Archive for April, 2010

It’s all over…

Posted in Hull City, Munros, Snow with tags , , on April 27, 2010 by ayrshiretiger

While we are not mathematically relegated it would need some bizarre results for us to stay up so it’s the Championship next year for the Tigers. At least I don’t need to worry about finding out the score of this weekend’s match against Wigan as I wander around the Wester Ross mountains!

We are going up to Gairloch and will hopefully climb Slioch if the weather is kind. I’ve been keeping an eye on the forecast and it looks like a cold northerly is on the cards. Might even be a dusting of snow so will be packing the ice axe and crampons just in case!

Will also be good to meet up again with Jamie, Nicky and Kate although I doubt we’ll be doing a re-make of last year’s Gruinard Baywatch…!

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Tigers on the brink…

Posted in Hull City with tags , on April 20, 2010 by ayrshiretiger

So we got a well earned draw away to Birmingham. We just needed Arsenal and Liverpool to do the business against Wigan and West Ham respectively. Things were going well as we drove to Pitlochry on Sunday listening to the commentary of the Wigan game on Radio Five Live. Arsenal 2-0 up as we left the car to have look around Escape Route (cracking wee shop by the way!). Imagine my shock when going back to the car an hour later to find out Wigan had scored three times in the last ten minutes! So that’s Wigan probably safe from relegation. Last night West Ham, probably the only other team we are likely to be able to finish up above, played Liverpool and thankfully lost 3-0.

So we’re three points behind West Ham but have still got our game in hand tomorrow night at home to Aston Villa. However our goal difference is far worse than West Ham’s so we effectively need to get four points more from our four remaining games than West Ham get from their three games.

Fixtures are:

Tigers
Aston Villa H
Sunderland H
Wigan A
Liverpool H

West Ham
Wigan H
Fulham A
Man City H

Wish us luck!

In search of volcanic sunsets…

Posted in Sunset, Wild Camp with tags , , on April 16, 2010 by ayrshiretiger

In light of the very good weather forecast and the icelandic volcano apparently offering the chance of excellent sunsets and sunrises I thought I’d head out for a wild camp. I’ve only wild camped once before, last summer on the top of the sixth of seven Munros on the South Glenshiel ridge. This time I decided to have an easier mission and picked the Luss Hills just north of Glasgow on the west side of Loch Lomond.

I parked the car at NS357930 at 5.30pm and headed north west up towards Beinn Dubh. I quickly gained height and soon got good views back to the village of Luss and Loch Lomond.

Luss and Loch Lomond

Luss and Loch Lomond

I dropped off the north west shoulder of Beinn Dubh and found a nice grassy pitch overlooking the Arrochar Alps to the north.

Overlooking Arrochar

Overlooking Arrochar

As the sun went down the promised spectacular sunset didn’t quite materialise but it was still a fantastic night to be alone in the hills.

View of the Arrochar Alps from the tent

View of the Arrochar Alps from the tent

As darkness fell I went for a wander towards Loch Lomond. Inverbeg glistened below and I could just hear the odd car driving along the A82. To the south the orange glow of Glasgow’s lights did it’s best to stop the sky going completely black. To the north west the thinnest of crescent moons appeared above the Arrochar Alps. Next to it Venus (I think) shone brightly and gradually more stars appeared. I also saw a couple of satellites pass overhead (at least I know they weren’t aircraft as all flights across the UK were grounded due to volcanic ash high in the atmosphere!). I did keep looking for shooting stars but sadly didn’t see any.

I set the alarm on my mobile for 5am so that I would be up in time for sunrise but unfortunately my mobile died in the middle of the night! Not sure why as it was almost fully charged although it was pretty cold overnight (there was frost on the tent in the morning!). Anyway the upshot was that I didn’t wake up until 6am but I still got a good view of Ben Lomond.

Sunrise over Ben Lomond

Sunrise over Ben Lomond

After taking a few more photos I have to admit I crawled back into the tent and eventually got back up at 8am. Packed everything up and headed over at about 9am to Mid Hill and the steep descent down to Glenmollochan Farm and the long road back to the car. Despite being a tarmac road it was actually very pleasant with Jays, Great Tits and Robins for company. Made it back to the car at 11.30am and headed back to Ayrshire content and happy after my first solo wild camp.

“The best weekend ever…”

Posted in Munros with tags , , , on April 12, 2010 by ayrshiretiger

I’ve been promising to take my son Craig camping for quite a while but have been waiting for a guaranteed good weather weekend (those that know me well know that I don’t really do wet weather camping anyway and I certainly didn’t want to put Craig off). So on seeing the forecast on Friday it seemed like too good an opportunity to miss. Picked him up from his mum’s on Friday night and headed to the new Go Outdoors at Clydebank to get him a decent pair of boots. Also picked up a pair of walking trousers for him with zip off legs to convert to shorts – in the event that turned out be a good move!

We set off at about 10am on Saturday morning to head for Kinlochleven where I knew there was a good campsite attached to the Macdonald Hotel. Arrived there at about 1pm, got the tent set up and were ready to go for a walk by 2pm.

