12th. July, 1977:
This was my third consecutive summer trekking trip to Scotland, heading north by train with a bunch of school mates a week after my seventeenth birthday on the back of a summer of A Level exams; writing this 37 years later, I can still feel the tingle of anticipation and excitement! We’d met at Manchester Victoria before 8.00.am. the previous day but, once off the train in Dalmally at around 3.00.pm., unremembered delays had forced us to camp locally at Castles Farm rather than to head off up the hill. The following morning, though, we were off, slogging up a well graded track to the pass of Lairig Noe before contouring steeply into Coire Lochan, tucked in below the summit of Stob Daimh – which, I remember, was un-named on our map but rumoured to be a Munro. The lochan in the corrie had been dammed (something to do with the pumped storage scheme to the south, we presumed) so sites for the tent were few but, once pitched, we ate some lunch and it was time to head for the tops. A steep climb led to the first summit with terrific views opening out over the rest of the range. From there, it was an easy but spectacular ridge walk over the intermediate top of Drochaid Ghlas to the top of Cruachan and then back, with an enjoyable run back down to the corrie and a meal of chicken curry in the tent. After supper, we bouldered around on an easy slab and watched the sun go down over Loch Etive. It had been a good first day in the hills before we headed north to Starav, Glencoe, the Mamores and the Grey Corries.
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