Stuc a' Chroin and Ben Vorich

Stuc a' Chroin and Ben Vorich

Friday, 7 September 2012

Friday 7 September - Monega Hill

The Monega Pass, from Glen Clunie to Glen Isla is the highest of the rights of way across the Mounth. Before beginning its final descent to Tulchan Lodge the track passes west of the 908m summit of Monega Hill, our objective for the day, overlooking Caenlochan.

We, however, were not approaching from Glen Clunie but from Glas Maol so we parked up in the ski area just a few yards from the Perth and Kinross border. It's easy to forget just what a big county P&K is and how varied its scenery. Lucky us. Anyway, we made quick progress through the paraphernalia of the ski grounds and across the arctic-alpine grassland of the Glas Maol to the trig point and shelter. The sheer spaciousness of these Mounth hills never fails to lift the spirits.

"A feature of all these fertile hills is that vegetation covers far more of the ground than at the same altitude in the Cairngorms, with very little bare gravel or screes. Ptarmigan, red grouse, dunlin, skylarks and mountain hares reach a greater abundance on some of these hills than anywhere else in the arctic-alpine zone in Scotland, and ptarmigan, grouse and dotterel rear bigger broods here than elsewhere, which again indicates the underlying fertility. Several species of animals live at much higher altitudes than usual on some of these hills. This part of the Mounth [from Callater to Glen Ey] is therefore unique in Scotland for its wildlife interest both plant and animal". (A Watson). Long may we value and protect this precious area for its own sake. Not for us. Not as a 'resource'; and certainly not as a 'playground', adventure or otherwise.

A brief stop, then onwards to Little Glas Maol. We had just started the descent when we came across about forty (we guessed) mountain hares which scattered across the hillside as we approached. Ptarmigan, sheep and several herds of deer were other sightings. Otherwise we were alone all day - if you don't count the midges in sheltered spots.

Little Glas Maol came and went pleasantly as we wended our way to Monega Hill, diverting occasionally for the view down to Caenlochan Glen. Watson again: "one of the two best places in Britain for uncommon arctic-alpine plants. Here you may see snow gentian, blue sow thistle, woolly willow, boreal fleabane and other rarities" A place to visit on another occasion for sure.
It was no hardship to follow our outward route back to the 'van in the sunshine. Another simple, satisfying day in the hills.

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1 comment:

AlanR said...

Really interesting post again Gibson and thoroughly enjoyed by yourselves.