Friday, 2 April 2010

Dollar Glen.King`s Seat Hill to Whitewisp Hill.

Yippee! After an average month weather wise where we were really just passing the time it`s business as usual now spring has arrived. We`ve been trying to go here to this area for weeks but today the gods of adventure were kind, stunning blue skies,not too much wind.
Time to hit the bigger hills again.

Let me say from the outset I love Dollar.Great to see the swanky Academy again and the mixed ranks of golfers strolling into the upmarket clubhouse.Being a toothless old tramp of some merit I like seeing a bit of posh totty passing me by. Mind you with my shining charisma obvious to all, beautiful women fall into my path like autumn leaves into a pond. (Yeah right.Dream on,Alex.)
Mr Rift Baboon had never been up the famous Dollar Glen before on the way to Castle Campbell looming above the town so we parked beside the tumbling stream at the bottom and set off.
Birdsong was in full swing.Grey wagtails, Tree drumming woodpeckers and assorted garden birds celebrating the new spring after a severe winter. As usual the message was always the same."I`m still here.I need a mate.I`m building a nest for you."

From the valley the snow didn`t look to bad high up.Deep and soft in the gullies but mostly clear on the ridgelines.Big day ahead for old legs though.Dollar Glen via Burn of Sorrow first then King`s Seat ,Maddy Moss,Tarmangie Hill,Whitewisp Hill and Saddle Hill,descending via the Burn of Care.
The real treasure of the Ochils though are its glens.Deep and narrow,always and dank in summer,warm and sheltered in winter.Dollar Glen is a cracker.It used to contain one of the man made wonders of Scotland.An amazing wooden walkway hugging the very bottom of the Burn of Sorrow all the way up this deep cleft,at times just above the rushing torrents then zigzagging madly on stilts with a 100 foot cliff looming above.Sadly said cliff collapsed,destroying part of the boardwalk years ago and they`ve never replaced it.
The remains of that path(windy edge) is still ok higher up but it`s deemed too dangerous to put back the original wonderful walkway inside the chasm.Shame ,usual H and S story,nuff said.
Anyway we followed this path on the side of the gorge up the hill to the ridge line.

After a seemingly never ending slog up the hill to King`s Seat the rest of this long horseshoe was straight forword and enjoyable apart from a few deep gullies filled with thigh deep snow and the sober reminder of a previous avalanche.

Alex got a few more bagging ticks on this hill which kept him happy,I really enjoyed the lushness of the glens......

and it was sunny and fairly warm all day.

Here`s a funny thing.Last week was mainly frustrating due to its stop- start nature completely befuddling ourselves along the Ayr gorge but the photos were great.Today was far more enjoyable a day but the pictures taken on the hill were nothing special.I first discovered this years ago when I had a terrific day on the hills above the Bridge of Orchy in full winter conditions but not a photo worth keeping.That`s still the amazing thing about photography in this digital age you never really know what you`ve got in the old tin can until you spill it out onto the open page.
We were both pretty tired after our canter round the hills.Thank god I`ve done all my Munro's these wee hills are more than enough now.

Oops, sorry.Here`s one I missed.


Couple of hill shots from me.I like hills :o)

Bob on the way up King`s Seat Hill...

The view over to Dumglow and the Cleish Hills.....


Alistair said...

"toothless old tramp of some merit"
Love the quote Bob! I remember being up that way with you and Dawn years ago, coming down to the castle, or was that near there?

blueskyscotland said...

Yup it was.Also remember alan from rutherglen, myself and yourself going up the burn of sorrow after it was blocked off with barbed wire and seeing the massive boulders that had smashed through the boardwalk.Had a feeling then it would never be returned to its former glory. Bob.

Anonymous said...

Totally agree about the Ochil Glens...maybe gorges would be a better description though. Offhand I can't think of anywhere else where they are so tight and dramatic.

Always difficult to get decent photos on the Ochils...everything else is so far away and there's almost b****r all distinctive to photograph in the foreground.

Unknown said...


My name is Kevin, I am a French student and as part of my English course, I'm studying dos and don’ts from other cultures and countries in order to be able to do business with them in my future professional life. I have some cultural question about Scotland and the habits of Scots.

I'm contacting you because I'm experiencing difficulties to meet Scots where I live. My english teacher allowed me to try to find some contacts on the internet.

Please, could you help me, and answer some questions ?

Thank you very much in advance and please excuse me if I'm bothering you.

Best regards,

PS : very nice pics !

The Glebe Blog said...

Great views of the Ochils gents.
When I was 12 or 13,my trainer would enter me and two of my cousins in the two mile 'Boys Marathon' at the Highland Games.Dollar was probably as far as we'd travel from Springfield.
The fell races sparked the most interest in those days.
Oh! and,not that it's of much interest to you,but in about two dozen 'Boys Marathons' I managed one fourth place.I doubt if I'd do much better now.

blueskyscotland said...

Fire away with your questions kevin and we will do our best here to answer them honestly.I.e. the only time most scots wear a kilt is at weddings or supporting the scotland team abroad.If you see anybody wearing a kilt in the street and he,s not going to either of these events he,s usually not scottish. Bag Pipers excluded of course as its part of their normal working attire.Bob.

Unknown said...

Here's an online version of my questionnaire :

Thank you very much for helping me :)

russell said...

Hi Guys. Fatdogwalks reckons it is difficult to get decent photos on the Ochils.This gives me an excuse to tell you about a marvellous photo-opportunity I missed on Dumyat on September 4 2010. Just below the top, coming up from Menstrie, I looked up and spied a big bare bum. At first I thought it was somebody changing their trousers. Then I realised it was a couple having it off [with great gusto] against the cairn. This was at 12.00 noon on a lovely Saturday on perhaps the busiest hill in Scotland. By this time I was about 10 yards away and unsure what to do. A few discrete coughs failed to make any impression so I retreated about a hundred yards and looked away until the oohs and ahs ended.The couple now pulled up their breeks and headed off fo the Sheriffmuir road. My emotions on this occasion went from shock to embarrassment to extreme jealousy.
There are many categories of hills - Munros, Donalds etc. I think I have discovered a new category - Hills with folk having it off at the top. The term HuMps is already in use so I propose calling such hills in England "Bonks". This is too tame for us hairy chested Scots, so I suggest calling them "Hoochmagandies" in Scotland. I intend bagging at least 12 Hoochmagandies during 2011. I doubt if I'll achieve this total as every time I now suggest a stroll on the hills to the wife she replies "In your dreams" or "Aye! Right!"

Alex said...

Very interesting Russell.If the wife isn`t interested then I`m sure Tommy Sheridan has a few phone numbers of willing females that might assist you in your Hoochmagandie round.!

I myself will probably aim for a ( ahem )"solo" round :)