12th to 14th July 2019 - The Cabin at Balgowan , Balgowan1 mile E of Laggan
Friday night saw 7 of us arriving at the Cabin, a lovely hut in Balgowan/Laggan. The Cabin isn’t signposted and quite well hidden in a forest, in an area without mobile phone reception. When Harsh and Alex arrived at Balgowan they weren’t quite sure where to go – and had to drive about 3 miles until they got mobile phone reception, could do further location research and eventually find the hut.
Saturday started off with low clouds – but they progressively lifted as the day went on and we were rewarded with quite a good summer day. Kate, Alan H, Harsh and Antonia (PNM) set off to do Gael Charn (Monadliath). They had an extended lunch break on the summit, enjoying the sun and the scenery. A single Munro wasn’t quite enough for Harsh though, so he asked if someone was up for proceeding on to Carn Dearg. Sadly for him nobody was up for this challenge. Presumably it was this lack of enthusiasm which prompted Harsh to ask Alan H if he was the oldest member of the Club. Allan S (who could be Alan H’s father, and who has walked with Harsh on several occasions in the past) will be pleased to find out that he appears significantly younger than Alan H.
Alex W, Emma C and myself drove to Loch Laggan and biked in for Beinn a’Chlachair, Gael Charn and Creag Pitridh. At the start of the cycle which was marked by arrows labelled “UK set” we were stopped by a security guard warning us of increased vehicle traffic en route, and we were asked to proceed without stopping, not to take photographs and not to linger. His walkie talkie had a 007 sticker which he promptly hid after Emma excitedly pointed at it. So keep your eyes peeled at the next Bond film – we might feature in the background! On top of Gael Charn Emma C celebrated her Munro list halfway point – congratulations! Alex didn’t quite have enough with 3 Munros, so he also added Beinn Eibhinn, Aonach Beag, another Gael Charn and Carn Dearg to his round.
The evening highlight was a red squirrel visiting the bird feeder at the Cabin and feasting on peanuts, whilst the rest of us feasted primarily on various pasta variations.
The weather on Sunday was even better – no clouds and plenty of sunshine. And it was hot, hot, hot! Alan H’s new boots had given him some blisters the day before, so he opted for a slightly shorter walk on Sunday and had a lovely day on Ben Vrackie. Kate and the 3 youngest (preliminary) members of the club, Harsh, Alex and Antonia drove to Drumochter and did Carn na Caim and A’Bhuidheanach Bheag. By doing 3 Munros and not a single Corbett this weekend I wonder if Kate tries to debunk ongoing suspicions of her bagging the Corbetts?
Emma and I had a fabulous day on Beinn a’Chaorainn and Beinn Teallach – which contrary to persistent warnings beforehand from several meet attendees were great and not even particularly boggy hills!