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Inversnaid, Beinn a Choin, Meall Mor, Loch Katrine, Scotland
(4 day back-pack)
Wed 13 - Sat 16 Jun 2012

Wed 13 Jun 2012

Wed 13 Jun 2012

Thu 14 Jun 2012

Fri 15 Jun 2012

Sat 16 Jun 2012

Set off from home in car shortly after 8am. Iím heading back to Scotland but not as far as the last time in May. My objective is to explore some of the mountains and glens to the NE of Loch Lomond. Because of my later than usual start I was in the rush hour traffic passing Preston on the M6. The first exit after passing over the River Ribble was backed up about half a mile. Continuing north I came to a similar problem at Junction 36 at South Lakes where roadworks off the motorway had caused a similar backup. Fortunately that was the last of my traffic problems and I cruised north towards Stirling then to Aberfoyle. I stopped briefly to send a txt message as I knew there wouldnít be a signal for a while.

I continued along the narrow road towards Inversnaid and stopped briefly at the eastern end of Loch Arkaig. The weather was overcast, bright and warm. I wanted to leave my rucksack somewhere then drive on to the Inversnaid Hotel to leave my car. I drove to the buildings of Corrie Arklet about half way along the Loch. There didnít seem to be anybody about and when I knocked on the door of the first house there was no reply, even though the washing line at the back had clothes on it. I continued driving to the next group of buildings at Inversnaid Garrison and found the lady in who I saw several weeks ago when I visited the small Garrison cemetery in her garden.

The RAF on manoeuvres

She said it was OK to leave my pack there while I drove down to the hotel car park. I left my car and set off back up the steep climb, thankful that I wasnít carrying any weight. Back at the house I collected my pack and set off along the road. As I walked along by the Loch a car stopped and asked where Loch Lomond was. The driver was American with a young lady with him and pronounced Lomond in a way Iíd never heard before. I gave him directions and continued on my way. I soon left the road and joined the stoned path on the left which runs roughly parallel with the road.

The road here is single track and has no path and the rough grass verges are unsuitable for walking. The path is relatively recent and I believe runs roughly along the line of the old military road, but I couldnít see any sign of it. I reached the Corrie Arklet buildings but the path was higher up so I looked down on them as I passed. My objective was to camp somewhere near the trig post on Maol Mor on the hill to the left. I saw a fence line running up to the left so decided to follow it.

Path above Loch Arklet

It was quite steep but the ground was firm and good walking. It was interesting to see purple and white orchids among the grass. I followed a small stream up the hillside and when I reached what I thought was its source I filled my waterbag and carried on climbing. The minor summit of Garradh is flat and grassy and gives good views across Loch Katrine. A small cairn marks the summit and I decided to camp a short distance to the east. It was still very calm but thankfully the midges hadnít started to gather. It wasnít till early evening before they began to cover the outside of the tent. Iíd brought a 150ml container of Avon Skin soft spray which is supposed to repel them but the down side is the terrible smell of the spray.