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Its a cracking day today.Just drove up the road and Ben Wyvis is sitting against a backdrop of a clear sky.If anyone is out today then lucky you.

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Tuesday - bloody glorious day in the East. Not a cloud in the sky. Everything looked good for tackling my first Munro on wednesday. Choose Ben Chonzie basically becasue it was the closest.

Wednesday - Arose at 8, looked out the window couldn't see to the bottom of my garden. Some ridiculous freak fog a engulfed Fife. I thought it might clear up, or be better nearer Ben Chonzie so set off anyway. Driving round the backroads past Ben Cleuch and the fog disappeared and it was another cracking day. Got to Gleneagles and the fog was back, pressed on but it was even worse when I got to the carpark so had to abandon ship. Couldn't see more than 5 metres in front of you, and didn't want to risk getting lost. GUTTED.

Had a wee trek at Vane Farm at Loch Leven instead. Got to the top of the hill and you were actually above the fog, quite a view in fact. Like being above the clouds when your in an airplane.

Going to try again next wednesday.

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Tuesday - bloody glorious day in the East. Not a cloud in the sky. Everything looked good for tackling my first Munro on wednesday. Choose Ben Chonzie basically becasue it was the closest.

Wednesday - Arose at 8, looked out the window couldn't see to the bottom of my garden. Some ridiculous freak fog a engulfed Fife. I thought it might clear up, or be better nearer Ben Chonzie so set off anyway. Driving round the backroads past Ben Cleuch and the fog disappeared and it was another cracking day. Got to Gleneagles and the fog was back, pressed on but it was even worse when I got to the carpark so had to abandon ship. Couldn't see more than 5 metres in front of you, and didn't want to risk getting lost. GUTTED.

Had a wee trek at Vane Farm at Loch Leven instead. Got to the top of the hill and you were actually above the fog, quite a view in fact. Like being above the clouds when your in an airplane.

Going to try again next wednesday.

Is this the place, I vaguely remember going here a while ago, is it the RSPB reserve? We saw a weasel very close from one of the hides and you're right the view from the top of the hill is rather nice.

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post-67-1193347230_thumb.jpg

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Is this the place, I vaguely remember going here a while ago, is it the RSPB reserve? We saw a weasel very close from one of the hides and you're right the view from the top of the hill is rather nice.

That's it. Quite a good view from the top when it's clear.

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Well the forecast was not too bad for today so we decided to get out and about once again to try and enjoy a bit of late autumn sunshine.

I had bought a new OS map ( I love them when they are new and shiny) and had looked at doing a hill near Tomatin,but instead opted to head out to a hill called Beinn Bhuidhe Mhor which is 548m high.Not huge but it was a hill I had seen many times whilst crossing the Kessock Bridge.It lies roughly south east of Clava and conveniently has a hill track running almost to the summit.

We set off and soon the views opened up and by the time we had reached the top I was really impressed with the view,it really is superb.It stretched from the Sutherland coastline,all along the Black Ilse then upto the Beauly Firth.Across the water to the east you could see all along the Moray Coast.To the south Bynack More was out of cloud with the summit of Cairngorm just covered.Ben Wyvis was clear but further west the distant hills were grey looking.

All in all it shows that its not all about bagging Munros.Just getting to somewhere not visited before can be equally as satisfying.I was also suprised by the number of people out walking to the top as well.In all I counted 7 others out and about which suprised me as I thought we would have the place to ourselves.We didnt stay long at the top,a bit blustery and cold to say the least.

To cap it all off we saw a red squirrel and really best of all a juvenile wild cat.I have not seen one for ages and was a real treat to see.

The attached photo was taken at the top beside the trig point-not sure why but its a bit dark?

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Edited by silver

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Back in 1997 I bought a book called 'The Grahams'.For those who do not know they are the 224 mountains in Scotland between 2000 and 2500ft.The beauty of the hills are that they are accessible during the winter months when poor weather and short days prevent trips out to more remote and higher peaks.

I have done a few and I did the latest today which is called Carn na h-Easgainn.We set off from a layby near Tomatin and headed off up hill along a good track for around 3 kms.We followed it as far as a large hut before heading north west towards our target hill which at this point is not visible.Initially the going was wet then good before what can only be described as a bit of a trek over countless peat hags,the likes of which I have not come across before.Eventually though we crossed the final one and started the final ascent over easy angled slopes to the summit.

The trig point came into view and as often is the case the wind became stronger as we reached the top.It was quite cold as well.The views were not superb but good enough.To the south the Cairngorm summits were clear but did go into cloud as we descended.To the north and west the view was less clear as most tops were in cloud.We did have a good view of Inverness and the Kessock Bridge.

We did not stay long and we chose a different route for our descent.Being high up gave us a good view for a better way out and this allowed us to avoid the peat hags.

