Blackrock Cottage, Glencoe (Jul 2018)

20 – 22 July 2018

Blackrock Cottage is probably one of the most famous buildings in
Scotland so we felt privileged to be able to stay. Being first to arrive
at the cottage, but not having the key, we resorted to the fun game of
guessing which passing car belonged to Bruce! Finally we entered and
discovered that the interior still holds its charm yet the bathroom
facilities have been upgraded to Spa standard. We spent a cozy evening
scaring ourselves silly with talk of the Aonach Eagach ridge scramble.

The next morning a bit of valley fog didn’t cloud our optimism so we
headed to the Devil’s Staircase to make an extended walk out of the long
summer daylight. Climbing out of the fog got us excited for the day
ahead. The first challenge was the Chancellor, a down-climb requiring
those of a nervous disposition to face the rock and pretend there’s no
exposure. Jeannie helped wonderfully and encouraged us saying it’s the
hardest part of the route. I’m not sure that’s entirely true. We spent
the rest of the day navigating all sorts of up-climbs, down-climbs,
round-climbs, over-climbs, scary bits, exhilarating bits, downright
crazy bits and magnificently ‘airy’ bits. Fortunately for some, the
swirling mist sometimes hid the sheer drops right down to valley bottom.
The Munro summits may have been new ticks for some but they were
definitely not the highlights of the day.

Back in the cottage afterwards
we tucked into Berenice’s wonderful Picos-de-Europa-inspired mountain
stew (recipe to follow!). Barry and Bob spent the day in the Mamores and
by chance met the same 78-year old they’d met in Glen Etive the
previous day. Did they meet him again on Sunday? Tune in later to find
out! Several people enjoyed a Sunday amble up Buachaille Etive Beag,
others enjoyed the downhill mountain biking competition taking place in