Monday, 12 November 2012

Torridon.Dornie.Fort William.

Day Two of our Inver Cottage club weekend dawned fair and bright once more. The Torridon hills sparkled under their coating of snow.A hardy few were again up for another big day which saw small groups head for Dornie, and other places further south on the way down the road to bag more hills.Sadly I was not among them as I was feeling stiff, tired and very sore after my beastly shenanigans on Beinn Bhan and the the last thing I wanted was to climb another mountain the next day.Even bending down to put on my trainers after waking up was an experiment in new levels of muscle pain hitherto unknown.
I was feeling decidedly fragile and self medicinal soothment with a large bottle of vodka the night before to take away the aches and grumbles after my dinner of dead animals  in the hut had not helped.It was a lovely warm fire after a hard day on the hill but before long I was thinking of the fires of Hell and my life there as a fallen angel in a previous existence. 

After another few glugs of  sweetly distilled Potato juice the coals in the hut fire took on a new appearance as I thought of Halloween just past and the fact that Satan had opened his doors once again to let the dark souls in his kingdom crawl out to drink their fill of human blood.
This was a nice comforting thought and the more I stared at the fire the more it became my friend.
Can you see my friends in the flames?

The hut in the morning after a rather surreal night spent in fine company.A team of five had climbed the northern pinnacles of Liathach yesterday then part of the main ridge,setting off before first light for this grade two remote snow and ice climb , only returning after several hours at night in the dark.As we passed Liathach from our own efforts on Beinn Bhan  in pitch darkness we could still see their head torches twinkling up on the summit ridge high above the road.As they'd had a long tough day two of that group in a similar fragile state the next morning teamed up with me for a new endeavour.....Bagging hills and landscapes by car.
Faur Tholl.....I never dreamed collecting hills could be this easy.Click click. Another one captured.
Hey! This could catch on!
Ben Alligin was looking particularly fine with long streamers of cloud pouring off its summit ridge.
It took mere seconds to bag that one.Great stuff.At this rate sixty of Scotland's Finest hills  could easily be wriggling in the bag by lunchtime yet I still had energy left to burn.Munro's from the road...That's the way forward!
Dornie came next. where Alex and crew departed from this village for their hill of choice.When he pointed it out I had it captured in jig time at no hardship to the legs. Job done I then turned my attention to a local eyesore nearby.
Cant think of the name of this  obscure northern castle but I'm sure it will come to me.
It scrubs up well though.Hey! Somebody should think of putting this pile on a calendar or using it in a film. Just remember though ...I thought of it first.
Fort Billy came next as we stopped for lunch at Nevis sport.After a wander round the gear downstairs we went upstairs to the restaurant.
They don,t seem to do chips, eggs,Bridie's,Sausage Rolls,Pies or beans anymore except for breakfast which is a great shame as that's my kind of food after a hard morning hill bagging so we had to make do with Bree ,cranberries and other posh nosh.I just had a bowl of Lentil soup and a roll which was very nice considering it had no lentils in it.

It,s never struck me before How subterranean Fort William is but If you are entering the town from the train station you  usually have to go through this underpass.As underpasses go its a good un with some nice art work inside.Given the weather on the Scottish west coast its just as well the inhabitants have this nice sheltered art galley to gather in.
It was while we were getting educated under here I suggested to my two  young companions,Steven and Martine that we should maybe exercise our bodies just a little bit as no exercise at all after a really hard day means the limbs seize up completely .My plan was to prove to them how cosmopolitan and universal Fort William was as a mountain town. I had already noticed how similar it was to Chamonix in the French Alps,as both nestled snugly below the highest mountain.Now I would show them a high Favela worthy of Brazilian Rio,s finest.
They were keen to see how Scotland could possibly be like Brazil.

In Brazil the posh folk take up the prime space on the lower levels around the beach leaving the highest parts for everyone else.
Same in Fort William. Up we climbed high above the town to find a modern  housing estate getting a face lift. Just like in Rio few tourists venture up here.
Steven and Martine were astonished by the comparison.Flabbergasted in fact. All that was missing was the sugar loaf and the statue of Christ the Redeemer up here but we did discover some very fetching garden gnomes instead.
And it kept on going, higher and higher, through a network of dark tunnels,stairs and  passageways.
Just like a favela in fact..... I rest my case.
After our walk we ended up in a well known local Grog shop where we had some Gruel.After a few pints we stopped noticing the barman's rather odd appearance.A very surreal  day out.
They say that travel broadens the mind but sometimes the mind can broaden the travel :)
Today's video continues the theme. I wonder who this headstone is for?


Carol said...

Not seen that illuminated pig in the Grog - is it new?

There's some lovely colours in your Dornie photo :-) And you can't beat fire-watching in the bothies can you?

blueskyscotland said...

Hi Carol.
Couldn,t say.First time I,ve been in there.We usually drink in Nevis sport,s bar as we are normally passing through and its nearest.
Thanks. I,ve tried taking autumn pictures on a bright sunny day and never been happy.Best results for me happen in poor light with leaden skies.I,ve got another autumn colours splurge coming up soon.
For me a coal fire is king.This one was a belter.

The Glebe Blog said...

First we had Bob the Builder, now we have Bob the Bagger (or Blogger Bob the Big Hill Bagger). It rolls nicely off the tongue doesn't it.
I've been some years trying to invent my own personal gondola to take me up to hilltops, I've sorted the theory, but getting a backpack big enough seems to be a problem.

I think you're too late with that castle Bob, I'm led to believe that Dexy's Midnight Runners recorded a song about it.
I believe your barman is a hog who goes by the name of Horace.

blueskyscotland said...

Hi Jim
Never knew that about DMR,s or about Horace the hog.
I,m getting to the stage where a jet pack would be nice to get me up the hills or if I strike it rich I may hire the UK,s strongest man to carry me on his shoulders,swatting lesser climbers out the way with a walking pole.I quite like that idea.