Friday, 25 February 2011

The Cobbler. Largs.

After two weeks of poor weather a long awaited, not too be missed, sunny day dawned so I decided on a return visit to The Cobbler an hours drive away. The best thing about all of Scotland's cities is how easy it is to escape them into fantastic landscape. I motored out via Milngavie and Drymen just for a change. These next two pictures were taken five minutes car journey from my door. Surprisingly this is the first time I've stopped for a photograph here,I suppose you can even get used to Eden's kiss.

I reached the car park for the Arrochar Alps after a pleasant glide up Loch Lomondside, soft dappled sunlight coming down through the trees into my eyes. I love days like this. Exciting new music drifting from the speakers, munching seedless grapes and extra mature cheddar cheese cubes, drinking ice cold fiery ginger beer. Bliss for all the senses.
A swift jaunt on ice covered paths with crampons and ice axe swinging brought me crunching over the slopes to the halfway boulders. From here the mountain steepens further into rock walls and overhanging cliffs. Its a fantastic little hill much loved by the outdoor crowds normally seen here.
This was where we went wrong a few months ago at new year. At least now I could see where we,d missed the gap. Easy done in such poor visibility.
Deep fresh snow lay ahead but luckily two brave souls had waded on, forging a trail up under the overhangs into the central gully then up towards the ridgeline.
I followed half expecting it to be a keen young team but it turned out to be a couple a few years older than myself. Cant beat experience on the hills! We seemed to be the only folk on the summit ridge so I followed them round the three famous spires.
It was getting late and very cold so all too soon it was time to descend again, sun sinking slowly over the islands.

Great reflections awaited in the still waters of the loch beside the village of Arrochar.
Also had this close up view of a ptarmigan, a bird of the high mountains, presumably happy with all the snow as its winter plumage made it harder for hungry foxes to catch it.

Smashing day. How come Alex misses some of the best ones? Ah yes, I forgot, he's got a social life :o) Never mind I found a substitute look-a- like companion in the area.

Although raining a great deal during the day recently evening sunsets have been both exceptional and varied in colour.
Must be all the moist air presumably. Sometimes a mere hour of sunshine ,a single glimpse of golden honey after a long dull morning and afternoon rewarded my patience during rubbish weekends.
I've been down at Largs a fair bit over the last six months. Here's the best of the views before darkness swallowed the light and I ventured back indoors to warm the trusting hearts of faeries. 


Russell said...

Great photos, as always, Bob. I've been up the Cobbler 3 times but never made it through the hole and up onto the rock of the centre peak. Apparently getting on top of the rock used to be a right of passage for young males of the Campbell Clan. I'm a Campbell, so I must be from the Big Jessie branch of the clan. At least I'm not one of the sleekit Campbells. - At least, I hope I'm not. All the best. Russell

blueskyscotland said...

Hi Russell.
Been through the hole a few times now over the years but I still find it a daunting prospect.I certainly didnt try it this time solo plastered in snow and ice.In summer I,ve ticked four classic rock routes here but I always found them hard for the grade due to the rock texture.Like climbing a wall of soap.Slightly slippy underfoot when dry,but boy, wait til it rains halfway up a route! Boxing gloves and roller skates would give better friction.

The Glebe Blog said...

A grand post Bob.
I particularly like the last two pictures full screen.In your view from the pencil,I can imagine an otters about to come out to play.One of my new years resolutions is to actually photograph an otter this year.
Great stuff.

blueskyscotland said...

The island of Lismore is a great place for otters Jim.In the good old days When I still had my Kayak I spotted plenty around there,including family groups.Had a rubbish camera then though.You could stand on an otters tail then,take its picture and it would still look tiny in the photograph.Just proves how good cameras have got without spending major investment.
Best of luck.They are not easy to get a glimpse of let alone a decent picture.

Robert Craig said...

Some fantastic pics, especially like the sunset view from descending the Cobbler. I used to love going up there on summer evenings after uni (I lived in Helensburgh and commuted to Glasgow).

Maybe I'm lucky but I've never had trouble seeing otters. I think perhaps they are more common than they once were. I've seen them on the Union Canal, and just last weekend on the River Clyde at Motherwell of all places, near Baron's Haugh nature reserve.

Good places to spot them are Kylerhea and the Sound of Mull; even if you don't see otters at the Sound of Mull you'll see plenty seabirds and maybe even porpoises!

Anonymous said...

Lovely post, Bob, and some great pics as usual. Arrochar is only 50mins from the leafy West End Bubble, hence it's a favourite walk at any time of year; though a clear, sharp winter's day such as you enjoyed is best of all. The Cobbler is down as Dougal's First Big Hill in a few months' time.

Always see otters on Jura and An Cladach bothy on the Sound of Islay is a dead cert for spotting the furry little crustacean crunchers. Someone also told me that they'd been seen on the Kelvin by the Science Park...

blueskyscotland said...

Cheers guys.Seeing otters is one thing. Getting a decent picture of them without sitting hidden for many hours is something else.Not something I,m prepared to do. They join my list of hard to capture Scottish birds and beasties bumped into which includes,pine marten(seen one, no camera), wildcat(Just a bum and tail),kingfisher(seen dozens no good pictures,too fast),both woodpeckers,flycatchers, yellowhammer,Ring Ouzel,wren(a whole family of fledglings popping out the circluar nest on by one but no camera!),Jay and its big Cousin the Garden Magpie which still refuses to stay still for a few seconds in the garden despite repeated attempts and tasty treats over the years.A faster shutter speed would probably be an advantage. bob.

Kay said...

Great photos, as usual. Never seen a ptarmigan or an otter. Jealous!

blueskyscotland said...

Cheers Kay.And you never know whats round the corner awaiting you in nature.....Seen a sparrowhawk in the garden on Sunday....feeding on my poor wee robin that I,ve been fattening up throughout the big freeze.Only a bit of plucked red breast, beak and feet left.Shame!
Still plenty more where he came goes on:0)

Frank said...

Never been at this neck of the woods yet. Planning to do so this year though. Fantastic photo's to go with the post.



blueskyscotland said...

Cheers Frank.
Arran, Bute and Great Cumbrae are Fantastic family or solo adventure islands which I,m sure you will enjoy even from Fife.Its not that far.
Well worth a visit in good weather.