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.

Sunday, 22 March 2009

Allermuir Hill and Caerketton

Trying to catch up with the backlog so just a few words and pics.The forecast,yet again,was better in the east so we headed over to do our last remaining Marilyn in the Pentlands,Allermuir Hill.I had to be back home by early afternoon so it fitted the bil as a short day out.

Parked the faithful jalopy at the entrance to the the country park at Lothianburn and folowed one of the numerous tracks up onto the east ridge of Caerketton.An ok sort of day weatherwise but with a very strong biting wind which didn`t seem to bother the numerous fell runners.

we carried on without stopping for long to the summit of Allermuir Hill where we stopped for a while to have a look around.The view south west along the Pentlands to Scald Law and the Kips in the distance....



It brightened up considerably on the way down as weaded off in a northerly direction towards Hillend Ski centre.....



Some cracking views acros Edinburgh to Arthur`s Seat....



As we still had bit of time in hand we nipped over to the southern fringes of Edinburgh and sauntered up Braid Hills to indulge my trig bagging addiction :)
If anything this had better views than the much higher Pentlands.

Sunday, 15 March 2009

Largo Law and the Elie Chain Walk

Bon temps out east again as per usual.Bob picked me up and we headed towards Fife as he fancied doing the Elie Chain walk for something different.I fancied a hill.Ended up with us doing both.We headed over the Forth Road bridge and along the coast to Lower Largo...Fife yet again :)

Parked the jalopy at the church car park at NO423037.There has been a lot of controversy regarding access to this fine Marilyn in the past but the new access laws seem to have improved this somewhat.A detailed noticeboard at the car park shows the access route which goes through the farm buildings.No yappy/snarling dogs now.

It`s not big ascent from the carpark,only around 700 to 800 ft but it`s quite steep for most of the way.The promised blue skies had yet to appear and it was a bit overcast but still with reasonable views across to the Pentlands and the Ochils.
Sports a fine trig point as well :)

Bob heads back down towards the farm..



We then headed round to Elie direction and parked at the entrance to the Shell Bay caravan park from where a 20 minute walk took us round to Kincraig Point and the start of the Chain Walk.....



It`s a brilliant half day out...here`s a few pics to see for yourself...



This section would probably be better if the tide is high...



Plenty of eider ducks offshore too....



Loads of interesting geology in the form of basalt intusions like Fingals Cave and this wee bit near the end which took us back to our rock climbing days as it looks like a mini version of Bowden Doors in Northumberland...



We headed up hill after finishing at the eastern end and walked back along the clifftop having a snoop around the WW11 gun emplacements and needlessly to say,bagging the trig point that sits up there also :)
Came across this lovely sight as we headed back to the car....



Every cloud has a silver lining though and I did my bit for the environment by carting away a couple of folding deckchairs for the coming camping weather.Complete with holders that will fit a wine bottle as well.I expect nothing less from Fife :)

Bagged another couple of roadside trigs on the way home as well.Sad,ain`t it ?

Sunday, 8 March 2009

Kaim Hill.

I was a bit knackered from the bevvy on Fiday night alas.I had stayed at Melgarve Bothy with Scott and had struggled up the Corbett Meall Na h-Aisre in the Monadhliath on the Saturday morning in foul conditions.Bob phoned and suggested the perfect antidote....Kaim Hill above Largs.A short day with the prospect of grabbing the only reasonable forecast within a short drive.

We parked in Fairlie and went up the longer scenic way rather than a quick flog up from the moorland road.Very nice glen it was too....loads of waterfalls and a ruined castle.Even though it was early March the daffodils were everywhere.Costa del Clyde indeed...

One of the waterfalls........



Bob coming down from a cave prospecting foray....



Broke out on to the hillside above directly opposite Cumbrae.The weather wasn`t too bad with the Arran hills appearing out of the clouds from time to time.....



We made our way over the moor towards the summit as the clouds got progressively darker and the snow showers became more frequent.

Bob donned what remains of his overtrousers...



It brightened up a little on the descent however and there were some hald decent light shows over the south of Arran.....



As far as I know this hill doesn`t appear on any tick list which is a bit of a bugger as far as I`m concerned, but the views on a really good day must be quite spectacular. It did at least have the decency to sport a fine trig pillar on the summit which gave me a trig point tick :)

Saturday, 7 March 2009

Melgarve Bothy and Meall na H-Aisre.

Bob was knackered after a weeks hard graft and didn`t fancy a wee bothy trip.So,it was just myself and Scott that headed up the A9 on Friday night.We were a wee bit worried about getting the car up to the bothy with all the fresh snow.Well,I was worried...I didn`t fancy a 6k walk in with a bag of coal and then the same back out the next morning.This didn`t seem to bother Scott too much....far too much energy to burn these young ones.As it turned out it wasn`t too bad going up the single track road from Laggan,though we were reduced to 5mph at times when the snow had drifted in the lee of the trees.Got to within a few minutes walk of the bothy and Scott very kindly humped the 10kg of coal in :)

Soon had a fire going and a few beers and a few bottles of wine :)



We didn`t turn in until 3am which we regretted in the morning.Up at 7.45am and had a quick coffee or two and a couple of fags by way of preparation for the hill.There had been a considerable thaw overnight and we made good time down to Garva Bridge.

Scott leaving Melgarve bothy with hangover...





Usual weather when I don`t listen to Bob alas.Rain was pissing down and the clag was hovering around 500ft above the road.Jules had already bagged this Corbett so Scott and I had no excuse to turn around and head home,so, off we set up the hill.Took one pic all day.


Summit conditions...Scott takes a bearing..



Not a lot you can say about a hill day like that apart from it was crap..!!

Apart from the Corbett tick and the trig point tick :)

Sunday, 1 March 2009

Mendick Hill.

Out to the east in search of better weather again.We managed to sit about 5 miles to the east of the band of bad weather that was hanging over west central Scotland all day.West Linton is apparently known as Scotland`s answer to Beverly Hills.To be fair there were some large discrete houses around but nothing special.We lowered the price of the surrounding houses temporarily by parking our old banger nearby and then set off via the golf course.

Bob heads off with Mendick hill in the distance.....



Worked our way round to the north side of the hill and then directly up to the summit.Storm laden clouds out to the west but the nearby Pentlands were fine.

Mesel heading up to the summit....bad weather to the west...



Nice trig at the summit and a new Marilyn tick ....



Pentlands in sun all day...



Managed to bag the Thankerton Fundamental Bench Mark on the way home too.

Alex.