Stuc a' Chroin and Ben Vorich

Stuc a' Chroin and Ben Vorich

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

2 September - Glas Maol

If the wind strength at the car park was anything to go by, the Glas Maol plateau was going to be fun. The welcome sight of a mountain hare greeted us near the summit of Meall Odhar; less welcome was thick mist sweeping in from north and south.

No matter. This was to be a short day to assess the knee before venturing too far into remoter country. (I'm not going to mention it again unless its complete failure necessitates my extraction by the big yellow bird, although I think I'd rather hop and crawl back down than suffer that ignominious fate).

A few pics were taken at the cairn when the mist temporarily cleared, but it was no place for a bite to eat. Despite the poor visibility we noticed the grazing cages, first spotted in October 2011, were still in place. These cages were erected by Rene van der Wal and colleagues of Aberdeen University to "determine the influence of primary sheep grazing on summit vegetation on Glas Maol. We are particularly interested in the fate of fringe moss, or Racomitrium languginosum, which is perhaps best known as key habitat for dotterel to exist". (You can see a photo on a previous post from our October 2011 trip).

Back at Meal Odhar the sun appeared, the cold wind whistling through the ski-tow cables suddenly warmer. We had taken only an hour and five minutes to the top of Glas Maol (it has to amount to cheating to start at the car park), and would be back at the 'van at the absurdly early time of one o'clock at this rate. A long stop in sun was called for.

Coire Odhar is a fine place, or it would be if it were not for the ski-tows, fences and other detritus. And yet we'd both had some of the best fun days of our lives skiing here. I substituted that vision for the one that lay before us and felt all the better for it.

The drive down Glen Clunie and back to the site provided a pleasant conclusion to the day. What a simple uncluttered life this is!

A longer trip tomorrow.

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  1. Good to see you posting again.

    Some years ago I saw dotterels, against all the odds, on Pendle Hill in Lancashire. They spend only a few days there on their way to Scotland - the vegetation being the attraction.

    Maybe ten years later I saw them again on one of the best Munroing days I can remember. I was going for Seana Bhraigh from Loch Broom and the dotterels were on the north east side of Eididh nan Clach Geala which sort of completed the circle of dotterel sighting. What a day that was, the views from SB were as good as it gets. I seemed to see dotterels more often after that.

  2. Thanks Conrad. I do enjoy the way your comments tell of your own exploits. We haven't come across dotterels for a long time but we are certainly in the right area for some sightings. As you so rightly say, the views don't come any better than from SB.