Coire Lair a wander and some thoughts on the wonderful Stalking paths.

We had an Autumnal walk up to Coire Lair through mist covered mountains yesterday. It had been very heavy rain for a few days and the Coire has a interesting river crossing and some of the best stalking paths in Scotland. We left the cars below the wee car park near the station it’s always interesting crossing the railway line. The walk is well pathed and the trees were looking superb.

I still have medical issues just now so it would not be a big day but it was great to get out. It helps so much clear the mind . I love how the stalking path goes through the forest near the river which was in spate with views of the Corbett Fuar Tholl a favourite of mine. The path then climbs effortlessly across the great boiler plated slabs to the views of Coire Lair. They knew what they were doing when they built these wonderful paths all those years ago. I love this area it’s just full of memories.

Only a few of years ago I was looking for my sister nephews who died on Beinn Liath Mor. I searched for several days on my own looking for the missing brother. It was during the “Beast from the East” this path meant I was down safe after several hard days looking for him alone. I will ever forget the efforts of Torridon MRT, SARDA and the other teams who searched for 6 weeks until they located the second casualty.

This is a part of mountain rescue that few realise the effort to find a casualty after 6 long weeks of waiting for the family. Thank you all. .

On the way through the woods.

We had spoke about the level of the water and crossing of the river. In the end it was okay but you have to take care in rivers after heavy rain. Walking Poles are very helpful to keep your balance when crossing.

River crossing Women and children first.

The path bifurcates and here and you cross the river it was a bit deep but no problem. With a bit more rain it would be tricky.

The mist and mizzle was constant as we climbed up its a familiar path to me.

We passed the great cliffs of Fuar Tholl. Sadly they were hidden today. The stags were roaring we never saw them and then we stopped for lunch not far below the beleach. The view of the Lochan the heather and the water pouring down the slabs made even in the rain a special place.

Kalie and Islay happy to be out in the wilds.

There were few folk about a couple had decided not to cross the river and the solitude and wildness was special. Occasionally the dark cliffs cleared soaking wet but we could see this neglected area of the Munro Sgurr Ruadh. Then the mist came down again the rain got heavy and we decide to wander down. I am still struggling on the hill yet it was great to be out. My companion was happy with the decision and that is the way it is just now. Yet I loved being out again we had my “hill fix “

We headed down back across the river. It was still deep in places but a good laugh hence the photos. Kalie went first and Islay followed.

On the way back we met two groups of mountain bikers on the track. It’s now a classic mountain bike route. We let them past they were having fun and courteous and then had a discussion about the erosion on these great stalking paths. How long will the paths last as they increase in popularity. Never easy questions to ask ? I agree the mountains are there for all but the paths will not take a lot of traffic. Especially with the increase in new Mountain E bikes? Are Mountaineering Scotland and the Bike organisation working on this. These stalking paths and coffin paths are a huge part of our heritage.

Is there a joined up approach to looking after these wonderful assets?

I enjoy mountain biking but can foresee a problem looming sadly as I enjoy my bike as well.

Comments welcome.

Will these great paths take the increase in use ?

We headed down back to the cars and a quick change then home.

I was not disappointed I loved my wander in these great hills. The company of a kindred spirit and the beauty of this wonderful area. I am so lucky. Winters not far away and of course the clocks go back this weekend. I wonder how many that will catch out?

Check that torch and batteries !

Comments – John Armstrong “when stalker built these paths- he never thought of bikes on them. I enjoy my bike too but I try to stick to landrover tracks etc rather the old pony paths as I can see they won’t last and the estates really don’t use them now with ATV doing all the work.”

About heavywhalley.MBE

Mountain Rescue Specialist. Environmentalist. Spent 37 years with RAF Mountain Rescue and 3 years with a civilian Team . Still an active Mountaineer and loves the wild places.
This entry was posted in Articles, Corbetts, Corbetts and other hills, Cycling, Friends, Gear, Mountain Biking, Mountain rescue, mountain safety, Mountaineering, People, Plants, Views Mountaineering, Weather, Well being, Wildlife. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Coire Lair a wander and some thoughts on the wonderful Stalking paths.

  1. bobhankinson says:

    Did you dry Islay after the river crossing or was it a quick shake and exercise warming? I bought a rainproof jacket for my BC Jaq to supplement the warming coat, based on the experience of an exceptionally rainy hike day before wild camp. The warming coat is fine, except when it’s wet it offers reduced warmth that may not do the job for 12 hours in a tent. For a human, it’s tough if you get chilled, probably no different for a dog, even a border collie that has a minimal double coat compared to an Alsatian.

    Liked by 1 person

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