My bid to cross Rannoch Moor on foot did not quite go according to plan. Setting off from Bridge of Orchy, I intended to follow the West Highland Way via Inveroran to King’s House.
After a night there, I planned to take the track to Black Corries Lodge and then continue to Rannoch Station via Loch Laidon. The final leg of my journey was to follow the Road to the Isles to Corrour Station from where I would catch the train back to Bridge of Orchy.
Despite heavy rain and lashing winds, and an overwhelming urge to call the whole thing quits at Inveroran (where the hotel was shut), I made it, albeit saturated, to King’s House where I spent a very pleasant night.
Rumours of imminent snow circling the hotel bar proved well founded and I woke the following morning to an excellent view from my bedroom window of Buachaille Etive Mor clad in white.
After a hearty full Scottish breakfast, conditions had deteriorated to the point where it was virtually impossible to see anything due to low cloud and heavy snow flurries. Reluctant to set off into the unknown in such poor conditions, I decided to turn tail and head back the way I had come.
What a contrast – from a frankly miserable day of trudging up through wind and rain, I was thrust into a delightfully bleak landscape of snow and ice. Despite intermittent snow showers, it was a pleasure to walk in such conditions. The snow was not too deep to impede progress and there was a wonderful atmosphere of calmness and serenity out on the moor as I crossed the Black Mount.
Sizeable herds of red deer sheltered by the Rannoch Moor lochs to the east of Ba Bridge and, despite the weather, I bumped into a couple of other hikers braving the elements to cross the moor.
I will return to complete my trek as planned some time in the near future, so keep an eye out for updates.
For those who were following my Twitter updates on this walk, apologies for the lack of tweets on Day 2 – unfortunately technology let me down. At first I thought maybe the snow was hampering my data connection. As it turned out, my Blackberry was to blame.
The photo to the left shows the snow on the stretch of track between King’s House and the A82 road. Visibility was pretty poor at that point.
The photo to the right shows the start of the track by Blackrock Cottage. From here the road rises to its highest point before crossing Black Mount.
Finally, a photo of Rannoch Moor under a carpet of snow.