walkhighlands

Beinn na Lap in unremitting dreich

Munros: Beinn na Lap

Date walked: 11/08/2021

Time taken: 3.6 hours

Distance: 10km

Ascent: 562m

This is the second time I have written an account of this walk. You’d think I’d learn not to type directly into websites where the slightest glitch or an accidental ‘previous page’ can leave one undone. So this is in Word for a timely cut n paste later.

Motivated by a fine ascent of Ben More on Mull in blazin sunshine I fancied an easy one and have long thought to follow in Danny Boyle’s virtual footsteps, (virtual cuz I’m certain he’d have had a Range Rover and no walked anywhere), to Corrour Station and in the fictional handful of footsteps of Tommy, Rents, Spud and Sick Boy towards a fine looking hill.

The Trainspotting director didnae point his cameras at the Munro hereabouts which I was there to climb, but towards the better looking but height challenged (at 906m by a mere 8m ) non-Munro that is Leum Uilleim.

Photo Aug 11, 19 45 55.jpg
Danny Boyle's more photogenic choice Leum Uilleim

Photo Aug 11, 09 55 49.jpg
Waiting for Godot on the West Highland line



My plan had included pal Ivor from my last jaunt, but he left it too late to book a ticket through Trainline. However one discovered on the day that you can buy on the train, there was no shortage as the train was less than half full and the apparent limit he ran into is bogus and even phone enquiries did not allow him to buy a ticket online or on phone and no-one bothered to say just buy a ticket aboard. Fuds eh?

By such vicissitudes did one default to a solo trip. My plan was to drive Bikey (Tracer 900GT) to Upper Tyndrum and padlock the beast to something solid before taking the 3-stop hop to Corrour.

Photo Aug 11, 09 39 34.jpg
The former railway station building here houses a gold prospecting company offices!


Somewhat uncertain of what if any facilities might exist at Corrour Station, I was planning a night stop and to feed myself through until the return the following day. There are three trains a day on West Highland line and you could take first or second and still climb the hill same day. You can get an early return train around 8 a.m. or sleep late and get one around noon.

My planning was a bit wanting in that I’d forgotten a lighter for my stove. Not to worry – a veritable platoon of assorted Geordies showed up at Tyndrum (Upper) having trekked up the considerable approach road and when I asked if any had a lighter it was like a mini Grangemouth they produced so many……

Photo Aug 11, 10 34 04.jpg
A clan of Geordies donated the gift of fire - to no avail as turned out


It turned out this made no difference – I brought the wrong fuel. Even THIS made no difference because in fact behind Mr Boyle's cameras was a very welcoming full service café, with very decent pub food and restaurant quality meals (venison casserole – yum), which is also licensed and open until 9:00 p.m.

Photo Aug 11, 17 12 36.jpg
Accommodation (book!), great food, friendly, licensed, beer on tap or bottles and open til 9 pm


This is The Corrour Station House and is a brilliant place to start/end what is normally a fairly easy Munro tick. Beinn na Lap is the Munro and in decent weather might even be fun. There is a road of sorts heading into the estate and to the Ossian Hostel, then a route one yomp to gain a ridge which after a right turn has a vague path to the summit. Unfortunately it poured with rain almost the entire day and I could see nothing of Loch Ossian or much else except glimpses under clouds towards the hostel.

Photo Aug 11, 12 10 32.jpg
Just as the rain set in. The route is simple enough; follow that brown stain to the skyline then turn right and follow the fall line up the ridge.

Photo Aug 11, 12 10 39.jpg
There are, in this picture, the only two other people on the hill that day. Honest


Before setting off up the hill I checked, no surprise, that the accommodation was fully occupied at the Station House but I could camp on a patch of adjacent short grass. I took a half hour to pitch my tent and inflate my mat, stash my stuff etc. So-oo glad I did it in advance, because the torrential rain when I got back would have rendered a tent-pitch less than fun.

I saw only two other people all day who were ahead of me on the yomp to gain the ridge and whom I did not see again until I was nearly at the top. They had a border collie – a breed I like – who ran over and tried to hump my leg. I didn’t like him that much so I set off toward the vagueness of the cluttered indistinct summit piles of shattered rock, shelters, cairns etc. In the greyout I was grateful for the tiny wee lochain that allows the certainty of position to ID the local prominence that is the actual summit. There was no let-up from the rain and I was soaked through so a quick about turn and off I went. Overshot the ridge-to-yomp turning point but regained the down track soon enough.

Photo Aug 11, 13 37 30.png.jpg
No photos worth taking in the grey until the actual summit. Tick. Run away.

Photo Aug 11, 14 24 58.jpg
At last a view. Somewhere in those trees is the Ossian hostel and the approach road may also be seen.


Back at the ranch as it were I had a pint, maybe two, before attempting a cramped, skin-out change of clothing in a tiny tent with a tympany from the heavens pounding the fly-sheet. I got back in the pub/café for my venison casserole and was surprised the substantial puddle I’d made earlier was mostly gone. Later they told me they had mopped up when I left.
The night was not comfortable, my stove attempts with bio-ethanol were a disaster, but the worst was the midge burden. The rain kept ‘em down outside but in the little bit of canopy outside my inner tent they lurked with menace. Any excursions through this domain allowed ‘em in and at me until I could re-zip and squish intruders. During the tent-strike and bag they were pretty bad despite chemical defences. While waiting for the early train I had to keep walking round and round the vicinity as no-where outside was free of them. The café opens only 5 minutes before the train arrives so it was keep moving or be breakfast.

Photo Aug 11, 15 37 37.jpg
Hame sweet drookit hame.

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View from tent in morning

Photo Aug 11, 17 33 56.jpg
Might actually see the hill I climbed if the clouds move.....

Photo Aug 11, 19 46 45.jpg
There it is!!


Another Munro (#157 I think) and an interesting jaunt. The train broke down for an hour on Rannoch Moor out of 2G signal range which was tedious but I got a £4.70 refund online which I punted to their suggested charity MIND.
Once home I dismantled my stove, tried again, looked up the service steps on MSR website, did them and only then did it dawn on me that ethanol is nae use. Billed as a multifuel stove, I wrongly assumed any old burny fluid would do. Nah. Part of the problem is that, kerosene, white gas, petrol, paraffin are used throughout the English speaking world but not for exactly the same stuff. My error was to assume the American term white gas meant I could use white spirit but no. Alcohols don’t work and any old petroleum fuel will. Ho hum.

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Comments: 1



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Lipeshends


Activity: Mountain Walker
Pub: Clachaig
Mountain: Buchaille Etive Mor
Place: Glencoe
Gear: Dachstein mitts
Ideal day out: Cold sunny winter Munro

Munros: 159



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Statistics

2021

Trips: 2
Distance: 22 km
Ascent: 1528m
Munros: 2

2020

Trips: 1
Munros: 1

2014

Trips: 1
Munros: 2

2012

Trips: 3
Munros: 4

2011

Trips: 1
Munros: 1

2010

Trips: 1
Munros: 1

2008

Trips: 1
Munros: 2

2007

Trips: 5
Munros: 5

2006

Trips: 1
Munros: 2

2001

Trips: 1
Munros: 1

2000

Trips: 2
Distance: 21 km
Munros: 5

1991

Trips: 2
Munros: 4

1990

Trips: 1
Munros: 1


Joined: Nov 06, 2020
Last visited: Oct 26, 2021
Total posts: 23 | Search posts