Stuc a' Chroin and Ben Vorich

Stuc a' Chroin and Ben Vorich

Monday, 13 January 2014

Thursday 9 January - Castlehill Rerservoir to Tarmangie Hill (and back)


It was a relief and a pleasure to be pulling on boots this fine morning although  it was still breezy enough, and the temperature low enough, to have us donning most of our warm clothing from the outset.  By the time we reached Glenquey House and despite being in shadow, my Paramo had to return to the rucksac.

The route to Glen Quey and on up Innerdownie is a familiar one, never dull and rarely do we meet anyone. Today though we joined  two other walkers, nearing their eighties, who accompanied us to the cairn. We chatted about ski-touring, sailing (one had done far more than us on this front), walking, hills, climbing, the Ochils (obviously) and much more. Good-byes were exchanged as they headed down to the drove road for their circuit back, we to shelter from the strong, cold wind and for tea etc before continuing to Whitewisp and Tarmangie Hill.

Clear skies but very windy at the summit of Whitewisp
The eagle-eyed among you will note the (alloy) Pacerpoles which I've been using since about last October instead of my trusty Leki carbon-lites and, although initially I was rather doubtful about the claims made for Pacerpoles, I can safely say I'm now a convert.  Being lighter, my Lekis will be used on trips where I might have to carry them for a fair bit of the day - say in the Cuillin.

There was little evidence of wild life today on this 18km day out although on the way back to the car two large Pyrenean Mountain dogs bounded out from Geordie's wood: 'Guardian Dogs - at last wolves have been released"! Alas, I knew I was kidding myself and their owner soon appeared explaining that 'Hamish' and 'Angus' were rescue dogs and two big bundles of gentleness and fun they were too. Gorgeous.

Some stats from Satmap:



We've had another two days out since this one and a brief record of the walks will appear soon.

Good to back on the hills and blogging!












6 comments:

  1. I dip in and out of using my Pacer Poles. Great but annoying bulk at times strapped to the pack. But I do agree function wise the best poles.

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    1. Hi Martin. Yes, they are a bit bulky strapped to the pack, although to date that's made me use them virtually all the time on a walk. I do like the lightness of my Lekis and, I'm tempted to take them with me today!

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  2. Good to see you out and about again.

    Black Diamond flick lock poles for me. They are sturdier and never collapse like the old Lekis did - a design fault in my opinion because if the pole became stuck behind you the instinctive thing was to twist to release it thereby undoing the locking arrangement.

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    1. Thanks Conrad, it's good to feel alive again! I agree, the flick lock system is far superior and I have the same problem with my Lekis unlocking when they get stuck behind. I've not experienced the same problem so far with the Pacerpoles, perhaps because the handle design makes twisting the pole less likely. That said, I still think the flick lock system is better.

      I don't like anecdotal evidence very much but for what it's worth I do think the Pacerpoles reduce the loading on my knees more effectively than the strap system. On the other hand I may simply be trying to justify the cost of new poles!

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  3. Those stats are good. Great to see you back on the hills. I never use poles so i don’t know good ones from bad ones.

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    1. Hi Alan. I've recently (a few days ago) bought a Suunto Ambit so it will be interesting to compare stats. Not that they are important, just a bit of fun really.

      I like poles, particularly on long rough descents. I definitely notice a difference on the knees if I don't use them and protecting my knees has become, unsurprisingly, very important to me!

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