A full house of IBSC members made their way to Loch Ossian on various trains from north and south, all in the end without snow sports equipment. Even the optimists who had brought their skis left them in the car. The only exception arriving by bike after 9pm was our more extreme rider who had travelled in from Moy assisted by reasonable weather and bright lights.

In the absence of much snow some members just brought themselves and walking/running gear with a large selection of food and drink, others brought bikes –and the most intrepid brought wetsuits and a paddleboard.

Saturday brought dry conditions but a brisk cold northerly wind.  One of the occupants of the female dorm was already out swimming around the small island in the loch. Over breakfast the days’ options were discussed.

No one was enthused by the marketing by Adam of a 55 mile cycle round the tracks and local mountains and the promise of the best descent in Scotland. In the event it was rather icy. The lone adventurer did return safe and well as darkness fell preferring the hostel comforts to a bivvy en-route.

Niall, Adrian and Alice  ventured to the munros in the east with bikes, however the second munro was unexpectedly icy towards the summit and in the absence of crampons and ice axes the threesome beat a hasty retreat.

Helen, Simon and Mel did a more moderate mountain bike towards ben alder cottage and Phil, Lucy, Alasdair, Fiona and Lisa  summited the two munros to the south of loch ossian ( no snow but good views)

All returned to cheese and biscuits, a cosy fire and tales of our days’ out while we  ate  and drank  and enjoyed the craic. Blair, Hilary and Duncan arrived as darkness fell bearing a bodhran ( not played sadly) ,home baking, a bivvy bag and a bike .

The sky and the stars were enjoyed by all with a helpful commentary from our astronomy enthusiast. Duncan enjoyed the night sky so much he spent the night out in a bivvy bag.

The next morning was a slower start followed by paddleboarding, swimming, munroing and corbetting. It was a glorious but cold day with no wind and fabulous views. Some cycled out to Glen Spean . Bets were taken on how long it would take to cycle with a trailer to Rannoch and catch the train south. – missing the train not an option. A range of times were suggested – in the event the train was caught with a minute to spare!

Most went up Ben na Lap followed by swimming and paddleboarding. Afternoon tea and cake was taken in the sun with community singing. Everyone made their way to the station and one member opted to stay on for some peace and quiet. Those of us on the 1526 train enjoyed the views and the commentary from the west highland line expert – it was a double class 1 156 unit – plenty space for bikes…..

The only thing missing was the northern lights which most saw on return home (or not if you had an early night).

Team Ossian

Lisa Fullerton
Melissa Cheshire
Niall McPherson
Alice McPherson
Helen Coker
Simon Coker
Phil Tomalin
Hilary Brown
Blair Duncan
Adam Archibald
Alasdair Stark
Lucy Caird
Fiona Stark
Adrian Testa