Thursday, 9 June 2011

Silver DofE: Kinlochleven Tramp

I'm really enjoying the Duke of Edinburgh Award work that I'm doing at the moment, and this week, it was a Silver Award final expedition, with three teams of students in the hills between Kinlochleven and Corrour station. The weather was not entirely on our side for the whole trip, but unlike the students I had the luxury of a first night in Loch Chiarain Bothy. Not only that, but the cool weather meant that once we had left the sheltered woodland around Kinlochleven, there were very few midgies to bother us. That said, the photo below was taken just 20 minutes out of the village, where I was hiding at a path junction checking the students had all successfully left the start point on the correct path....

We took the track up to the Blackwater Dam and were treated to fabulous views of the back of the Aonach Eagach ridge and Buachaille Etive Mor.  The impressive spire of the Crowberry Tower was clearly visible from that angle.

To pick out the Crowberry Tower, click on the image to view it full size. 

At the Blackwater Reservoir, we took a boggy path along the shore before turning North East up the Allt an Inbhir and then down to the Loch Chiarain bothy. This bothy is quite plush, with 2 rooms upstairs and downstairs, and plenty of midsummer light streaming in through the windows.  The students camped by the loch, to fulfill the requirements of the DofE syllabus. 

Loch Chiarain Bothy

From Loch Chiarain, we continued on the second day to Loch Treig, or the "Loch of Doom", where we crossed a scary rotting bridge and tried not to think too much about doom.   

Plenty of atmosphere at Loch Treig...

We followed the shores of the loch for about 3 km before turning up the Lairig Leacach. The bothy at the top of the Lairig was a welcome rest point for the students and I spent a mere 6 hours at this point waiting for the groups to come through so a lot of hot chocolate was consumed! 

 The Lairig Leacach- Sgurr Innse looms in to view. 

From Lairig Leacach, it was a stomp over the hill in the rain to Meannanach Bothy on the banks of the Abhain Rath. By the time we arrived at the river it had been raining for some time, so we crossed the river before the waters rose to high and camped on the opposite bank at the ruins of Luibeilt. This was a wet camp after a long day and the students (and leaders) were pretty pooped...

From camp we watched the river rise and snow fell on the tops behind...

On the final day, all that remained was to head over the pass to the two Loch Eildes and head down in to Kinlochleven by the early afternoon. 

Andy McNamara from Otters Tail Adventures admires the view.

No comments: