch due to road works.
Absolutely no views so here are some pictures from an earlier outing to give a taste of what might have been.
Saturday 3rd March 2012 - Altnafeadh to Am Bodach, Glencoe
Some of us did the walk as specified in the programme but some variations were done too. Ten members turned out, in spite of the poor weather forecast. This is a splendid route for views and luckily we had some. The wind was not as strong expected, and there were some dry periods and patches of sun. A pair of Ptarmigan watched us eat our lunch.
Sunday 26th February 2012 - The Two Carn Deargs of Gleann Eachach
The weather was unpromising, with low cloud, drizzle and a wind chill challenging the elevated ambient temperature for this time of year. These two Carn Deargs, both Corbetts, are set among a plethora of hills with even humbler status. Nonetheless, seven members turned out, although we managed to split into four groups.
From Braeroy Lodge, over the Turret Bridge, six of us took the track into Glen Turret and branched up Gleann Eachach on a faint path on the north side of the Allt Eachach. This rose at a steady gradient high up the side of an impressive deep-cut V-shaped valley carrying the fast-running burn. The O.S. 1:50K map does not do justice to the scenery here. At the Col, Stuart decided to follow the Allt Dubh down to the Bothy at Luib-chonnal. Five of us climbed northwards into the mist to reach the first Carn Dearg summit at 815m. Splendid views of the distant, grander hills were sadly unavailable.
Gerry and I returned to the Col, taking in a couple of features marked as crags on the map. Emerging below the cloud-base we had brief distant views and a tantalizing glimpse of a nearby sunlit slope, before climbing back into the cloud to reach the summit of the other Carn Dearg at 768m. Alan, Mary and Ken took a round tour of several more bumps before mounting the second Carn Dearg. There was a close encounter between the two groups here as the three continued onwards - bump and bothy bagging, and the two headed southwards to descend by the Allt Dearg. There was no encounter with the fourth group, comprising Roy, who had started out late and was also hereabouts, but missed us in the mist.
The descent route was rather more interesting that its representation on the map. We expected to find the main burn in some sort of gorge, but its tributaries were also enclosed in deep cut valleys, which loomed dramatically out of the mist, and required some unexpected scrambling to cross. The aspect affords an attractive approach to this somewhat bland hill from upper Glen Roy.
Sunday 19th February 2012 - Sgurr an Lochain and Sgurr an Doire Leathan - Glen Shiel
This walk was programmed for Saturday 18th. Six members met at Spean Bridge but we agreed that, due to the poor forecast, we would meet here again on Sunday and go on to Glen Shiel. A message explaining this was sent to all members and we did a shorter local walk.
Seven turned up the next day. We arrived at the start as the cloud and precipitation cleared from the Glen and snow covered summits appeared all round. The bridge at NH017130 was not useable so we continued down the Glen to the road bridge and set off up into Am Fraoch-choire. There was a stalkers' path somewhere under the snow, which led over a precarious stile at a deer fence, but we didn't follow it very far. Druim 'a Choire Reidh throws down a huge spur to the west, like a flying buttress. We climbed this from its foot at NG991122, steeply for about 500m, in soft new snow. It was possible to negotiate several rocky bands without scrambling.
The ridge curved southwards, rising steadily to the summit of Sgurr Beag. Some of the new snow here had been blown onto the northern and eastern slopes, exposing the underlying icy surface. Most of us were wearing crampons before the the next summit, Sgurr an Lochan. The main ridge continues southeast but at Sgurr an Doire Leathan, we followed the northern spur over Maoile an t-Searraich and down the northheast ridge enclosing the splendid Coire a'Chuil Droma Mor. We spotted four skiers below enjoying an exhilarating descent and crossed their tracks several times. The burn issuing here becomes the River Shiel. We crossed it to reach the watershed and the road. The corries to the east all discharge into the River Cluanie. A grand day out in the winter hills. Possibly the last this season.
Sunday 12th February 2012 - Sgorr nam Fiannaidh - Glencoe
A cloudy but dry and pleasant day which improved to almost sunny by the early afternoon. Only three members turned up, Andrew G, Gerry and Ken.
