Stuc a' Chroin and Ben Vorich

Stuc a' Chroin and Ben Vorich

Monday, 26 May 2014

23 May - green birch, Blackwater


There are several obvious and popular ways out of Kinlochleven for the backpacker or day walker; all pass through interesting country.

Today we took the path on the north side of the River Leven to Blackwater Reservoir. Reminiscent of the Nevis gorge in places, we strolled through the seemingly endless birchwoods before gaining open ground by Dubh Lochan some two hours after leaving this friendliest of villages. It could be argued that the route lacks variety - birch and oak dominate - but with the sun shining through the fresh foliage, waterfalls sometimes heard but not seen, and the cuckoo for company, you'd be hard pressed not to enjoy every step. A good bridge crosses the Allt na h-Eilde but only the remains of one exists at, I think, (my mind was elsewhere) the Allt Coire na Duibhe. A tree trunk arches over the waters by accident or design, but no such aid was required on this trip and in any case it would be a precarious means of crossing.

There is no access across the dam, or so a sign says, but this was ignored by cyclists coming from the opposite side. I expect this is normal: "My reading isn't very good", another walker, part of a duo plus dog on their way to visit 'the graves', commented.

We returned by our outward route being vastly superior (in my view) to track on the other side of the Leven. It had been a pleasant day but my heart belongs to the heights and exploring the corries, so tomorrow we are for the tops.

Sent from my BlackBerry®

Friday, 23 May 2014

Thursday 22nd May. A Marilyn - Sgorr a Choise

This impressive 663m hill had the feel of Knoydart about it - all rocks and knobbles - though a reasonable path wound its way hither and thither to the cairn which, appropriately for a Ballachulish hill, was built exclusively from slate.

We chose to approach from well up Gleann an Fhiodh and crossed the River Laroch with no difficulty to gain the rough, heathery slopes and were rewarded for our efforts by superb views from the ridge to Bidean nam Bian among many.

The remains of an old fence was followed to the start of the rocky stuff where lunch was enjoyed. We turned our backs on poor despoiled Glen Creran and watched tiny figures on the 'Vair Pair' and boats on Loch Leven. A tranquil scene.

The summit was a place for photographs and identifying peaks near and far; the Paps of Jura and Ben More of Mull were visible.

We have never climbed a Marilyn because it was listed as such and we don't intend to start now. Well, maybe a few. I wonder how many we've done...
Sent from my BlackBerry®

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Calm in the Coe

We've had a beautiful drive to Glencoe, the new green of May everywhere a delight.

The recurrence of a chest infection requiring a cocktail of drugs to combat the after effects has delayed departure for almost three weeks. Our reward is a calm evening by Loch Leven with superb views of Bidean and its remaining snow fields.

Ruddles County has also played its part in the settling in process here at Invercoe, one of the friendliest sites we stay on.

The backpacking gear is stowed in the overhead cab so all we need is a bit of decent weather for a trip to Knoydart and Rum perhaps. But before then, a few local hills await.
Sent from my BlackBerry®

Saturday, 3 May 2014

Good Luck to: Alan Sloman (and Team), Martin Banfield and Alan Rayner on the TGO Challenge 2014.

Inverie pier
Western Isles arrives at Inverie

Cairn of Claise

Have a great trip, and I hope you get some of the weather shown in the photographs.