Walk Reports

Walk Reports

Walk Reports

Reports and comments on scheduled walks.

Holehead - Waterhead Circular

ReportsPosted by Ann Bain Sat, March 24, 2018 15:55:40
This walk was a last minute change to the programme because of treacherous underfoot conditions on the Meikle Bin recce which was to replace another walk.

Surinder's strollers numbered 17 and the walk started at the layby on the Crow Road.

Our group are multi talented and Eric occasionally demonstrates the Paso Doble at the start of a walk.

Meantime our leader was wandering what she had let herself in for.

A short walk along the road took us onto the track leading up to Holehead with the mighty Meikle Bin in the background.

After an arduous climb up to Holehead we stopped for our tea break just below the giant's golf tee.

No walk on Holehead is complete without a visit to our Trig point where pink paint can still be made out. Work party anyone?

Occasionally, a member will make a small faux pas, and once again Matt put his size 10 in it.

In fairness he was not the only one but I wasn't quick enough to snap the others.

Crossing back over the Crow Road we walked up to Waterhead through the forest, stopping for lunch in a sunny clearing.

A vote of thanks was given by Ella to Surinder particularly in view of the difficulties encountered in her recces for what was her first time as walk leader.

Ben Lui and Beinn a'Chleibh - Sat, 5th September, 2015

ReportsPosted by Ann Bain Mon, September 07, 2015 09:47:54

On the first summer’s day of autumn (or of the year for that matter) the 7 assembled, under the leadership of Archie and Evelyn, to make an ascent of Ben Liu and Beinn a’Chleibh. The walk included a few obstacles which were overcome with aplomb by our leaders. We set off from the Forestry Commission Car park at Glen Lochy, crossed the river (easier said than done), clambered across an anti-tank ditch (slight exaggeration), and ducked under the railway line to avoid a £100 penalty. That done the walk commenced, climbing, east then south, up through the forest following the rather boggy course of the river, towards Beinn a’Cheibh.

When we emerged from the forest our route turned east and took a clockwise circular path, ascending the grassy slope towards the shoulder of Ben Lui. On reaching the shoulder a scramble or two over the rocky parts and a bit of walking took us to the summit. For a very pleasant change we had extensive views in all directions. You could see more mountains, too numerous to mention, than you could shake a stick at.

The descent off Ben Lui followed a well-defined path, south-west, towards Bein a’ Chleibh. From the summit of Beinn a’ Chleibh we retraced our steps back towards Ben Lui turning down in a north westerly direction back towards the forest and then returned to the car park.

All in all we had a perfect day and many thanks to the leaders for their excellent work. Given the number on the walk there is only one word that suitably describes it ‘Magnificent’smiley.

The route taken is shown below. The distance covered was 9.5km (5.8 miles) and the total amount of ascent was 1,020m (3,345ft).

At the car park being informed of one or two minor obstacles.

Hi-tec equipment for river crossing.

Tea break and a choice of chocolate chip or raspberry muffins. (And you wonder why we ramble).

The ascent of Ben Lui's lower slopes

Ben Lui summit

Beinn a' Chleibh summit

Reverse river crossing, walk this way.

Beinn Chabhair

ReportsPosted by Ann Bain Sun, August 23, 2015 15:05:01

(Or how to eat muffins without cracking half a dozen good eggs).

A brave band of 6, ably led by husband and wife team, Evelyn and Archie Leishman, set off for the Drovers Inn (built 1705, and not painted since) from whence we commenced our assault on Beinn Chabhair (Hill of the Hawk)(933m).

From the Drovers Inn we walked North along the A82 to get to Beinglas Farm where the serious business of ascending the steep climb (approximately 300 metres) beside the Ben Glas Burn which looked remarkably similar to a waterfall for most of the ascent.

Thankfully the walk levelled off and we continued to follow the Ben Glas Burn leading to Lochan Beinn Chabhair. The going was boggy underfoot but not too bad. We did stop for a coffee break. At this point the real reason for undertaking this challenging walk emerged. Evelyn had again baked enough muffins to feed an army with a choice of cheese or banana and blueberry. Having had both I can tell you that they were equally delicious. Strangely our coffee break was coincidental with that of the midges (belong to the family Ceratopogonidae which has 152 species in the UK) so in spite of lashings of ‘Skin so Soft’ we quickly moved slowly on towards the lochan.

Shortly before the lochan we turned North East towards Meall nan Tarmarchan which accesses the ridge about 1 kilometer from the summit. Before reaching the ridge we stopped for a well-earned lunch and thankfully it was not Midge lunchtime.

Following a well- defined path along the ridge, with enough ups and downs to satisfy an elevator, we finally reached the summit which is marked with a small cairn. As usual with Munros the visibility was poor due to cloud so we were not rewarded with great views but our kindly leaders announced that there would be a five minute break on the way down with extra muffins.

