There was no way the high tops were an option yesterday as we drove in heavy rain in Glen Affric. It is about one and half hours drive from my house and was a slow one in the rain and narrow roads but we still saw the herons hugging the shoreline like sentry’s outside Inverness. From Cannich deserted early in the morning a place that once held 1500 people in 1947 building the hydro dams project that changed this area for ever. I was out with a few pals from the Last Of The Summer Wine Mountaineering Club and in the wet, damp Affric car park we decided to have a low-level wander along the forestry road among the majestic trees. This is an area of great beauty as the Scots Pine are still about a sign of the how it was many years ago. The mist was low and it was cold when the mist lifted in the heavy cloud the snow was at 1500 feet in the rain it would be no fun. I did not fancy the slippy wet snow, muddy path and awkward river crossings they were not on our agenda today.
It was good to get out the cold air hit you and we had all our waterproofs on there was little views and we were soon at the old bothy “white cottage” where I used to stay with the Mountain Rescue team. The bothy is now a lovely Estate house well guarded by two massive White ponies ” Garrons” who came charging along by the fence to see us. These will be used by the Estate to drag the Stags and hinds of the hill during the Stalking they are incredibly powerful and beautiful beast.
I have so many memories of this place and along with Ned and John we remember the wonderful weekends here in the past, in the Glen for the weekend with the Mountain Rescue Team staying in the bothy and having taken the odd barrel of beer, the green cups and the fire on after a day on the hill.
The mist cleared to about 1500 metres in the grey sky and we thought we may be able to walk over near the Lodge by the bothy and the bridge but there is no way now. The view from the bridge is a stunning one with the Affric Lodge, the loch and the mountains a classic picture. It was on many shortbread tins in the past and meant the end of a long day when we dropped of the grand non Munro Top Sgurr Na Lapaich to the bothy. No access to this lovely viewpoint was a spoiler for me today. Any comments?
I was a short walk a wet lunch, few views but very cold and damp when we stopped. We got the odd misty view of the big hills but they were soon gone in the low cloud and damp air but there was snow higher but it did not look inviting. We had lots of time to chat though and plan for the winter and then walked back the same way. If you went off the path was soaked and so uninviting for us. There were a few cars in the car parks on the way out but the kayaks and even cows swimming in the river Glass! We headed to Beauly for some soup and bacon rolls in the cafe and then home. The rain cleared as we got near Inverness.
In the end not a great day but worth it some fresh air in a place so close to home. The changes from Tom Weirs program on TV many years ago are worth watching and are on the internet on U Tube. I wonder what he would think about all the changes in this beautiful Glen?