Archive for September, 2009

Tiger Cub goes to the Wall!

Posted in Glasgow Climbing Centre with tags , on September 27, 2009 by ayrshiretiger

No walking this weekend but had a very enjoyable day today at the Glasgow Climbing Centre with Elaina, Sandy, Louise and Craig (Tiger Cub!).  It’s been a while since I’ve done any climbing but I didn’t do too badly.  However the Tiger Cub put us all to shame by scooting up everything in sight!

Tiger Cub looking down from the wall

Tiger Cub looking down from the wall

Tiger Cub negotiating a chimney

Tiger Cub negotiating a chimney

And then on to a spot of bouldering…

Tiger Cub bouldering

Tiger Cub bouldering

Tiger Cub smiling after a soft landing!

Tiger Cub smiling after a soft landing!

One happy boy!

Glencoe OutdoorsMagic Meet

Posted in Glencoe, Munros, outdoorsmagic.com with tags , , , , , on September 22, 2009 by ayrshiretiger

Had a great weekend up in Glencoe meeting up with old and new faces from OutdoorsMagic.com.  We had Friday off so decided to head up and do Meall a’ Bhuiridh and Criese, two Munros that Elaina hadn’t done.  In the event we only did Meall a’ Bhuiridh as we spent so much time chatting to a couple of other walkers.  Not a particularly exciting hill  what with all the skiing infrastructure about but there were some interesting bits…

Elaina attempts a bridge crossing!

Elaina attempts a bridge crossing!

We arrived at Signal Rock Cottage just after 4pm.  We’ve stayed here before and after a chat with Slawek and Luiza we had a quick shower before heading for the Clachaig Inn for dinner.  Eventually the rest of the crowd arrived although we did have to bring Polly the Parrot out to attract some of the OM folk who were on their first meet!  Highlight of the night had to be the arrival of Sir Jimmy Savile!  Have to say he’s looking well for someone who’s going to be 83 in a few weeks time!

Saturday morning saw reasonable weather to start with as some of us met at Mamore Lodge.

OMers meet at Mamore Lodge

OMers meet at Mamore Lodge

We set off along the landrover track with the aim of doing Binnein Beag.  It’s a long walk in to the remotest of the Mamore Munros and it wasn’t long until we realised as we approached Loch Eilde Mor that we had walked past the turn off that takes you around the shoulder of Sgurr Eilde Beag.  A quick re-assessment saw us take the path up the east side of the Allt Coire nan Laogh (a route we had taken in reverse last winter when the stream was in spate!).  We eventually got back on the planned route and carried on towards Coire an Lochain below Sgurr Eilde Mor.  The weather had deteriorated by this time and Sandy and Louise decided to make Louise’s first Munro Sgurr Eilde Mor rather than Binnein Beag.

Sgurr Eilde Mor

Sgurr Eilde Mor

The rest of us carried on hoping for the weather to clear and with immaculate timing it did as we approached Binnein Beag.

The summit party contemplate the final ascent!

The summit party contemplate the final ascent!

Looking towards Buachaille Etive Mor

Looking towards Buachaille Etive Mor

We did have discussions about going on to do Binnein Mor but the weather was still being temperamental and the realisation that it would probably add a good couple of hours to the day made it an easy decision to take the long path back to Kinlochleven for Haggis Fritters and Steak and Chips at the MacDonald Hotel!

Loch Leven Sunset from MacDonald Hotel

Loch Leven Sunset from MacDonald Hotel

It was late by the time we got back to Glencoe and the campers decided to stay at the camp site.  Elaina and I headed for the Clachaig planning to meet Ian Gallagher of Kendall Mountaineering Services who had taken three OMers scrambling on Ben Nevis.  Unfortunately the pub was mobbed and we didn’t realise that they had decided to go through to the Lounge Bar.  So we just had the one pint before heading back to the B&B.

Sunday saw ourselves, Sandy and Louise heading for Glen Nevis and a walk up to Steall Falls and a play on the wire bridge!