Not much wildlife about but we did see quite a few grouse and the odd mountain hare.Most had a white winter coat on already.A large flock of Fieldfares as well at the start.

Today was a great example of why doing just Munros is foolish in my eyes.The weather forecast for the high ground was not great so many may have opted not to go out but the 4 of us found a hill which still allowed us to get a view and work a bit for it.We went to an area few frequent,we saw no one all day and did see plenty to make it interesting.Over the winter I will do more I hope.

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Edited by silver

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Went back up Ben Vorlich(loch lomond) on Sunday. One of my mates had missed out on the last trip and as the forecast was good I was happy to go along.

We decided to go up yet another way. We went straight up from the side of the dam the last time after having missed the cairn at the side of the road :lol:

We had been told there was a route up from the substation bit near the beginning of the hydro road. So when you the path spilts and kinda doubles back on itself thats where we went. Then we followed the route of the burn straight up. Again a total slog of a walk and extremely boggy and no path to follow whatsoever so we had to use map and compass.

But bloody hell the views were incredible doing the walk from that side. And there wasn`t a cloud in the sky either. Thats the first time I have been able to see anything at all whilst hillwalking :rolleyes: but it was so well worth it.

Its a cracker of a route to tackle the hill on actually. you basically come round the side of the ridge and come in at the south west entrance to that gigantic corrie with Vorlich at the head. But this way you get superb views all the way up. It was really tough walking because it was all boggy and sphagnum moss so it was energy sapping but worth it. You do eventually get a path once you get on the east side of the ridge which eventually brings you onto the main path again.

We met a few folk that asked what way we had come and they decided they would go back down that way.

And what a view from the summit. I could see the Merrick in the south, Arran ,Ailsa Craig and other stuff I didn`t know the names of in the north and east :rolleyes:

A brilliant day and after half a dozen wet, misty, morale sapping outing at last I had a view from the top. The walk took us just over five hours. We took three and a half hours to get to the top(we took our time and stopped a fair bit) and I found the route back down a total bugger on the knees. :lol: Old age...

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All in all it shows that its not all about bagging Munros.Just getting to somewhere not visited before can be equally as satisfying.I was also suprised by the number of people out walking to the top as well.In all I counted 7 others out and about which suprised me as I thought we would have the place to ourselves.We didnt stay long at the top,a bit blustery and cold to say the least.

Absolutely how I feel about it as well, and while I do enjoy going up to the higher tops as well, I don't really understand why some folk do those exclusively, and sit ticking them off a list. Some of the most enjoyable walks I've had in the last couple of years have been lower tops - it may well be partly because on these you don't get so many people out. While I like to yap to folk in the middle of nowhere while climbing a hill, the feeling of solitude is one of the best things for me about a day in the hills. It's a bit of a shame really that some folk overlook some fine hills, simply because they aren't Munros - surely if it's worthwhile to climb, it's worthwhile to climb whether it's 3001 feet or 2998 feet? In saying that though, I was quite glad that Foinaven was found to be less than 3000 feet at the re-measurement recently, since had it been higher, it would inevitably have triggered a rush of folk onto the hill.

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Well, that's Ben Challum climbed today.

The mucky, marshy lower slopes gave little indication of the snow we'd encounter at the two tops (both falling and the inch that was already lying). I had half an idea we might see some when I saw Ben Lomond with a dusting on it across Loch Lomond.

Steep in places, but the descent wasn't half as bad as I expected it to be.

Here's me at the top.

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Edited by AyrshireTon

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I wanted to get out today but its been horrible.With children the last thing I want to do is sicken them with cold,wet weather.I had hoped to maybe go to Skye and go up Ben Aslak and give them all a taster of Island hills but it was not meant to be.

Edited by silver

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Finally it's getting light enough at night to mean an early start can ensure a hill is completed in plenty time. Hooray!

I've been a bit fidgety about getting my boots on again this year and as my usual walking buddy is too busy to get any time off recently I decided to ask another friend they fancied a quick jaunt up Ben Ledi.

People kept advising me to try the hill I did first again to see if my fitness has improved any. I remember the last trip up Ledi to be horrible for numerous reasons...

- It was the hottest day of the year

- I was attempting the walk in an old pair of trainers that were falling to bits

- I'd made the mistake of going to the gym and swimming the night before

All those factors led to me being booted up the hill by my friend but this time I was determined I was going to enjoy myself and not be utterly shagged out after 10mins.

We started out from the Stank car park same as last time and headed up the well marked path. The mist was down but as it wasn't raining or anything we didn't let this deter us. Nothing much happened but the condensation in the air made walking over flat rocks tricky and I nearly slipped and fell on my behind on a few occassions.

We were a bit concerned as we neared the summit as it looked as though it'd be covered in snow and as the mist was now much thicker we lost sight of the path. However a party of 4 came down ahead and told us that there wasn't as much snow as there appeared to be and we could easily skirt round it so on we went.

