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Last updated: 14/10/16

Ben Alder Overnighter - The Driver's Tale
18-19 June, 2016

Something a little different !

What does the minibus driver get up to when everyone else is on the traverse, and he/she has to be at the end point in the morning. Here is Garry's tale.

Six of us set off from Aberdeen in bright sunshine for Drumochter, Marj, Alec, Carlos, Tom, Izy and myself.  After a visit to the distillery to pick up essential supplies I dropped the 5 traversesers off at the railway station and headed back down the road to Rannoch. The station car park was full of railway construction equipment so parking was a problem but I found a space to squeeze into. As I wasn't planning a big walk I thought a pint at the hotel was in order, but soon discovered that they no longer have a public bar and was helpfully referred to the tearoom which was licensed.  I sat in the sun enjoying an Ossian and a cheese and onion toastie contemplating my walk. 


Not wanting to leave the minibus squeezed into the restricted car park I set back to the car park at the end of the "Road to the Isles" and set off.


It wasn't long before I reached the building site where the new power station was under construction, it was an opportunity to have a look inside.


Then on, sticking to the new road built up towards Coire Eigheach


On up onto the ridge of Meall na Meoig, looking back over to Loch Treig


Schiehallion stood out in the distance


From the summit the bulk of Ben Alder was fully visible


Gazing down towards Ben Alder Cottage.


I continued on to the summit of Sgor Gaibhre and looked across to Loch Ossian


Then as I crossed the Mam Ban the bog cotton glistened in the sun


Looking down towards the head of Loch Ossian


On reaching the summit of Carn Dearg I looked back to Meall Meoig with the moon behind (look carefully).


I spent the night here,with views up along Loch Treig


Back over towards Sgor Gaibhre


By the morning the mist was down, no amazing sunrise but at least it was still dry


More flowers,Alpine Lady's Mantle


A Golden Plover, one of many that could have kept me awake if I'd bivvied lower down


On the shoulder of the South ridge of Carn Dearg a cairn and a view of the "Road to the Isles"


Finally back to the bus


From there it was back to Bridge of Ericht to pick up the other 5 who were found waiting in full midge nets at the end of the road.  Stopping at Blair Athol for a drink and soup (well most of us had soup) we were all back in Aberdeen by 5.


All except Victor who had hoped to join us for a lift back, unfortunately not expecting him he was abandoned at the station and after 2 trains and 2 buses made it home in the early hours of Monday morning.


Thanks to everyone that came along making the drive more interesting.

Author - Garry Wardrope
Photos - Garry Wardrope