Information and photos of my mountaineering trips in Scotland,England and Wales:
Including hillwalking,scrambling and easy rock climbing.Also via ferrata, skiing and alpine trips in Europe.

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Sunday, 27 May 2012

Rannoch Moor - Inveroran to Kingshouse and back, 27th May 2012.

After a hot and very slow drive to Bridge of Orchy, myself and Lorna pitched camp just past Inveroran and managed to enjoy the afternoon sun. Thankfully it was quieter than I thought, and choosing a spot by the river was easy. Just one other couple on our side of the bridge, a lone walker and a Belgian couple on the other. 
Even though we arrived about 3.30pm , it was still very hot and the occaisional breeze was welcome (as were the cold beers I brought!). My concession to Lorna for her introduction to wild camping was, a) to drive to a camping spot and, b) to bring some folding chairs! I was glad we did so that we could enjoy the good weather!   
We didn't start cooking till about 8pm, and it wasn't long after, once the sun had gone down over the horizon, that the midges appeared. At first they weren't too bad, and the fire and the smoke from the      b-b-q kept them at bay. However I was eventually beaten, even after Skin So Soft and repellent were applied. So at about 11pm I retired to bed.       
We got up at about 7am to swarms of midges outside the front of the tent. Headnets were needed to survive as we prepared breakfast up at the road above the bridge where there was a little more breeze and sun to keep them away. It wasn't long before they started to go away so it wasn't the worst midge experience I've ever had. 
We moved the car up to the car park at Victoria Bridge, and set off across Rannoch Moor, following the West Highland Way. We didn't see that many people on our journey out to Kingshouse, just a small group at Ba Bridge and a few guys heading back to Victoria Bridge. The views across Loch Tulla to our right were amazing, and as we went along, Blackmount came into view over our left shoulders. Soon we were at Ba Bridge, the halfway point before the second long drag up the the high point above the Kingshouse, and the long descent past the Ski Centre to the Kingshouse Hotel itself.
There was a young Stag, hind and calves wandering amongst the gardens of the few houses that are at Kingshouse, seemingly at ease with the passing of hordes of tourists and walkers.        
Young stag wandering around happily outside the Kingshouse Hotel.
After a hot sweaty walk over the moor, it was time for a pint and lunch. However I went into the walkers bar and ordered my drinks at 1220 and it turns out they're not licensed till 1230! So I had a long 10 minute wait for my well earned pint. Whilst waiting we got chatting to a guy doing the "way", and it turned out he was a tanker driver working out of Grangemouth and had some interesting and enlightening stuff to say about their fight to retain their terms and conditions and how unlicenced and unregulated rigs wait outside the plant for loads to be brought out to them, I'll leave you to decide. 
After bidding farewell to the tanker driver, we went outside so Lorna could dip her bad ankle in the cold water. As we did we got talking to a couple on their honeymoon - camping at the back of the hotel  - and had just spent a week in Aviemore. It turned out the guy was ex SAS, so we had a short ex army blether and bid them farwell as we set off back for Rannoch Moor.
No trip to the Kingshouse is complete without another obligatory shot of Buichaille etive Mor at the head of Glencoe. It always looks impressive, no matter how many times you see it.
Walking back to Victoria Bridge, it was evident that the vast majority of people we saw heading north along the track towards Glencoe, were either foriegn or of an older generation. That's not to say we didn't see any Brits, or young Brits at that, but they were the minority, at least today.
At the halfway point, Ba Bridge, we really need some extra water. The bar staff at the Kinsghouse kindly fill peoples bottles for them, but we drank it all in the heat, so I scrambled down amongst the rocks beneath the old bridge to get some fresh water. It was tempting to jump into the natural pools that form there and I reckon it would make a great wild camp (despite the midges) with your own pool thrown in!
From here we battered on till we got back to Victoria Bridge, where we jumped in the car and went back to our original camping spot where we cooled down in the river before getting changed for the drive home.    

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