Adventure Diaries: Ardtornish

Adventure Diaries: Ardtornish

Adventure Diaries: Ardtornish
Trakke
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  • A man wearing a blue Assynt 17 crosses a boggy field on a log in the Scottish Highlands
  • A woman stands on a large, low branch of a tree while wearing a red Fingal Trakke backpack and a limited edition Trakke beanie called the Lunan
  • A small group of hikers walk along a wet, forest trail while wearing weather proof Trakke bags of varying styles
  • The Ardtornish Castle stands tall among the dark, marshy woods
  • A man wearing a blue Assynt 17 backpack climbs through heather on a cliff near Ardtornish Estate
  • One of the Ardtornish houses sits nestled within the tall trees, smoke rising from the chimney
  • A hillside shot of a river valley near Ardtornish estate
  • 3 hikers wearing weatherproof Trakke bags stand overlooking a loch after an afternoon rain
  • A cargo ship makes for the dock on still waters on Loch Aline
  • 5 hikers wearing Trakke packs jump for a photo
  • A wet pair of shoes sit next to a fire burning in a brick fireplace next to a red, water resistant Fingal backpack

Another week means another weekend. Eagerly we packed up the Landy and made a beeline for the A82, the highway to the mountains and the road to Ardtornish.

This time we were heading for unfamiliar territory, staying at Castle Cottage on the Ardtornish Estate in Lochaber. Like all good adventures, we began with a short ferry from Corran, and we reached our safe haven with enough energy for a dram or two before hitting the hay.

Our photoshoots are normally just us, the team, hanging out in the mountains with friends and this was no exception. With an early start fuelled by Alec’s bacon, eggs, and coffee (that man knows how to do mornings) we hit the trails around the estate.

At this time of year, sunlight is limited but if you’re lucky enough to see it’s glorious rays you’ll be treated to the most impressive hues of orange and gold. We hiked up Meall Achadh a’ Chùirn on the edge of Loch Arienas and watched as rain clouds drifted across the sky. No Scottish adventure is complete without a good pelting of rain. With that ticked off the list, we descended through the heath and moors back to the car.

After a quick lunch back at the cottage, we were eager to explore more. This time roaming the shoreline and nearby forest on the other side of Loch Arienas. The forest, covered with moss and dripping from the intermittent showers was an enchanting backdrop to the afternoon.

The dwindling light sent us on our way to the Lochaline Hotel for a refreshment. The hotel perched on the coast looks out onto the Sound of Mull, an area I’d explored before. Sitting at the bar, I looked out over the same shore I’d reached last year by sail.

We hunkered down in the cottage that night, feasting on a hearty chilli. With the fire set, we dried off our boots and settled into the evening. Whether it’s a campfire or a fireplace, there’s nothing more comforting than staring into the hot blaze with good company.

Featured

A red waxed canvas fingal daypack by trakke. Winner of the best school backpack 2017.

Fingal

£79
The Fingal Backpack is a waxed canvas daypack built for urban explorers. With a simple design and compact shape, it’s ready for whatever the day throws at it. With a main compartment built to fit a 13” Macbook and a zip-access pocket for your daily essentials, it’s your go-to pack for adventures in the urban jungle.
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Cuillin

£117
The clean lines and simple design of the Cuillin Rolltop Backpack means it’s just as comfortable in a meeting room as it is on a mountain top. Keep it minimal for fast & light excursions, or add a padded waistbelt and sternum strap for high-adrenaline adventures. Crafted from waxed cotton, the rolltop design can handle the worst of the weather, so forget fair-weather adventures. Go out and get drenched.
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Assynt 12

£104
Pack up your daily essentials, throw the Assynt 12 Backpack on your back and you’re ready for a day of adventure. With one compartment for your gear and a zip-access lid pocket, it’s built for the simple life, but if you really can’t avoid work, it’s big enough for a 13” Macbook, so you can pretend you’re working from home while you’re out on the hill.