On Friday I picked up Derrick ( Yeni) from Forres we left home after 0900 for the midday train to Corrour Railway Station from Tulloch for a weekend with the Moray Mountaineering Club to Loch Ossian Youth Hostel. This is in the middle of a superbly wild area owned by Corrour Estate than are very friendly to walkers and those who love and respect the outdoors.
We left the car at Tulloch which is right by thee old military Centre JSMC (Joint Services Mountaineering Centre) I was supposed to be on Radio Scotland that morning but they could not get through on the phone and I missed my piece on the radio about the pros and cons of carrying beacons in the outdoors despite stopping at the time in Newtonmore to ensure I got a signal on my phone. I was listening in the car and heard a great pal “Elma from Crainlarich” on the radio about how good her neighbours had been since she broke her ankle this winter. She has been a great freind to many of us in Mountain Rescue and it wa specail to hear her on the radio. It was great to hear some good news as the clouds darkened on the way to the railway station at Tulloch!
It is a short trip to Corrour about 12 minutes in the train and we arrived in pouring rain about midday the cafe was open at station. It is some place to be and this is where they filmed a piece of train spotting it is wild and desolate and the story of the railway being built is a great tale of engineering and effort. Despite this and the lure of the cafe we headed up to Ossian Youth Hostel about 25 minutes walk in heavy rain and saw a Heron on the way. We were soaked when we arrived to be met by Jane the warden and welcomed in! What a lady so kind and helpful and a great start to a wet day.
Three other pals had got the earlier train in at 0800 and hoped to climb the Corbett Leum Ulleim a big Corbett just outside the station. As the rain pelted down and we were getting sorted in the Hostel our pals came back soaked from Beinn na Lap the Munro above Loch Ossian they had a change of plan and did not fancy a long day. The rivers would be hard to cross and a shorter day was planned. They had been up since 0400 so it was a long day for them. There was another man staying in the bothy and he had been ahead of them on the hill and we past a tent on the walk in to the Hostel and they were also on the hill, despite the weather.
They had arrived on the train and after a great bacon roll and a great welcome they were one of the first customers at the cafe at the station. They hadd enjoyed the food and the service and great to be welcomed by the owners. They highly recommended it for a visit! More on tomorrows blog on this superb place.
The poor souls who had left early up at 0400 to get the early train had an extremely wet day On their arrival at the Youth Hostel after their soaking hill walk they had nothing dry, they had no views just a very windy cold and wet walk up Beinn Na Lap the Munro above the Loch. It was a short day but a hill but at least some exercise taken. Another pal from the club arrived Alan after a wet bike trip and heavy river crossing but did not want to venture out again. I waited till after 4 pm and the weather brightened and I decided to get out and went up Beinn Na lap (937 metres), Derrick went for a low-level walk though it was wet underfoot I enjoyed great views as the peaks cleared.
It was bitter cold on the top though after a wet splash up onto the ridge but a new Munro for me and I loved the wild views to Beinn Alder and all round but the summit was not a place to linger. This is one of the easiest Munros but once on the ridge you are in the heart of Corrour and the views stunning. I have huge memories of this area as the big walks I did went through this country when I was young and fit with so many pals from the past in the RAF Mountain Rescue.
I got back to the Youth Hostel and as we had booked the Hostel soley for the club it was busy with our group arriving one by bike and the others by train’ from Laggan! It was a heavy night for some and we had 19 arriving when I left them enjoying a drink and the plans for the weekend. With the fire on and the gear drying it is a cosy place to be and out of the weather and in great company and a superb location. They even have showers now are we being spoiled?
I had been up early as well that morning and started feeling rough so left early for bed! During the night I was pretty sick maybe I had eaten something and about 0230 that morning still very rough I thought that my chance of the hill this weekend was not on but stubborn as I am I got ready in the morning to see how I felt, if not I will go home?