Following my 1st ( and last ) attempt at wild camping on the hills , this my 2nd outing away from home & had been a wee while in the planning , usual excuses…. work ,not enough free time, other commitments etc.
I`d decided to venture up to Loch Treig , an area new to me & do the 2 munros on either side of the loch with an overnight camp inbetween.
So everything in place & I was keen to get away, MWIS had advised of good weather on Thur 1/9 , so I finished work early & left home about 3pm on Wed 31/8 accompanied as usual by Oskar ,with the intention of parking up at Fersit & wild camping somewhere on the ridge.
I went up the A9 turning off at Dalwhinnie & along the A86 beside Loch Laggan passing Creag Meagaidh which looked fairly awesome , arriving at the wee parking area at Fersit before 6pm.A sign there says no overnight parking of caravans / camper vans or vehicles designed for sleeping in, it doesn`t say no overnight parking of cars. A quick change and off we went saying hi to a couple just leaving in their car. Instead of taking the exact route as describes here by WH i had decided to walk along the rough track / access route that leads past the dam. This begins by going through a wooden gate & continues on easily , then passes the dam further on.
Just as I closed the gate behind me I heard a huge ROAR, suddenly a RAF Hercules plane flew over me very low heading out down over Loch Treig I quickly managed to get photo of it.
Through the gate on the track / access route.
Continuing on I then cut up & headed for the old Hydro Pillar clearly visible at around 500M
on the way passing the sheepfold shown on the map.
This was a wee bit boggy but not really too bad, there was a rough track to follow this way.
Once over Meall Cian Dearg , without any difficulties , I decided it was time to set the tent up for the night. I was pleased with where I was as I could have an early start in the morning. I`d found a decent spot to pitch the tent & fired up the gas stove setting about supper/ dinner for Oskar & me, coffee, sausages & beans Great.
It was quite a quiet night no wind at all, but a wee bit rain/drizzle during the night nothing much to speak of. Certainly no wolves or bears!!!
On exiting the tent I took some photos showing the view, again i`d never seen the Grey Corries before they are well named, wonderful views all around.
Over Loch Laggan 630 am
Ontowards Stob a`Choire Mheadhoin
The views were extensive despite a wee bit of cloud cover, I enjoyed the walk to Stob a` Choire Mheadhoin very much, stopping here for a wee bit before continuing to Stob Coire Easain. Before going down to the bealach I saw another RAF Hercules plane, far below me,again very low over Loch Treig - as it approached the bottom of the loch it looked to be heading for Glen Nevis.
Zoomed the Bothy in Lairig Leacach ?
Ben Nevis lurking in the cloudy background.
I decided not to take my rucksack over to S.C.E. instead leaving it on S.C.M. to wait on me. Approaching the bealach several deer came up from Coire Easain Beag and crossed over in front of Oskar & me. They were about 150 yds away I took several photos of them, they saw us and took off at great speed, there were about 15 of them.
On crossing the spot they came up from I looked down into the Coire & saw perhaps another 20 or so, but they were far below us. I continued up to the summit of Stob Coire Easain, and was chuffed to bits with myself in being there. The views were / are awesome. After a wee break just soaking in the solitude we continued back to get my rucksack on S.C.M.
Glencoe & the 2 Buachaille`s
From there it was back down along the ridge & the exit out to the car. I`d planned to drop off the tent / sleeping bag / cooking gear etc & continue over to Chno Dearg & Stob Coire Sgriodain – an “easier ” pair of hills than the 1st 2 ????
Shortly before Meall Cian Dearg I saw a walker coming along towards me, he seemed to be getting close quite quickly. He was! The guy was a hill runner from the Inverness area. He said i`d obviously had an early start!!! I said i`d camped over on the ridge & was continuing over to do the other 2 munros. After a wee blether we wished each other well and went on our separate ways , nice to meet someone who`ll chat for a minute rather than the goats who don`t even say hi as you pass them , eh.
Towards the bottom of Meall Cian Dearg I met a couple coming up, again a nice hello & then moving on.
This was when my perfect day started to become challenging. I could see the exit route as suggested here on WH quite clearly on the hill, it leads you to An Dubh Lochan, However there was another route passing right by the Hydro Pillar shown on the map , I decided to follow this track. Coming down after the pillar it turned into a mud fest & the track pretty soon just disappeared too. I soldiered on through the mire the car was visible now & didn`t look too far away. I cut down through a wooded section trying to reach the rough track / access route that i`d walked in on.
There were lots of ferns in the tree area growing over the track, twice I stumbled and fell nothing major there. However I fell a 3rd time – my right foot / heel slipped away from me on the mud & down I went full force / weight on my trailing left leg underneath me. It was agony, Oskar got a fright too.
I sat a while then gingerly got up & slowly made my way to the car , I knew Chno Dearg & Stob Coire Sgriodain weren`t going to happen that Thursday afternoon .
I still had plenty of time too, it wasn`t 1pm yet , my wild camp plan would have worked if I hadn`t hurt my leg.
At the car i got changed & made us a wee lunch on the stove, then put everything away & had a rest before driving home. The last photo I took of the hill was just before the Fersit side road rejoins the A86.
A last look back
I decided to drive back via Fort William & Glencoe rather than the A9, it’s the exact same distance both ways -121 miles!
The consolation prize I got was to do another munro, Ben Chonzie, the next day!!
On the Friday my leg had no complaints at all, I was obviously disappointed not to have done 4 at Loch Treig so decided to do a munro more local to me.
I arrived at the parking area & was away at 135pm, returning at exactly 535pm.
4 hours was I think a very quick time for me, I had a 15 minute break on top for a coffee.
Me & Oskar on Ben Chonzie coffee time.
Loch Turret ??
I was passed going up by a guy from Perth who was very, very quick he was coming down just as I reached the summit plateau. A group of mountain cyclists also passed me on the way up legs going like the clappers!!! Finally coming through the last gate I had a quick word with another hill runner on his way up!! I was back in the car in 5 minutes, then the drizzle became torrential rain until the A9. I was glad I wasn`t a hill runner .
And I got 3 munros in on Sunday , but that’s another story.
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