Tulloch and the Fort William – Euston via Edinburgh Waverley sleeper arrives. The picture was taken on 24th June 2005. EWS Class 37, No. 37 417 in charge.
My day out to Beinn Teallach and Beinn a’ Chaorainn last Thursday started in Kingussie at 07.15 to meet the 1S25 Euston – Inverness sleeper hauled by 67 009 and 67 010. The cloud, at that point, looked ominous despite the good weather forecast.
With time to spare, I took a slow drive down past Loch Laggan to Tulloch on the West Highland line to meet the 1Y11 Euston – Fort William sleeper which departs Tulloch at 09.21. Class 67, No. 67 011 was in charge.
The roughly East-West nature of the line between Tulloch and Fort William means that the train for Fort William is back-lit on a bright morning, making photography challenging. Tall trees on the south side of the station adjacent the Fort William platform makes things even harder at times!
The passenger crossing to the opposite platform (and a footpath through the woods) is down the ramp and over a board crossing. When leaving Fort William bound trains, passengers have to take some care when crossing the line in front of the train!
A picture of the lovely station building at Tulloch to finish and then off back up the A86 for a few miles to Rough Burn for the start of the walk to Beinn Teallach and Beinn a’ Chaorainn.
I am fortunate in having most if not all of the 283 ‘Munros’ within several hours travel of my Moray coast home making walking a low-cost hobby for me. It gets me away from model trains from time to time which can be a relief. Ninety-minutes driving from home is one of the joint smallest (allegedly) Munros which at 3001 feet (915m) could be demoted to a ‘Corbet’ if a careless walker was to dislodge a boulder from the summit. According to the Munro Magic web site, it is joint 282 of the currently acknowledged 283 Munros.
The trek to tackle Beinn Teallach and its larger neighbour, Beinn a’ Chaorainn, started at Rough Burn on the A86 Loch Laggan road which, with extended stops for photography, took me about seven hours to complete. The typical time for this route is five and a half to eight hours, so that was reasonably good. I don’t believe in rushing things anyway, wanting to take time to enjoy the views and the experience of being on Scotland’s high places – the very thing which makes this country so unique.
It took me around 100 minutes to walk from the car to the top of Beinn Teallach. Most of the lower slopes consisted of quite boggy ground which I sometimes find hard-going, preferring to walk on rock which comprised the last quarter of the climb.
Early morning cloud covered both Beinn Teallach and Beinn a’ Chaorainn for the first couple of hours of the walk. It cleared fairly quickly to leave a warm, sunny day with patchy cloud, allowing pictures to be taken at the top of Beinn Teallach. My planned route ran off the top, around a slightly lower hump of rock and down a craggy tail to the north of the summit back onto boggy ground.
Beinn a’ Chaorainn was tackled from the north, up to the north top. Soggy at the base, rocky as the climb progressed.
Beinn a’ Chaorainn has three tops: the north top; the south top and the summit itself. All three can be experienced on the traverse from north to south.
The walk out route took in a small pile of rock half way down the south end of Beinn a’ Chaorainn called Meall Clachaig. A tramp across heather, grasses and quite boggy ground took me back to the Allt a’ Chaorainn and the walk back down the banks of the Rough Burn to the main road.