Scotland, a walking and mountaineering paradise. I’m lucky enough to live up here, however I never seem to actually get out of St Andrews. Its partly down to mounting piles of university work and imminent exams but also due to the fact that it takes a half a day or so of travelling to get anywhere….So when the opportunity arose to ‘escape the bubble’, despite it being right before exams, I jumped at the chance. My friend Jonny, who was currently residing in Glasgow and also wanted to escape the city for the weekend, suggested that we go and walk the Cobbler, an 884m high Corbett at the head of Loch Long.
Despite a slightly sketchy looking weather forecast consisting of rain, sleet and snow we headed off catching the bus out of Glasgow to Tarbet, walking the mile or so to Arrochar and then heading up through the forest into the mountains. The weather was quickly deteriorating and it very quickly started to sleet. No matter, we donned our waterproofs (I say waterproofs but it quickly became apparent that nothing is truly waterproof) and continued upwards. Sleet turned to snow, and snow turned to heavy snow. About 3/4 of the way up we were lucky to get a break in the weather and could see all down the loch and over to the beautiful snow topped mountains on the other side. However the weather quickly closed in again and the snow got deeper, it ended up getting up to about as deep as my knees with less than ideal visibility, not to mention ever mounting winds. By this point we couldn’t really see the top of the mountain all that well, with our path no longer really visible and light fading quickly we decided to head back down.
The way back down was almost as fun as the way up and involved me faceplanting into a giant pile of snow whilst trying not to fall into the gully by the side of where we were walking. Totally soaking wet now and looking for something hot, be it food, drinks, or maybe even whisky, we walked back to Tarbet and managed to find a tiny lochside cafe that was serving drinks. By this time it was well and truly dark so we headed back to the bus stop to catch the bus, 20 minutes went by, still no bus. 40 minutes went by, and and still no bus. Just as we were debating whether or not to retreat into the nearby comfort of a hotel bar it finally came speeding round the corner.
We never found out why it was late but most likely due to the snow that was rapidly spreading over the lower ground. Back in Glasgow I then continued on to St Andrews via the stagecoach bus, snow was making bus travel somewhat disrupted and I spend a good hour in Dunfermline Tesco’s drying my kit whilst waiting for the bus. Slightly worried that I might infact have to spend the night in Tesco’s as it was now around 11pm, I was happy to see the bus appear, bound for St Andrews. Despite the fact we didn’t make it to the top of the mountain it was a really good trip with some great fun in the snow!