Thursday, 31 August 2017

Braemar and beyond

Having a few days free earlier this month, I took myself off to Braemar to climb some Corbetts. After an early start from Ayrshire I reached Spittal of Glenshee in plenty of time to take myself up Ben Gulabin before driving further up the road to reach the summit of Creag nan Gabhar by mid afternoon.
The next day I set off from Linn of Dee to climb Sgor Mor via White Bridge in good weather. Once I'd climbed out of the glen the views opened up all around - north into the Lairig Ghru and towards Glen Luibeg and Ben Macdui Walking east on the broad ridge was a delight though it left a frustrating descent through heather covered slopes back to the start.
Carn na Drochaide from Glen Quoich was the hill of choice before the drive home the following day and, once again, I was rewarded with great views towards Ben Avon and Beinn a' Bhuird and west along the River Dee.

Morar

A lovely day in July for a walk from Tarbet on Loch Nevis (reached by rib from Mallaig) west along the shore of Loch Morar. No sign of the monster but some great views of the Small Isles.

Glen Feshie to Glen Tromie (and back again!)

A view of Gaick Pass and Loch an T-Seilich from the summit of Meallach Mhor. Enjoying some views having tramped the 5km from Carn Dearg Mor in less than good visibility. The 3rd Corbett in the area, Leathad an Taobhain, was climbed a few days later in atrocious conditions!

Glenuig

I had a great couple of days in Glenuig guiding Kay and Liz on 4 Grahams at the end of June.
Day 1 was a long one with an ascent of Beinn Gaire and Croit Bheinn from Glen Moidart in great weather with lovely views towards Rum and Rois-Bheinn.  Tired but with a good hill day under our belts, we returned to Glenuig Inn for a tasty meal and a glass of wine.
Day 2 we tackled Meall nan Damh and Glas Bheinn to the north of Cona Glen. The weather was not so kind to us this time but we enjoyed another good day out.

Arran

Looking towards Goat Fell as I descended Holy Isle with a group in August

Islay and Jura

Evening light on the Paps of Jura from Port Charlotte.

Isle of Skye

It's still possible to have some quiet moments here, despite the crowds. This was the view to the Outer Hebrides from a cliff walk on Waternish.
Oronsay also pretty peaceful, and a nice view of the Cuillin Ridge

Loch Ericht

Fantastic views from the summit of Stob an Aonaich Mhoir were my reward for the 12km bike ride.....

Glen Roy

A view down Glen Roy from the 768m summit if Carn Dearg

Glas Bheinn

Andy and I took a stroll up Glas Bheinn from Kinlochleven on this beautiful day in April

Isle of Mull

Lucky again with the weather for two trips to Mull and Iona.

Skye

So far this season I've been lucky enough to visit beautiful Loch Coruisk twice in brilliant weather, and there's not been a lot of that.

The Old Man

Late May, and the some stunning views of the Old Man of Hoy taken from the Stromness ferry

Expedition time

Late spring into early summer - DoE season in full swing......

Friday, 5 May 2017

Stob an Aonaich Mhoir

After a cooked breakfast at the B+B the next morning, I made the short drive to Bridge of Ericht at the west end of Loch Rannoch from where I intended to cycle in on the estate track which leads ultimately to Corrievarkie Lodge on the eastern shore of Loch Ericht. The Corbett of Stob an Aonaich Mhoir was my goal for the day and I wasn't looking forward to the 12km cycle in, ascending to the high point of the road at over 600m before I set foot on the hill. In fact the road was a delight to cycle - the tarred surface was good and most of the inclines were not too steep, and anyway, the thought of freewheeling my way back down to the lochside kept me going.
Following at first the River Ericht the road turns north east after the dam at the southern end of Loch Ericht and begins to climb steadily into the hills with not a soul to be seen. At the high point I left the bike and climbed the last 230m on grassy slopes to the summit. What a viewpoint! The full length of Loch Ericht stretched before me and directly opposite was the massive hulk of Ben Alder, still with some snow.
The sunshine and the panorama before me were indeed to be savoured and I spent a contented half hour taking it all in before returning down the slopes to the bike and an easy cycle back to the Bridge of Ericht after two excellent days in the hills.

