Monday, 19 December 2011
Friday, 9 December 2011
How often have you wanted to see this Mr Sloman? All turbines had been turned off because of storm force winds. Sensible policy Mr Salmond's pursuing then. Houses had to be evacuated after the turbine brake system failed and the blades 'free-wheeled'. It appears the turbine couldn't cope with gusts of 50mph.
Source: BBC Scotland News
Sunday, 4 December 2011
Wednesday, 30 November 2011
This was the scene around here on 29 November 2010. By contrast only some wet snow is evident in the garden this morning, although the Ochils had their first sprinkling a few weeks ago.
It’s been a wet and very windy November and I hope the above conditions come quickly in December.
There are a few photographs taken last December here
Sunday, 27 November 2011
Edit: I should have said that there is some controversy about the source of the information presented.
Thursday, 24 November 2011
The RSPB has condemned the decision since it could affect protected species – Golden Eagle and hen harrier populations nest nearby; black and white-throated divers nest on nearby lochs. The site, close to the Forsinard Flows Nature Reserve is “bounded on three sides by a special area of conservation and special area for bird life”
The RSPB has also objected to SSE’s plans for 77 turbines at Strathy south and a third windfarm (different developer) at Strathy Forest.
Alex Salmond and SNP Government continue their vandalism on the Scottish landscape.
The turbines at Burnfoot in the Ochils – and more are proposed.
Friday, 11 November 2011
Thursday, 10 November 2011
Wednesday, 9 November 2011
Tuesday, 8 November 2011
We heard the helicopter before we saw it, but knew from the engine noise that it was not from the type that whisks the wealthy from Edinburgh Airport to Gleneagles Hotel. Alas, neither was it a helicopter gunship on a mission to destroy the Burnfoot wind power station!
Unfortunately, the quality of the uploaded video is poorer than the original.
Monday, 7 November 2011
Saturday, 5 November 2011
Friday, 4 November 2011
Thursday, 3 November 2011
Anyone know what this might be? We saw a small amount of this jelly-like substance on the road near the fish farm and thought it was related to processes carried out there, but this picture is taken well up the hill. The fact that it's next to a wooden post is irrelevant.
Thursday, 27 October 2011
Wednesday, 26 October 2011
Anyone thinking of climbing Ben Lui had better get it done soon unless they like to view spoil heaps en route.
Friday, 7 October 2011
|Creag Leacach from Meall Odhar|
I have mixed feelings about ski developments in Scotland. Lynne and I skied regularly throughout the 1980s being among the 2500 who spent the night in the cafe here during the blizzard of 22 January 1984, although usually we went to Cairngorm since we had a season ticket – we’d have been stuck there as well! Nevertheless, we both vehemently opposed the Cairngorm Ski Lift Company’s proposal to expand tows into Lurcher’s Gully and to plans for a ski centre at Ben Wyvis, the latter recently suggested again. Ski-touring is a better option, away from the crowds and on virgin snow but, in dubious weather, the simple pleasures of piste bashing can’t be denied.
Something else can’t be denied – Scottish ski areas can be dire places outside the skiing season and I wasn’t particularly looking forward to walking up Meall Odhar via ski tows, snow-fences and the buildings and junk that typically litter such places. But actually I enjoyed it. Maybe just because of pleasant associations; maybe because it was a fine, if very windy day; maybe just because, ski tows or not, I was among the hills and heading for the open spaces of Glas Maol, the highest point in the Mounth.
From the top of Meall Odhar a short ascent led to the mosses and soft turf of the plateau and the summit cairn and shelter. An hour and five minutes from the car park.
The Monega Pass, the highest right of way over the Mounth, crosses about 500m east of the cairn then on to Monega Hill before descending to Tulchan and Glen Isla.
This is all great ski-touring country and given good conditions a trip from Carn an Tuirc to Tom Buidhe, taking in Cairn of Claise, Glas Maol and Tolmount would be a fine excursion.
|Fine ski-touring country - Carn an Tuirc (L) and Cairn of Claise (far R)|
After donning some warmer clothes at the shelter we descended the easy slopes leading to a col and the howff (see previous post) and followed the delightful dry stone dyke to the sharp peak of Creag Leacach.
|The dry stone dyke on Carn Leacach|
|Glas Maol from Creag Leacach|
Our plan for the day was a simple one – a return the same way we had come, although we did consider continuing along the ridge, dropping down over Meall Gorm, picking up the track over Leacann Dubh and so to the western slopes of Meall Odhar as we had done on a previous visit. Retracing our steps and lunch at the howff won, but on our descent of Meall Odhar we did divert along the track on Leacann Dubh getting caught, briefly, in the only rain of the day when we stopped for a cup of tea. Part of the old ‘Devil’s Elbow’ road could be seen in the glen (I first crossed this one July with a cousin and friend - at midnight on a bike - when about fourteen or fifteen years old, but that’s another story!) Some small pillar-like structures could also be seen near the old road - beehives thought Lynne, and she was right, some lovely honey coming from this area.
