Our trip to Inverardran Cottage in Crianlarich couldn’t have timed any better for an amazing fine weather window. Exceptional conditions allowed us a group tally of 8 Corbetts, 7 Munros, 2 Donald’s and a Graham in our 4 days. Scotland at its best!
As there was no evidence of anyone staying in the hut, on arrival, Flo and I did a quick clean up and cleared the fridge of a rather unsavoury looking sausage roll, meat pie and some crusty coleslaw. Sadly, it belonged to a ravenous member who was most unimpressed with me when he arrived back. With provisions galore he was offered many options but instead disappeared into his room with a banana. I’d been forgiven by the time he left!
Our group of eight and a young gang from Edinburgh were comfortably settled by Friday evening. Since extensive hut renovations, there is a very warm and spacious kitchen with a large dining area for all to share.
Lots of ideas were muted on Friday evening, but little was arranged. So after the usual disorganised faffing of who was doing what, on Saturday morning we organised ourselves into groups and headed off in different directions.
Flo and Sylvia walked up to Meall an Fhudair, a Corbett near Inverarnan, and down north via the Meall nan Caora. Dick, Giles, Steve and I headed for Glen Lochay. Dick and Giles took an interesting approach to Creag Mhor over the SW ridge over Stob nan Clach and up a gully on the SE end of Sail Dubh. Steve and I took a gentle approach up ‘quite the dullest hill in the southern uplands’ (Butterfield). Needs must (Sigh)! Actually, Meall Ghaordaich was far from dull. We motored up and back at an overall speed of 1.1 ml/ hr, but did have lots of breaks on route for views, pictures and refreshments. JohnB left quietly for one of his solo walks. During the week John ticked 5 Corbetts, 2 Donalds and a Graham……. but was initially ticked off for not letting us know where he was heading!
Sunday was an even more spectacular day and again differing agendas meant that groups went their own ways. Flo left early for a solo ascent of Beinn Udlaidh and Beinn Bhreac-liath from Glen Orchy. She arrived safely back to her car around the time that Steve and I reached the summit of Beinn Sgulaird. We’d gone up, and back, along the undulating ridge from Drumavuic and had fabulous panoramic views throughout. Dick and Giles headed for Cruach Ardrain via the east ridge and walked out to Beinn Tulaichean. A broken crampon had to be fixed on route but all was well. JohnB dropped Sylvia and Paul at Bridge of Orchy for their walk back to Crianlarich along the West Highland Way…. a really enjoyable walk past many historic sites then into a forested section reaching a high point of 350m with fabulous views of the Crianlarich hills.
Our communal meal on Sunday was another of Sylvia’s master chef suggestions. A hearty casserole with a selection of winter veggies followed by Christmas pudding (on its 3rd hut meet since purchase)! All delicious though and a very sociable evening. Our dorm was quite cramped. Alpine bunks don’t aid a good night’s sleep…. but do make the mexican wave of ‘YOUR SNORING’ easier to reach the victim!
Some of the group departed on Monday. Initially overcast and windy, the weather improved around lunchtime and cleared to a fine afternoon. Flo and Sylvia headed to Glen Lochay for Corbett Beinn nan Oighreag ….lovely walking, interesting paths and geology, and wonderful snowy views. Dick, Giles and I headed to Lochan na Lairige for the ridge running north over Meall Corranaich and Meall a’ Choire Leith. Fabulous views of Ben Lawers, a lost ice axe (retrieved) and an ice axe arrest added to the excitement of the day!
Weather on Tuesday dictated activities. We all chose a low level walk from Victoria Bridge. Dick, Flo and I walked back to the hut from Tyndrum as more of the group headed home. The rest of us followed early Wednesday morning arriving back home before the Beast reached Yorkshire.
Thank you to everyone who joined in for another great hut meet. I’m sure we’ll return there before too long as there’s plenty of unfinished business.