The Roaches


Memories from the Scotland walking trip - 2007

The popularity of the previous years trip resulted in a larger than normal turnout for this year's Scotland walking extravaganza.


DAY 1 - MONDAY

The team split into two. One team was to tackle a couple of Munro's in the Mamores whilst the other team was to walk part of the last section of the West Highland Way.We awoke to sunshine and cloudy blue skies - perfect walking weather.

Ann had decided that her back was OK for a 14 miler so joined Alison, Jane, Gordon, Macca and Dave on the WHW walk. Gordon was planning on joining the 'men' on the Mamores walk but opted out at the last minute.

Sean was suffering from a chest complaint that had bugged him for a couple of weeks but he hoped that a bit of uphill work would help clear the trouble.



Gordon takes in a view of Ben Nevis from the road out of Fort William. Er, Ben Nevis is the hill to your right Gord....


The girly team had a good 6 miles of road walking to complete before reaching the WHW path.

Would Dave struggle with the psychological torment that nearly killed him on the final day of the WHW? Would Ann's back finally snap? Would Alison and Jane suffer from the ailments that prevented them from completing the Great Glen Way?

Anyway, in the meantime the boy's team had driven down Glen Nevis in order to begin their assault on Mullach nan Coirean (939m).

The path into the forest soon turned into a tree covered swamp with the team having to grab hold of fir branches in order to maintain dry feet. They finally left the forest where the first severe climb of the day awaited.



The steep, steep ascent to the north west spur of Mullach nan Coirean. Terry decided that the fence would be a useful aid in ascending the slope but soon gave up and moved back onto the faint path through the heather.


The weather wasn't improving and the cloud soon covered the peaks to the south of Glen Nevis.Sean (chest) and Terry (age) were suffering quite badly during the ascent to the main ridge but improved slightly as the gradient up to the summit eased. The summits were now in thick cloud so only the odd fleeting view down into the gullies maintained the interest.



Laughs and guffaws for the boy's team on the summit of Mullach nan Coirean.



The girly team march purposefully towards the West Highland Way path.


The boys team set off to ascend the second Munro of the day, Stob Ban (999m).

The weather didn't improve so the plan to tackle the Devil's Ridge was aborted. Time was also a major factor as Sean's coughing and Terry's incredibly slow pace meant that the first two Munro's had taken far longer than expected.Both teams returned to the hotel within an hour of each other.

The pool was enjoyed by some, the bar by others.


DAY 2 - TUESDAY

The plan was to walk up to the Steall waterfall from Glen Nevis.

Nigel was to trial his 'Isla carrying device' for only the second time but he was about to see what carrying a small baby on wet rock and rough terrain for the first time would be like.Everybody except Dave and Macca, who had decided to spend a romantic afternoon together, was on for the walk.

The drive past the Eilaan Coos was negotiated without injury so, after a brief moment of Isla backpack fixing, we were off!



The team head off into the depths of Glen Nevis. Alison poses for the camera.


Despite a few drops of rain being felt further up the valley the weather at the top end of the glen was excellent. Nigel skipped over wet rocks as Lindsey looked on in horror.

Would he slip into the rock filled gorge below? Would he forget Isla was on his back as he attempted to clamber over the Nevis rope bridge?



Glen Nevis's youngest explorer prepares for the off.


Terry and Ken competed for Ann's attention on the rockier sections as she required the assistance of a 'gentleman' in order to negotiate the rockier steps. Which of the two would Ann choose for her evenings entertainment? The well travelled, intelligent Ken or the rough cheeky chappie barber from the bowels of Stoke-on-Trent?



Nigel points out the Steall waterfall to Isla whilst being completely unaware that he'd dropped her into a ditch 300 yards back.



The team assemble by the Nevis rope bridge. Would any of them attempt the crossing?


Nobody attempted the crossing with age, fear and crapness being the main three reasons.

Nigel and Lindsey set off back to the car with Isla whilst the remaining team members marched up to the Steall ruin - just in case we could sneak a glimpse of the impressive Binnein Mor.

Alas, the cloud cover increased as we headed further east so we all returned to the car. In the meantime, back in the hotel, Dave and Macca embraced in a post-coital moment of tenderness.


DAY 3 - WEDNESDAY

Ken, Terry and Jon walked the same route as the girly team had done on the Monday. Terry had to admit that he'd underestimated both the distance and the amount of climbing. Another sure sign he was trying it on with Ann.

Nigel, Lindsey and Isla drove up to the mightily impressive Loch Ness Visitor Centre whilst the rest took the Harry Potter Express to Mallaig.

That turned out to be a good little earner for Swarbs who made over £120 by telling the kids that he was Hagrid.



Hagrid and co board the Harry Potter Express at Mallaig.


We all returned to the hotel for the final nights entertainment. That was it for another year.

Another October walking week could be on the cards for next year. The Lakes?

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