Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Ls Belles, Yet More Trigpointing

On the chosen day, I nipped over to Laura’s and abandoned the car, then hopped into Laura’s van and we drove to chosen hill, The Scalp. We positioned the van very carefully so as to not block a field entrance or cause an obstruction on the road and I managed not to fall in to the ditch.

Off we set uphill (why, why is it always uphill?) and followed excellent tracks all the way, with only some minor dampness underfoot and a few squawking gulls to avoid. It didn’t long to gain the ridge line, after passing a very sad and sorry looking shooting hut, then in no time we were at the trig. With a little careful positioning, we were able to gain shelter from the strong wind and eat a picnic lunch, enjoying the rather splendid views.


Fabulous sky


Uphill, but not the top


Good tracks


Sad shooting hut (we didn’t try to go inside…)


Laura at the trig, the Moray Coastline behind


Looking west to Ben Rinnes


Coastline again, I think…


A distant pimple, can’t remember what we decided it was




Me, Ben Rinnes and the trig


…and Ben Rinnes


Auchindoun Castle, fantastic view from our vantage point


My huge Bourbon biscuit




We eventually made out the inscription on this monument, it was to Dr Grant

After returning to the van, we decided a cup of tea/coffee was in order, so popped into the distillery cafe at Craigellachie. It was rather pleasant. On the way back to Laura’s, her shepherding neighbour asked us to help with some sheep, we had to block their escape up the road so he could herd them into a field. A break away group ran up the hill, looked at us, baa-ed, then turned tail and ran away again. They returned with the mail flock, but turned at the gateway just in time and were successfully persuaded into the field. It was quite fun!

And so was the walk. Cheers Laura!


Laura, investigating what the tourists had been photographing (…lots of whisky barrels. Exciting stuff…)


Fabulous old delivery van


…they’re coming…


….getting closer…



Oh! And there was yet another accidental Geocache. These are becoming habitual.

Ls Belles Trigpointing again


Ls Belles have been out and about, quite a lot as it happens, and I have got a little behind (you won’t hear that said very often!!)

So, the first little trigpointing trip was shortly before the Challenge and is a local one for me, Hill 99 in Culbin Forest. It was quite a fun little walk, especially after we’d found the trig (I’ve been there a number of times…), climbed the fire tower and carefully made our way down the sandy steep slope towards The Gut. At this point, Laura realised she had lost her mobile. We had to retrace our steps, back up the sandy steep slop, to the foot of the fire tower and then along the windy path through the trees to find it lying by the side of the path. Several people had walked passed it and ignored it completely, I suppose this was lucky.


Hill 99 trig


View from the top of the fire tower



The next was Roy’s Hill, west of Knockando. We met at the little layby just by the end of the track and sat in Laura’s van for a little while, watching the surprising amount of cars pass by, surprising as it’s a road to nowhere. After a chat, we both jumped out and I went to change into my boots, but it was starting to rain, so we both jumped back into Laura’s van to let the rain pass.

We did eventually persuade ourselves to walk, so off we went uphill up a well engineered track to find the trig at the top then walk back down again. Good views from the top mind and an accidental Geocache. This was a better walk because we went to the Knockando Woollen Mill cafe for lunch afterwards, a spicy carrot soup with a scone and a hot chocolate. Yum yum.


This well engineered track leads to a wind farm


Laura and the trig, with Ben Rinnes behind


Me and the trig, with the accidental Geocache and the wind farm behind


Unravelling the Geocache record


Ben Rinnes


A different wind farm

The next trigpointing adventure was intended to include two trigs, the first being Carn Maol. Laura abandoned her van at my house, then we abandoned my car at the entrance to a disused quarry before making our way up the track. It was another straightforward walk with just a little bit of yomping across the heather to the trig, with just a little help from the range flag post for reference.

There were some rather lovely orchids on the way and plenty of other wild flowers. There was also a rather splendid shooting hut, which on our return we discovered was unlocked, so we took advantage to sit inside to eat our lunch. Lovely.


Orchids and other flowers


Fabulous orchid


Laura striding up hill


Laura at the trig


Me at the trig


Smashing new shooting hut


Obviously a recent refit


Waiting for Laura





The second trig of the day would have been Carn na Caillich. We parked easily at the entrance to the track and made our way along forestry tracks until we simply could not go any further. The track simply disappeared under heather and gorse and we could not be bothered to fight our way through, even though it was probably less than 500 metres away. Maybe we’ll go back in the winter if it’s snowy and we can snow shoe…or may be not!


I see a patch of blue sky shaped like the UK…

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Time to Kill in Callander

Ciara was given a spot on the High Performance Training weekend in June as Aedan was ‘incapacitated’ at the beginning of May, so we took the opportunity to go for a walk.

We had deposited Ciara at the venue by 9 am and headed straight to the local Co-op to get provisions then went off to find the public conveniences. These were situated at the Pay and Display which was only a couple of quid and as that would partly go towards the cost of the upkeep of the toilets, we happily paid and displayed.

On closer inspection, the weather didn’t look up to much and I generally refuse point blank to climb a hill with no view from the top, so I voted not to climb Ben Ledi as we had planned (to test the ankle) but to go for a stroll along the Rob Roy Way to a little beyond Stank Glen, then return along woodland paths.

The first part of the route follows an old railway line of which there is some evidence along the way. The path goes through pleasant surroundings and the occasional views we got suggested it would have been a nice train ride. We met a few people mainly at the beginning of the walk and then a little later around the holiday park area. Most spoke.


Evidence of a previous life


First for me, Water Avens


More evidence


Ornamental something or other



We just walked and chatted, it was a nice, if unremarkable outing. We even found a cafe to have a cup of tea at the Strathyre Cabins Holiday Park, Stank Glen. The Wildlife Ranger there was an interesting, ex-military chap who obviously had a very Scottish chip on his shoulder. I sat quietly in the corner. After finishing our tea, we walked on for a while, taking the forestry path uphill and round the corner to head back in the direction from whence we came.


Looking kinda north-ish

We eventually started to look for a place to stop for lunch, but by now we were off the Way, which had had the occasional bench, and there weren’t any handy logs or rocks on which to perch. After some time, we found an old log pile that was just about suitable, but it didn’t have much of a view and no breeze. Not long after stopping, I was up and about again, marching and munching to escape the midgies that had started to plague us. Oh well. We continued.


Bit of a rubbish lunch view


Looking right…


…and left


A view later up the track


Loch Lubnaig


Glad we didn’t head up


Roughly towards Stirling


North again

There wasn’t much excitement on the way back either, we bumped into a DofE group on expedition, twice, as we were slightly misplaced and took a circuitous route at a junction to pass them again. Whoops!

Overall, a very pleasant stroll on a dampish day, but enjoyable all the same.

Roughly 11.3 miles and 1822 ft total ascent.