Saturday, 16 October 2010

Meall an Fhudair.

I had a day on the hills with Gavin, Scott and Millie today just for a change as Bob was recovering from his Australian epic and was still a bit off colour from jetlag. Drove over to Bearsden to Gavin`s house and decanted my gear into his Bongo and then we took a short hop up the road to pick up Scott. Scott had a babysitter due to arrive later that day and was looking forward to a child free evening out with his wife so distance wise we were a tad restricted and just headed up Loch Lomond side. Gavin and I really don`t understand why folk bother with sproggage....they just eat into your  spare time and money. We were in agreement that gadget buying, nice wine and other suchlike necessities of life would be out the window if we were to be cursed with children. Dogs are better and do what they are told .Well, for the most part anyway 

As predicted it was a lovely morning and the surface of Loch Lomond was mirror like. The warm summer mornings had gone southwards though and it was definitely autumn when we pulled off the road at the start of the track up towards Troisgeach.I didn`t want to get down to the last ten or so Corbetts and have them all in far flung corners of Scotland so I have saved a lot of my remaining ones to the area south of the Great Glen.Todays hill,Meall an Fhudair,was one of them....only my fourth of the year so far .

I finished the Munros 20 odd years ago and ever since then having been ticking off Corbetts in a somewhat dilatory manner. My first one was the Cobbler in the mid 1970`s. It was the 5th January and I hadn`t a clue about hills. The snow was knee deep and I had a pair of suit trousers, a padded lumberjack jacket and a pair of cheap desert boots on my feet. No rucksack or ice axe, just a duffle
bag with a nylon cagoule and a couple of sandwiches. I stopped at the Narnain boulders to put on the cagoule only to find out that it wouldn`t fit over the padded jacket

My feet were soaking and it was bloody freezing. Never mind...stupidity got me to the summit, well, what I thought was the summit anyway. To cap it all I almost froze to death hitching a lift back to Glasgow from Arrochar into the bargain Still,.I enjoyed it so much  that I went back again and done it the following week again, albeit with a new pair of boots and along with somebody who actually knew what they were doing.

Back to the present. All morning I had  annoying snatches of song going through my head for some reason which apparently is called an Earworm. Step we gaily on we go with our cromachs under our arm etc repeated itself in an annoying loop...who is responsible for all this shortbread tin rubbish,eh ?
 My relations are from Sutherland,Ross and Cromarty,Islay and Donegal.The vast majority of them were forced to emigrate to the USA and Canada to find work or face starvation and poverty....and I`m talking the 20th century here.! They didn`t have cromachs or step gaily onwards and neither did we today. We walked normally up the land rover track for a mile to the junction where we took to the east ridge.

Scott And Millie on the east ridge with Loch Lomond behind.The more observant among you will notice that Scott has a cromach type thingy

Having a break  halfway up the ridge.Scott contemplates the rare prospect of a child free evening while Gavin,unconcerned with such matters and oblivious to Scotlands fine scenery,plays with his latest gadget. .

The small lochan under the summit of Troisgeach proved too tempting for Millie.Gavin is now playing with yet another item from his gadget collection on the bank.  See video at the end.

We had seen a lone walker following us up the ridge about 15 minutes behind us so,as it was a niceday, a lovely spot and we`re sociable fellows,we waited until he or she caught up with us..

A nice spot indeed.....

It turned out to be a woman called Dottie from Dunblane and we nattered our way along the undulating ridge to the summit of Meall an Fhudair talking about this and that.

Gavin, Millie, Scott and Dottie approaching the summit cairn.

Dottie took her leave of us here and headed down to the Lairig  Arnan while the boys found a wee bouldering crag for a spot of juvenile fun. Scott having first go......

Scott falls and lands on his cocyx while Gavin tries unsuccesfully to stifle a laugh...

An unusual view of the Cobbler from the summit.A bit grainy due to much zoomness....

Once Scott was able to walk again we headed back down the south flank and picked up the land rover track but not before I got them to pose a final time....

Autumn colours as we cross over the West Highland Line..

Well,that was the boys day`s a dogs view of the days proceedings....better with speakers turned on...


PurestGreen said...

Some of the photos look like paintings. And I love the film, especially Millie in the backpack at the end. Perfect song choice!

Alex said...

Thank you.Millie had a great day out.!
Some of the pics are blends of 3 different exposures of the same scene .Normal exposure and one stop under and one stop over.It`s meant to make a photo resemble what the human eye sees but sometimes it`s a bit hit or miss :)

Anonymous said...

Well done Alex! Impressive foresight on your behalf for rounding up your Corbetts like that; a bit like the opposite of painting yourself into a corner. Er, sort of.

The 1970s eh? The days before breathable membranes and vibram soles. Suit trousers and deep snow though... brrr. These days you can see some people kitted out for the north face of the Eiger on bridleways in the Home Counties.

What were your favourite Munros?

Impressed by Millie's tactic of running rapidly round the lochan to disorientate the ball before plunging on in there. She's small, but she's game.

Alex said...

Well Peter,I prefer going away for weekends on the hills rather than a day.So,most of my Corbetts were done further up north rather than Arrochar etc:

Different hills for diferent reasons.To be honest,most of my more memorable hill days have been rock climbing ones but if I had to pick a few I suppose Ladhar Bheinn,An Teallach and the round of Coire Lagan would stand out.

Millie tries to disorientate everything by running around it whether it be human,animal or vegetable.She takes after her Master,Gavin.He`s small and game also :)ap

The Glebe Blog said...

Great pictures Alex.

I'm interested in your multiple exposure.Does your camera blend them for you,or do you mix them with a photo shop type programme.I always seem to forget my tripod,and finding a solid surface is sometimes impossible. Digital Photography has so many possible outcomes these days that I'm always on a learning curve.

Alex. said...

Sorry Jim..didn`t see your comment.
You need a DSLR camera that shoots RAW files and a tripod.Uhm..I haven`t got either,only a cheapish compact :) I take 3 exposures..normal,1 stop over and 1 stop under and play about with tonemap in Photoshop...not very successfully.!
It`s too complicated to explain and to be honest I just blunder through when I try it.Try googling it as that`s what I done.You can buy a programme that does it for you for about £20 called Photomatix.Maybe you could get a free trial ? If you have any questions then just ask away and I`ll do my best to answer.

The Glebe Blog said...

Cheers for that Alex.I'll just do a bit of experimentation instead of lashing out on new kit.It used to be that the camera never lied,but nowadays it's amazing what you can do to a picture.No good for the purists though.