Route of the North To South Walk 1976.

This walk was unsupported we carried everything we needed and used food dumps preplaced.

THE WALK

1976 North – South Scotland Walk

1. Ben Hope the most Northerly Mountain in Scotland – Corbett Ben Hee – Merkland Lodge

2. Conival and Ben More Assynt – Ben Mor Lodge

3. Walk to Seana Bhraigh – Loch Coire Mhor – Corriemulnzie Bothy

4.  Seana Bhraigh, Eididh na Clach Geala, Meal nan Ceapraichean, Cona Mheall, Beinn Dearg. – Loch Droma

5.     Loch Droma – Beinn Liath Mhor Fannaich, Sgurr Mor, Meal Gorm, An Coileachan, Meall a’ Chrasgaidh, Sgurr nan Clach Geala, Sgurr nan Each. The Nest of Fannich a bothy now gone sadly burnt down.

6. Nest of Fannichs  Fionn Bheinn – Glen Carron Scardroy Lodge.  

BIG BAGS

7. Day off ill at Scradroy

8. Scardroy – Strathfarrar Munros –   Sgurr a’Choire Ghlais, Sgurr Fhuar – Chuill, Carn nan Gobhar, Sgurr na Ruaidhe –  Broullin Lodge

9.  Broullin Lodge Strathfarrar  –  Sgurr Na Lapaich  Carn Nan Gobhar – Mullardoch House Glen Cannich

10.Mullardoch House – Toll Creagach, Tom a’ Chonich, Cairn Eighe, Cairn Eighe, An Socath   Five of the Affric Munros – Glen Affric Youth Hostel

11. Glen Affric Youth Hostel –  Mullach Froach choire, A’ Chraileag, Sgurr nan Conbhairean – Greenfields

12.Greenfields –  Sron A’Choire Chairb, Meall na Teanga – Spean Bridge .Bivy at Spean Bridge Station

13. Spean Bridge station – Aonach Mor, Aonach Beag, Carn Mor Dearg and Ben Nevis.  Fort William ATC Hut

1976 May North South – Jim and Heavy Bridge Of Orchy Station,

14 Day off – Fort William much needed shower at railway Station then home

15, Fort William – Mullach nan Coirean, Stob Ban, Sgur a Mhain, Am Bodach, An Gearanach, Na Gruagaichean, Binnein Mor, Binnein Beag, Sgurr Eilde Mor – ATC Hut Kinlochleven

1976 Jim moving fast on the Mamores

16. ATC Hut Kinlochleven – Devils Staircase – Blackrock Cottage weather awful.

17.    Blackrock Cottage Glencoe – Meall a’ Bhuiridh, , Clach Leathad, Stob A’Choire Odhair, Stob Ghabhar – Bridge of Orchy Station! Bivy

18. Bridge Of Orchy Railway station  Benn Dorain and Beinn an Dothaidh to Succouth Lodge

19. Succoth Lodge   Beinn a’Chleibh (916m, Munro 280) Ben Lui (1130m, Munro 27) Ben Oss (1029m, Munro 101) Beinn Dubhchraig  (978m, Munro 175)

20. Ochills Hut  An Caisteal 995 metres, Beinn A’ Chroin 942 metres, Beinn Chabhair 993 metres and Beinn A’ Choin 770 metres – Inversnaid School.

21. Inversnaid school – Ben Lomond  – then the long journey home

It was an incredible night in the small school at Inversnaid where we were staying by kind permission of one of the locals. We were really tired may be we have misjudged the second last day but these hills were so hard, pathless and hard work, lots of unseen contours and rough walking took their toll. We found it hard to believe that this was the end of a superb walk across Scotland. In addition we were also very tired and were very glad we only had a short walk today to the summit of Ben Lomond and then hopefully a lift home to a hot bath and good food from the RAF Kinloss Team . We did not hang about in the morning the boots were soaked but it was the last day so I put my spare dry socks and broke a ritual. We had to be way early from our lovely bothy and were not sure what time our lift was from Ben Lomond but we had to be out the school before Inversnaid I find it really amazing that we just shook hands and headed off down the tourist path alone in our thoughts.  On the last mile we met our lift heading up the hill to meet us, some members of the RAF Kinloss Team. They were a bit late and then it was a few congratulations and a long 5 hour drive in a land rover where we slept most of the way, we were exhausted now the walk was over. The land rover stank after half an hour we needed a wash badly and we were just wanting to get home.. The troops to be fair had no clue what we had done and until you do such a feat it is another world in you are in. It was sort out the kit most went in the bin and then was back to work next day and that was my holidays for the year over. A bit of a downer at the end! It was my first big walk and a huge learning curb for me many that was to be invaluable in many call – outs in the future. I learned so much about the mountains and different ways up and down them and it was great having Paul and Jim on the trip. We never fell out all the way and at times we were pretty tired and running on empty. There were no bothies on a couple of occasions due to being let down by our organisation and that was hard after a big hill days. The hospitality of the keepers and their families were wonderful and the kindness was unequal especially at Scardroy Lodge where I was ill, this was true Highland Hospitality at its best and will never be forgotten. The gear was basic as were the food caches every 3 /4 days with food and our boots were a pair of curlies that leaked every day. We had some incredible days saw so much and learnt so much about this great country and the hospitality we had been given was incredible. Why not go and do a short trip across this great land, you will see a lot more people and there will be more paths but the hills will always be the same.  I have been a member of the Mountain Bothy Association ( MBA) for many years and appreciate what they do to keep these remote shelters going in 2014 so that others may enjoy what we did all these years ago. Why not join them or send them a donation or buy the book below.

These nights were the highlights of a great trip a fire going, the company of Jim and Paul, the gear steaming nearby and that first cup of tea I will remember these days forever.

The total for our trip was 62 Munros 334 miles and 104464 feet of ascent.

This was a record for the RAF Trips at the time and we were pretty pleased! Every day we felt part of the mountains reading the weather as it arrived.

The Mountains are not a gymnasium for your ego!

Special thanks to Jim Morning and Paul Burns and all the others who supported us.

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 when body slows, loves the wild places.
This entry was posted in Articles, Books, Bothies, Enviroment, Equipment, Gear, Health, Views Mountaineering, Weather, Well being. Bookmark the permalink.

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