By here, it was wet out yesterday! Me & Andy headed off to Fersit with a view to doing Stob Coire Sgriodain and Chno Dearg. We didn't leave Bellshill until 9, mainly because the forecast was that the weather would be rubbish in the morning but would improve into the afternoon, with a 70% chance of cloud free Munros.
It didny quite work out like that.
The journey up was a bit of a trial too, because the traffic was horrendous and there's a series of roadworks through Glencoe and then on the road to Fort William after the bridge at Ballachullish. Four hours it took altogether. Stationary for about ten minutes just outside Onich, and taking the pouring rain into consideration, we were half thinking of turning round, but the radio had a couple of excellent moments which lifted the spirits. First, Radio Nevis ran a competition to win a Nolan's CD, announced the winner and said to her "just come down and pick it up", which struck me as funny. Apparently, they'll have another CD to give away "in a few weeks" which struck me as even funnier.
Then Radio Scotland had Andy Cameron on, and they were asking folk who used to phone in jokes to his old radio show when they were kids (Andy has been around a long time) to call and tell the same jokes again.
I particularly enjoyed these two. Indeed the second one had me braying like a donkey.
1. " What's brown and white and sits on top of the telly?"
"I don't know, what's brown and white and sits on top of the telly?"
"A piece and sausage."
2. "What vegetable makes your eyes water?"
"I don't know, what vegetable makes your eyes water?"
"A big tumshie."
"How would that make your eyes water?"
"Have you never been hit in the baws wi' a big tumshie?"
Parochial maybe but it got us laughing.
It was grey wet and windy when we reached the carpark at Fersit and it never lifted. You follow the road that leads off towards the houses, over the river and over the railway line. It's a lovely place - or at least it would be lovely in the sunshine. Past a farm and then it's a case of picking your way upwards through boggy slopes towards Sron na Garbh-bheinne, which glimpsed through the rain and mist looks impressively craggy.
To be honest, after about half an hour, conditions were sufficiently miserable that it was feeling unlikely we'd get anywhere near a hill. A look at the map indicated that if we kept following the burn marked as Allt Chaorach Beag it'd lead us to the Lochan Coire an Lochan, which sits in the corrie between the two Munros. We decided we'd do that and make our minds up about heading on, or back, at that point.
It's pretty easy progress, albeit incredibly wet underfoot, and just as we caught sight of the lochan we estimated we were at a height of about 2500', so we weren't going to get much wetter by heading up to the top of a hill.
Actually, we couldn't possibly have got any wetter regardless of what we did.
The slopes to Chno Dearg seemed the easiest option, because there was no way we were going to bother with both Munros given the weather. It was pretty miserable just following a bearing all the way to the top, but it only took another half an hour or so.
A swift U-turn after we got to the cairn, and back to the car in less than two hours.
I reckon it'd be a nice wander in the sunshine, so I'll choose a good day and go back for Sgriodain some time. If it wasn't so disastrously boggy, the Lochan would be a good wildcamp spot, and it'd be a good starting point to do Sgriodain and Beinn na Lap.
The only other notables from the trip are that it was the Wee Black Dug's 20th Munro, and I saw my first ever grouse nest, with a clutch of five eggs. Cool.
Oh, and coming home via Dalwhinnie only took two and a half hours!
Ach, if the forecast had been accurate we'd have gone nowhere.