Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Corrour, take 2

While there last week, I'd booked myself into the Corrour Station B&B for tonight. The plan being to walk in from Kinlochleven one way and out the next day by a different route.

I decided to go via Blackwater reservoir. The first section of the route follows the West Highland Way, before branching off towards the dam. The path is a track, but the easiest walking is along the water conduit. The water enters the conduit (below) from the dam and is piped down the hill into Kinlochleven. The reservoir was built in the early 1900s to serve the aluminium smelter in Kinlochleven. It is the last major British project to have been built by navvies, at a cost of many lives. The smelter closed down in 1996, and the pipes now feed a hydro-electric plant.


Once across the dam (you're not allowed across the dam wall, but I ran fast enough that they couldn't catch me!) the path follows the side of the reservoir. Due to the recent weather, this was boggy in places. I managed not to get too wet, despite the occasional downpour. After about 1km, the path leaves the reservoir and heads North East towards Loch Chiarain. The bothy (below) was a welcome stop off for lunch, and the only time during the whole day when I met another person.


Once past Loch Chiarain, the path seemed to go on forever. With mountains on both sides, the scenery didn't change much, so the sight of Loch Treig (below) was very welcome. It also helped me chart my exact position.


From Loch Treig, the track headed uphill. A passing train gave me the excuse to stop and wave at people and spurred me onwards to my dinner. The track passes under the railway, but following this takes you down to Loch Ossian, and was out of my way. The alternative path seemed to go through bog. Having spent last week memorising the train timetable, I took my chances and walked a short section alongside the railway lines. The track is on a raised bed and went directly to my destination.



(Technical Data: distance = 27.5km, ascent = 850m)

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