A short 2-day circuit of the north eastern sector of the Arenigs, a compact group of hills north of Bala whose luminary Foel Goch just breaks the 2000' contour.
Weatherwise this was the first decent couple of days for weeks following the wettest June and July on record, it was also a weekend at the start of the holiday season: even the relatively little trodden areas would be suspect now. Time to peruse the map and seek out a really forsaken corner of Wales that hardly ever sees visitors, and this isolated group containing a few unclimbed Dewey 500m tops was ideal. A simple flexible route plan was quickly devized beginning at the small village of Llanfor, and our expectations were fulfilled: the whole area was totally deserted.
The first day was quite dull and the poor light drained the landscape of contrast, but the clarity improved greatly overnight and the dawn skies all around at the tent pitch were superb.
A superb 5-day trek around the remote Ben Alder group of mountains bounded by Loch Ossian, Loch Ericht, Loch Ghuilbinn & Loch Treig, starting at Corrour station and ending at Tulloch station. The route is mainly on good paths and tracks with just one significant rough pathless section between Dubh Lochan and the Allt Gualainn a' Chàrra Mhòir.
The outward leg from Corrour station follows the southern shore of Loch Ossian and ascends via the Uisge Labhair to the upper reaches of the glen. The southern section traverses Bealach Cumhann, descends near the Alder Burn to Benalder Cottage and climbs to Bealach Breabag and the summit of Sròn Coire na h-lolaire for a fine view of Beinn Bheòil and Loch Ericht. The eastern section descends via the shore of Loch a' Bhealaich Bheithe to Culra Lodge for a splendid view of Ben Alder's superb eastern corries and the neighbouring Geal-Chàrn group. The north-eastern section traverses the An Lairig from Loch Pattack to Dubh Lochan and descends to Loch Ghuilbinn and Strath Ossian. The north-western section ascends the footpath over the lower slopes of Chno Dearg and Coire Dhearcaig to Fersit for a final hike along the minor road to the A85 and Tulloch station.
Our second expedition to Scotland in 2012, we were again blessed with fine sunny conditions and clarity but a quite debilitating heat in the latter half. Despite the high temperatures and lack of wind we experienced no midges at all. The first and last days were largely spent on the driving and train journeys and were planned to be short. Late in the first day near Corrour Lodge an activity group was setting off and a few people were returning, after that we didn't see another walker for the rest of the trek.