A Wild Weekend in Corrour! July 2010


Helen Rose Hill Diary

What a weekend we had at Corrour! Ten of us were in the house and three in the cottage. The house was very comfortable, warm and well fitted out. The Corrour Estate is east of Rannoch Moor and west of Dalwhinnie. It is a remote estate and the public can only reach it by train to Corrour Halt where the train only stops on demand. The train journey is the West Highland Line passing through spectacular mountain scenery.

Some of us travelled on the lunchtime train from Glasgow arriving mid afternoon. The Estate mini bus picked us up at Corrour Halt and drove us about six miles on the private road around Loch Ossian to the house in time for afternoon tea. Eating was a feature of the weekend! We had a walk to the modern castle but could not get a good view from the track as it faces the loch. It is very modern with Scottish features such as turrets and crow step gables but also a glass pyramid. We would have loved a peek inside but the owners are very private people.

Thea cooked dinner that night and the others arrived on the later train in the evening. Mary had organised all of the menus and given instructions to the others to cook. We shared bringing up the provisions and the cooks had precooked to ensure meals were prepared easily in the evenings.

On Saturday, we walked to Ben Alder, a very remote Munro, taking our time and enjoying the views in the good weather. On the approach to the flanks of the mountain there were cloudberrys, common in Scandinavia but rarely seen in Scotland.  There was a panoramic view from the top taking in Schiehallion, the Mamores up to Ben Nevis and Ben Lomond to the south. Wildlife spotting was good with lots of deer and birds such as Dotterel. I had previously climbed Ben Alder from Dalwhinnie in my Munro bagging days but that route was much harder than staying in luxury on the estate and approaching from the west. Back at the House, we had homemade cake for afternoon tea. Dinner was outstanding with Beef Bourgignon followed by cheesecake cooked by Mary.

Sunday was raining lightly early on but we put on the midge nets and set out for another Munro. The walking was gentle on fairly easy gradients and we could see down to Loch Ossian after climbing up from Peter’s Rock on the Road to the Isles. We climbed to the summit of Carn Dearg but it was misty. On the descent we spotted ptarmigan and a very large herd of deer. Some were leaving on Sunday evening so we descended in good time for afternoon tea.  There was another gourmet dinner with all thirteen of us around the table enjoying a good dinner party atmosphere. Wine flowed and we all chatted.

On Monday morning, Peter and Helena went for a canoe trip on the Loch and were rewarded with good views of the castle. We walked around the loch and had a look at millions of tadpoles at the water’s edge. The minibus drove us back to the station for the lunchtime train back to Glasgow.

Many thanks on behalf of the group to Callum for arranging the trip, Mary for organising the meals and also to Thea, Mary and Madeleine for doing all the cooking. The weekend was a great success and we look forward to the next one. It was organised through the Bearsden and Milngavie Ramblers www.bearsdenandmilngavieramblers.org.uk by Callum Christie of Frontier Holidays www.frontierholidays.net 

Coming attractions; Low level in Skye and Creise and Meall a’bhuiridh.