Corrour and Loch Ossian
Blairgowrie and District Hillwalking Club had a very successful trip to Loch Ossian, travelling on the West Highland train line from Crianlarich to Corrour station. Perhaps the novelty of travelling by train to this attractive and remote area encouraged such a good turnout of 32 people. After leaving the train, the party split into five groups with some members climbing the Munro, Beinn na Lap,others opting to climb the Corbett, Leum Uilleim, and three parties covered lower-level walks around Loch Ossian and to Loch Treig.
Heavy showers punctuated the day but those on the higher hills were rewarded with panoramic views when the clouds cleared showing the expanse of Rannoch Moor and glimpses of rugged mountains north towards Glen Spean. It was clear on the summit of Leum Uilleim giving good views of the Mammores and Glen Coe. Loch Ossian and Loch Treig from above or at loch-side were equally scenic.
Having plenty time, walkers enjoyed searching for historical features and looking at moorland plants especially those that enjoy wet boggy conditions with dragonflies skimming the edge of the lochs, marsh orchids in flower and heather coming into bloom. Some enjoyed sweet blaeberries and those knowledgeable about fungi, gathered mushrooms.
Towards the end of the afternoon, walkers were caught in further heavy showers and some very wet walkers arrived at Corrour Station House,but they were made welcome by the hosts who quickly served drinks and tasty, hearty meals to everyone. Fantastic organisation by the Corrour Station House team and our club officials who made sure everyone was well fed before getting the return train to Crianlarich. Truly a grand day out.
(Thanks to Jane Clark for preparing both sections)
Having had an interesting chat with the part time warden the C party (seven people) found swimming in Loch Ossian by the youth Hostel very tempting as the sun was hot and steps led down into some deep water but, the thought of changing afterwards during an incoming rain shower, was off putting so they continued on the easy-going route to Loch Treig.
Unfortunately, another shower arrived but the party managed lunch sheltering in the lee of a generating station. Their return route was on a faint track mainly parallel to the railway line. Here Rannoch Moor lived up to its reputation as it was very boggy – explaining why that part of the railway was built on floating rafts. For this last part of the route the party was caught in a deluge and members arrived back at Corrour in varying degrees of saturation depending on the quality of their waterproof gear.
The B group, a party of six, set off from Corrour to climb the Corbett, Leum Uilleim (909m) west of Corrour, following an ATV track up the NE ridge.
Some heavy showers on the ascent but the sun came out at the summit giving excellent views towards the Glencoe mountains and the Mamores and over to Loch Linnhe. The group completed the horseshoe by descending the easterly ridge back to Corrour.
Corrour and Loch Ossian from Leum Uilleam
A final group of nine members decided to climb the Munro Beinn na Lap, a Munro (937m), northeast of Corrour station. After heading towards Loch Ossian, they headed north and climbed steadily on a boggy path to reach the summit. Having climbed in hot sticky conditions, the walkers met a heavy rain shower at the summit cairn. Big smiles for some in this party, as in 1994,it was the choice of hill for a last Munro party (two days at Loch Ossian youth hostel). Well done, Rhoda, maybe next time it will be dry! The party regrouped after a lunch break when the clouds cleared and made their way southwest down abroad ridge towards the railway line, aiming to meet the same path the C group were following back to Corrour. Disappointingly, they ran into another very heavy shower and a swollen burn, so they resorted to bog hopping on rough ground to get back to Corrour having developed exceedingly high moral fibre despite being uncomfortably wet.
Jane, Iain and Rhoda on summit
One of the many Orchids
This was a very well supported meet, perhaps the novelty of travelling by train , on a Saturday and to a scenic and remote part of Scotland. It was beautifully planned and organised by club officials and enhanced by the super meal in Corrour Station house -the staff produced an excellent meal , certainly tasty and hearty portions and did so well to feed 32 people in 80 minutes so we could catch the train back in comfort.