Northeast from the summit to Loch Ericht

Summit cairn with Meall na Meoig in distance



From summit cairn looking southwest

Meall na Meoig

I've just returned from a hugely enjoyable two days exploring a couple of hills to the north of Loch Rannoch, staying overnight at the delightful Bridge of Gaur Guesthouse - a bit of luxury for a change.
Leaving Ayrshire early on Wednesday morning, I had started off up the Road to the Isles just east of Rannoch Station by 10.30am with the aim of climbing Meall na Meoig, also called Beinn Pharlagain. The weather was bright and visibility excellent, and the sun was warm when sheltered from a strong, cold breeze - perfect weather for a walk in the hills.
At the bridge over the Allt Eigheach a climb up steep heathery slopes took me on to a broad pleasant ridge and eventually to the rocky outcrop of the summit of this Corbett and views north to the Munros of Loch Ossian and northeast to Ben Alder and Loch Ericht. Fantastic views in every direction, from the conical Schiehallion to Buachaille Etive Mor and the entrance to Glen Etive, from the expanse of Rannoch Moor and the Blackwater Reservoir and further to Ben Nevis.
For the first time this year the conditions allowed me to sit in a sheltered spot in the sun enjoying a late lunch before returning by the same route, with a home cooked farmhouse dinner to look forward to!

Train leaving Rannoch Station

Looking south from Meall na Meoig
                                              


Looking west over the slopes of Carn Dearg
                                        

Glas Bheinn

DoE expedition season is once more well under way, so the tent has been hauled out of winter storage and the sleeping bag aired.
Last week, however, Andrew and I took advantage of some bright spring weather to drive up to Kinlochleven to climb Glas Bheinn, an isolated Corbett overlooking Loch Eilde Mor.  There is quite a lot of work going on around the outlet dam here so crossing was not as straightforward as it could have been, but we made it without getting wet and headed for the summit by way of Meall na Cruaidhe.
The sun shone on us, and we got some great views from the snow covered summit before descending directly northwest to cross the loch by a causeway and back to Kinlochleven on the track to Mamore Lodge.
Andy at summit cairn

View west down Loch Leven


Sunday, 9 April 2017

Ben Tee

A watchful sheep at Kilfinnan
       




View to Meall a' Choire Ghlais and Sron a' Choire Ghairbh from Ben Tee


Spring lambs
                            

Glen Roy


Looking down Glen Roy from Carn Dearg south of Glen Eachach

                                            
                             

Abandoned chimney stack in Glen Turret
                                       


Summit cairn of Carn Dearg north of Glen Eachach


Glen Affric

The next day I drove north to meet up with Richard to climb the Corbetts of Aonach Shasuinn and Carn a' Choire Gairbh on the south side of Loch Affric - a long but rewarding day and a good chance for a catch up. The weather was fine as we made use of the hydro track as far as Loch an Sguid before climbing steeply southwest into the corrie below Aonach Shasuinn's two tops to emerge onto the broad summit ridge in bright sunshine and a biting wind. A stone shelter at the 888m point gave us a chance to take some food and enjoy the views before a steep descent to the Bealach an Amais then up and over the 863m point before rounding the head of the Allt Garbh to climb northeast on to the rocky summit of Carn a' Choire Gairbh. To the west the ridge of Mullach Fraoch-Choire was wreathed in dark, belligerent cloud. The cloud was low on our Corbett too, as it had been all day, and so sadly we had no views to speak of as we descended southeast on a broad ridge before dropping steeply down from Na Cnapain to eventually reach the path down the Allt Garbh and back to the car after an excellent day's walking.

Looking west from Aonach Shasuinn



Friday, 17 March 2017