Coire Ardair

Last week we returned to Glencoe for a canicross get-together. We got there a day before the others – the only dry, sunny day of the whole trip as it turned out – and did the “Coire Ardair” walk. This is actually about an hour from Glencoe, but it’s an easy drive, and with a rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars on our favorite walking site we figured it would be worth the the extra mileage. It certainly was!

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It’s a there-and-back 12km route and its showpiece – Lochan a’Choire – comes right at the turning point. The walk up to that point is truly glorious. The path winds and undulates through beautiful scenery and if Biggles’ Geiger-counter sniffing is any indication, every inch of it is lined with the most incredible smells.

As you approach the cliffs the anticipation of that first sighting of the loch builds. It’s as though the path makers deliberately set out to tease walkers, because you hit ten or more blind corners and rises in that final kilometre, each one promising to be the last.

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Beanie & Biggles strain towards the next corner..

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We turn it to find yet another up ahead…

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These steps are a tease too – believe it or not the lochan still isn’t visible from the top!

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Could this finally be the last one?

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Yep! And what a view..

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A couple of minutes after we arrived at the lochside the sun did a vanishing act, the wind picked up and it grew very cold, so we didn’t hang around for long..

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Biggles wants to explore the great sniffs further, but Beanie’s feeling the cold. Time to head back.

As soon as we got a kilometre or so from the cliffs things warmed up again – it’s as though the immediate area around the loch has its own private microclimate. The way back was just as enjoyable as the way in, and as our pace picked up Beanie took to bounding through the heather at the side of the path. I’d rate the walk as the best I’ve had so far, and it would make a great route for a there-and-back run too – something to do the next time we’re up around Fort William.

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