Setting Off From Sandwell valley

Friday, 30 July 2010

Crainlarich Youth Hostel to Ben Nevis

OK. I know I'm a few days behind but using an iphone is difficult on a remote Scottish island.

No more excuses. Now to catch up.

Early morning goodbyes to a lovely family from Cornwall; Steve, Alison, Charlene and William.

Soon [!] reached Glencoe ski centre and went on the chair lift to get to the higher plateau. Nobody else up here and lots of changes since I was last up here, 30 years ago. Ski runs designated, non used chair lifts and closed cafes. Still walked up to a distant edge to look down the Glencoe valley. Saw only 2 meadow pipits and a golden plover but the misty views in the drizzle were what I was really up here for.

I love chair lifts and this one, being so steep and long is well worth the money. Strange that I was the only person on it.

Through Glencoe and down to the coast road, only to be stopped by a car with two laughing occupants. Ruth and ***** [oh dear i've forgotten her name - I am so sorry!]! Two fabulous girls who I'd met earlier in the year at Leighton Moss RSPB Reserve. Such a coincidence that they were travelling along the same road and saw me. Cherries, olives, a plum or two and some apple juice cadged from the pair and me last in the cherry stone spitting competition. Fabulous to see them both again. Brilliant pair.

Drizzle now turning to rain and ever onwards towards Fort William. Decided though to head into a conifer woodland about 2 miles north of the Corran Ferry and put the tent up. End of day with a bowl of crunchy nut cornflakes and a book about life on St Kilda.

25th July 2010

Up with the lark, who luckily had decided to stay in bed due to the rain. Not woshing to upset him I did the same and got to Fort William at about lunchtime. Charity shope are open in this town on a Sunday. Down Glen Nevis and then up to the summit of Ben in weather not condusive to good views. in fact you couldn't see more than 50 feet once 1,000 meters was reached. The path though was excellent and easy to keep on, which I very carefully did. Met a Liverpool fan at the top from Manchester [Brave lad!]. Otherwise there were only 5 other people and they soon left leaving me and Barnaby Bear alone as the tallest people in Britian.

Had met a wonderful pair of local men whilst I was on the way up, who had spent the day doing haircuts at the summit to raise money for charity. This fellow had to carry all the gear up and down.
In the mist a pair of snow buntings were knocking around the summit. The male in particular was a very bright bird; not that I'm saying that the female was thick or anything but to live up here is a tad daft.

Back down and back to warmer temperatures and not exactly sunshine but clear views of surrounding hills.

So, as stated before all 5 peaks now climbed and I can concentrate on birding.

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