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Loch Ossian, 2010

In spite of the absence of a certain Calder couple, the Marvellous Hutchinsons (MH) managed to band together a small but perfectly formed group of revellers for the annual weekend away to Loch Ossian YH by dropping the fancy dress clause in the much diminished list of rules. On Friday night, the stumble from the Bridge of Orchy Hotel to train station revealed a clear, starry sky raising hopes for good weather over the following two days. Spirits were lifted and arms lengthened by the weight of the MH's Tesco shop on the mile walk from Corrour station to the YH, where we were welcomed by new warden, Caroline, who had warmed the lodgings in anticipation of our arrival with a roaring wood fire.

The evening of settling in- which involved eating all the nibbles and realising that karaoke was going to the order of the day as no one had brought batteries for the music station- was rounded off by almost burning down the YH by sending off a few lanterns into the trees which overhang the roof. All agreed it was a respectful farewell to ex-warden Nick, in place of his exciting firework display.

Dawn broke far too early over a frosty Loch Ossian, and a string of sausages lying in the loch were pondered on over a non-sausagy breakfast. Tummies full and bumbags packed, parties dispersed in different directions to explore new hills and trails as well as some old favourites. Clouds stayed on the horizon allowing for a bright morning of autumn colours and whitened hilly skylines, appreciated by our expedition from the hills above Loch Trieg.

Even without Pat's contribution this year, home baking was plentiful as the weary and damp returned and refuelled, bedding in well in advance of sundown. The usual levels of frivolity and enjoyment ensued, although yours truly hit the sack before the webcam link with Shanghai was established for a rendition of 'Music Man' and greatest hits of Simple Minds.

Before many had emerged from their linerson Sunday morning, Cat, with a bag full of rocks, set off for her marathon to Dalwhinnie through the frozen puddled path to the north of the loch. Inspired by her energy, the round the loch challenge began in the bitter cold and long shadows of the morning, and I was chased down by Susie and Chris, making it back to the hostel just as the sun emerged from behind the hills and comfortably within the hour limit. This year, with rules relaxed, there was greater scope for a morning expedition which all took advantage of. Chris, Susie and I bagged the two munros to the north east of the hostel, enjoying the clear vistas from the tops but quickly moving on as the temperature dropped rapidly into the afternoon and clouds from the south closed in.

A very civilised afternoon of eating, drinking and game playing drew in quickly, and we joined some rather blue bothy-ers at the station to await the train home.

Thanks to Fiona and John for organising the weekend so carefully- very smooth indeed.

CatCatCat on Ben AlderJD on Ben AlderSusie smashing the one hour markSusie, Chris and Ellie outside the HostelJohn H, Colin and Helen pose in front of Loch OssianJD and John H with Ben Nevis and the Grey Corries behindColin and John with Loch Ossian behind

Posted by Ellie Homewood on Mon 8 Nov 2010 | 4 comments

Category loch ossian

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  1. John Donnelly said...

    A select band of Westies enjoyed a glorious weekend in the wilderness of Corrour Estate, on yet another Westies trip to Loch Ossian Youth Hostel. We kicked off on the Friday night with Fyne Ales and fine food in the Bridge of Orchy Hotel, before getting the train in to remote Corrour Station (410 metres high). After dragging our supplies down the mile long track in the dark we settled into the hostel, to be greeted by a warm smiling hostel warden (Yes, Nick had left!!). Plans were mooted, maps pored over and drinks poured down for a few hours.

    Saturday was a fine day weather-wise and lots of different parties headed out into the glorious autumnal mountain scenery. Cat and I chased after Fiona, Helen and John Hamer bound for a 20 mile round trip to Ben Alder, though we somehow overtook them unknowingly on the way up, and saw their fellprints as we descended in the mist. Chris, Ellie and Ossian virgin David Dickson headed over by the head of Loch Treig to climb Stob Coire Easain and Stob a' Coire Mheadoin. John Hutchinson and Susie trained it to Tulloch Station and came back via Strath Ossian. Colin tested his dodgy knees successfully by heading over Chno Dearg and Stob Coire Sgriodain while Charlie summitted the nearby Meall na Lice.

