Monday, 20 January 2014

Gleann Comhann

"... Glen Coe and Lochaber ...They had everything: peak, plateau, precipice, the thinnest of ridges, and green valley, all set between the widest of wild moors and a narrow sea loch - they were Baghdad and Samarkand, at once the home and the goal of the pilgrim. " - WH Murray Undiscovered Scotland

I'd not been here in Winter before. And even in other months I've just barely scratched the surface of Glen Coe. None of the four of us were very optimistic about the conditions on the drive North (too much a damp, green landscape around us), but on the higher ground we did find Winter still in charge. This trip was great from my point of view, although it was not altogether successful. We camped at the Red Squirrel. We plotted, drank and steam dried at the Clachaig Inn.

Saturday saw an enjoyable trip up to the ridge of the Stob Coire nan Lochan where spin drift worked its way into every open crevice and white out conditions temporarily prevailed. A slow and gradual descent was combined with what for me was a valuable practice of Winter skills, some existing and some newly learned.

Camp was fun, with bought in logs burning well despite the drizzle. Bannanagrams, Whisky, a good quality of chat and an acceptable array of cheese. Not uncivilised.

Day two began with what seemed like marginally worse weather but a bigger goal in mind. Ultimately, an enjoyable walk up the Lairig Eilde to the foot of  Stob coire na Sgreamhach's Sron na Lairig ridge resulted only in a return journey down the glen by the same route. A pair who set off up the ridge just as we were backing away from it, turned around backed off themselves only part of the way up the first of the snow pitches. Until I'm otherwise notified, I'll assume the ridge is still there (it won't be going anywhere in any hurry).

I know Glen Coe wasn't showing its best condition for this weekend (far, far from it). But the weekend was still well spent and I hope to be back there soon.

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Grid North by David Hine is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.