A steep ascent on a good path, we gained height quickly with an impressive gorge to the left. Where the gorge bifurcated, we crossed to even steeper ground between the two, following a well developed animal track upwards. Crossing the Allt an t-Sidhein, a poor path continued up on steep rocky ground, eventually re-crossing the burn at a waterfall where it plunged down a cliff into the gorge. Easier ground now gave access into Coire an t-Sidhein, full of mist and snow-covered, making it appear larger. A small herd of deer watched our progress. We soon gained the crest of the ridge forming the rim of the coire and we followed it eastwards to the the main summit. Retracing our steps along the ridge, we descended northwestwards on stony ground and eventually joined the path down from the Pap of Glencoe.
An interesting ascent, away from the usual access routes, giving fine views of Glencoe. Pity about the cloudy shroud on the summits. We were soon below this on the descent, with clear air giving splendid views westward over the sea lochs.
Sunday 29th January 2012 - Creag Meagaidh
Mike, Martine, AndrewG, AlanM, Gerry and Mary turned out for a cold dry day, with a fair amount of high cloud and a brisk wind. The programme seemed to describe a route that four of us had done before, but it was the first visit to Creag Meagaidh for Martine and Mike. There was some discussion about which was Moy Corrie because the name printed on the map was positioned somewhat ambiguously. Mary suggested we start up past Tom Ban and over the two Munro Tops of An Cearcallach and Meall Coire Choille-rais before heading for the main summit, a route that none of us had tried.
The southern flank of An Cearcallach was steep and rugged and we were soon on to snow, in good condition for crampons. The cloud base was 900m, but it remained dry, clearing briefly at times giving tantalizing views. Following the rim of Coire Cearcall to the second top was easy enough in the poor visibility, and we continued northwards around the rim of Coire Choillie-rais to the point labelled "Moy Corrie" on the 1:50K O.S. map. From here, a long plod northwestwards up the slope to the plateau would take us to a lunch-stop in the lee of the curious Meg's Cairn. However, we missed the Cairn completely in the whiteout and continued to the summit cairn.
We descended by the long ridge of Creag na Calliche, alongside the wall almost buried by drifting snow. Below the cloud base, the sun came out and we got some better views. The steep descent down the craggy nose at the end was interesting. Finished in the Stronlossit Inn. A great day out.
Saturday 21st January 2012 - Stob Dubh, Glen Etive
The forecast was not good, heavy showers and ferocious gusts of wind at 900m. Mary, Alan, AndrewG, Gerry, Gavin and JohnB turned up at Glencoe village car park. Mary went off to do her own thing locally, but the rest of us decided to go to Glen Etive and see what we could do. Arriving at the track to Coileitir, rather than tackle the southwest ridge of Stob Dubh, we agreed to look for a route up the huge chasm to its right. Some of us had been here before in similar circumstances and thought the route might go. The plan was to follow it to the skyline, continue between Beinn Ceitlin and its 757m neighbour to the south, then descend eastwards down Coire Dubh-mor.
The plan didn't work out. The prominent waterfall about halfway up looked to be an obstacle, but above that, it looked more promising. However, we were onto some tricky ground before we reached it, as we were denied some good scrambling rock that was awash in the swollen tumbling burn. Gerry and JohnB called it a day, but Gavin, Alan and I pressed on. A steep grassy ramp led to the bottom of a rocky arrete. Alan mounted this first, finding it loose and exposed. We noticed an abandoned single climbing rope hanging from an unseen point above. This gave pause for thought, especially as there was still no obvious way in view round the main waterfall. Gavin and I decided to retreat. Alan considered reversing the arrete, but elected to carry on up and descend to the bridge at Alltchaorunn where we would pick him up.
We returned towards Coileitir, caught up with the others, and Gavin went off at speed to do Creag Dhubh (303m). We picked Alan up as arranged. He gave a graphic account of his epic traverse and we all agreed this route should not be suggested again.
I am posting this report as a reminder to us of how the hills we enjoy exploring can turn and show another side. As it happens, Alan (one of the strongest walkers in the club) got away with it. But his text and photos give us a flavour of his day.
This is not how club outings are meant to be !