    A few brave souls donned fancy dress in the evening, but most of us settled for just enjoying the fine food and baking organised superbly by Fiona. In deference to the absent Dave Calder we enforced a strict no dancing rule and even declined a round of Music Man, settling instead for some of Fiona’s “10 Questions”.

    Sunday dawned sunny, freezing and glorious as a few brave souls raced “Round The Loch”. Chris blasted round well under 50 mins, Ellie and Susie well under 55mins while poor John Hamer missed out on a sub 1hr by only a few seconds, apparently a repeat of last year!! He would surely have smashed it had he not ran a marathon last weekend and a 6 hour Ben Alder run on Sat. After breakfast we all took advantage of the fantastic weather to get some more hills done. Colin, John and had a grand few hours climbing Leum Uilleim at Corrour Station; Chris, Ellie and Susie bagged Carn Dearg and Sgor Gaibhre south of the Loch; David set off for a solo run up to the Bealach Dubh and grabbed Geal Charn.

    After all our excursions we enjoyed the new Nick-free atmosphere of an unhurried Sunday afternoon by polishing off soup, pizza and puddings. Bags all packed and hostel all tidied we plodded up to the station for the 6.30pm train. In final deference to our absent Chinese Westie we gave the Hokey-Kokey a miss, though the sprint relays warmed us all up, as the winter weather started to close in on another great weekend. Major thanks to Fiona for all her organisation, to everyone who cooked, baked and contributed to this wonderful weekend.

    Monday 8th November 2010 11.33am

  2. Charlie said...

    Well firstly many thanks to Social Sec Fiona for organising another jolly Loch Ossian jolly. She must have been praying big-time to the rain gods for clemency as after a week of pish weather, the grey clouds finally broke as we left Glasgow on Friday eve. Maybe some other gods had been stirring as well, for when we arrived at the hostel, we were warmly greeted by the new warden, just like the previous warden, but this time we didn’t have to sit through a rendition of the Solicitor’s guide to SYHA rules. In fact, Caroline informed us that we were even allowed to touch the coal and place some in the burner if we wanted – bliss!

    Saturday was a lovely day and I took myself on a little stroll to have a look at the dilapidated building at Lubnaclach, and then climbed the southern slopes of little Meall na Lice to pop out on top to a wonderful vista in all directions – what a viewpoint. The usual evening shenanigans ensued, and we sent up some more of John Hamer’s Chinese lanterns in acknowledgement of our missing Shanghai Shuffler. (Did you see any of them Dave, they went fairly high)

    Another good day on Sunday followed, and after the relay team sprints at Corrour, by the time we arrived at Bridge of Orchy to jump in the cars, the wind & rain had returned – perfect timing.

    Ps we never did resolve how a string of link sausages came to be in Loch Ossian…

    Monday 8th November 2010 1.35pm

  3. cat said...

    We used to drive up the A9 to my Grannie’s, passing Dalwhinnie on the way, and I’d always wonder what was at the end of the long lochs you can see from the road (…monsters?? ….sunny tropical paradise??) and could a person get from one end of the loch to the other? It turns out that Rannoch Moor is at the end of the lochs and Loch Ossian is right in the middle of it and a person can get from one end to the other … especially if they are well equipped with a bagful of rocks (essential for any long distance adventure), a tummy full of delicious food from a good meal the night before (a person could get to the moon on John Hamer’s soup) and a gin and tonic.
    It was a lovely run and a great feeling to arrive at Dalwhinnie before the bleak weather kicked in, but it was even better when I realised I had timed it (by total fluke) perfectly for the afternoon train and if I’d been 10mins later I would have been waiting at Dalwhinnie for 6 hours!!
    Great weekend - thanks.

    Tuesday 9th November 2010 3.22pm

  4. Charlie said...

    Almost Catch 22 then Cat...

    :-)

    Tuesday 9th November 2010 9.43pm

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