We descended to the motorvan happy with the day and despite the local holiday, we’d only met two people on the hill.
Wednesday, 5 October 2011
As we crossed the moss and soft turf of the Glas Maol plateau we came across several of these structures. I think they are a form of ‘quadrats’ used to sample and study, in this case, the montane vegetation.
If anyone knows anything different, I’ll be happy to hear from you.
Also, after our descent to the col on the way to Creag Leacach we came across a small howff which in the best traditions was wet and dank! We had lunch outside.
|Click to enlarge|
Tuesday, 4 October 2011
Monday, 3 October 2011
Saturday, 24 September 2011
Only on two occasions have we seen so many – a winter's day on Ben Chonzie (Ben-y-Hone) when their camouflage was complete, and one spring on Geal-charn Mor just before they had completed the transition from white to their summer colour. We rather felt that they needed to get on with it.
I don’t like modern signage in the Scottish hills – waymarks, and the like.
I do like old signs like this one. Ancient ways through and, in this case, over the hills. They stir the imagination.
Incidentally, ‘Glenisla’ should be two words ‘Glen Isla’. There are no rock climbs in Glencoe, the village, many in Glen Coe. And the 'Glenshee' (Glen Shee) ski centre is wholly in Glen Clunie!
Wednesday, 21 September 2011
By contrast, to date, only a mere 657 people have signed the 'savemonadhliathmountains' petition. This is pathetic! If you oppose the destruction of the wild Monadhliath sign this petition NOW. Win the battle or lose it, I can't see how you can continue to walk or climb in the Scottish hills with a clear conscience if you don't. Sign the petition HERE.
(The Scottish Government in their budget proposals for the next three years are planning to invest £200m in renewables btw)
Tuesday, 20 September 2011
Councillors are to consider plans from Druim Ba Sustainable Energy to erect 23, 490ft turbines on forestry land between Abriachan and Kiltarlity. An Action Group has been set up to oppose the development. I wish them all the best.
Monday, 19 September 2011
So, if anyone still harbours thoughts that the march of wind power stations across the Highlands, and not-so-highland parts of Scotland, can be halted or effectively opposed, think again.
It grieves me to say so having opposed such monstrosities since around 2004 when Mellock Hill, near Yetts o' Muckhart was threatened.But there it is.
Thursday, 15 September 2011
This we did, stopping several times to watch ‘beaters’ drive the birds into the guns. My, what fine shots they must be giving the birds such a sporting chance. Tracked vehicles roamed the bulldozed roads and over the hillsides ferrying the shooters around. You couldn't exactly say it was a peaceful scene.
The weather wasn’t improving but even so, in the absence of all the guns about we might have gone higher just for the tussle with the elements. But no, after staring into the gloom at the head of the loch, we headed back.
|A wet, but happy Lynne|
|Not too bad really. If only there hadn't been guns about...|
We paid a visit to The Stables Bothy which is maintained by the MBA, and noted some entries by Challengers who’d passed this way in 2011. One name I recognised, John Joycs, a regular who usually camped here on the crossing, had spent the night in the bothy (‘just too wild to camp’ I think were his words) and found it comfortable. It certainly looked it and although I’m not a bothy fan myself, in last May's weather it would have been a welcome haven for any backpacker.
The ‘beaters’ were now making their way back towards the Lodge driving yet more beleaguered grouse into the waiting guns. Sheep, looking uneasy, gathered by the Callater Burn.
Wednesday, 14 September 2011
|Broad Cairn from L Muick|
Lochnagar was cloud-covered but showed every sign of clearing, Broad Cairn was already clear and looked inviting so really chose itself as the objective for today. Shortly we came to the start of the Capel Mounth track which crosses to Glen Clova.
I will attempt the Capel Track,
Old stiff and retrograde,
And set some pal to push me on
Should resolution fade.
