Sunday, 16 December 2012

My number one non-pillar flush bracket


It's all very well spending day after day bagging hills, but there are other things to do like help Rob Woodall celebrate his 6000th non-pillar flush bracket (if you have no idea what that means, I wouldn't ask if I were you). It mainly involved having to eat a meal in the pub across the road with a mixed group of trig-pointers and hill-baggers.

If you want to see more, look at Douglas Law's photos here:

Only 5999 to go, to catch up with Rob (Picture taken by Douglas Law)
Chris Weetson on Wats hill
After the pub lunch, Chris Watson kindly took me to bag a nearby sub-Hump, Weets Hill (397m P90) whilst others dashed off to visit a variety of bumps and brackets.

Go west old man


A laugh of barrels
Good to see farmers acting as custodians of the countryside - Glen Lonan
The volume of snow and the threat of more made me decide that my aim to maximise the number of Marilyns completed for the year would be compromised, if I remained in the eastern Scotland whisky territory. So I headed off to the west and Argyll - section 19a, if you know your Marilyn regions. Turned out to be lovely bright and very cold week - with no snow.
So cold, I had to wear gloves whilst eating my breakfast some mornings.

Amongst the Marilyns bagged, I came upon the following scenes:

Allt Braglenmore
Carn Dearg (437m P172)
Loch Scammadale

Loch Tromlee
Meall an Fhithich (294m P169)
Cool modern art
Loch an Losgainn Mor
One particularly cold morning, I set off to bag my 200th Scottish Marilyn of the year, from the outlet of Loch an Losgaihn Mor. Celebrated at the summit with miniature bottle of 21% proof Spitz Vier Kanter. Not sure whether you are supposed to use it to remove old Nikwax from boots or drink it. Took risk and did the latter, then rolled back down.
Cruach na Seilcheig (380m P204)

Dun Leacainn - old top
Beware of the Humps

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Cold winter


Carn a'Bhodaich (501m P287)

I think Winter may have arrived in north east Scotland. Having to wear gloves whilst eating breakfast is possibly a giveaway clue. During this first week in December there has been increasing amounts of snow on the hills - and I understand next week there is going to be even more so. I may consider going west. We'll see.

Meall Mor (492m P175)
Snow slows me down  - especially when it is deep and soft and there is deep heather underneath. So it is down to one Marilyn a day, most days.

Picturesque maybe - but...

Here is a picturesque scene alongside the river Findhorn. But just a minute why is the front bumper slightly off track? Because I have skidded into a ditch, that's why. There was no phone signal and in the 90 minutes it took me to dig enough bank away (with a latrine spade) and sprinkle enough grit from a pile 500 metres away, not a single other vehicle came along the road (thankfully or not thankfully depending on whether the vehicle would have had the capacity to give me a tow or not).

 Was it wise to reach the summit of Carn nam Bad (457m P206) as it got dark?

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Rest and be Majorful

Even though there are no Ultras in Britain and Ireland (even Ben Nevis fails to muster the necessary 1500m drop, being only 1344m high) there are approximately 120 Majors. Having done a number of Majors in Europe over the summer, it occurred to me that I really ought to get around to completing the few in Scotland and the handful in Ireland left undone. After all, that is what obsessive hillbaggers are trying to do, complete lists of hills. The nearest uncompleted Marilyns to home are a group clustered around Arrochar, including a Major, Beinn an Lochain (901m P640) – every time I go over the Rest and Be Thankful I say to myself I really must get round to doing this lot. So, here came the time, I thought.

Major Ben
The first hill was the Major. The sun was shining, there were bits of snow on the ground and a touch of a breeze – perfect. It’s an easy climb, on a well used path from Easan Dubh (I see that the OS tautologically refer to it as the Easan Dubh fall). In the short time it took me to get to the top, the weather changed to snow, up there, and rain, in the valley. And checking the weather forecast i could see the rain was here to stay for a while. So, I decided to abandon the Rest and be Thankful hills once again and head east to Angus – or regions 7 and 21, if you prefer.
See next posting!