Elaina crossing Steall wire bridge

Elaina crossing Steall wire bridge

On the way back we were interviewed by someone from the John Muir Trust who were doing a survey to find out if people thought the path to Steall was appropriate.  There have been several accidents, some fatal, and the Trust are looking to be able to justify not making changes to the path.  Hopefully our response will assist in that aim as it would be crazy if health and safety concerns led to “improvements” being imposed!

Sunday night saw us back in the Clachaig for a really excellent night with a dozen of us staying on to the bitter end of a cracking weekend.  It’s a good sign when you are having to be chucked out of the Clachaig at closing time on Sunday night!

On Monday we all headed home but not before we introduced Iain to the joys of the Real Food Cafe!  Two egg and bacon rolls, a very large coffee and a large hot chocolate later (and that was just for Iain!) we parted company with plans already in hand for the next OM meet in Great Langdale in the Lakes.

Got home and watched a recording of Sunday night’s “Munro – Mountain Man” programme in which I made a fleeting out of focus appearance in the background of the Clachaig Inn as Nick Crane was interviewing folk for the programme – you’d think I was never out of the place!

Heading for Glencoe…

Posted in Munros, outdoorsmagic.com with tags , , on September 18, 2009 by ayrshiretiger

Heading north shortly for a weekend in Glencoe with friends from outdoorsmagic.com.  Hopefully will have tales to tell on Monday of great adventures…assuming we survive the weather/navigational challenges/Clachaig Inn*  of course 😉

*delete as appropriate!

Loudon Castle Fun!

Posted in Loudon Castle with tags on September 12, 2009 by ayrshiretiger

A weekend with the kids and for once the sun is shining so we decided to have a day at Loudon Castle.  Not the biggest theme park in the world, or Scotland for that matter but it really was a lovely day.  Some photos…

Jennifer and Craig on the Rollercoaster...again!

Jennifer and Craig on the Rollercoaster...again!

Rollercoaster

Rollercoaster

Rollercoaster

Rollercoaster

Rollercoaster

Rollercoaster

Upside down Pirate Boat!

Upside down Pirate Boat!

Kids went on the rollercoaster 15 times!  Think I managed 5.  Think I’ll stick to sensible things like the Aonach Eagach!  Talking of which hopefully this fine weather will last until next weekend for the OutdoorsMagic Glencoe meet.

Kinlochleven Adventures

Posted in Munros with tags , , on September 8, 2009 by ayrshiretiger

The last time we stayed at Bob and Chris’s B&B they told us that they were going to visit friends in San Francisco in September and very kindly said we could “house sit” for a few days if we wanted to.  We jumped at the chance!

We didn’t get away from Glasgow until about 6.30pm on Friday but we made good progress up the A82 and of course we had a break at The Real Food Cafe for the customary fish supper.  We eventually arrived at Kinlochleven just after 10pm.  Kate was also joining us and arrived not much later.

We knew the forecast for Saturday was bad so didn’t even attempt to do anything so just had a lazy day watching the rain pour off the hills!  And watching Scotland maintain their slim chances of World Cup qualification by beating Macedonia 2-0.  We did eventually leave the house…to go to the Clachaig Inn for dinner!  In there we met up with Seona who was celebrating compleating her round of the Munros with friends from the Jacobites Mountaineering Club and scottishhills.com.  Given the weather conditions that day that really was an impressive effort!  We also won 2nd and 3rd prizes in a raffle the prizes being 4 and then 2 bottle of AnTeallach ale!

Sunday saw much better conditions so we decided to do Mullach nan Coirean and Stob Ban at the western end of the Mamores.   We parked at the lower falls car park in Glen Nevis and took the forest track before eventually hitting the open hillside via a very dodgy stile.

Stile on way to Mullach nan Coiean

Stile on way to Mullach nan Coiean

We were soon on the summit which was Elaina’s 100th Munro so a celebratory drink of last night’s winnings was enjoyed!

