Saturday, 20 February 2010

Five Sisters bings,West Calder.

We must be getting old.Gone are even the memories of the 19 mile, 5 Munro, one day slogs across the central highlands. Lowly East Cairn Hill seemed a long walk in and an even longer walk out again.These days neither of us fancied the grind over to West Cairn Hill much so a pimple of distinction was a happy option for tired legs mid afternoon.
On this occasion a whole bunch of pimples awaited our feet.The prettiest and most striking bing of them all.The Five Sisters to the west of Livingston.

Parking here is a bit of a problem with the Freeport retail village now empty,mothballed and out of bounds.Two small one car parking spots on the verge beside access gates (but not blocking) the only option on the B7015 next to the first northern summit,the one above Alex`s head.
For such an iconic little range this bing was surprisingly little frequented going by the number of paths and human disturbance.One faint trail leading up from the woods to the col between the first and second summits.

Mind you this bing is all but invisible from most angles,only from its western side does it rise steeply in a dramatic soaring wall of five adjoining doorknobs.

This side is a real blast.Needless to say we traversed this wee roller coaster either on the summit ridge itself or on the faint rabbit trails skirting across the steepest slopes of scree.Magic stuff and fairly exposed.In snow or ice this would be a fine undertaking with ice axe and crampons required.

At one point Alex could look between his legs and see a herd of highland cows munching the grass below either side of his boots.

Considering their lowly height this wee range has a big personality.
We also indulged in a spot of scree running.Doesn't take much to turn grown men into wee boys again.Great fun and not bad for a couple of old farts on dodgy knees.Though it pains me to admit it Alex won the prize for the downhill speed event.

Five Sisters scree run....

We ended our day by dropping off the last southern peak then walking back over grassy meadows savouring the views of our traverse with the sun hitting the slopes,turning them golden and red as the highland cattle wandered over for a sniff at the strangers marching across their lunchbox.
A memorable day out.

Good document about the flora and fauna of the bings here....


Alistair said...

yay! The Bing King returns :)

The Glebe Blog said...

Hi Alex and Bob.It looks as though a sliding scale of 'Bagging' dependent on age and fitness is becoming established.
Obviously the Munro will be at the top of the list,but would the 'Bing' be at the bottom.Perhaps 'sloc-buntàta' bagging will never really take off.
I'm amazed Alex stayed on his feet at that speed and incline.
Great post.

The Glebe Blog said...

P.s Been doing a little surfing and found this.

You maybe know this 'Bing Bagger'

blueskyscotland said...

Although it was good fun we were both pretty knackered as the full five humps was a fair bit of up and down after a hill in the morning.Probably the same overall effort as a Munro day only it was warm and sunny.Felt like australia Somehow,The vivid colours and the fact that it could have been a giant five humped camel we were struggling over.Yep Jim ,tac 63 has been there before us.But we are catching up fast.Any bings in Skye Alistair apart from that big black midden the cullin ridge? Bob.

blueskyscotland said...

Have inserted a link at the bottom of the post to an excellent article about the flora and fauna of the bings.