Saturday, July 31, 2010

Exploring the Mountains around Loch Ossian

Travelling from Derbyshire we drove to Tulloch railway station near Roy Bridge (north of Fort William), we arrived just in time to catch the train for Corrour. This was the start of a week in the Scottish highlands. One of our objectives was to walk up one of the remote mountains called Ben Alder. As we walked along the track from Corrour Halt to loch Ossian youth hostel we discussed the various options the weather outlook appeared somewhat uncertain but it was likely that the start of our week would provide the best conditions for walking the key summits we wished to complete.

It was good to arrive at Loch Ossian youth hostel the warden and staff were welcoming and friendly. The hostel is quite isolated but a great place to be. A photograph inside shows a deer being fed in the hostel. It allegedly used to reverse in and became quite confident after receiving food from a former warden.

The hostel is fairly self supporting in that water is pumped from the loch, electricity is generated from a 2.5kW wind generation plant.

Thursday 22nd July
Our first day started bright, we had expected some mountain bikes to be provided by the Loch Ossian estate and these had arrive in the morning. The bikes were a great way for travelling along the side of Loch Ossian. The previous day and night there had been a lot of rain and the ground was quite wet.

It was about 1330 by the time we had reached the summit of Ben Alder, it took a while traverse around to Ben Bheoil and time marched on we decided to retrace our steps and return via the huge expanse of the Ben Alder plateau. It was great being here in the early evening the deer had amassed in a great quantity, numbering approximately 100.
Ben Alder (GR497719) (geograph)
Ben Bheoil (GR NN518718) (geograph)

We arrived back at Loch Ossian youth hostel late in the evening, by the time we had finished our dinner other hostel guests were going to bed, we were preparing for the next days epic.

Ben Alder Plateau

Ben Alder Summit

Ben Bheoil

Friday 23rd July
The weather looked good for this day but the forecast indicated that there would be more cloud and some showers. We decided to to for another group of mountains near Ben Alder we cycled once again along the shore of Loch Ossian and then walked along the glen known as Uisge Labhair to Bealach Dubh, the black pass! Our journey here required taking our boots off and paddling across a burn. It was approximately 1530 before we reached the summit of Carn dearg, it had taken most of the day just getting here. But hopefully our plan would work which was to traverse the ridge back to the end of Loch Ossian.
Carn Dearg (GR NN504764) (geograph)

Geal Charn (GR NN470746) (geograph)

Aonach Beag (GR NN458742) (geograph)

Beinn Eibhinn
(GR NN449733) (geograph)

Looking from Aonach Beag to Beinn Ehibhinn

Saturday 24th July
After two long days this day started overcast and we walked to the railway station and enjoyed a cooked breakfast before a fairly easy walk over
Beinn na Lap (GR NN376695) (geograph)

Sunday 25th July
This day started very still although we were greeted by stll reflective waters the wind generator had stopped. We cycled back to the estate office and returned the bikes. The walk up Sgor Gaibhre and Carn Dearg allowed us to return easily to loch Ossian youth hostel.
Sgor Gaibhre (GR NN444674) (geograph)

Carn Dearg (GR NN418662) (geograph)

Tuesday 27th July
Stob Coire Sgriodain (GR NN356743) (geograph)

Chno Dearg (GR NN377741) (geograph)

View from Stob Coire Sgriodain

Summit of Stob Coire Sgriodain

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Pickle on Stickle

I Enjoyed a solo rock climb and scramble in langdale the traverse from the top of raven crag to the start of a scramble on Pike of Stickle was interesting. I climbed middlefell buttress to the summit of raven crag. The route is very polished, I tried the steep alternative at the start, this was slightly tricky but keeping a calm head it was a very reasonable proposition

The final pitch leading to the summit was most interesting and fairly steep, I felt that this was the hardest part of the overall route the pitch is called Curtain Wall

Walking from the top of the butrress to the toe of Gimmer Crag was fairly straight forward
but my route became interesting at this point

Pike o Stickle from the Band

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Monday, July 5, 2010

Stickle Tarn

Today we enticed Keisha with scrambling and rock hopping on walk upto Stickle Tarn.
The weather started fine and bright the cool breeze and the fact that we had packed some warmer clothing made Keisha decide to wear her hat and gloves. We did not walk to far before Keisha decided to remove some layers.

Keisha thoroughly enjoyed scrambling over the rocks and jumping across the river she enjoyed the company of two small children whom we had met a day earlier at the South Lakes wildlife park.
Stickle Tarn

Stickle Tarn OS GR NY2853607599

We returned by traversing below Harrison Stickle and Thorn Crag and then descended by following the path which leads to Pike Howe this was an excellent walk along a gentle and short ridge to a promontory with good views across Langdale.

Keisha managed the complete circuit without a carry her footwork is excellent. The most worrying point of the walk was when her rucksack took a roll down the hill, fortunately near the end. The rucksack didn't roll too far.

A down point in the day for us was the loss of a camera we made enquiries at the Stickle Barn we are grateful to the Stickle Barn for contacting us when someone returned the camera a couple of days later. We were so relieved and also grateful to the anonymous returner of our camera.