We had not long started on our return when we heard a piercing whistle. Was someone in distress, would our first aid skills be required? Fortunately no, it was a shepherd commanding his dogs. As we continued our descent it became apparent that shepherds and their dogs were all over the surrounding hills, rounding up the sheep that had been pasturing wild on the high slopes over the summer. Every now and again we were overtaken by sheepdogs who were intelligent enough to know the difference between sheep, shepherds and enthusiastic ramblers whom they ignored with a kind of haughty disdain as they sped past.

Eventually we arrived safely back at the Drovers without having been rounded up.

Many thanks to Evelyn and Archie for a splendid day out and very tasty muffins.

Wood Hill, Ben Ever and Alva Glen

ReportsPosted by Ann Bain Sun, June 14, 2015 19:02:58

Saturday 13th June 2015

The walk started at the woodland car park, following the path towards the old silver mine however we turned right just before the mine and followed the path up through the trees, continuing straight up Wood Hill. It was a steep climb and we were glad when our esteemed leader, Alan Gemmell, called a halt for a well-earned tea break.

Tea break over (already?) we carried on up Wood Hill to Rough Knowes.

From Rough Knowes we proceeded in a Northerly direction towards Ben Ever. The mountain spirits, having obviously heard of the shenanigans in Malaysia, conspired with the weather to ensure everyone put on extra layers.

On the summit of Ben Ever our dear leader point out the views towards the Arrochar Alps and Stuc-a-Chroin.

From the summit of Ben Ever we continued North West across the moor below Ben Buck to pick up the path from the summit down towards Alva Glen via the Cloves and then back to the car park. The path across the moor was an opportunity to brush up on recently revised map reading and navigation skills.

(Is this the way to Amarillo?)

I am pleased to report that thanks to the modest demeanour of the fifteen ramblers on the walk as at the time of writing the British Geological Society has confirmed that there has been no earthquake activity in the Ochills. However a slight tremor was recorded at 12.30 pm when we sat down for lunch. We have been requested not to all sit down at the same time in future, just in case!

Thanks to Alan for a great walk and a thoroughly enjoyable day despite the mist and cloud.

Caerketton, Capelaw and Swanston - Saturday 28 February 2015

ReportsPosted by Ann Bain Sun, March 01, 2015 19:05:05

15 ramblers travelled through to Edinburgh for this walk ably led by Matt Millar. Omens were sounded when the radio played the Proclaimers 'I would walk 500 miles'. When we got to the car park it was chucking it down. By the time everyone had got their waterproofs on the rain had stopped. However we were thankful for the extra layers when we got onto the tops for a fierce gale was blowing which cut like the proverbial knife.

Walk reports often begin by saying we left the car park and turned right or left. In this case it was straight UP, past the Hillend Ski Centre.

Och how we envied the skiers and their chair lift or to paraphrase the Proclaimers ‘Our legs were aching, sorrow’.

After a fairly steep climb we had coffee.

After another fairly steep climb we reached the summit of Caerketton Hill. A pattern was beginning to emerge. From Cearketton Hill we headed west towards Capelaw Hill.

Only Allermuir hill stood in our way with, yes, another fairly steep (though fortunately not long) climb. There were excellent views over Edinburgh and time for a huddle although it didn’t keep out the breeze.

Allermuir Hill conquered, we headed towards Capelaw Hill where we had lunch. Fortunately thanks to the chief, there was sunshine on Leith, and also on our little group.

After lunch we descended towards the White Hill Plantation. From there we headed towards Swanston.

Our leader explained the alleged youth-giving properties of the Spring however nobody was up for a dip (would you trust this man?) and in any event they get up to enough nonsense without becoming younger. Spring chickens come to mind.

Then it was on towards the A702 which brought us back to our start point. Many thanks Matt for an excellent walk and a good day out.

Aberfoyle, Views of Lake of Menteith

ReportsPosted by Ann Bain Tue, October 21, 2014 19:53:08

A select band of 12 ramblers (well all those that turned up) set out for Aberfoyle under the leadership of Frances Price. We set out from the Woollen Mill and headed along the path from the car park up past Dounans Centre. Once past the Centre we turned right and followed the Rob Roy Way for a stretch. In spite of our leader telling us we were out for a walk and not a hill climb we soon found that we were gaining height (and not in the sense of becoming taller either).

‘When the going gets tough the tough get going’

Soon we arrived at our coffee stop (I think I’ll ditch my plastic bag for a stool).

After coffee we set out again, now where did we put that path?

The autumnal colours in the trees and ferns were quite spectacular –

- and the sun even tried to shine.

The views over the Lake of Menteith were atmospheric

For lunch we headed back towards the David Marshall Lodge and stopped at the waterfall below the Go Ape zip wire.

After lunch it was onwards to the Lodge for a welcome toilet stop and a chance to sort out our boots.

From the Lodge we followed the National Cycle Path down towards Aberfoyle, turning off onto a track on the outskirts of the village which took us back to the car park.

Thank you Frances for a very enjoyable walk.