Stuc a' Chroin and Ben Vorich

Stuc a' Chroin and Ben Vorich

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Windhead Moor wind farm plans withdrawn

'Hen harriers 'scupper' wind farm'. Article here

Excellent news.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Cononish Gold Mine

Plans to mine for gold at Cononish have been approved by Loch Lomond & Trossachs National Park. Would this be approved in the Lake District today? You can read the article  here

Anyone thinking of climbing Ben Lui had better get it done soon unless they like to view spoil heaps en route.

Friday, 7 October 2011

Glas Maol and Creag Leacach

Creag Leacach from Meall Odhar
Glen Clunie seemed busy for a Monday with folk heading for Munros such as An Socach, Carn an Tuirc and Cairn of Claise. A local holiday for the Aberdeen area it turned out. We drove on to the large ski car park at around 670m and had it almost to ourselves.

I have mixed feelings about ski developments in Scotland. Lynne and I skied regularly throughout the 1980s being among the 2500 who spent the night in the cafe here during the blizzard of 22 January 1984, although usually we went to Cairngorm since we had a season ticket – we’d have been stuck there as well! Nevertheless, we both vehemently opposed the Cairngorm Ski Lift Company’s proposal to expand tows into Lurcher’s Gully and to plans for a ski centre at Ben Wyvis, the latter recently suggested again. Ski-touring is a better option, away from the crowds and on virgin snow but, in dubious weather, the simple pleasures of piste bashing can’t be denied.

Something else can’t be denied – Scottish ski areas can be dire places outside the skiing season and I wasn’t particularly looking forward to walking up Meall Odhar via ski tows, snow-fences and the buildings and junk that typically litter such places. But actually I enjoyed it. Maybe just because of pleasant associations; maybe because it was a fine, if very windy day; maybe just because, ski tows or not, I was among the hills and heading for the open spaces of Glas Maol, the highest point in the Mounth.

From the top of Meall Odhar a short ascent led to the mosses and soft turf of the plateau and the summit cairn and shelter. An hour and five minutes from the car park.

Glas Maol
Creag Leacach

The Monega Pass, the highest right of way over the Mounth, crosses about 500m east of the cairn  then on to Monega Hill before descending to Tulchan and Glen Isla.

This is all great ski-touring country and given good conditions a trip from Carn an Tuirc to Tom Buidhe, taking in Cairn of Claise, Glas Maol and Tolmount would be a fine excursion.

cof Claisr (R) and Carn an Tuirc(L) from Druim Mor
 Fine ski-touring country - Carn an Tuirc (L) and Cairn of Claise (far R)

After donning some warmer clothes at  the shelter we descended the easy slopes leading to a col and the howff (see previous post) and followed the delightful dry stone dyke to the sharp peak of Creag Leacach.

The dry stone dyke on Carn Leacach

Glas Maol from Creag Leacach

Our plan for the day was a simple one – a return the same way we had come, although we did consider continuing along the ridge, dropping down over Meall Gorm, picking up the track over Leacann Dubh and so to the western slopes of Meall Odhar as we had done on a previous visit. Retracing our steps and lunch at the howff won, but on our descent of Meall Odhar we did divert along the track on Leacann Dubh getting caught, briefly, in the only rain of the day when we stopped for a cup of tea. Part of the old ‘Devil’s Elbow’ road could be seen in the glen (I first crossed this one July with a cousin and friend - at midnight on a bike - when about fourteen or fifteen years old, but that’s another story!) Some small pillar-like structures could also be seen near the old road - beehives thought Lynne, and she was right, some lovely honey coming from this area.

We descended to the motorvan happy with the day and despite the local holiday, we’d only met two people on the hill.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Seen on Glas Maol

As we crossed the moss and soft turf of the Glas Maol plateau we came across several of these structures. I think they are a form of ‘quadrats’ used to sample and study, in this case, the montane vegetation.

If anyone knows anything different, I’ll be happy to hear from you.

Also, after our descent to the col on the way to Creag Leacach we came across a small howff which in the best traditions was wet and dank! We had lunch outside.

Click to enlarge

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

The Tiger’s Back – sort of

Slopes of Sron nan Gabhar

Another snippet while I organise myself for our next foray north. (well, Lynne organises me/us really. I just label the pics we've taken!). From Carn na Drochaide to the slopes of Sron nan Gabhar.

Monday, 3 October 2011

Where is this?


This should be easy for any Challengers who visit this blog! Just back from another trip, so more later.