Craig outside tent at Macdonald Hotel Campsite

Craig outside tent at Macdonald Hotel Campsite

Given the time I wasn’t sure how far Craig would be able to manage so I did consider the 764m Beinn na Caillich but then thought the steep initial ascent might not be the best of starts. So we decided to go for a walk up to the beallach (875m) below the Munro Am Bodach (1034m) where I knew we would get a fantastic view of Ben Nevis and the Ring of Steall. It’s also a much more gradual ascent and would, depending on time, give us a chance for Craig to bag his first Munro!

We drove up to Mamore Lodge and parked the car. Normally they charge £3 for the pleasure but it looks like it’s not open – a shame as it really is in a fantastic location but I know from the times I’ve been inside it that it’s not really been maintained. Anyway it’s a great place to park for doing the Mamores as it saves about 200m of climbing! Craig did really well on the ascent, my only worry being the river crossing I knew we would have to make. But he got over it with absolutely no problem and we continued on, with a few stops to get to the beallach just before 5pm. I’d said to Craig that we would need to turn back at 5.30pm at the latest but as we could see the summit I asked him if he wanted to carry on. Of course he did! So we left our rucksacks at the beallach and headed upwards. A few false summits left Craig a bit exasperated and few snow patches slowed us a bit but we got to the summit at about 5.20pm.

Craig on Am Bodach with Ben Nevis behind

Craig on Am Bodach with Ben Nevis behind

A few photos and then we headed down. I did warn Craig that although going down is easier than going up on your legs it can sometimes be easier to slip going downhill. And so it turned out as his enthusiasm got the better of him a couple of times. Nothing serious though thankfully although he did go for a paddle at the river crossing – not too bad although the water did go over his boots so that was the boots well and truly christened! Got back to the campsite at 7.25pm meaning we did the walk in 5 hours 15 minutes which I though was absolutely brilliant for his first real Scottish hill walk (we’ve done Conic Hill and Ben A’an before). Had a well deserved bar meal in the hotel and then crashed out in the tent.

We got up at the leisurely time of 9am and after packing up we headed for the Ice Factor for breakfast and then Craig went on the High level rope course.

Craig on the high level rope course

Craig on the high level rope course

We had a quick stop at the new layby at Loch Achtriochtan in Glencoe to take a photo of the Aonach Eagach ridge.

Loch Achtriochtan and the Aonach Eagach

Loch Achtriochtan and the Aonach Eagach

We were going to meet up at the Real Food Cafe with Elaina, Petesy, Sandy and Bobinson who had gone wild camping up at Loch Quoich but they were having so much fun in the good weather that they were still high up in the hills (it turned out they didn’t get down until 7.30pm!). But we couldn’t go home without introducing Craig to the best fish and chips this side of Whitby! After that it was the long drive home, made worse by the inevitable traffic jam on Lochlomondside as half of Glasgow had obviously been making the most of the excellent weather! Still we made it back to Ayrshire just after 6pm with Craig telling me several times on the road back that this had been “the best weekend ever!”. May it be the first of many!

Winter Memories…

Posted in Munros, Snow with tags , , , on April 4, 2010 by ayrshiretiger

Just to get myself back into this blogging malarky I thought I’d post a few photos from this fantastic winter we’ve just had (and still having!).

Snow Snakes were here!

Snow Snakes were here!

Buachaille Etive Mor from the Devil's Staircase

Buachaille Etive Mor from the Devil's Staircase

Elaina descending Stob Mhic Mhartuin above the Devil's Staircase

Elaina descending Stob Mhic Mhartuin above the Devil's Staircase

Looking over to Rum and Eigg from Ben Hiant, Ardnamurchan

Looking over to Rum and Eigg from Ben Hiant, Ardnamurchan

Nevis Range and Grey Corries from summit of Meall na Teanga

Nevis Range and Grey Corries from summit of Meall na Teanga

Cobbler - Christmas Day

Cobbler - Christmas Day

Christmas Day Robin

Christmas Day Robin

We did Beinn Ime in the Arrochar Alps today and there’s still plenty of snow above about 800m. Will put some photos up soon.

Normal Service will be resumed shortly…

Posted in Hull City, Munros with tags , on April 3, 2010 by ayrshiretiger

Sorry folks, for various reasons I’ve just not got round to updating the blog recently but hopefully I’ll make amends for that soon.

It’s not been for want of having stuff to write about as we’ve had trips to Ardgour (Ben Hiant, Beinn Resipol), Ben Lomond, Loch Lochy (Meall na Teanga), Lakes (Fairfield), Newtonmore (Drumochter Munros) and Kinlochleven (Am Bodach).

Heading somewhere (probably Arrochar) tomorrow as the forecast is looking good and hopefully we’ll make the most of the never ending snow of this fantastic winter!  And I promise to post a report in the next couple of days!

As for the football it looks like it’s going to go to the last day of the season again for the Tigers.  Fingers crossed!