We’d always fancied doing Sgurr na h-Eanchainne but somehow other hills always seem more convenient. So staying at Corran Bunkhouse for the November Scottish Hills meet seemed an ideal opportunity to finally attempt it especially as Elaina and Seona were keen to have an easy day in order to get back in time to see the Scotland v Argentina rugby international.
We got the 9.20 ferry and popped into the Ardgour Inn to find out whether they had a TV for the rugby later. The good news was yes they did but the bad news was that they didn’t open until 4pm, not much good for a 2.30 kick off! So off we set thinking we might have to drive to Kinlochleven to maybe catch the second half…ever the optimists…if only!
We walked 2km along the A861 to NN014657 then headed on to the open hillside. Not much in the way of a path but no real difficulties either as we headed for Beinn na Cille.
We were rewarded with some fantastic views of the Ben, the Ballachulish horseshoe and eventually the Mamores as the cloud lifted. However as we approached Sgurr na h-Eanchainne the mist came in and we only got limited views from the summit.
The usual route is to skirt around Coire Dubh via Druim na Sgriodain but mindful of the 2.30 rugby kick off we decided on a direct descent off the south-east ridge which proved to be an “entertaining” choice! Let’s just say there was some interesting route finding involving crags, clambering through trees and man (and woman!) eating bracken which at one point involved minor surgery, unfortunately the nurse in the party was the patient!
Anyway we eventually got back to the road and by the time we got back to the Ardgour Inn it was 3.58pm, how convenient, just in time for the pub opening and the last twenty minutes of the rugby! We had been keeping up to date with the score through texts being sent to Seona and knew that Scotland were leading 6-3. Unfortunately as soon as we started watching Argentina drew level and shortly afterwards went into a 9-6 went on to win 9-6. Maybe we should have stayed on the hill a bit longer!
At this point Elaina and Seona announced that they also wanted to watch the Wales v Australia match so after a quick chat with the barman we determined that we could get the 4.30pm ferry back to Corran for a quick shower then return to Ardgour to the 5.15pm kick off. Unfortunately the girls had misheard and thought we were getting the ferry at 4.45pm so when I hinted at 4.27pm that they might want to finish their pints they had to ask the barman to keep their drinks for their return! On our return NeillyDunn (Des) had joined us and was most impressed when the barman produced two drinks for Elaina and Seona without them even speaking!
We enjoyed (or should that be suffered!) the rugby and we then returned back to the Corran Inn as that was where everyone else was eating. Our appetites had already been whetted by the food being served in the Ardgour. However we were not inspired by the Corran menu so we decided to hop back on the ferry to eat at the Ardgour Inn! We had an excellent meal including the intriguingly named “Hanky Panky” pudding!
Thankfully we managed to get the last ferry back to the “mainland”! What the ferryman thought of our antics I’m not sure! By this time the rest of the crowd had moved on to the Four Seasons pub at Inchree so we joined them for more beers and chat.
Brilliant day and another excellent meet in great company. Thanks to Kinley for organising the meet – just hope he forgives us for not eating at the Corran Inn – I’m afraid the offer of hanky panky was just too much to resist!