Had a great weekend up in Glencoe meeting up with old and new faces from OutdoorsMagic.com. We had Friday off so decided to head up and do Meall a’ Bhuiridh and Criese, two Munros that Elaina hadn’t done. In the event we only did Meall a’ Bhuiridh as we spent so much time chatting to a couple of other walkers. Not a particularly exciting hill what with all the skiing infrastructure about but there were some interesting bits…
Elaina attempts a bridge crossing!
We arrived at Signal Rock Cottage just after 4pm. We’ve stayed here before and after a chat with Slawek and Luiza we had a quick shower before heading for the Clachaig Inn for dinner. Eventually the rest of the crowd arrived although we did have to bring Polly the Parrot out to attract some of the OM folk who were on their first meet! Highlight of the night had to be the arrival of Sir Jimmy Savile! Have to say he’s looking well for someone who’s going to be 83 in a few weeks time!
Saturday morning saw reasonable weather to start with as some of us met at Mamore Lodge.
OMers meet at Mamore Lodge
We set off along the landrover track with the aim of doing Binnein Beag. It’s a long walk in to the remotest of the Mamore Munros and it wasn’t long until we realised as we approached Loch Eilde Mor that we had walked past the turn off that takes you around the shoulder of Sgurr Eilde Beag. A quick re-assessment saw us take the path up the east side of the Allt Coire nan Laogh (a route we had taken in reverse last winter when the stream was in spate!). We eventually got back on the planned route and carried on towards Coire an Lochain below Sgurr Eilde Mor. The weather had deteriorated by this time and Sandy and Louise decided to make Louise’s first Munro Sgurr Eilde Mor rather than Binnein Beag.
Sgurr Eilde Mor
The rest of us carried on hoping for the weather to clear and with immaculate timing it did as we approached Binnein Beag.
The summit party contemplate the final ascent!
Looking towards Buachaille Etive Mor
We did have discussions about going on to do Binnein Mor but the weather was still being temperamental and the realisation that it would probably add a good couple of hours to the day made it an easy decision to take the long path back to Kinlochleven for Haggis Fritters and Steak and Chips at the MacDonald Hotel!
Loch Leven Sunset from MacDonald Hotel
It was late by the time we got back to Glencoe and the campers decided to stay at the camp site. Elaina and I headed for the Clachaig planning to meet Ian Gallagher of Kendall Mountaineering Services who had taken three OMers scrambling on Ben Nevis. Unfortunately the pub was mobbed and we didn’t realise that they had decided to go through to the Lounge Bar. So we just had the one pint before heading back to the B&B.
Sunday saw ourselves, Sandy and Louise heading for Glen Nevis and a walk up to Steall Falls and a play on the wire bridge!
Elaina crossing Steall wire bridge
On the way back we were interviewed by someone from the John Muir Trust who were doing a survey to find out if people thought the path to Steall was appropriate. There have been several accidents, some fatal, and the Trust are looking to be able to justify not making changes to the path. Hopefully our response will assist in that aim as it would be crazy if health and safety concerns led to “improvements” being imposed!
Sunday night saw us back in the Clachaig for a really excellent night with a dozen of us staying on to the bitter end of a cracking weekend. It’s a good sign when you are having to be chucked out of the Clachaig at closing time on Sunday night!
On Monday we all headed home but not before we introduced Iain to the joys of the Real Food Cafe! Two egg and bacon rolls, a very large coffee and a large hot chocolate later (and that was just for Iain!) we parted company with plans already in hand for the next OM meet in Great Langdale in the Lakes.
Got home and watched a recording of Sunday night’s “Munro – Mountain Man” programme in which I made a fleeting out of focus appearance in the background of the Clachaig Inn as Nick Crane was interviewing folk for the programme – you’d think I was never out of the place!