Saturday, 20 May 2017

Knockour Hill- Mount Misery

18 May 2017

Participants: Neil and Ben
Where: Knockour Hill- Mount Misery, 176m/577', Hump, Map 56, NS 398853 and Whinney Hill, 164m/538', Tump, Map 56, NS 399842
 
With a name like that, I just had to climb it! The weather was the opposite of miserable, it was a glorious sunny day and the spring colours were at their best. I left the car in the Balloch Country Park car park and wandered uphill past the castle, now sadly closed and shuttered, before following a narrow path along side a burn before crossing a road that went to Boturich and entering the land owned by the Woodland Trust. The first part of the route was the same as that for Whinney Hill which I had visited earlier in the year.....
 
 
The bluebells were out.....
 
 
There are a great variety of trees here, thanks to the work of the Trust, which is well worth supporting.....
 
 
The gorse at the top of Whinney Hill was a blaze of colour......
 
 
The excellent path dropped downhill from Whinney Hill with Knockour Hill ahead.....
 
 
A left turn and then a right at the foot of Whinney Hill brought me into a lovely old meadow.....
 
 
There were a few individual seats if a rest was needed.....
 
 
And then it was back into the trees and a short walk to the top of Knockour Hill where there was a bench beside a cleared area....
 
 
I'm not sure where exactly the highest point was but it was a nice view anyway over Loch Lomond to the Luss Hills.....
 
 
 
 
It would have been rude not to have sat on the bench for a while before heading back. This is Whinney Hill from where I exited the forest.....
 
 
Using the furthest away car park from the hills gave me a walk of about 5 miles, one that I'll do again.

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Beinn a' Bhacaidh with Carn an t-Suidhe

5 May 2017

Participants: Just me
Where: Beinn a'Bhacaidh, 555m/1821', Sub-2k Marilyn, OS 34, NH 432119 and Carn an t-Suidhe, 450m/1476', Tump, OS 34, NH 442103

It was another glorious day's weather and I was on my way home. Rather than go back the same way, down the A9, I decided to take the western route down Loch Ness to Fort William and Glencoe. My decision was influenced by the fact that I still had some sub-2k's to do around the foot of Loch Ness; my choice was the one nearest to Fort Augustus, Beinn a'Bhacaidh. The route took in a Tump, Carn an t-Suidhe and started from the high point of the road just before it descended to Fort Augustus. This is the view of the two hills from Loch Tarff.....
 
 
There was a viewpoint at the start so plenty of parking space. A well constructed track led to the summit of the Tump, an interesting hill in itself with a lot of rocky tors; I think that the highest point was probably one of the first that I reached. Anyway, I climbed them all just to make sure.....
 
 
There was a fine view of Loch Tarff from the end of the ridge.....
 
 
and Beinn a'Bhacaidh came into view.....
 
 
It looked quite a long tramp across the valley between the two but in actual fact I was across quite quickly. It helped that the ground was bone dry. I aimed for the corner of a former forest (recently cut down I think) where there was agate in a fence that surrounded the hill. Then it was just a case of choosing a route up mostly grassy slopes. As I got higher, the Loch Lochy Munros- Sron a'Choire Ghairbh and Meall na Teanga- and Ben Tee came into view.....
 
 
I passed this lochan just before the final climb to the cairn.....
 
 
You could actually see a few large wind farms from here; it is all very well the planners saying that they can't be seen from roads and villages but what about the views from the hills? When Stronelarig gets built it will also be seen from this hill range. On the plus side, there was no view of the massive Glen Doe reservoir built a few years ago for hydro purposes.
 
And then the substantial cairn.....
 
 
There was a good view up Loch Ness from close to the summit with Meall Fuar-mhonaidh prominent.....
 
 
and down Loch Ness to Fort Augustus.....
 
 
On the opposite side of the hill, a fair number of sub-2ks, some of which I've climbed and some I haven't.....
 
It only took about 3 hours car to car and then I was on my way again. A good wee trip.
 
 
 
 

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Meall an Faochaig

4 May 2017

Participants: Just me
Where: Meall na Faochaig, 681m/2243', Graham, OS 25, NH 258525

I hadn't been down Glen Strathconnon for yonks, so long in fact that I didn't recognise most of it. The starting point for this Graham was Inverchoran; the guide book says that you can park at the bridge on the farm road but that had a "No Parking" sign; however there was plenty of space to pull off on the public road so that's where I parked. Leaving the car, I walked a further 3/400m further down the road to pick up a stalkers path. Although it initially headed in the opposite direction to that in which I wanted to go, it was well worth following it as the lower hillside was covered in thick heather. And I gained over 300m in height before I had to take to the hillside. A bonus was the view from the path up Glen Strathconnon towards Moruisg.....
 
 
This is a bit of a retiring hill, not well seen from the roadside. It was only when I got towards the end of the path that it really came into sight.....
 
 
It was simply a case of keeping just east of the south ridge and heading for grassy strips where these occurred. This brought me out only a few hundred yards from the summit. On the way up, the Glen Strathfarrar Munros gradually came into view.....
 