Elaina celebrating 100 Munros!

Elaina celebrating 100 Munros!

Elaina celebrates 100 Munros

Elaina celebrates 100 Munros

As can be seen from the photos it was a bit clagged in so we sensibly took a bearing and headed on towards Stob Ban.

Towards Stob Ban

Towards Stob Ban

We then wandered off Stob Ban on a good path but it was only when we were half way down the ridge and saw a very well defined path below us that we realised it was the West Highland Way!  Oops!  We could have gone back up to Stob Ban but we decided that we might as well walk back to Kinlochleven then take Kate’s car back round to Glen Nevis to pick up mine.  So off we went down a bit further until Kate asked where the house key was as her car keys were in the house.  Oops again!  It was in my car (in Glen Nevis)!  We really were too far down now to go back up especially as the weather wasn’t great back on the summit.  So we resigned ourselves to somehow getting back to Fort William.  We did consider walking back along the West Highland Way but realised it was a bit too far so just headed back to the MacDonald Hotel in Kinlochleven which we arrived at at 6.30pm.  Daft question time…is there a bus to Fort William on a Sunday night?  Yes there was…at 6.05pm!  So there was only one thing for it, a taxi!  So thanks to Ali’s Taxis from Ballachulish we eventually got back to the car at 7.45pm.  Thankfully the MacDonald Hotel do meals until 9.30pm so at just before 9pm we sat down to steak and chips times 3!  Lesson of the day…take a bearing on every summit!

We decided to have an easier day on Sunday and headed up Glenoce to the Lost Valley with the aim of possibly doing Stob Coire Sgreamhach.  We made good progress up the narrowing gorge until we got to the point where you have to cross the Allt Coire Gabhail.  We decided to avoid this crossing and take an alternative route by heading up hill on the southern slopes of Gearr Aonach.  I took a route through some large solid rocks while Elaina and Kate took a more tortuous route up a scree slope.  Now there was a path of sorts and others had definitely used the route before us but I don’t think any of us realised just how high we had climbed until we found ourselves looking down on the Lost Valley from a height of about 450m.  Still, it made a lovely high perch for lunch!

Lunch above the Lost Valley

Lunch above the Lost Valley

Having spent so much time we decided to call it a day and leave Stob Coire Sgreamhach for another day.  We took the normal route out and of course had to cross the burn that we had avoided on the way up!

Elaina crossing the Allt Coire Gabhail

Elaina crossing the Allt Coire Gabhail

That night we enjoyed an excellent meal at the Loch Leven Seafood Cafe before waking to anther very wet day.  Kate and Elaina were staying for another couple of days but I had to head back so left at about 12 for a very wet drive home.  I don’t think I have ever seen as much water coming off the hills especially in Glencoe!  I just hope it has subsided a bit for Elaina and Kate tomorrow!

Mamores in a day, maybe…

Posted in Munros with tags , , , , on September 2, 2009 by ayrshiretiger

After I left school I spent a couple of years working at the Onich Hotel and spent a lot of time doing low level walks around Glencoe and Glen Nevis. Although I did do Ben Nevis by the ” so called tourist” path I didn’t really have the confidence or experience to do other hills such as those in Glencoe or the Mamores – most of my walking had been done on the North York Moors.   I remember visiting Kinlochleven many times and looking up at what I now know to be Na Gruagaichean and thinking that they were well beyond my capability.

However since I got back into hillwalking some seven years ago I’ve really got to know the Lochaber hills quite well and in particular the Mamores which are probably now my favourite hills.

Anyway I’ve had a notion of doing all the Munros in the Mamores in a day.  I did plan to attempt this a few years ago on an OM meet but was distracted by friends who wanted to do the Aonach Eagach in a nun’s outfit (more of that another day!).

I know it’s not the same as Tranters Round or Ramsay Round but still enough of a test for a nearly fifty year old!  So that’s the challenge I’ve set myself for next summer.  Better keep up the gym membership!