We attempted the alternative hike as we thought it would be wiser in the conditions than the first option of going up the southwest ridge. Yes the cleft was out of the wind. Yes it was impressive with its steep sides and with all the water coming down. However, the cleft was a dreadful choice of route as it is not a practical way up. I went as far as I could up it but at a steep waterfall I had to cut up left. This led to steep, exposed and committing scrambling. I do not recommended it. The fact that a previous group must have had such a worrying time that they had used and then had to abandon a rope should have acted as a warning. Once on the top the wind was ferocious. Luckily the wind was mainly either to the side or behind. Even so, at times I had to crouch down to stop myself being blown over. At one point it was necessary to go into the wind and the wind-whipped hail made progress very difficult. Once off the ridge and sheltered by Ben Ceitlin it was a trudge through wet ground to the former barbed-wire bridge and the warm shelter of Andrews car. Then it was to the Glencoe Hotel for a drink and a chance to dry out and talk.
Sunday 15 January 2012 - Beinn a'Chrulaiste
A good turnout of 11 members, AlanM, AndrewG, Ken, JohnB, IanV, Ron, Milena, Mary, Gerry, Ralph and Norman. We parked at Kingshouse, walked along the West Highland Way and up over rough ground towards to the foot of Pink Rib. Released from the confines of a path, the group soon spread out across the hillside. However, at least half a dozen made it onto the scheduled route up the pink granite dyke, a delightful scramble. There was water-ice on some of the holds at the start, but most of the route was dry and ice-free. We had expected frost on the rock because the forecast of low cloud in the glens. There was no threat of this in our vicinity and the sun was out all day, with a keen breeze and the temperature below zero.
We were soon at the summit of Beinn a'Chrulaiste and continued around Coire Bhalach to the twin summits of Meall Bhalach. It was too early to go down, the weather was wonderful and the views were splendid, so we carried on to Meall nan Ruadhag. This proved to be the hardest part of the day with a steep icy descent to the col and a two-kilometre tramp in and out of peat-hags up to the summit. Not a recommended route in summer. We descended to Black Corries Lodge then back along the track to the Kingshouse for refreshment, just as the sun went down.
Saturday 7th January 2012 - Two Lairigs in Glencoe
Nine members started this walk, but 10 finished it! At the meeting point in Glencoe village, there was discussion about where to walk, as the wind was strong and it was considered by most to be too risky to attempt the scheduled walk of Stob Coire nan Lochan by Dinnertime Buttress. It was decided to do the two Lairigs, going anti-clockwise from Lairig Eilde to Lairig Gartain.
We started at the carpark just east of the Study, and after about a kilometre had to negotiate a river crossing over the Allt Lairig Eilde. This was the first of several. There was a little snow on the hills, but it was melting fast which meant that the burns were full. The wind was quite strong at times, and we could see the spindrift blowing off the tops above us. At the high point, we split into several groups, with Gavin, Andrew, Ken, Liz and Iain staying on the east side of the burn and contouring round the nose of Stob Dubh to reach the path in the Lairig Gartain. Martine and John also stayed on that side, but went lower below the crags. It was here that the wind proved very strong, almost blowing us off our feet on more than one occasion. But Alan and Mary decided to keep to the path and followd it right down to the road where they crossed over to join the path to the Lairig Gartain and the long climb up. At the cairn at the high point, all except Alan and Mary met up and carried on down the much improved path (thanks to Martine!). After crossing several burns, Alan and Mary caught us up, and we all carried on down the path. Part of the way down, we met Gerry, who had started at the carpark west of Altnafeadh to meet us (hence the extra member finishing the walk).
Just before we reached the road, it was decided that Gerry would go with Liz in the car straight to the Glencoe Hotel, where we would all meet for coffee. The rest of us followed the old road (very wet and muddy) to the carpark where our cars had been left. However, this meant yet another river crossing to get back to the road, so if our feet were not wet before, they certainly were now!
Sunday 1st January 2012 - Mam na Gualainn
The day was far better than I expected. I thought it would be a trudge in the mist and the rain. Though we did get some rain, it was mainly on our backs and there were some quite decent intervals. The ground was rather wet underfoot.
Happy new year, Alan