on Weekend Trip to Inchree
9th - 12th July 2004
Eight members of the Club travelled up north for a long weekend. Six of us stayed at Inchree, in the bunkhouse on Friday night then in a chalet on Saturday and Sunday. Jacqui and Brian were late additions having found accommodation at nearby Corran bunkhouse.
Our main objective for the weekend was to do Ben Nevis via the Carn Mor Dearg arête. We had arranged to meet Shirley at the North Face car park near Torlundy but as we drove towards Fort William the weather didn't look too promising so we decided to make alternative plans. The weather looked considerably better further west so we decided to go across to Ardgour to do Garbh Bheinn. a Corbett Kathryn and Alan had done previously.
And so at around 11am we eventually set off from a lay-by on the A861 for the long climb up the south-east slopes of Garbh Bheinn. After several false summits and quite a bit of easy scrambling we eventually reached the top of the 885m peak. Looking across to Ben Nevis , the Mamores and Glencoe it was clear that we had made a wise decision as all were shrouded in cloud.
As for the descent, lets just say that it was interesting - those who were there know what I mean!
We stopped at the Ardgour Hotel for a quick drink before heading back across the Corran Ferry to our now luxurious accommodation at Inchree. A fine barbeque was prepared by Michael, our very own Naked Chef!
We were assured by Kathryn that the weather would be better on Sunday and sure enough the cloud was slightly higher when we awoke. Even as we ascended Carn Beag Dearg the mist appeared to be lifting. However, this was short-lived and by the time we were walking towards it's higher neighbour, Carn Mor Dearg, the spectacular views we were anticipating were nowhere to be seen!
After much scrambling we eventually reached the lowest point of the arête followed by the climb onto the plateau. As the cairn came into view those who had not been on the summit before finally believed our warnings of trainer clad tourists, even in such thick mist!
The route down was uneventful other than Kathryn's increasing concern at the state of some of those still ascending at 4.30pm! We eventually got a view again as the "half way" lochan came into view. More annoying was the way the clouds lifted completely as we made our way across the grassy slopes back to the car park. At last we could see the full length of the arête we had scrambled along some three hours earlier! Kathryn was by now almost speechless at the thought of ill-clad tourists enjoying the view from the summit!! On the other hand she was at least reassured that they would (probably?!) make it back down!
Back to Inchree for a well deserved dinner and drinks followed by various attempts to make unidentifiable characters from the balloon game Alan (it had to be, didn't it!) had brought with him.
Sunday saw us take a scenic route back via Appin, the aptly named Creagan Inn, Connell and Ben Cruachan Visitor Centre (including a tour of the inside of the mountain - not sure if this will help us in two weeks time!).
Another great weekend and the discovery of another great venue for future trips.
Photos: Steve Morley
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