Helen Rose Hill Diary
I spent a weekend recently at Corran organised by the Glasgow Outdoor Club www.glasgowhf.co.uk . I travelled up on Friday evening and reached the bunkhouse in time to visit the local hostelry next door to the bunkhouse. It was a beautifully clear, cold, night with a crescent moon and the stars very clear, in particular, the Plough and Orion. There is very little light pollution at Corran so the stars are much clearer. Corran is after the Ballachulish Bridge but before Fort William.
The easier walk on Saturday was to Beinn Leamhain, a Graham, over on the Ardgour Peninsula reached by a five minute trip on the ferry as a foot passenger. The ferry allows a much shorter road trip to Strontian and Acharacle. On landing at Ardgour, we followed the road to Strontian for a few miles. The road was icy and slippery in parts so I donned my spiky plus studs which fit over my boots on thick rubber bands. I am amazed at how efficient these are in giving a grip in icy conditions and I used them in town this winter as we have had a hard winter. We turned off the road and followed the path up Glen Gour, effectively around the back of the mountain hoping to make an ascent on the far shoulder. However, time was passing and there was a deer fence stile we could cross so it was decided to climb the steep slope towards the top.
Grahams are hils between 2,000 and 2,500 feet but can still be a tough walk. The steepness of the incline made it slow going in rough grass with the usual holes in the ground where boots could disappear into! We took the climb steadily. Fortunately, there was no snow at this level to impede us. We reached the trig point and had lunch with lovely views over Loch Linnhe towards Glencoe and beyond with the snow capped mountains.
After lunch, we walked to the cairn and retraced out steps to the trig point where a radio ham was busy with wires and aerials. We descended out to the start of the glen down the steep shoulder making this a circular walk and eventually rejoined the road back to Ardgour and the short ferry crossing back to the bunkhouse. Later we travelled by the ferry over to the Ardgour Hotel for dinner. It was a novelty travelling by ferry to dinner.
As I had to be back home earlier on Sunday, I travelled by public bus but the others did another Graham in the morning. The day was fairly clear and I had magnificent views of the mountains travelling through Glencoe on the bus. It was a short weekend but most enjoyable in good company and with great memories of the mountain views. Well done to the club for arranging it. Last year, the snow was so thick, we could not reach the top of the hill but I did get some practice in digging a snow hole to eat lunch out of the wind. The only time I have ever had to use my ice axe!
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Coming attractions; Pitlochry, Glen Finglas and Beinn a' Bheithir