Friday, 30 October 2009

23/24th October 2009 A Fair Scunner

1 Corbett

The weather finally cleared up enough to head on up to the van. Arriving on Thursday night, plans were laid to grab the 2 peaks east of Loch Trieg. This would have given me two Munro’s, two Tops’ and 1 no longer classified. Kirsten would have bagged her first Munro’s. Ah well, the best-laid plans and that. We arrived at the starting point at the hamlet of Fersit got our boots on and YES. A Muppet had forgotten to take his sticks. And HE can’t walk distances without them!!! What to do? Back to the van and get them was the only answer. Back at the van a new plan was hatched. With the cloud right down to around 900m over the Cairngorms, Meall a' Bhuachaille would have to do. This hill always seems to be our fallback if the weather is too bad to go for anything big but also can give great views of the Cairngorms if the clag does lift. Kirsten would also get her first Corbett. This was duly bagged and for a change we decided to go over the top and try and find a path to Glenmore Lodge. In this we were moderately successful and found ourselves about 1 km for the lodge. Unfortunately we were too early for the bar to be open but in fine time to meet my cousin Niall on the train from Inverness. He was fresh from an interview in Inverness. Have not heard how that went but keeping fingers crossed.

Come Saturday the weather was even worse with storm force winds forecast for the high tops and constant heavy rain We decided to have a stroll up to Lochan a' Choire and see if it was worth going on up to the window. The rain just did not let up so it was decided to head back to the car,civilisation and scone hunting.

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

18th October 2009 The Monadh Liath

3 Munro's , 3 Top's and 2 no longer classified

“Plootering” a wonderfully descriptive word that describes most of this excursion to the hills. Guidebooks call these mountains the Monadh Liath (Grey Mountains). I would change that to the Muddy or Boggy Mountains.Maureen, an old friend from Grampian Hill Walking Club, joined us on our walk today and her company was welcome as usual.These hills were done by the book with a couple of items of interest found on route. The first after a few hundred metres was a grave or memorial to an M J Haywood, a quick Google and was unable to turn up any information. It looks like it will remain a mystery.
On getting to what was the top of the second Munro of the day the clag was so far down that we could not be sure which of the cairns in view was actually the top. The great get out of jail free card that is the GPS was dug out from the recesses of my pack and consulted. Yes the second cairn we visited was the Top.

The trek round to the last hill of the day was punctuated by loads of wildlife; we saw heaps of Ptarmigan, Mountain Hare and more than a few Red Deer. It must be the time of the Rut as we could hear Stags bellowing all around us and sometimes the crash of antlers. The variety of sound is amazing and quite spooky as darkness falls and you are unable to pick up the distances from you. It was full darkness by the time we got back to the car and we were glad of our head torches, to keep us out of the worst of the dubs. All in all a great day though and back at the van a wondrous new beer was discovered. Alcoholic Ginger Beer from the Crabbies Green Ginger folk, will have to get more of that.

Saturday, 10 October 2009

!9th September 2009 Bynack More

I Munro and 2 Top's

The second time out on my new ankle. We had done Bynack More a few years ago with my mate Brian but were unable to get the tops done due to time constraints. This would also be a new Munro for Rowan.
Parking past Glenmore Lodge we walked along easy tracks to Bynack Stables, sadly not a trace remains. Mind you it was just being treated as a toilet! Continuing along the Lairig an Laoigh we made good time in spite of the strong wind that always seems to be blowing in that part of the Cairngorms and stuck off the path towards the bealach between Bynack More and Bynack Beg to bag it first. We got cracking views through the Strath Nethy. I tried to see where the El Alamien bothy is/was but could not pick it out. Not sure it is still standing though, more research is required.
After grabbing the top A'Choinneach we had a look at the Barns of Bynack. Lillian had a wee play on them; I gave it a miss and just headed for the main top of Bynack More. From there it was back to the car park and the pub, Wildcat was the brew of choice today. Today’s total of 26km and 1580m of ascent, was at the limit of my fitness and stamina. I was barely able to raise my glass but it was well worth it ! My recovery continues.