Sunday, 7 June 2009

Stob an Eas.

Ten legs on the hill today rather than the usual four.Gavin was looking for an easier day having walked 23km into to climb Squareface on Beinn A`Bhuiridh in the Cairngorms last weekend in 80 degree heat.He brought along his new dog Millie, an animal of indeterminate lineage.Gavin himself describes her as "looking like a warthog with bat`s ears ".Nice looking dug to my eyes anyway...



Having been a bit under the weather last weekend and off on holiday in a few days time,I was looking to do a hill.Somewhere not too far away and relatively short as the forecast was for clouds and possibly rain in the afternoon. The Graham,Stob an Eas above Hell`s Glen at Lochgoilhead appeared to fit the bill. A relatively short day with a promise of good views and no sheep for Millie to chase.Our two new recruits brought along the added bonus of a Mazda Bongo camper van ensuring that the Blue Sky Boys could stretch out their ageing joints in comfort for the journey northwards.

We parked at NN 167 074 where there is room for a few cars.The last time Bob and I were here was to do Cruach nam Mult and Cruach nan Capull to to the south in 2007.This time we took the forestry track on the north side which gives access to Stob an Eas.We followed this upwards and then in a south easterly direction as it contoured the hillside.Where the main track ends there is a fairly obvious footpath,a bit boggy in places, which continues to the stream at NN 182 067 where you meet the open hillside.

Bob and Gavin on the footpath.Millie up ahead in rodent slaughter mode....



Whilst it wasn`t exactly brilliant blue skies, it wasn`t half bad .Better than average for Scotland and another dry day in prospect.It`s a pretty steep ascent up this side which didn`t seem to bother the dog in the slightest as she hared off chasing skylarks,eating moths and begging for her toys to be brought out.We stopped about half way up for the boys to enjoy the views and for me to enjoy a fag :)



"Enjoying the views" or "having a fag break" seem to be phrases which are absent on Planet Millie. She demanded one of her toys and the frisbee was reluctantly produced.This dog is either the fittest on the planet or the most stupid...I`m not sure which.The frisbee was tossed over the small crag umpteen times,going a considerable distance as well,and Millie sprinted after it each time, never even batting an eyelid.



Anyway...on to the steeper upper section.Numerous outcrops of mica schist enlivened the remaining ascent...these proved irresistable to some folk...

Bob and Gavin go over to do the arete...




Too much lichen on it though was the decision. ( Aye..right..! )We meandered upwards each taking our own individual route as the views opened outwards.

Gavin with the hills on Mull in the background....



Man and dog with Jura in the background....



The summit appeared rather abruptly and sported a rather fine looking trig point which was duly bagged by some of the sadder elements of the party :) Excellent views all round...Ben Nevis with a solitary snow patch,Glencoe and the Buachaille,over to Ardgour where the super quarry at Glen Sanda was clearly visible,Mull,Scarba,the Paps of Jura,Islay,the hills of Cowal,Tail of the Bank,the nearby Arrochar hills and back up to Ben More and Crianlarich.Superb viewpoint..! It`s not often you can sit on top of a Scottish hill in a t-shirt so we made the most of it and spent about an hour on the summit wandering over the plateau and taking in the views on all sides.Even the dog seemed to enjoy the scenery.....

Looking down the length of Loch Goil....



Off downwards with another hill day of dry weather and some blue sky under our belts :)

Bob with Cruach nam Mult in the foreground....



A wee diversion for a photo opportunity was called for..



Being off the hill earlyish and with no particular rush to get home, we drove round to Ardkinglas to see Scotland`s second tallest tree.At one time it was the tallest but it seems to have been taken over by the one at the Hermitage near Dunkeld.Or so the local tourist Board would have us believe..! I freely wandered round here years ago trying to get pics of red squirrels but times change and we old codgers, being thoroughly miserable gits, rejected the opportunity to cough up the £3.30 per person entry fee now required and beat a retreat to the Village Inn in Arrochar instead.

We had a good rant going over the Rest and Be Thankful about the National Trust`s decision to get rid of the wallabies from Inchconnachan on Loch Lomond.Apparently it`s ok in a National Park to allow a millionaire car magnate to blast the rock away to create a mooring for his yacht but the poor wallabies are deemed to be destroying the natural habitat to the detriment of native species on this one small island.What about all the idiots on their jetskis and speedboats dumping their beer cans and other rubbish throughout the Loch then.Can we not cull them first ? It should never have been designated a National Park in the first place...it would be better off without their bureaucratic involvement.At least when it was under the jurisdiction of the local council they were, to some extent at least, responsible to the electorate and central government for their decisions.
The Stoneymollan roundabout sculpture is an example of their "vision".What an eyesore....an £800,000 one at that..!

Just went out for a fag to calm down.....I`m ok now... thanks for asking :)

We had a small refreshment at the Village Inn.The west coast of Scotland is lovely in the summer sunshine.Even Arrochar had managed to look reasonably appealing today,which is saying something, with the Cobbler looking at her best across Loch Long.Unfortunately the midges were bloody awful.Bonnie Scotland...eh ?

I`m off to bag some more US states this week..... no baggist comments please Ken :) ....and then up to Canada to visit relations so I leave you in Bob`s capable hands for the next few entries.I believe the Captain has a few nautical adventures planned...

I leave you with yet the latest from Crap Video Productions.The slightest breath of wind seems to make it sound as if filming is taking place in the eye of a tornado.If anyone has any suggestions as to how to eliminate this then please let me know..! Millie chasing the frisbee at the summit.This charade went on all day and the dog still had energy left at rhe bottom of the hill..!!

4 comments:

fatdogwalks said...

Enjoyed that so much Alex I’ll forgo the baggist comments regarding trig points and US states (sniggers into beer).

Millie looks a great wee dug...though maybe a wee bit too energetic for me.

Did Stob an Eas after Beinn an Lochain – we had quite an adventure that day.

http://fatdogwalking.wordpress.com/beinn-an-lochain/

Wasn’t as steep coming from the east as your route appeared to be. Mind you Beinn an Lochain was pretty steep now I think about it. Great views to the south as I recall.

Have a great holiday! I suppose I’ll just have to annoy Bob for the next few weeks then! My blog stats are going to take a hammering...when do you get back? (lol)

blueskyscotland said...

I`m considering not coming back Ken..!

blueskyscotland said...

Changed my mind....90 odd degrees here today in Arkansas/Oklahoma.
:-)

fatdogwalks said...

I'm feeling a complete pillock just now. I thought I had your blog on an RSS feed and because you (Alex) were heading stateside I wasn't looking for lots and lots of updates (no offence meant Bob lol).

Thought it odd nothing at all had shown up on my google reader until a few minutes ago...when I realised you weren't on my google reader...oops!

Now I have a whole months reading to catch up on. Glad you decided to come back Alex...otherwise my blog stats would half.