Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Clashgour and Upper Glenorchy

Last weekend, I met with old friends at the Glasgow University Mountaineering Club hut, Clashgour. This hut - little bigger than a tool shed - was built a hundred years ago as a school for the children in the glen. It has been leased by the estate since 1948 to GUMC, and provided a welcome haven from grey, wet Glasgow during our student days. The hut sleeps 6 but, according to the GUMC website, sleeps up to 12. From experience, a dozen bodies is exceptionally cosy in Clashgour.

Inside Clashgour:


Clashgour rainbow:


We visited often as students - occasionally to walk the hills, perhaps to do some work on the hut; but more often simply to fester, to get out the city and have a little space for the weekend, walking up the river, brewing tea, and visiting the Inveroran Inn, 45 minutes walk from the hut.

This time of year is probably the best time to visit. The brown autumn colours; the rivers full; the stags roaring; the stars in a dark sky; the fire stacked.

The Inveroran Inn from the West Highland Way:


On Sunday we rose late after an evening of juvenile silliness, and headed for the Corbett of Beinn Mhic Monaidh. We were late starting, but as it was my first hill since May, I was determined to give it a go. The route begins at a bridge over a beautiful gorge on the River Orchy. We stopped for a few minutes, hoping to see salmon, but saw none - although we did see canoeists leaving the scene! It looks like a dangerous, but exhilarating run. Birds sang in the waterfall-rushing woodland as we ascended an easy track to the treeline, then we slowed considerably tackling the steep southeast flank of the hill. Deer stood silhouetted on the corrie lip, and there were probably many more we couldn't see. We could certainly hear them, roaring like constipated cows. At the top the sun was setting, and the view onto the Blackmount hills is the best I have seen of this range. Ben Lui and Ben More to the east, the ridges and forest of Glenorchy: wood-fringed Loch Awe, shining burnished bronze, Cruachan a dark mass in front of the sun. The three Paps of Jura clearly visible (from most angles, only two can be seen), Rannoch Moor, and furthest away, the high, snow-capped peak of Ben Nevis. Billy took a photograph with which to taunt Dave, who was unable to come this weekend.

Loch Awe from Beinn Mhic Monadh:


On the summit of Beinn Mhic Monadh:


On the way down the road, we stopped in the Real Food Cafe in Tyndrum for dinner. Who should pop in but the current GUMC! They still hold their fresher's meet in Glencoe, and more than half the new intake are foreign. If past years are anything to go by, then most, like butterflies, will not last beyond the first couple of meets and the first snows of winter.

5 comments:

Billy said...

Apparently the record is 35. Doubt you would need the stove on then

Dave said...

Your post is better than mine. But I was too tired. Some of the juvenile silliness nearly rubbed of at work today. I nearly called my colleagues a bunch of pussies for not going for a walk at lunchtime. I *think* I said it under my breath.

Dave said...

Where's this taunting photo then. I want to be taunted ....NOW!

Billy said...

I want to be taunted ....NOW!


Ok, you empty-headed animal food-trough wiper! Ah fart in your general direction! Your mother was a hamster, and your father smelt of elderberries!

blueskyscotland said...

Had the pleasure of staying here at the weekend.Well,it would have been a pleasure if the fire had a decent draw on it..!
Alex.