10 to 17 February 2013: National Trip to Glencoe

Only two members of London Red Rope went on the February national trip to Glencoe, Sherry Macliver and myself. We drove up from London on Sunday 10th, picking up Sarah Bates in Leicester and arriving at the Lagangarbh hut just after 7. The nicely equipped hut nestles under Buchaille Etive Mor, but is only a couple of hundred yards off the A82 Glasgow-Fort William road, down a rough track and over a footbridge.

Lagangarb hut

The Lagangarbh Hut (Richard Webb / CC BY-SA 2.0)

There were fourteen people on the trip, and we divided up into different parties on different days. The weather was not great but not terrible, so I got up decent summits on three out of the six days: Beinn a Chrulaiste overlooking the hut on the Monday, Ben Starav on the Tuesday and Buchaille Etive Beag on the Friday. The views were best on that last day, but the most thrilling ascent was probably Ben Starav, a big mountain down the bottom end of Glen Etive which we only just got up in the available daylight, with a fairly exposed snow-covered arrete just before the summit.

Anne and Julian on the summit ridge of Buchaille Etive Beag

Anne and Julian on the summit ridge of Buchaille Etive Beag, with Beinn a Chrulaiste in the background on the right

However, in some ways for me the highlight of the trip was on the Thursday, a “rest day”. With a poor weather forecast, three of us decided to give the mountains a miss, so drove down the coast towards Oban, turned off to Port Appin and took a little ferry over to Lismore, a long thin island, ten miles long with a substantial population. Lismore is formed of limestone, very different from the rock of most of the surrounding areas, so the scenery was very distinctive and our walk, mainly along the coasts, took us past a couple of old castles.

The ferry coming in to the pier on Lismore

The ferry coming in to the pier on Lismore



About Humphrey Southall

Director, Great Britain Historical GIS; Reader in Geography, University of Portsmouth
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