The Moray Mountaineering Club bus meets are a great way to get out on the hills cheaply and meet every month. The bus picked us up at 0720 in a dark Forres and on the way we were treated to an incredible red sky. After a stop at Inverness in mist we picked up some more members and then went off down to Loch Garry and Loch Quioch. This is a really narrow road and what a great job the driver made of it. The views in this area are spell bounding and the hills were clear apart from a wee cloud near the summits. About 40 early morning risers had their day planned and most hills were getting climbed by small groups. Gleuoraich, Spidean Mialach and the other Corbett Sgurr an Fhuarain a big day as well. The stags were roaring and some big beasts were down to the road, looking so impressive with the rut still ongoing.
We were the last party of the bus and the driver managed to get us about 2 ks past the bridge but we still had a fair road walk about 6-7 ks to the start of the hill. I was in some great company, Natasha, Fiona and Allen stalwarts of the club and very fast walkers. It was incredible the views we had and Stags appeared regularly to give us a bellow and get the cameras out.It is down hill to the start of the hill and we made good time in the sunshine. No time to waste it was a quick drink then up the wet stalkers path that winds it way up the hill. Views opened as we gained height and the others pulled away all in their own worlds. Familiar hills came into view the huge mountain that is the Saddle, the Kintail Hills and then Rough Bounds of Knoydart. The sun, the colour of the bracken is incredible and worth all the pain of a constant pull up. The path skirts several outcrops and then makes its way to a lovely ridge. More views, Beinn Sgreithal, Ladhar Bheinn, Sgurr Na Ciche all majestic mountains with tales to tell. The summit is a wee scramble the way I went then the lonely trig point but this is not the top. A further 15 minutes takes you to the summit where the views explode, the sea and mountains are everything. It is the lesser known hills in this wild area that make it so interesting, some involve huge days to get one summit in, what a place to be.,
Time was moving it was after 2 and we had to be back at the bus by half past 5. We were about 12 ks away. I had eaten hardly anything my stomach was upset but we had to get going and made up time down the steep ridge my knees now in bits. I lost the path sorry on the way down and wee took a short cut down a deer path! We were soon on the road getting my ears bent about not listening to the girls! Then Fiona realised she had lost her camera, it is up on the hill still we think? Then the long walk back uphill. feet sore praying for a lift. After an hour I heard a car, put on my limp and my “retreat from Moscow gait” and was soon heading back to the bus in the car. The more ethical members of the party refused a lift, but I was in heaven thanks “Mr Carlisle” a fellow walker who took pity on me. The bus had been moved a few extra ks further away so it was a bit longer walk for the rest of the group. I got a bit of banter about my lift from the other club member’s but I have done my apprenticeship of days of road-walking!
The bus headed off to pick up all the happy walkers, what a great day and though a bit late managed a refreshment stop for 20 minutes on the way home. I got back about 2200 a long day body aching, getting old but great company, views and what a place to be. Worth the effort of course! Off to Glenmore Lodge for a chat about Avalanches, there was a wee bit of snow on the big Affric hills yesterday!