Bright and early on the last Monday of the Summer Holidays, a keen group of sixth formers assembled for the long drive up to Roy Bridge, just north of Fort William. The amazing scenery as we drove through the Lakes, round Loch Lomond and down Glen Coe helped the miles pass, with the additional thrill of spotting Eddie Stobart and Norbert Dentressangle trucks to keep spirits up. Twelve hours and a few traffic jams later we eventually arrived at our Bunk House – the Old Station at Tulloch- where we were made warmly welcome and soon settled in.
Over the next five days we tackled many of the local hills, ticking off a total of eight Munros and many other magnificent peaks. Our finest day was probably the traverse of the Grey Corries, a beautiful ridge walk along a narrow quartzite arête, giving spectacular views (when the cloud allowed) in all directions. It was impossible to resist the opportunity to have a few “teach ins” on Flora, Fauna and Geology, with the gang taking varied degrees of interest in the alpine and heath flowers (carnivorous Butterwort and juicy Bilberries proving popular), the glacial geomorphology (a side trip to the Glen Roy Parallel Roads) as well as the birds and mammals (red deer, hare, ptarmigan and r ed squirrels). The only aspect of local Natural History which did not prove so popular was the presence of Culicoides impunctatus – the midge, clouds of which proved to be a great nuisance in calm conditions. We also took the opportunity to visit the Commando Memorial at Spean Bridge – a moving testament in a fabulous situation affording panoramic views over the Grey Corries, Aonach Mor and on to Ben Nevis, as well as up the Great Glen
During our stay it must be said that the weather was a little damp and occasionally breezy. Fortunately the bunk house had efficient drying rooms which saw good use each night. The excellent food was appreciated by everyone, with porridge and a full cooked breakfast fuelling us all on to bigger and better things each day and the evening meal becoming a competition between generosity and appetite.
Many thanks to Allan and Belinda of Station Lodge for making us so welcome and saying such nice things about us; to the participants for being so enthusiastic and such good company; and to Andrea Young for coming along to mother us all and share the driving.
Head of Outdoor Education