28th/29th March 2009

Corrour. That tiniest of halts on the West Highland Railway. No
public road access. You can draw a box around of 100 square miles and
there's no other inhabited building.

Frank and I got off the morning train into the falling snow. Cloud
hung on the hillsides and Loch Ossian shivered grim and grey, with
snow down to its edges and freezing the early rhododendrons.
A north wind kept things a bit uncomfortable, but as we rounded the
east end of Loch Ossian an hour or so later, the clag at least was
pulling up and flashes of sunshine lit up the snowy hills.

As we gained height, the snow was thick and soft, but then became
harder with a crust. An easy angle, but suddenly we were kicking in,
edging, and cutting a few steps to move above the next rocks.
Although there was less cloud further south, Frank was keen on
Corrour:......... to climb the Munros nearby.
(Baggin'..............poooooooH !!).
He had his wish:- a brief almost-whiteout was followed by clearing
mist, and there stood the summit of Sgor Gaibhre tall and white
against a deep blue sky.
It was no place to linger, though, as the bitter wind made
communication tricky and stopping very cold. Ski goggles were the
order of the day !

At the bealach, we hunkered down in the lee of a frozen peat hag, for
flasks and pork pie. Then some more of the same, over the summit of
Carn Dearg and down west through deep white drifts to the remote
Youth Hostel at Loch Ossian. Actually we were quite early at the
Hostel, as the wind had more or less prohibited hanging about. Plenty
of tea. The thinnest book on the shelves was F Scott Fitzgerald's
"The Great Gatsby", so I finished that, whilst Frank ploughed on
through the Nazi invasion of Crete.

Arising at 7, and away before 8, we aimed to get up and down Beinn na
Lap before the 12.30 train out. Once again, a gloomy start had us
working uphill on a compass bearing; but it thinned and cleared.
Without the wind, we could admire stunning views of blue skies, white
hills, and blue lochs below mirroring the sky. Compelling and beautiful.

At Corrour station, the old bunkhouse lies closed and boarded up. A
sad sequel to the merry tales which several YMC Members can still
tell about our previous visits to Corrour. Scott Fitzgerald ended The
Great Gatsby with the moral that you cannot re-make the past. Well we
didn't at Corrour either; but we had a great weekend as we re-trod
the old path.