Saturday, 28 January 2017
Ben Donich. 847 metres. Rest and be Thankful. Arrochar Alps.
With a fine day forecast last Saturday myself and Alan fancied a day in the Arrochar Alps. This is the B828 (in photo above) which leads you down through steep sided mountains on a single track road with passing places to a dead end strip of tarmac and the isolated but picturesque village of Lochgoilhead. Exactly as it appears in the name this cluster of low level houses, holiday homes and Victorian mansions sits at the head of Loch Goil and feels as isolated and remote now as it was in past centuries.
The remarkable thing about Glasgow's west coast position near the Scottish Highlands is that rugged steep sided mountains and deep fjord like sea lochs are only an hours drive away from the city centre. The compact group of peaks known as the Arrochar Alps have been the Glasgow hill walker's playground for generations and even now are little changed. Yes, this is mid January and not a drop of snow anywhere. Looks like summer, doesn't it?
Link for that here.
A fascinating and comprehensively researched account in this link below exploring their depth and complexity. Some of the cracks and deeper chasms have rock climbs in them like the ones below Beinn Narnain's summit, which I've climbed into and up decades ago, like most folk, without guessing their original creation. The unique shape of the Cobbler was probably caused by massive post glacial slippage taking away half the summit as well. Like the Whangie on a much bigger scale. An inspirational theory is found in here behind the growth of small woods next to caves and fissures. Fantastic article and well worth a detailed read through.
A great day out. Around 4 to 5 hours total walk depending on pace. We took five due to ice and energy levels.
Sticking with the Frozen theme... I manged to see three new films I hadn't seen before over the Christmas- New Year period that I really enjoyed and would thoroughly recommend to anyone. The first was 'Saving Mr Banks' about Walt Disney's real life 20 year battle/efforts to persuade Mary Poppins author P. L. Travers to let him transform her book into a film.
The second was Frozen. I'm not a big fan of modern musicals or Disney cartoons generally unless they are Pixar ones like Toy Story and Finding Nemo but the excellent story-line, characters and computer generated animation in this one proved exceptional and won me over despite my reservations that it might be just for young children. I do like children's films if they are well done, like Holes, The Spiderwick Chronicles or Moonrise Kingdom and this was.
The third a few days ago was Stonehearst Asylum, a clever twisty little thriller with great turns by Ben Kingsley, Kate Beckinsale, Jim Sturgess and Michael Caine. Unlike the other two films a mixed review by the critics for this one but I enjoyed it. Critics tend to change their mind over time anyway and hundreds of masterpieces they loudly applaud today were scorned when they first came out. Well, it's all in the word isn't it. Not saying it's a masterpiece by any means but I found it good fun and more entertaining and lively than any amount of Shakespeare, Dickens, Samuel Beckett or Alan Bennett plays.