I'd the whole week off work and had planned to do stuff at the beginning of the week when Steve would be about. As ever the weather had better ideas though we did manage to get something done between deluges. True to form the weather forecast improved for the end of the week but Steve had the kids for the weekend and the rest of the usual suspects weren't available. Out came the maps, books and public transport timetables.
Planning a trip to the hills via public transport is always entertaining and I had a few options but I decided to go with a wee trip on the train. Another look at the maps and I had a number of options when I got out there.
First stop Rannoch Station. I had a wee bit of a walk along the road before heading along The Road To The Isles. Before I knew it I had the first target of the day in view Sron Leachd a Chaorainn. As it had been so wet I had already decided that the best way, and hopefully driest, to get onto the ridge was to continue a bit further on the track to Corrour to around the 500m contour line then NE onto it. It was still wet but the Sealskin Socks were doing their stuff.
Its a great wander along that ridge and the view was just opening up in front of me over Rannoch Moore to Glencoe, Blackwater Reservoir, the Mamores even Ben Nevis - heaven
Once I was on the summit of Carn Dearg I had to decide if this was to be my hoose for the night or the next summit Sgor Gaibhre. I figured I still had enough time before it got dark to get over to Sgor Gaihbre and pitch the tent but didn't factor in my faff time of stopping to take photies every five minutes of the sunset and watching the massive herd of deer that appeared in front of me.
I got the tent up just as it got dark and set about organising myself for the night. I had a few new things with me. The biggy was the Thermarest Neoair which had arrived just the day before so this was a proper first test. I'd got the regular size which is luxury and certainly filled the tent. I also had the Sea to Summit X Mug which saves space and kept my chocca mocha nice and warm.
Dinner was couscous and Look What We Found Fellside Beef Chilli. I had seen the discussion on Outdoorsmagic about these so I had a play about to see how they fitted in my Ti Mug for cooking and decided they did fit better being boiled in a pour & store bag which meant I could use the water for my drinks. It was certainly scrummy.
As I settled down for the night I noticed the wind had picked up a wee bit. I hoped it wouldn't get any worse as I hadn't really positioned the tent to take a battering. Due to the wind sleep wasn't as forthcoming as it could have been but the Neoair was just fantastic. With my Ajungilak pillow I was well comfy. It's the first time I've really been able to sleep on my side on any mat. It also seemed to handle the cold quite well too. Not sure how cold it got overnight but it was certainly nippy when I got out the tent in the morning.
I had positioned the tent to look over to Schiehallion for sunrise and did I get some views :D)
While having breakfast I weighed up the options for the route back. I could head back to Rannoch via Meall na Meoig but the pull of a hot cuppa and bacon buttie at the Corrour Station House won out. So it was over to Sgor Choinnich and down to Loch Ossian. It was strange being back on a path having done most of this route off path.
All too soon I was back in the real world, meeting another couple of walkers on the path, the first people I'd seen since leaving Rannoch Station. I certainly enjoyed my bacon buttie while waiting on the train. I wonder what will happen to Corrour Station House as the current tenants haven't had their lease renewed and they've no idea what Corrour Estate have planned for its future. It'll certainly be missed by many a walker waiting for the train.
To say that I'm pleased that my first solo wild camp went off without a hitch would be an understatement but it's nature and the hills who win hands down for making the trip what it was - special :D)