For I must see black Meikle Pap
Against a starry sky,
And watch the dawn from Lochnagar
Once more before I die.
Syd Scroggie – First verse, Ante Mortem
It was cool and pleasant as we wandered along the lochside track reflecting on what great backpacking country this was, but a stop at the bridge over the roaring, thundering Black Burn to consider which route of ascent to take brought out the midges once more, so high or windy campsites would have been desirable to escape the torment.
When we’d climbed Broad Cairn back in 1981 (was it really so long ago?) we had gone by Corrie Chash, so today we opted (quickly, to escape the onslaught) for an ascent via the ‘Streak of Lightning’ which would get us high on the plateau above Loch Muick and so to Allan’s Hut, 2km from Broad Cairn.
It might be Allan’s 'Hut' but a sign says it’s Sandy’s 'Seat'. Beyond the hut a path drops south to Bachnagairn in Glen Clova.
The weather was picking up nicely by now so we decided to push on to the summit rather than stop for lunch, and soon we were crossing the lichen-covered granite boulders leading to the top.
Some rain and cloud had pushed in from the west as far as Cairn Bannoch and since we wanted to visit a ‘Top’, namely Creag an Dubh Loch in good visibility, we postponed lunch yet again. Rising above the Dubh Loch itself the 270m cliffs form the highest continuous face in the Cairngorms.
No adrenaline rush today though, but a pleasant easy walk to the cairn which is well back from the edge of the cold NE cliffs.
|The top of Creag an Dubh Loch|
Lunch was again postponed and had become ‘afternoon tea’ by the time we had returned to Allan’s Hut!
It was grand to be tramping these hills again with their great feeling of spaciousness and big skies.
I'd even forgotten about the £3 parking fee at the Spittal!
Tuesday, 13 September 2011
Just back from a nine day trip to Braemar area. It's well known to us but, inexplicably, it's years since we've been there and so it all felt very fresh. Lovely. Now getting organised for another trip away, but I’ll try to write up a few reports before then. Mobile blogging would be so much easier than writing things up when back home.
Friday, 2 September 2011
Wednesday, 31 August 2011
Monday, 15 August 2011
Saturday, 13 August 2011
Dark Shadow/Harvest Gold
I first bought a pair of these shoes in March this year and have been so pleased with them that I’ve just bought another pair from Webtogs. My first Targhee IIs were Mid boots bought in 2008 and although extremely comfortable, the eVent membrane was useless and I repeatedly had to use Super Glue to fix the grey ‘caps’ on the sole.
The new KEEN.DRY membrane is much more effective and overall construction seems to be better – the shoe feels sturdier. The old Targhees were a bit skittery on wet rock and grass but these new ones have coped well on a variety of terrain in, mostly, very wet weather. I can’t explain this because the sole doesn’t look very different from the 2008 version except maybe it’s a little more aggressive.
I’d have no hesitation in using these shoes on a long backpacking trip and plan to do just that next May. Now though, a local walk - in the rain as usual.
This second pair cost £47.50 from Webtogs - that’s half-price in a summer sale.
Approx 490g per shoe
Wednesday, 3 August 2011
An additional £204,000 funding for MRTs in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland has been announced by the government. This is apparently the first of four years funding with at least £200,000 available each year.
Teams in England and Wales will share £128,000, Scotland will receive £68,000 and Northern Ireland £8000.
Tuesday, 2 August 2011
The Windmill (Salt Mill) was used to pump sea water into the pans and once full, coal, which was readily available in Fife, was fired and the water evaporated off to leave the salt. To produce one ton of salt required about 32 tons of sea water. Salt duty was repealed in 1823 and the cheap imported salt from abroad saw the demise of the industry with the last salt pan in Scotland, at Prestonpans, closing in 1959.
The remains of a Panhouse and salt pans can still be seen on the shore below the windmill.
All in all, an enjoyable day out, even though not 'a foot' had been set upon a hill.
You can read more about salt extraction on Martin's excellent blog.
Saturday, 30 July 2011
Tuesday, 19 July 2011
Thursday, 16 June 2011
The company is about to submit an application for a wind monitoring mast which will establish whether the site is viable, and ecological and ornithological surveys will also be carried out. Given that Stirling Council has identified the area as potentially suitable for wind power station development, it is hardly likely to reject the application - which is what it should do.
Source: BBC Scotland News
|Note the line of the WHW near Conic Hill. Click to enlarge.|