Follow by Email

Saturday, 23 July 2011

The Buachaille, Beauty and Betty

The title might at first glance seem strange, but those three 'Bs' sum up Glencoe for me. Approaching the glen from its eastern end, the huge massif of Buachaille Etive Mor, the Great Herdsman of Etive, is the first sign for me that I'm about to enter the brooding Glen of Sorrows. It's my favourite mountain, almost perfectly shaped from the right angle.

The Glen itself is darkly beautiful. If you know something of its history, it's hard not to let that colour your perception of it. For this reason, it can seem a melancholy place, especially when the weather is less than favourable. However, it is so much more. The Three Sisters, Aonach Dubh, Gearr Aonach and Beinn Fhada, each seem to use their huge buttresses to guard the southern flank of the Glen. On the northern side, the Aonach Eagach ridge runs 6km from Sron Garbh to Sgurr nam Fiannaidh, providing one of the country's premier ridge walks. All in all, the Glen really is beautiful and well worth a visit.

Then there's Betty. Betty Keyes, to be precise. She has worked at the new visitor centre since its inception in 2002, and appears to have loved every minute of it. Yesterday, one of the staff there told us she's often referred to as 'Mrs Glencoe' and that isn't really surprising, given her boundless enthusiasm. Anyone who knows me will be aware that I don't give money away lightly, and Betty has managed to sell us membership of the NTS twice now. I hope the NTS know what a diamond they have in Betty Keyes.

No comments:

Post a Comment