Loch Treig is a dammed loch in the Central Highlands, a long narrow loch with steep sides rising from each bank up to Munros. Beinn na Lap, Chno Dearg and Stob Coire Sgriodain are the three Munros on the east side and make a good route over the hills on a south-north orientation, parallel to the loch. I used the train to get to Corrour and thus I'd be walking linearly back to Tulloch station, over the mountains. Today was a bit of a landmark day: Chno Dearg was the half-way mark in terms of Munro count; 141.
I stayed at Tulloch bunkhouse last night, took my time about getting up and getting breakfast, and made the train for Corrour at lunchtime. It is a surreal sight to see a train bound for "Glasgow Queen Street" when right now, I feel very far away from Glasgow.
Corrour was an empty spot and the restaurant was shut, so I set off for Beinn na Lap, the first Munro. It's an indistinct Munro, and thus it was a pleasant plod all the way to the summit cairn on top, which was in mist. Corrour station is at over 400m and Beinn na Lap isn't far above 900m, so it's one of the easier Munros. Despite the "over the top and down the far side" style of the day, I'd done this same route a couple of winters ago, and I knew the terrain well. (A bunch of us had done it on a winter's afternoon/evening and I was the navigator)
From Beinn na Lap, I went north, down to the river and back up again. Chno Dearg was just a long plod to the top. Cloud banks broke up and gave life and light to the land. Last time I was here, it was nearly dark and a late-December storm had rolled in. To be here in summer instead was to see a less threatening mountain; just a rise in the landscape, instead of feeling exposed and trapped in a very high place.
On top of Chno Dearg, I took a minute to think about the journey so far. I hardly realise how long I've been away. Today really brought home how long this trip takes, because it's a definite marker-point. I sat on Chno Dearg thinking about the immense amount of time I've been out since Mull. Imagine doing all that again! That's what is coming up and it's hard to imagine.
I've got a theory I climb mountains on a principle of optimism. If I'm only half way up a hill, I'll think "just over that rise, then its the ridge to the summit". Similarly, on a long trip like this, the thinking is "Just get to Fort William and then you're on the home straight". (A crazy thought, but that's how I think of it) Standing on my half-way Munro today, brought it home that there's really so far to go.
Stob Coire Sgriodain was an easy walk around the plateau. I remembered doing painstaking navigation to get here, so I enjoyed seeing it in summer light. It all looked a lot smaller, and since I wasn't on the verge of getting lost this time, I also added in the south top. (Although left out the Top, Meall Garbh - too tired)
Just a long descent remained down to Fersit over heather and bog. I picked up a food package and walked back up the road to Tulloch. The weather had been good in the afternoon, but as I drove back out to Spean Bridge, high cloud blotted out the sun and everything went grey again.
Tonight, I'm back in Tulloch - just a quick meal then off to bed.