Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Fort William Mystery Trip. Ben Nevis. Mamores. Ardgour.

                                             ALL PHOTOS CLICK FULL SCREEN
Another trip up north to bag a hill and a bothy in the Fort William area but as it's a relatively unknown bothy and hill we will play a little game and not name it here. Those who know- will know where it is. The above photo was taken in the car travelling up Loch Lomondside where the higher mountains around the Arrochar Alps start to make an appearance.
As usual on these 5:00am trips early morning mist is a feature, particularly in October, autumn being the season of mists, the appearance of the first frosts, changing colours on trees and ripe berries.
The first leaf litter starts to fall from tree to ground. The paintbrush palette of the 'little death.'
A view of Ben More, 1174 metres, crisply soaring above inversion mist cloaking the moisture soaked valleys below. A photo taken at Tyndrum looking back along the A82 towards Crianlarich.
Lochan na h-Achlaise on the western edge of Rannoch Moor.
Curved Ridge and North Buttress- two fine scrambles on Stob Dearg, 1022 metres, merely a sunlit section of the south and east facing front wall of the Buachaille Etive Mor, gatekeeper to the entrance slot via a tarmac twisting ribbon leading down between steep cliffs of rock towards Glencoe.
A closer look at North Buttress, Grade 3 Scramble... Curved Ridge Grade 2 and Crowberry Tower. My days of climbing these routes winter and summer, with and without a rope, are firmly behind me. At times most individual's journey though life fits into neat chapters... the years of a marriage...happy or otherwise.... years or even decades spent in a job with a certain set of colleagues.... children growing up before leaving home....friends in clubs long gone but not forgotten...the collecting years, the bothy years, the climbing years, magical times spent with a certain girlfriend who slipped through your careless fingers eventually, the retirement years ....or simply different hobbies, thoughts, and lifestyle choices as you get older. All well defined chapters making up the human book. In hindsight, looking back on those earlier years they can often seem like a window into someone else's life- a stranger...clearly seen for the most part but bearing no relation to the way things are now in advancing footsteps towards old age... at least for me anyway. I was a different person back then.
Ossian's Cave sitting high on the cliffs above Glencoe. It used to be a place of mysterious natural wonder as a child on my first Highland bus trips but now I know it's a damp unpleasant slot not worth the effort, danger and possible death required to reach it when far better, much safer caves can be explored at lower levels.
Wonder and mystery will always be attractive though as they can act as a powerful catalyst on the imagination and senses, but as you get older they can be harder to find.
An overnight stop in a highland bothy.
Sunset over Ardgour.
Ben Nevis and Distillery. Fort William.
On our mystery hill looking over at Ben Nevis, highest summit in the UK at 1346 metres, or 4,416 feet.
A glimpse of Fort William's upper suburbs and the higher parts of this popular highland town that most passing tourists will never visit or explore.
A close up of Ben Nevis, the zig- zag tourist path and the cliffs of Tower Ridge and Gap. You can just make out the summit cairns.
Sgurr a' Mhaim in the Mamores, looking like a dormant volcano with its cone summit made up of sparkling quartzite blocks. 1099 metres high.
Shifting light over the western seaboard from our mystery hill. Sometimes you do not need labels on everything.
David on the walk out.
Mystery hill-top viewpoint with bubbling clouds rising.
North Ballachuilsh viewpoint with Loch Leven and the Pap of Glencoe in the distance, washed with evening sunlight.
Garbh Bheinn showing the mighty Great Ridge, a V Diff rock climb in a still remote area.
And a Rannoch Moor sunset to end on the way home.

My new photo book -  'A Scottish Outdoor Kaleidoscope' by Bob Law is now available on Kindle. With 452 original colour photographs and over 30 separate trips described all over Scotland and even into England covering kayaking, cycling, hill-walking, urban adventures, island hopping, bothy visits, and easy but scenic day trips it should appeal to anyone interested in Scotland, nature, mountains or the great outdoors. If it was published in hardback or magazine form on paper it would retail between £15 to £30 pounds making it impractical in that medium. An ideal Christmas present for £2:49 on kindle. All my books are now suitable to read on computers with a free download app.
First couple of chapters free to read in this link.

A cracking little gem that captures the essence of childhood, nostalgic memories, and a simpler way of life. Now and again a rare film comes along that is so different, unusual, yet brilliant, it will stay with you for decades as a new all time favourite. This is one of mine. Quirky and slow at first it takes off like a rocket 20 minutes in when the children meet in the meadow.  A modern classic.


Mike@Bit About Britain said...

Ah, you're going a bit Keats on us, Bob. Certainly a tad philosophical, though I must say it strikes a chord! Wonderful shots - as always.

blueskyscotland said...

Hi Mike,
passing under the scrambles and looking up at where I used to go without a rope attached and without any qualms did seem like a different life and an entirely different person as I wouldn't dream of climbing them now or thank anyone for the experience.

Rosemary said...

Lovely, lovely photos of beautiful Scottish mountains ringed in mist.
It is interesting looking back over different periods of our life, and would we have done things differently?
I enjoy seeing my grandchildren, now all on that similar journey through adulthood, and watching how their lives are panning out. It interesting that many of them do share similar interests and ambitions that we had too.

Linda said...

Your photos are absolutely gorgeous! Thank you so much for this tour!

blueskyscotland said...

Cheers Rosemary,
We had excellent weather for that trip which always helps.

blueskyscotland said...

Hi Linda,
Thank you for dropping in.

Ian Johnston said...

Hi Bob,

Another cracker! Truly great shot of shifting light, I really love that ever-changing quality of lighting. Now, would your Mystery Hill be a little over 740m high by any chance?!

PS - that's one of the better bothies!

Kind regards

blueskyscotland said...

Hello Ian,
Good guess, but it was the other hill above the bothy we climbed which you obviously know as well. Nice to see it still in great condition and looking the same as the last time over ten years ago. I mentioned a bothy by name a few years back in the blog and it may have been just coincidence but it shut shortly after so I'm slightly wary now about posting info on the less well known ones. Even the semi secret list gets smaller and smaller every year.

Neil said...

It might be my imagination but the October weather seems to have been better this year. You took full advantage there Bob.

Carol said...

To Neil - the October weather was excellent last year in Scotland - it's good this year but last year was hotter in the day.

Bob - are you putting your book out in paper form as well again? I still haven't got a Kindle and am not sure I'll ever really get around to it!

blueskyscotland said...

Hi Neil,
we had an amazing autumn last year that was one of the best I can remember but I also met someone to share it with and that always helps. This autumn has been decent but not in the same class for warmth and run of sunny days. Last year's did feel like an extended golden summer for well over a month.

blueskyscotland said...

Hi Carol,
No. Only available on kindle I'm afraid. At 452 colour photos it would be really expensive to produce in paper form (£20 quid or more) whereas it's a bargain at £2:50.
You will have read about most of the trips anyway on the blog.

Anonymous said...

Stunning photos especially the zoom shots of the Ben and Sgurr a Mhaim.