Friday, 8 August 2003

How near is near enough?

Mount Keen (7th Aug 2003)

A lovely outing for a summer day (and a chance to test that the ankle was fully recovered - see June 2003).

From a farmhouse B&B near Kirriemuir (highly recommended -, we enjoyed a drive up Glen Esk in the morning sunshine.  From the road end, we were able to cycle another 4km or so on a rough track on the east side of Glen Mark, as far as the Queens Well (right).

We walked easily up the rough track beyond as it zig-zagged up on to the Knowe of Crippley (left).   

From there, a horribly eroded scar led us up to the summit.  You can see it in the photo here, even from a distance.

The heater was in full bloom, and a hot sun blazed down from a blue sky.  (Don't often get the chance to say that!)

Now comes the tricky bit!   I got to within about 2m of the summit cairn (right), and found it was already occupied by a swarm of wasps!  I tried to approach to touch the cairn, but had to retreat.  Tried again from the other side - same result:  angry wasps buzzing fiercely in my direction!  Ah well - if I do a circuit of the cairn at a radius of about 2m, that will have to do.  

Is that near enough?  Can I count it as a climbed Munro.  I hope so!

(written 30/12/09)

Friday, 1 August 2003

more outings in 2003

2003 brought nothing, if not variety - from wobbly moments in the Cuillin to gentle Monadh Liath summits.  The variety continued ...

Glas Tulaichean and Carn an Righ (30th June)

Tried to set off by bike from Spittal of Glenshee, but were deterred by a bull in the first field(!), so drove up to Dalmunzie House Hotel, and walked from there.  

Cold wind on top, but easy going on tracks and paths  ... until Anne tripped and sprained her ankle descending into Gleinn Taitneach.  It was a long walk back!

(left: Carn and Righ from Glas Tuliaichean)

Ben Laoigh (Lui) traverse (30th July)

A solo trip.  I'd been over Ben Lui and Beinn Oss back in 1983, but my target now were the two outliers - Beinn DubhChraig and Beinn a'Chleibh.  The plan was to traverse all four in one trip.  I drove up the night before, and slept over in the Espace.  

Left the car in Tyndrum, and cycled down the A85 to my starting point.  Followed the path down to the river, but had to take off my boots to get across with dry footwear.  By the time I had climbed up the very soggy path through the forest, I realised I might as well have waded the river in my boots!  Anyway, it got drier higher up, which was a relief.  Reached the top of Beinn a'Chleibh (right) at 11.15am, but even lying flat on my stomach on one of the cairns, I couldn't decide which of the three tops was the highest (so visited them all!).

Back to the col, then up to Beinn Laoigh (left, from Ben Oss).  The top was just 50m into the cloud base;  lunch stop.  Continued down the long SE ridge to the boggy bealach, then round on to Ben Oss.  Last time I was here I collected a beautiful chunk of quartzite about the size of a football, and carried it home in my rucsac.  It got heavier and heavier all the way down, and looked tiny once I put it in the rockery!  A lesson learned!

No such nonsense this time.  Continued steeply down then up again to Beinn Dubhchraig (with fine views down Loch Lomond, right), then down to Cononish, and back to Tyndrum by the forest road.

(written 30/12/09)