Stuc a' Chroin and Ben Vorich

Stuc a' Chroin and Ben Vorich

Saturday, 24 February 2018

Tuesday 20 February - Some hills north of Glendevon

There was a time when Ben Trush (OS Thrush), Green Law, Sim's Hill and John's Hill could be approached easily by the Cadger's Path (Borland Glen), the Glendevon Youth Hostel's small car park providing a convenient starting point. A house now stands on the YH site and the small car park has been absorbed by its driveway. A walk down the busy A823 from Castlehill Reservoir's parking spot and then a loop via the quiet hamlet of Burnfoot is now one of two routes to the former YH start. Apart from the A832 bit it's a pleasant enough walk.

Today though we chose the second option, one which I never imagined walking even in my wildest nightmares: via the appalling Green Knowes Windfarm. Not only did we use the access road but passed under the massive turbines to drop down to the glen. The noise was horrendous, the whole place an abomination. Our intial intention was to cut over Ben Trush's south shoulder into Borland Glen but the turbines are almost as close when in the glen, the noise not much less (or so I thought) so I kept walking up the access road. Lynne was a bit behind watching some roe deer on the other side of Eastplace Burn so was not consulted!

I was wrong about the noise. It was almost unbearable: howling, screeching, whistling, whining, grinding. If you think this is 'green' then you're colourblind. I took a photograph of part of the once lovely route by the wall from Ben Trush's cairn and could have wept.

Passing between two turbines we gained the Cadger's quickly and were soon on the gentle slopes of Green Law, the change in our mood palpable, the feeling of well-being restored.

These are lonely hills, not often visited even from Corb Glen which is easily accessed from the Dunning road. We have been regular wanderers in this area for over thirty years and have watched the wreck shown below turn from a fairly intact turqoise-coloured vehicle to the present heap of rust. It has, as Lynne said, almost attained sculpture status, though it's as unwelcome here now as it was when it first was dumped. There's a second one near Sim's Hill which has been there for about twenty years I think. Why?

 

It's been a cold snowy winter up here, by recent standards at any rate, and although these modest heights had lost their snow cover, spring felt a long way away in the chill wind. After lunch on John's Hill's sunny slopes, where spring did not seem such a distant prospect, we quickly returned to the glen and the stroll down the grassy path.

A short climb through thick grasses led to a wall which we followed to the small cairn on Ben Trush. We turned to face south rather than look at the first of the turbines straight ahead. The higher Ochils were still holding snow and tomorrow we'd be crunching over it.

60m turbines. A peaceful place, full of memories, trashed.

Pleasant walking from Green Law to Sim's Hill and left John's Hill

Near the Cadger's Yett

Our hills for the following day









6 comments:

  1. Great pictures of pleasant hills. The trouble with turbine access roads is they are perfect for dumping anything.Looking forward to seeing the next leg.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Alan and good to hear from you. Needless to say we will never use the access road again, well maybe the first short section to cross Ben Trush's shoulder.

      I hope you are much better now.

      Delete
  2. Lowering the tone a tad here, but just noticed Fanny Hill on the map!

    Lovely pictures, Gibson. I can hear the din when I see the turbines and curlew when I see the views that don't include them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's OK Alan, in this instance I'm tone deaf!

      'Curlew' and 'din' - captures the contrast perfectly.

      Sadly, it's quite hard to get pictures of anything westwards from Green Law etc without including the turbines which stretch to Steele's Knowe just off my screenshot. I'm fairly sure birds will have been killed by these turbines as they have been at Burnfoot but it's all hushed up.




      Delete
  3. Had a look at the mp. Fine walking country. I notice a string of Marilyns to the south: King's Seart, Ben Cleuch etc.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Conrad - yes Marilyns, Donalds and two Grahams, one being Ben Cleuch the highest in the Ochils which I climbed when aged nine with my brother and wife who were twelve years older.

      They all provide fine walking and give superb views to Ben Vorlich and Stuc a' Chroin as well as the more distant Ben Lawers range, Ben Lomond and the Arrochar Alps. None of them visible on our walk today though.

      Delete