LMG Spring Report June 2010
On 18th June, six members of the club headed north from the central belt of Scotland by car, bound for Lochaber. A seventh member, David Nicoll, joined us on Saturday for the day. The area north-east of Fort William, towards Laggan, had been visited on several previous trips, including a summer ascent of Creag Meaghaidh, but for the first time the chosen base was at Roy Bridge, where we stayed at the Roy Bridge Hotel. The staff there were friendly and obliging, but bathroom facilities were inadequate for the number of guests accommodated.
Friday night’s entertainment was taken in the bar watching England v Algeria. England were absolute rubbish and the English tourists left quietly by the back door.
The two walks for the weekend were respectively on the western and eastern sides of Loch Treig, a deep glacial trench cutting through the hills, and involved ascents and descents on broad ridges of rough grass and heather broken by boulder fields and steeper rocky pitches often parallel with small waterfalls. On the first day our climb from Fersit led to two Munro summits over 1100m, Stob a’ Choire Mheadhain (3610 feet) and Stob Coire Easain (3658 feet). Rejecting a return along the approach route we descended from the second summit south-westwards into the Lairig Leacach, “Pass of the Flagstones”, for an 8 kms march out to the edge of Leanachan Forest, where two cars had been pre-positioned.
On Sunday we again set out from the Fersit carpark, this time for a looped walk above the east side of the glen. After ascending Stob Coire Sgriodain (976m) the party split into two groups, one visiting Chno Dearg (1047m) and the other returning to the cars direct from the col between the two mountains. As always in the Highlands one is struck by the sheer scale of the topography, the distances involved, and the time taken to cover them. A further, and exciting, manifestation of nature in the wild came in the form of a sea eagle cruising above Loch Treig on Saturday morning. Despite releases of imported birds by RSPB Scotland in recent years, these huge white-tailed raptors remain a rare sight in western Scotland, and we were lucky to see one of them. We were also fortunate this weekend in the fine weather, and panoramic views from the summits taking in a sweep of hills from Glen Affric in the north, to Crianlarich and beyond southwards.
After returning to the cars on Sunday afternoon we headed back south, after taking tea at the Forestry Commission mountain biking centre at Laggan. The grateful thanks of your correspondent are due to Steven Tolson and Harry Critchlow, for organising the trip, and to Steve and Ron Ireland for car rides to and from the event.