Stuc a' Chroin and Ben Vorich

Stuc a' Chroin and Ben Vorich

Saturday, 20 October 2018

Good intentions...and a bit of a rushed post.

When we returned from our Braemar holiday last month I sat down to write a post summarising the final part of our holiday, but that idea was eventually binned along with a laptop computer and HP printer.  After many years of resisting the temptation we decided to have an iMac, our experiences with Windows being mixed to say the least, and since we have other Apple products it seemed like a logical step. So I told myself anyway. Setting up the new wireless printer was a trial and eventually I resorted to a manual process to get it on the network, all attempts at following Canon's online instructions having proved futile.

Anyway, the transition to the iMac has been painless and with a 4K Retina display our photographs have never looked better.

However, having got to grips with High Sierra I noticed that the installer for the the latest OS, Mojave, had been quietly downloaded to the Applications folder for me but, Apple or not, I'm cautious about new OS releases so it can sit where it is for a while. High Sierra is working just fine thank you. A day on the hill was needed, not more computing.

From Andrew gannet Hill to The Law

It's relatively rare for us to approach hills at the western end of the Ochils from Dollar or any of the other Hillfoot towns for that matter, the Glen Devon starting points being generally quieter and longer. However a change was required, so here we were at the Castle Campbell car park, surprisingly, on our own.

Dollar Glen with its steep gorge of crags and trees is an impressive place but far too gloomy for such a sunny day. So, we took the shorter but no less impressive higher route which traverses via a narrow path above the gorge, the Burn of Sorrow thundering below on its way to join the Dollar Burn. Once in the open we were quickly on top of Bank Hill, locally Dollar Hill, which gave us fine views of the Forth Valley, the Ineos petrochemical plant at Grangemouth standing out above the river mists.

As so often in the Ochils we had no hard and fast plans for the day other than reaching King's Seat Hill summit where options could be considered. We paused at the memorial located at the crash site of three Spitfires which operated out of Grangemouth during WW2. The airport opened in May1939 as Central Scotland Airport and was used from September of that year by 602 Squadron which flew Supermarine Spitfires. Bristol Blenheims and Gloster Gladiators were flown by 141 Squadron and Westland Lysanders by 263 Squadron.

I've never come across any wreckage in the area, indeed knew nothing of the crash at all until the plaque was erected in 2009, though it has been suggested that tiny fragments might be lying around on the hill.

From King's Seat top we headed down almost to the source of the Gannel Burn then up the well trodden grassy path to Andrew Gannel Hill where the decision was made to forgo a trip out to Ben Cleuch and instead, return to the car over Tarmangie Hill, Whitewisp and Sandy Hill. That decided, I confidently descended back to the Gannel Burn to pick up the path from Mill Glen to the foot of Tarmangie Hill. Except of course there is no such path and why I thought there was escapes me. The lapse was of no consequence of course and a slightly wet walk through long grass and reeds brought us to a beautiful flat grassy spot, perfect for an overnight camp, or in our case for lunch in the sun beside the burbling burn. It's always hard to leave such places.

The high tramp from Tarmangie Hill, over Whitewisp and down to the small outcrop on Sandy Hill is a grand one which we haven't enjoyed for a long time although as Lynne observed, it did feel odd not to be turning NE for Bentie Knowe and Innerdownnie from Whitewisp's cairn.

The little outcrop above the steep slopes of Sandy Hill provided good views down to Dollar and the Castle as well as eastwards over the lovely countryside where we live.

Friday 19 October

Over the last 4 years Lynne has been asked by various local history societies to give a talk on her book Beatrix Potter's Scotland - Her Perthshire Inspiration, published by Luath Press, Edinburgh and now in its second edition. This year the talk was in Auchterarder. Some interesting questions were asked and answered, books were sold and signed and a most pleasant evening was had by all.

Plastic Modelling

It will soon be time for me to resume my plastic modelling activities with a build of the Saturn V. My new blog is more or less ready so that I can record my progress and provide technical information on the real vehicle for anyone who is interested. I hope I can complete the model by Christmas because in the New Year I plan to build another Space Shuttle Orbiter, Altlantis. This is a Tamiya model and will be in orbit configuration with payload doors open. I am really looking forward to this project.

Meantime here are a few photos of our day in the Ochils.

Lower slopes of King's Seat Hill showing the 'Banks of Dollar' - the transverse gullies

Castle Campbell 


Andrew Gannel Hill

Ben Cleuch from Andrew Gannel Hill

View from the outcrop on Sandy Hill