Thanks to the tight Scottish Instagram community we have (in particular @berriestagram) we had the opportunity to stay at an iconic location within the Scottish landscape.
It all started back in the winter with the #Scotskimeet. We had intended to get some instagrammers up on the ski slopes of Glencoe Mountain Resort. Sadly the wasn’t to be as the weather conspired against us. So after an abridged ski lesson on the dry slope, we decided to do lunch at the Clachaig Inn and explore Glencoe itself including a short hike around the foot of Buachaille Etive Mòr.
As we each wandered around in the blizzard conditions it was @berriestagram who took it upon herself to knock on the door of the famous Mountaineering Club Hut that sits as a sentinel on the approach to the equally famous mountain.
As we congregated after our snowy walk @berriestagram told us of her discovery and it was apparent that the germination of a new instameet had taken hold.
And so it was, after some negotiation with @Katinedinburgh at National Trust for Scotland that the #NTSinstameet idea was made real.
On Friday 17th June most of us arrived at the Lagangarbh Hut in the evening. Others had made the journey earlier and had already been making the most of the wonderful weather conditions.
Supplies were brought in and introductions and were made. Some folk had met before and for others this was their first meeting.
National Trust for Scotland had made the property available to us. They own it but it is run and used by the Scottish Mountaineering Club. With our instameet we were hoping to highlight the great work done by National Trust for Scotland. As a charity, they maintain properties, landscapes and footpaths around Scotland. The Lagangarbh Hut we’re staying in is a prime example of this work.
As it was such a beautiful evening it wasn’t long before the spectacular light quality drew us all outside to capture the display.
From the banks of the River Coupal there was a flurry of slightly tipsy photographers attempting to keep focus sharp and all having a fun time in such sublime surroundings.
It wasn’t too long before hunger took hold and we realised we hadn’t eaten yet, time for dinner!
We managed to squeeze fifteen souls around the table and got stuck in to a bountiful feast.
A wonderful night of chat commenced with music and sining from the entertainers in the group. An endless supply of talent is on tap with this group.
Later in the night, once it was darker, we decided to go out and capture the phenomenon that is ‘glowing wire wool’ which to the uninitiated, involves, string, a hand whisk, a 9v battery, wire wool of course and a strong spinning arm.
Capturing this glowing mass with a slow shutter makes for a dazzling photograph as light trails spin in circles and sparks fly into space. It’s like your own self contained fireworks display. Reflections in the river multiplied this light show. I think we did a decent job for first timers. I’m also sure we scared the crap out of the wild campers sleeping nearby.
With the wire wool exhausted we retreated inside and resumed banter, albeit at a more subdued level. It soon became apparent that if we were to capture the sunrise, going to bed would be a pointless exercise. Some were sensible and did hit the hay, while the rest of upset out pre-dawn with hazy heads and whisky breath.
So before sunrise, those of us who pre-planned and hadn’t succumbed to the temptation of drink, drove to another location for the sunrise. Others, me included, decided to hike up the Devil’s Staircase, hoping to catch the sun coming up at altitude. We are far enough north, that it never truly gets dark and we were only a day from summer solstice too, so we set of around 3:30am and made our way up the well maintained path that makes up a section of the West Highland Way long distance route. It was a pleasant walk to the top of Beinn Bheag and our timing couldn’t have been better as we arrived with the sun popping up over the Blackwater Reservoir. It’s not a particularly demanding climb or very high, but we did a sterling job considering slight inebriation and the lack of sleep.
We took photos of the views towards Ben Nevis in the North and back towards the Lagangarbh from where we had come. Behind the hut, the summit of Buachaille Etive Mòr was being illuminated by the sunrise, our accommodation, nestled in the shade at the foot of this mountain.
It was a refreshing walk back to Lagangarbh and it wasn’t long before we were all back at the table for breakfast of bacon rolls and mugs of tea.
Most of the gang decided it was now time to catch up on sleep. However, as the morning was so nice, I decided not to go to bed and instead spend more time under the clear sky by the river.
It had been a great stay at this famous landmark, resulting in lots of Instagram content and hopefully highlighting the good work done by National Trust for Scotland.
Thanks must go to @berriestagram and of course to @katinedinburgh @NationaltrustforScotland. Not only for use of the hut, but also for the amazing work they do maintaining natural spaces and properties across Scotland. The work they do maintaining the paths is done by only 4 full-time staff and this who volunteer.
A big thanks too, to my fellow ‘grammers for an entertaining and inspiring weekend.
My instagram is @ruanaich and if you get the chance, please visit www.nts.org.uk and check out the Instagram #NTSinstameet to see everyone elses images.
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