Fersit – Loch Treig
Friday 19 October 2012
18.5 km/439 m/07:30 hrs
From the car park near the bridge at Fersit I climbed up to the Parallel Road that skirts around Creag Fhinaclach.
The “path” is very overgrown at first.
Then it turns into a boggy mess.
Later the path improves slightly, but after passing a quarry and a dam and following the Allt Làire for a while it peters out completely.
I found the scenery in Coire Làire very bleak, maybe it is different in better weather when the surrounding hills are visible. It had been drizzling from the start, but now the rain had become heavier and the clouds were low.
At the head of Coire Làire a southern tributary stream of the Allt Ruigh Ghobhainn was in spate and I had to make a detour uphill until I could find a place to cross it safely.
When I reached Bealach an Sgùrr, all I could see of Sgùrr Innse was this:
In these conditions I really didn’t feel like climbing the two Corbetts, I only wanted to get out of the rain as quickly as possible.
The bothy down in Lairig Leacach was a very welcome sight at this point.
Lairig Leacach Bothy.
In the bothy I had an extended lunch break, but after a while I began to feel cold and wanted to get moving again.
From the bothy I followed the track along the Allt na Lairige, large sections of which were waterlogged.
A tree-lined narrow gorge adds a little bit of interest to the walk, apart from that it just felt like an endless slog on slippery, muddy ground.
In the dull weather daylight was fading quickly, and I began to look out for a camp site. The ground was very soggy, and the nearest suitable place I knew was Creaguaineach Lodge at the head of Loch Treig.
When I arrived there, it was just getting dark, and after wandering around between the deserted lodge and its outbuildings, I decided against it. I had camped by the lodge in the past, but this time it felt somehow eerie and I didn’t feel like staying there.
The next opportunity was a small grassy patch just after the bridge across the Allt Crunachgan. I put my headtorch on and walked as fast as I could, worrying that someone else might have had the same idea and “my” little camp site was already occupied. In that case I would have to walk further up the track to the railway underpass, with more potential pitches on the banks of the Allt a’ Chamabhreac.
But I was lucky and found my intended camp still available. I pitched my tent in the rain, had dinner and fell asleep quickly, knowing I only had a very easy and short day ahead of me tomorrow.
Loch Treig – Corrour – Loch Ossian YH
Saturday 20 October 2012
8.5 km/211 m/02:45 hrs
Sometime during the night the rain had stopped and in the early morning the surface of Loch Treig looked very calm.
Two hours later, the clouds had even started to lift.
The W end of the loch.
I was in no rush to leave my camp site, and when I was ready to pack up my tent, the sun even made an appearance.
View back from the track to Loch Ossian.
The Grey Corries.
Loch Ossian and the Ben Alder hills in the distance.
At the Corrour Station Restaurant I had a venison burger with chips and a couple of Magners.
After my lunch, I still had some time to spare before walking over to the YH, so I sat by the fireplace and tried to read a book that I had borrowed from the shelf in the corner. That turned out to be difficult because Archie, the resident dog, first tried to eat the cushions on the sofa I was sitting on, and then my book. Thankfully, he later discovered that the logs beside the fireplace tasted even better, and I finally got some peace and quiet 😆
Before I left, I bought a couple of very tasty looking homemade cupcakes, and also got a 10 % discount card for my next visit. Although it was before 17:00 when I arrived at the Loch Ossian YH, it was unlocked and when I walked in, it was quite a surprise to be greeted by Linda whom I had first met at Hogmanay 2010 at the Glen Nevis YH. She had travelled by train and was doing some day walks in the area. Later the rest of the guests arrived and we all had a nice evening in the warm and cosy kitchen at the hostel.
Loch Ossian YH – Fersit
Sunday 21 October 2012
19.1 km/277 m/05:00 hrs
The weather looked promising when I left the hostel and walked along the S bank of Loch Ossian.
And it got even better when I walked past Corrour Shooting Lodge and into Strath Ossian.
River and Strath Ossian.
Meall Garbh and Chno Dearg.
Loch Ghuilbinn with Beinn a’ Chlachair on the skyline.
View back along the glen, Strathossian House right of centre.
Shortly after crossing the bridge over the Allt Fèith Thuill I left the road and followed the path that climbs diagonally up the hillside E of Chno Dearg. When I had just finished my lunch break in the lee of a large boulder beside the path, two mountainbikers passed by (not cycling, but pushing their bikes). They were also on their way to Fersit, and after a brief chat with them I continued up the hill while they stopped for a break behind the same boulder.
On the wide plateau E of Chno Dearg – looking towards Beinn a’ Chlachair on the left, and Geal-Chàrn, Aonach Beag and Beinn Eibhinn on the right.
Binnein Shuas in the centre with Loch Laggan on the left and Creag Pitridh on the right.
After entering the forest, the path deteriorates and becomes very boggy.
Ruined building in the forest.
At the edge of the forest, a large locked gate blocks the way. It can be climbed easily by a high stile at the side of it, but I felt sorry for the mountainbikers who would have to lift their bikes over the stile. But I never saw them again that day – they must have either taken a very long break or they changed their minds after seeing the state of the path and found another way to get to Fersit.
Out of the forest, the path improves again and it is easy going back to the car park.
During my stay at Fort William a few days ago, I had booked a room at the Trekker’s Lodge at the Kintail Lodge Hotel. After a pleasant drive to Shiel Bridge from Fersit I checked into my room, had a shower and walked over to the hotel for a bar meal and a few drinks.
Back in my room, I packed my rucksack for the next day, checked the weather forecast – it looked great – and went to bed looking forward to climbing Beinn Sgritheall the next day 🙂