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Beinn na Lap: Naismith v. ScotRail

Beinn na Lap: Naismith v. ScotRail


Postby simon-b » Wed May 27, 2015 10:06 pm

Route description: Beinn na Lap, from Corrour

Munros included on this walk: Beinn na Lap

Date walked: 27/05/2015

Time taken: 2.6 hours

Distance: 10.7 km

Ascent: 575m

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Two weeks in the West Highlands and on Skye had come to its last full day. The forecast was not bad enough to keep me off the hills, but not inviting enough to inspire an attempt at a more challenging route. My accommodation was a stone's throw away from Corpach Station, so the clear candidate was the 'railway Munro', Beinn na Lap. But it was Sunday, and therefore a limited train service. The only outward option was the 11:21 from Corpach, arriving at Corrour at 12:30. My return options left Corrour at 15:21 and 21:20. So, a 2 h 51 min window to get up and down the Munro, 'beating Naismith's rule', or 8 h 50 min allowing time to add the Corbett, Leum Uilleim. I wasn't too keen about relying on the last train, or over-enamoured by the fact it didn't reach Corpach until 22:25 on my last night there. But I wanted to keep the Corbett option open, in case I missed the first train back. Of course, this would mean taking a full day pack, whereas I could have travelled much lighter if I had been certain of doing the Munro quickly enough. But I wasn't certain, so I walked onto the platform at Corpach with a full day's supplies in my rucksack.

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Ben Nevis from Corpach Station


Although the sky was overcast, the higher mountains were in cloud, and showers came and went, the journey on the West Highland Line was pretty spectacular, alongside the River Spean and then Loch Treig. Right on schedule, I was on the platform at An Coire Odhar at half past 12 and straight away moving along the track towards Loch Ossian.

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Grey Corries and Stob Coire Easain from near Corrour


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Heading towards Loch Ossian; Alder group in the background


On leaving the track and heading towards Ceann Caol Beinn na Lap, there was some boggy ground to cross, before ascending the southern flank of the ridge. A group of walkers could have dumped there rucksacks here, gone up and down the Munro, and recovered them to take on the Corbett.

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Looking back to Leum Uilleim


But when hillwaking solo, I prefer to keep my kit and supplies with me in case of emergency. So I stomped on up the hill with my pack. Naismith's rule gave and estimate of about 3 hours plus rests to get to Beinn na Lap and back to the station. I had about 10 minutes less, with no time for rests, if I wanted to keep the 15:21 option open. But this being a 'short sprint', it was potentially doable. Ascending the wet, tussocky and mossy flank was a slog, but things improved on reaching the ridge. Soon I was moving along at a pace.

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Loch Ossian from Ceann Caol Beinn na Lap


It wasn't too long before the summit came into view.

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Approaching the summit


At about 5 past 2, I reached the summit cairn. A group of adults and children were sitting in the shelter. I said a quick hello, followed by, "Right, now I might just catch the 20 past three train", and was off back down.

The weather was quite tolerable, and Beinn na Lap out of the clouds. But there was a strong cold wind and always signs of showers. The head of Leum Uileim was in the clag and, although it looked like a fine hill, it didn't seem too appealing at this time, especially as it meant getting that late train. I quickly moved down the ridge, then dropped off it to head for Corrour. There was the station in the distance, and I had about 50 minutes to get there

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"Will I catch the next train down there?"


Bounding down that wet, tussocky, mossy slope, I nearly went flying once or twice, but managed to stay on my feet.
When I reached the track taking me back towards Loch Ossian, I was getting much more confident about catching the earlier train.

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Loch Ossian and the Alder group again


The track swung WSW towards An Coire Odhar, and I relaxed a little, but still moved along at a pace.

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Grey Corries


I reached the station at 5 past 3; just over a quarter of an hour to spare! So, up and down in 2 hours and 35 minutes, beating Naismith by 25 minutes and a rest. But then it was only a short sprint.

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Leum Uilleim from Corrour


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Stob Coire Easain from Corrour


When the train reached Fort William, I phoned my B and B in Corpach to say I was down safely. The place also did evening meals, and although I was late ordering, they said they'd still cook one for me. An additional bonus to catching that earlier train! And a great journey with which to finish another memorable two weeks in Scotland.
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simon-b
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Re: Beinn na Lap: Naismith v. ScotRail

Postby rockhopper » Wed May 27, 2015 11:39 pm

That was quick going esp at the end of a rather busy trip up here for you ! I do like this area although only stopped off once so far - it's a great feeling standing on the platform as the train pulls away - cheers :)
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Re: Beinn na Lap: Naismith v. ScotRail

Postby AJNicholls » Thu May 28, 2015 7:46 pm

Good stuff dude. I think I used up our group's full quota of slips anyway (the one on Sgurr nan Coireachan is still healing up,) so not too surprised you managed to stay on your feet. :wink:
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AJNicholls
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Re: Beinn na Lap: Naismith v. ScotRail

Postby Fife Flyer » Thu May 28, 2015 7:59 pm

Well done Simon, that was a bit of gallop up & down :clap:
See you next time :wink:
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Re: Beinn na Lap: Naismith v. ScotRail

Postby simon-b » Thu May 28, 2015 8:32 pm

Thanks rockhopper. It is a good feeling when you first stand on the platform. But not a bad feeling when you get back onto the return train either :D .

Andy and Martin, you two were up and down pretty quickly as well, at the end of a long day last year. As you might have guessed, it was your team I was thinking of when I wrote that a group could have dumped their packs! I'm looking forward to more trips with you two, Karen and Jimmy.
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simon-b
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Re: Beinn na Lap: Naismith v. ScotRail

Postby Sunset tripper » Fri May 29, 2015 2:19 am

That was good going to get up and down so quickly. Its a brilliant area to visit i dumped the car in the carpark behind the shop in Spean Bridge for a couple of days and the train takes about half an hour from there. I drove in a few years back to Corrour Lodge at the other end of Loch Ossian but unfortunately thats not usually allowed. The thought of a cancelled train is a totally different prospect when your at Corrour station. :( Good report
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Re: Beinn na Lap: Naismith v. ScotRail

Postby Mountainlove » Fri May 29, 2015 8:10 am

Well done for doing this in such a quick time! Corrour is rather special, but nerve racking when you know there is a train to catch. Sounds like a great end to your holiday!! :clap: :clap:
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Re: Beinn na Lap: Naismith v. ScotRail

Postby simon-b » Fri May 29, 2015 4:29 pm

Thanks ST and ML. It was well worth the rail trip to get there.
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simon-b
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