Beinn na Lap is quite a fun Munro to tackle. It is very straightforward and is often left as a “final” Munro by those who complete them all. I first climbed it in February 1987 when, as part of a quite challenging winter walk, Julie and I started at Corrour station and walked out to Tulloch over Chno Dearg and Stob Coire Sgriodain finishing in the dark. The second time was with Kirsty when she was 11. The conditions (in May) were quite different with a stiff breeze but dry and bright. And, indeed, we came across a completion party on the summit.
Most ascents are made from Corrour station. This adds to the fun as the start of the day is by train (from north or south) through some grand scenery. The station is the highest in the UK and there is no public road to it. The station house has been used variously as a “restaurant with rooms”, a youth hostel and various types of café. In 2016 the property had been brought back in hand by the Corrour Estate and was being run by them as a café.
And very welcome it was too as Ciaran and I alighted from the first train south that day.
We had started from Spean Bridge station
and received a cheery goodbye from the train guard as we left the train.
The weather was still showing little sign of improvement. The forecast was for showers and a strong wind. We had both. Another thing about organising a climb of Beinn na Lap or indeed any of the hills accessible from the station is knowing which train you are going to catch back to “civilisation”. For us there was a choice of tearing up and down Beinn na Lap to catch a return train less than three hours after we had reached Corrour. Or we could have a somewhat more leisurely seven hours between trains.
We opted for the latter and went into the café for a cup of tea!
Suitably refreshed we set out along the rough road leading towards Loch Ossian. Beinn na Lap does not look too exciting from here.
Once the road is left a worn peaty and sometimes wet trail leads straight up the side of the slope ahead. The view soon starts to open up over Loch Ossian.
And the station merges into the vastness of Rannoch Moor.
Here is a zoom from the same spot.
It took less than two hours to reach the top.
The wide ranging views were partly obscured by cloud. Here are shots to Ben Alder
Distant Schiehallion in the gloom
And Glen Nevis
Finally a shot of the cairn. No completion party today!
The wind was very strong. Whereas it had pushed us up the hill, it was in our faces on the way down. It was strong and cold enough to hurt the face. But once we had left the ridge line it calmed down. We were soon down to the road. It was the week of the Fort William motorbike trials and whilst we had been up high a staging post had been set up. We stopped briefly to chat with the guy manning it.
Soon we were back at the station – with plenty of time for a leisurely lunch (we both had venison burgers of generous proportions) before our train back to Spean Bridge. That’s the way to do it!
A nice leisurely day before our big day in the morning.