Sunday, 29 March 2009

Ben Cleuch.

Too many years climbing and hillwalking on the bigger stuff meant that I`d never been to the Ochils even though I can see them from my house.Bob had been on at me for years to go and I`d ignored him..! To say I was pleasantly surprised would be an understatement.Another morning of blue skies saw us parking in the woodland car park at NS901974 and walking east to the entrance to Mill Glen.

Not a very auspicious start as we admired the rusting machinery in the old quarry on the left at the entrance.It`s a favourite spot for the peregrines to snaffle passing pigeons apparently but nesting season was another month away or so.

Mill Glen was an absolute delight and nothing like I expected.A well engineered path criss crosses the burn and up the steep glen.The burn itself apparently fed 5 mills in the days when people in Fife had jobs :)

Bob in the lower glen...



A bit further up....



We stopped for a bit to admire the view after breaking out the glen...



From NS912981 at the bottom of The Law we took the path heading North East which seemed to go on for ever but at least let us escape from the crowds heading directly up to Ben Cleuch via The Law.Followed the path up to the col and then up to Andrew Gannel Hill whoever he was.Still very sunny but a bitingly cold wind made sure that we kept moving towards Ben Cleuch itself.Almost forgot to bag the Donald top in passing :)

We sat down in the windbreak at the summit for half an hour.Great views to the Cairngorms and over to the Lawers group.



Disaster then struck.! Bob hared off in the direction of Ben Buck and I sped after him completely forgetting about Ben Ever being a Donald top..bugger..!! By the time I realised I couldn`t be bothered going back up to give it a good bagging :(
We headed on over to the sharp defined ridge that drops in a southerly direction you can see on the map at NN876003.Bob went down that while I went down just to the east to get his photo.....



If Mill Glen was nice then Alva Glen beats it hands down,especially the top half before we met the daytrippers.One of the nicest glens I`ve been down in 30 odd years,spoiled only by the rubbish some local neds had left at their party site.
stopped awhile to explore the ravine called the Witches Gash...



The well engineered path continued until we became swamped by local dogwalkers and swally merchants and the like.Avoided them by heading off to the east on a balcony trail.As Glenochil Young Offenders prison came into view Bob offered the opinion that this was a piece of blue sky thinking on behalf of the government.By siting it so closely to Alloa and Alva it meant that we could save money by transporting the local neds directly there without having to resort to the judicial process and take them to court first in Stirling.Brilliant idea :)



Short 20 minute walk saw us back at the car and that was that.

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