Monday, 29 May 2017

Highland Landscapes and Scottish Munro Gallery.

                                                 ALL PHOTOS CLICK FULL SCREEN
As I had a lot of good extra photos from the recent day trip up to Kinloch Hourn in Knoydart and it was a fantastic day for mountain photography with Alex driving I thought I'd include a slideshow gallery of the mountains and scenery encountered on the car journey up and down. This above is the rugged wall of the Kilpatrick Hills above Milton near Glasgow where we stopped for fuel in the garage.This was also as far as the Roman Army got up the west coast- the mountain walls running very close to the flatter lands surrounding the nearby River Clyde and the impressive tribal stronghold of Dumbarton Rock a few miles further on, no doubt daunting a military style of combat that preferred open ground and highly disciplined structure using large numbers of troops rather than lightning fast hit and run attacks in difficult terrain that were harder to predict and counter against.
A few miles further on again, past Dumbarton, and we hit Loch Lomondside and the start of the Scottish Highlands in earnest.
Ben Lui at Tyndrum.
Low sunlight picking out contour lines near the village of Tyndrum.
Beinn Dorain. Bridge of Orchy district.
Rannoch Moor and the Blackmount range.
Another view of Rannoch Moor and the chain of shallow lochs, most only knee or waist deep, that can be traversed in a kayak to reach some beautiful places. Even a small boat would flounder here in this network of fractured maze-like waterways but kayaks come into their own with only a 4 to 6 inch clearance required to float over any obstructions.
Another view of the mountains in this area near Loch Tulla.
Mountains around Crianlarich village.
Approaching Glencoe and the winter ski runs. The least developed of the Scottish winter sports resorts due to unreliable weather year to year but boasting a less commercial DIY approach and great scenic skiing, some of it fairly hard and tricky, but enjoyable and exciting stuff given good conditions.
Creise, 1100 metres. A great scrambling Munro with some easy but beautiful buttresses to ascend.
Aonach Eagach ridge, a very popular and classic scramble that's a highlight (or dread) of any Munro collectors career. This is just a small part of the total traverse which runs the full length of Glencoe.
Buachaille Etive Mor. Stob Dearg and Curved Ridge with Crowberry Tower visible near the top. One of the finest rock scrambling and climbing venues in Scotland, only two hours drive from Glasgow, and 3000 plus feet of fantastic bare rock surfaces on this ancient stone monolith that stands apart at the entrance to the glen.
Ben Nevis and the north facing climbing cliffs.
The Grey Corries. A mountain range that's always struck me as feeling very American or 'large continent' in scale as the mountains here have plenty of room to breathe and sprawl out over a wide flat plain, unlike most of the Scottish peaks, which tend to be tightly packed together in the general western highlands district. This is only part of the range and it's always an impressive sight, viewed from afar.
On the road up north near Fort William.
Ben Tee and Glen Garry.
Red deer relaxing on the minor road down Glen Garry. The return leg in warm evening spring sunlight. No midges or flies yet so the deer are happy and content with life.
One that's been rolling in the muddy bogs to try to get rid of itchy parasites.
Road runners in a group.
We reach Kinloch Hourn and find deer stalking ponies grazing below our hill for the trip.
A lovely uphill walk through eucalyptus and mixed woodlands. A real surprise.

Alex and Loch Hourn. Knoydart.
Sgurr na Ciche. 1040 metres. One of the Knoydart peaks that stands out from any angle as a classic hill that draws the eye towards it.
Steep cliffs on The Saddle. Another memorable peak in any hill-walkers to do list.
The Saddle. Summit view. A large sprawling hill with many ridges running down its flanks. Superb views of it from our Corbett.
Sgurr Mhaoraich 1027 metres. Luckily the normal ascent route for this hill lies on the other side as this steep flank looked absolutely desperate as a way up or down. I had plenty of opportunities to study it as our own Corbett line of descent passed right by this near vertical head-wall.

A short video of a kid's cartoon show that was a real cult classic years ago. The wonders of Plasticine and stop go animation plus great scripts made this an obscure joy. Unfortunately, it was probably over ambitious and very time consuming to make but I loved it despite it being on at irregular intervals without a reliable weekly time slot to catch it. As it was only a few minutes long each episode they seemed to bang it on any time they needed to plug an unexpected gap in the TV schedule which was a real shame as any episodes I did see were always three minute wonders well spent. 1980s TV nostalgia.


Rosemary said...

Some lovely photos from your journey - I had no idea that some of the lochs on Rannoch Moor were so shallow.
I can't help thinking that eucalyptus trees are not really a suitable tree to have growing in the Scottish landscape, and wonder why and who planted them.

Anabel Marsh said...

What a beautiful country we live in!

blueskyscotland said...

Hi Rosemary,
Neither did I until I kayaked across them and kept hitting the bottom. Think a shallow swamp without any trees with a few 10 foot deep bits.
By the size of them they are well over 40-50 years old and might even date to the great estates period. Landowners could do what they wanted then, including banning locals and casual tourists from their property or introduce non native plants and animals on a grand scale- hence wallabies in some areas of Scotland and even weirder creatures.

blueskyscotland said...

Evening Anabel,
Yes, we certainly do. Hope we don't ruin it for future generations to enjoy.

Carol said...

Of course, the only Munroists to dread the Aonach Eagach are the ones who blindly follow the route in a book. The middle peak confuses them if they can't get someone's route description!

Linda said...

Where do I begin? I just can't, because everything is gorgeous! Thank you so much for all the beauty you share. It does my heart good.

Linda W. said...

You have beautiful mountains and lochs in your country! I'd love to try and ski some of those mountains (in a good snow year, of course!)

blueskyscotland said...

Hi Carol,
back in the old days, before the internet and loads of detailed photos, descriptions,etc at the click of a mouse it was just labeled as the UK's hardest mainland scrambling ridge.( that munro baggers would normally encounter anyway) We only had one book to follow which came out in 1985 called The Munros but before that we had nothing at all to go on so every new munro was ascended in complete ignorance of what lay ahead- an approach I still prefer today for any hill as I rarely look anything up online before I have a go at it as I feel that spoils the fun for me. Years ago I over-researched backpacking across Corsica with the result that most of the views or scrambles encountered I'd already seen numerous times in books from every angle and it did take something away from the experience.
If you find it too easy these days I recommend doing it in winter under heavy snow and ice as then any paths are obliterated and it reverts back to being a daunting scramble again :o) I remember Tom Weir bemoaning the fact around the early 1980s that there was now signs of a path emerging over the Aonach Eagach where none had existed before in the 1930s so every generation finds the hills slightly changed.

blueskyscotland said...

Thanks Linda,
I try my best to find beauty and wonder in the world.

blueskyscotland said...

Hi Linda W,
Next week I'll post a video just for you that I found a while ago.

Anonymous said...

Not sure where my first attempt at a comment went. Anyway, great photos of one of the classic road trips in the UK or anywhere really. Also pleased there is someone else out there who love The Trapdoor other than me and my mate Mark. Very weird and very funny and voiced by the late great Willy Rushton. Available on Amazon Prime again as well

blueskyscotland said...

Hi Andy,
Plenty more episodes of Trapdoor on You Tube by the look of it. Maybe the full set.