Friday, 11 September 2015
"We smelt the smell of heather when
We burnt it for the tea,
And granite struck by granite at
The back of Corrie Fee,
We saw the twisted strata in
The glaciated lands,
The little speck of mica that
Stuck glistening in our hands".
A verse from 'The Poem, 1972' by
On our descent of the Marilyn Craigendarroch last week, I slipped on the narrow path. Nothing much; hardly anything at all really, just a foot sliding a few inches. However in the evening I felt a slight nip in my left knee which worsened after a walk through the Morrone Birkwood the following day.
It was the same knee that was operated on two years ago and I feared the worst. The Braemar Gathering came and went with no easing and on Sunday we watched a re-enactment marking the 300th anniversary of the raising of the Jacobite standard here in 1715. Both events were thoroughly enjoyable and involved a fair bit of walking, but I knew that on Monday I needed to get on a hill to either confirm the worst or, more hopefully, discover that I had done nothing more than irritate a tendon.
It was with great relief that at the Glas Maol cairn all seemed well. The midges arrived as did the black flies but not even a plague of midges could have spoiled this glorious day. A young lad appeared and told us that this was his 5th Munro. He was in the forces (REME) and was home for week from his base in London and would soon be posted to Leuchars, much to his obvious delight. On Creag Leacach we met again then went our separate ways. The Knee was still fine.
It was like summer, or at least what summer should have been like. A perfect day with the main Cairngorms looking magnificent, the hills of the western Mounth equally so.
Respecting the knee, we had an easy afternoon the following day lying in the sun on a carpet of heather on Carn Aosda. I picked up a small rock - the mica glistened in the sun.
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Posted by afootinthehills at 16:01
Wednesday, 9 September 2015
Wednesday, 2 September 2015
Posted by afootinthehills at 20:57
Countless times we've studied this craggy, tree-covered hill which overlooks the village of Ballater, but for some unfathomable reason its ascent has never been on the day's agenda.
However, this morning dawned wet and windy so a short climb in wooded shelter seemed like a sound idea. And so it was.
The path, steep in places and lined with heather, blaeberry and cranberry bushes, threaded its way through the beautiful oak wood (the biggest in Deeside) later giving way to birch and some Scots pine. A massive memorial cairn and an information board appeared near the top, the former seeming oddly out of place. Further on a viewpoint indicator marked the summit and a seat provided the ideal place for some tea, although even at the modest height of 402m I needed my insulated jacket on while we sat there admiring the view. Lochnagar and Broad Cairn were clear of cloud as was our hill of yesterday, Morrone.
Our descent route took us through even denser woodland then along the base of this mound of granite, once buried under 500m of ice. Not surprisingly wood ants were hard at work as evidenced by large ant hills. It reminded of days in Rothiemurchus.
It took a moment or two to realise that we were back at our starting point; the disorientating effect of being in thick woodland we supposed. A complete circuit of the base of the hill can be made, and if the present wet weather continues no doubt we will return.
Note: I've just noticed that the lens on the BlackBerry's camera needs cleaned; the photograph is therefore even poorer than usual. I'll post a couple from the iPad which won't allow me to send a full post to Blogger at present.
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Posted by afootinthehills at 20:55