 
It was another glorious sunny day with great visibility, although there was a bit of a breeze. This is looking west from the cairn towards the remote Munro, Maoile Lunndaidh (the one with the snow patches).....
 
 
And this is the view south to the Strathfarrar hills with the Corbett, Bac an Eich to the right of the cairn.....
 
 
There was a deep and very steep sided glen to the east across which were the Corbetts of Meallan nan Uan and Sgurr a'Mhuilinn which are so prominent from the Garve to Achnasheen road.....
 
 
I returned by the same route. I still have the other Graham across the glen to do but it never entered my thoughts to do it today. Maybe at one time.....!

Monday, 8 May 2017

A Wester Ross grandstand: Bidein Clann Raonaild

3 May 2017

Participants: Just me
Where: Bidein Clann Raonaild, 466m/1529', Sub-2k Marilyn, OS 25, NH 054 592
 
Now why would I want to climb a featureless lump with a track all the way to the top?.....
 
 
I parked at the gated entrance to a radio mast almost at the highest point of the A832 between Achnasheen and Kinlochewe. The track passed the mast, went downhill through a forest and then started to rise again to another gate, which was locked but there was a convenient hole in the fence just beside it which let me through. I was now out on the moor with the track rising steadily ahead. There was some indication to the answer to the question above when I looked to my left and saw the hills of the Coulin Forest starting to appear, Fuar Tholl on the left and I guess that it must be Beinn Liath Mhor centre.....
 
 
It was a bit of a drag walking up the track; for some reason I wasn't going particularly well, But the view back on one of my many rest stops bucked me up. Loch a'Croisg with Fionn Bheinn on the left and the Sgurr a'Mhuillin hills background right......
 
 
But the best of the view and the one that I had come for only started to appear as I approached the transmitter at the summit.....
 
 
There was also a substantial cairn, here with Fionn Bheinn beyond.....
 
 
And looking west, the view, looking down Glen Torridon, Sgurr Dubh on the left and the unmistakeable shapes of Liathach and Beinn Eighe on the other side of the glen.....
 
 
A slight telephoto shot of Liathach.....
 
 
Liathach, Beinn Eighe and the Corbett Meall a'Ghiubhais at the head of the Beinn Eighe Mountain trail.....
 
Continuing looking round, Meall a'Ghuibhais, Loch Maree and Slioch.....
 
 
The mountains of Fisherfield, the top of Ruadh Stac Mor looking pointy from here, Beinn Tarsuinn and Mullach Coire Mhic Fhearchair.
 
 
I doubt if I could have come here on a better day. But I couldn't hang about here for ever so eventually I tore myself away from the views and wandered back down the track. I then drove down Glen Torridon and had a walk along the side of Loch Clair to get the views of Beinn Eighe....
 
 
 
and one of my favourite hills when I was younger and fit enough to climb such things- Liathach.....
 


 

Sunday, 7 May 2017

Craigellachie

2 May 2017

Participants: Just me
Where: Craigellachie, 496m/1,627', Tump, OS 35, NH 880123
 
At last, at last! A big high pressure area had moved in over Scotland providing an opportunity to go to the north-west for a few days. I booked for Inverness so it was a case of up the A9 again. I decided to stop off in Aviemore this time and climb the local Tump, Craigellachie, which rose steeply behind the village and had an uninterrupted view to the Cairngorms. Although the day was sunny and warm, it was a bit on the hazy side and I was hoping that that would clear for the hills that I had in mind for the following days.
 
I parked at the Youth Hostel where the hill path started. It was a really nice walk on a made path through a birch wood with signs of spring all around.....
 
 
 
Looking back, the main view was of the Corbett, Meall a'Bhuachaille.....
 
 
As I got higher, Aviemore came into view. It was OK so long as I didn't look at the architectural monstrosity that is the centre and the hotel complex.....
 
 
The hill was crowned by a large cairn; unfortunately the sun was in the wrong place for the view south.....
 
 
but it was OK for the view to the higher hill to the north.....
 
 
This would be a great hill to climb on a crisp winter's day.

Monday, 24 April 2017

Mugdock Hill

24 April 2017

Participants: Just me
Where: Mugdock Hill, 139m/456', Tump, OS 64, NS 558761

I had a couple of hours to kill today while Ben was at the groomers so drove to Milngavie for a walk at the reservoirs also taking in Mugdock Hill. The round of the reservoirs is a grand walk; I didn't have time for all of it today but I have done it before. Highly recommended. Today it was just a case of parking at Drumclog, a short walk round part of Mugdock reservoir and up the hill. After the reservoir, there was a road initially, then I went through a broken fence and up and across a field to arrive at a summit area which had a lot of reeds. The highest point seemed to be a grassy area next to a wall. The hill was much less interesting than the reservoir walk as the view was almost totally obscured by trees and other vegetation. It was typical April weather, bright sunshine but with heavy showers about and quite windy.
 
Mugdock Hill from Mugdock reservoir.....
 


Climbing the field.....
 
 
The summit area.....
 
 
View from the summit area over Mugdock reservoir to Glasgow.....
 
 
The walk back along the side of the reservoir.....