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A lap of Beinn na Lap

A lap of Beinn na Lap

Postby FeartyTim » Fri Sep 24, 2010 8:54 pm

Munros included on this walk: Beinn na Lap

Date walked: 24/09/2010

Time taken: 6.5 hours

Distance: 20.7 km

Ascent: 637m

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Over the past year and a bit I've really started to get the walking bug, but until this past week I'd never attempted a munro - which seemed something of a glaring omission. Heading up to Fort William for a couple of days gave me the chance to rectify that.

My first was Ben Nevis, up the mountain path (almost felt like I should get that one out of the way first, and I didn't feel quite up to the CMD arete yet).

The initial plan for my second day's walking was to head down into Glen Nevis to the Mamores and have a go at Stob Ban and Mullach nan Coirean. Given the state of the weather though, I thought twice about that idea (fearty isn't part of my username for nothing :D ) and instead decided to take the train out to Corrour on the basis that the forecast suggested it might brighten up later in the day over in that direction.

Beinn na Lap.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts

On arrival the signs weren't overly encouraging. Steady rain, plenty of clag around the summits and no sign of the weather breaking any time soon.

01 - Loch Ossian in the rain.JPG

In the hopes of giving the weather time to clear a bit, I decided that I was going to head along the side of Loch Ossian, up Strath Ossian and tackle Beinn na Lap from the "back", via Sron na Cloiche Sgoilte, turning it into a round rather than the standard straight up and down. Now, I'd heard Beinn na Lap isn't exactly the most inspiring hill in Scotland, but given the conditions it felt like a good choice - something with no technical difficulty, which wasn't likely to pose me any particular navigation problems even in low visibility, and also something more or less pathless and relatively unfrequented to give me a completely different type of experience to Ben Nevis the day before.

Walking through the pine forest along side of Loch Ossian with the rain if anything getting heavier, I admit to having a few second thoughts on the whole day, wondering quite why I'd bothered getting up this morning to catch the early train. And also the fact I was pretty much stuck here for at least the next six hours or so.

By the time I emerged from the forest and turned up Strath Ossian both the weather, and with it my mood, started to improve considerably however.

02 - Strath Ossian.JPG

By 11:00 the rain had stopped completely and I even got a glimpse of sun.

03 - Brightening up.JPG

At pretty much the same time I caught a glimpse of what I think was a golden eagle. Definitely a bird of prey, and looked much, much too large for a buzzard. Slow fingers mean no photo though :) .

Turning off the main metaled track down a rather wet and muddy pair of wheel tracks I got my first glimpse of my ascent route. It looked simple enough - particularly compared to the looming cloud-capped flank of Chno Dearg on the other side of the burn.

04 - The way up.JPG

05 - Flank of Chno Dearg.JPG

Of course, with all the recent rain, the water level was quite high, and I knew I had a crossing to make somewhere up ahead - which I did start to wonder about . . .

06 - Allt Feith Thuil.JPG

In the end it proved simple enough, although a small miscalculation meant one rather soggy boot. Still, given the ground ahead I was going to get both feet plenty wet soon enough.

07 - One foot, slightly wet.JPG

The initial ascent up the first shoulder of the ridge proved the most strenuous part of the day, the spongy, saturated ground making it feel steeper than it probably was as I took a slightly meandering route trying to find the path of least resistance up the pathless terrain. A quick breather gave good views back towards Loch Ghuilbinn.

08 - Loch Ghuilbinn.JPG

From that point it became a rather gentle ascent along a broad ridgeline, over several false summits. The softness of the ground meant my progress was quite slow, but despite the wet feet I was by this point really enjoying the day.

09 - Loch na Lap.JPG

10 - Up Sron na Cloiche Sgoilte.JPG

11 - Bit of a bog.JPG

By now the brief bright spell had passed and I could see the cloud closing in rapidly all around me. Although I knew I couldn't really miss it as long as I kept going up along the crest of the ridge line, the summit still seemed a long time coming amid all the clag. It was something of a relief to finally glimpse the main cairn looming out of the mist in front of me.

12 - Lovely spot for some lunch.JPG

I had planned on stopping for lunch here, but given the fact that the wind had picked up considerably and was now blowing the heaviest rain of the day horizontally into my face I decided I could probably wait until I got back to the station. I did, however, pause for quite possibly the quickest chocolate bar I've ever eaten.

Also at this point the pitfalls of wearing glasses in conditions like this became readily apparent as I was now viewing everything through thick sheets of water. Taking them off didn't exactly improve matters though, considering how shortsighted I am. The next section of the walk became something of a semi-blind plod.

Finally though the clag cleared with an almost startling abruptness and I could see Corrour station pretty much directly in front of me.

13 - Out of the cloud.JPG

Both wind and rain stopped the moment I stepped out of the cloud and the entire atmosphere of the day seemed to transform again in an instant. The descent from there, though squelchy, was just about as quick and easy as I can imagine a descent from a munro being.

14 - Leum Uilleim in cloud.JPG

15 - Back on the flat.JPG

A backwards glance at where I'd just come from wasn't perhaps the most inspiring view imaginable :).

16 - Beinn na Lap.JPG

During the walk back in to the station I felt in really high spirits despite the accompanying sound affects from my squelching boots. If Beinn na Lap is the most boring Munro there is, I can only conclude that, for me at least, there is no such thing as a boring Munro.

17 - View down Loch Ossian.JPG

18 - Corrour Station and dry feet.JPG
Last edited by FeartyTim on Sun Oct 17, 2010 2:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Posts: 12
Munros:11   Corbetts:5
Joined: Sep 24, 2010

Re: A lap of Beinn na Lap

Postby walk aboot » Fri Sep 24, 2010 9:04 pm

Great report, Tim :) . Corrour is a great place, probably because it is a wee bit more remote, and you are more or less stuck there.

Yup, there are golden eagles around there 8) .

Did you visit the Station House at all? It was refurbished recently and I've heard good reports about it, haven't been myself yet.
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Re: A lap of Beinn na Lap

Postby FeartyTim » Fri Sep 24, 2010 9:11 pm

I didn't get chance to visit the station house this time round. Only got back a few minutes before my train was due.

Agreed about the sense of remoteness, but because of the station, it's a remoteness that it feels effortless to get into and out of.
Posts: 12
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Joined: Sep 24, 2010

Re: A lap of Beinn na Lap

Postby mountain coward » Sat Sep 25, 2010 12:46 am

Great to read and see a different route for Beinn na Lap - you make me feel ashamed that I just did the up and back now! But then I was dragging an extremely unenthusiastic Richard through cloud and mist and trying to stop him turning back all the way. I did want to take a different descent but he wouldn't have it so we plodded back down. I should have got a pic of his face - he really didn't enjoy that one! I'm like you though and quite liked it - nice and simple and no dramas!
mountain coward

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