One day last February, I stepped out of work and onto a sleeper train up to the Scottish Highlands with a friend, did a day’s hillwalking from Corrour, an outstandingly remote place, then got the evening train down and the sleeper back to London, rolling back into the office at an unusually early (for me) hour.
Last month I did the same thing again, this time with Dan and James. This time we got really lucky with the weather, so I decided on an ambitious (for winter) trek over two Munros to the south of Tulloch. We had just six hours between the morning train arriving and the evening train leaving, so we kept up a good pace. The snow depth wasn’t as bad as expected, with a 10-15cm layer of hoar frost sitting on top of some well-packed snow. Towards the end of the day we saw a front creeping towards us, that was to give a very heavy snowfall and avalanches in the area the following day.
Finding a good, straight path, we took a direct route up the ever-steepening slopes to the first summit (very boggy and nasty in summer apparently), then a pleasant and fast ridge-walk to the second Munro (again rough in summer) and finally a steep descent back down to the Narnia-like forest – the track being overgrown with trees bent double under the weight of the snow – and back to the station.
The area was a bit sparse on OpenStreetMap but I’ve gone back over the area and traced in the details, with the help of my GPS log, Landsat imagery and Scottish Popular Edition mapping that is now available in Potlatch (more on that soon).
A grand day out.
Route – for the full 3D experience you need the Google Earth browser plugin.