We reached the summit after 2 and a half hours and sat down for lunch. There was patches of snow about and I was determined to get my photo taken on it on the way back (not to make a certain walking buddy jelous you understand). It was very eerie as there was no one else on the summit barring ourselves though the hill seemed quite busy. There were a hell of a lot of ravens about, I imagine they were picking up scraps left from peoples lunches (speaking of which I very much enjoyed my left-over take away curry).

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On the way back down I insited on checking out the snow but managed to get half of my walking pole stuck in it while the other half was grasped in my freezing little mit.

We were back down at the car for 3.15 after having left at 10.15. Much better than my previous time and I even had the energy to jog part of the last way down. I'm quite pleased I went back up and found I no longer felt the going was too tough for me.

Take away curry at the top of a hill, you cannae beat it! :D

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Finally it's getting light enough at night to mean an early start can ensure a hill is completed in plenty time. Hooray!

I've been a bit fidgety about getting my boots on again this year and as my usual walking buddy is too busy to get any time off recently I decided to ask another friend they fancied a quick jaunt up Ben Ledi.

People kept advising me to try the hill I did first again to see if my fitness has improved any. I remember the last trip up Ledi to be horrible for numerous reasons...

- It was the hottest day of the year

- I was attempting the walk in an old pair of trainers that were falling to bits

- I'd made the mistake of going to the gym and swimming the night before

All those factors led to me being booted up the hill by my friend but this time I was determined I was going to enjoy myself and not be utterly shagged out after 10mins.

We started out from the Stank car park same as last time and headed up the well marked path. The mist was down but as it wasn't raining or anything we didn't let this deter us. Nothing much happened but the condensation in the air made walking over flat rocks tricky and I nearly slipped and fell on my behind on a few occassions.

We were a bit concerned as we neared the summit as it looked as though it'd be covered in snow and as the mist was now much thicker we lost sight of the path. However a party of 4 came down ahead and told us that there wasn't as much snow as there appeared to be and we could easily skirt round it so on we went.

We reached the summit after 2 and a half hours and sat down for lunch. There was patches of snow about and I was determined to get my photo taken on it on the way back (not to make a certain walking buddy jelous you understand). It was very eerie as there was no one else on the summit barring ourselves though the hill seemed quite busy. There were a hell of a lot of ravens about, I imagine they were picking up scraps left from peoples lunches (speaking of which I very much enjoyed my left-over take away curry).

ben_ledi002.jpg

On the way back down I insited on checking out the snow but managed to get half of my walking pole stuck in it while the other half was grasped in my freezing little mit.

We were back down at the car for 3.15 after having left at 10.15. Much better than my previous time and I even had the energy to jog part of the last way down. I'm quite pleased I went back up and found I no longer felt the going was too tough for me.

Take away curry at the top of a hill, you cannae beat it! :D

walked Ben Lomond a fortnight ago and it was horrible :lol: . Its a fairly easy walk under normal circumstances but it was horrendous two sundays ago.

It was quite nice at the loch side, no wind, quite mild. Then once we got up to cloud level the wind was incredible. And walking straight into it was the hardest thing Ive ever done I think..

The last couple of hundred metres to the summit is along that ridge thing and we had to crawl it because we couldn`t stand up in the wind :o . I had a woolly hat on and it fucking blew away in the gale. We probably should have turned and gone back actually.

Just shows you the difference the weather makes to a walk. I have walked Ben Lomond a couple of times before and in decent weather it is actually an easy enough walk.

Wish I had been out walking today though. It looked like it would have been a good day for it.

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The weather was ok (mild temps and little wind) in Callander certainly and gave us no problems on the way up.

I laughed when my walking pole basically fell to bits in my hand then realised it was broken. Should really get a new one. :angry:

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It was quite boggy in places but as we managed to stay on our feet it wasn't too bad. My boots got the worse of it and my trousers came away relatively unscathed.

Good call for a hot bath and a relaxing wee vodka when I finally got home though we stopped off in Callander for munchies on the way back.

I can imagine the ridge along Ben Lomond being quite bad in the wind. We went up and although the weather was fine it was windy at the top too, shame as we had to go further down to eat out picnic.

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The weather was ok (mild temps and little wind) in Callander certainly and gave us no problems on the way up.

I laughed when my walking pole basically fell to bits in my hand then realised it was broken. Should really get a new one. :angry:

ben_ledi005.jpg

It was quite boggy in places but as we managed to stay on our feet it wasn't too bad. My boots got the worse of it and my trousers came away relatively unscathed.

Good call for a hot bath and a relaxing wee vodka when I finally got home though we stopped off in Callander for munchies on the way back.

I can imagine the ridge along Ben Lomond being quite bad in the wind. We went up and although the weather was fine it was windy at the top too, shame as we had to go further down to eat out picnic.

I could have done with poles on the way back off Lomond. That path they built is a bugger on the knees.

Never tried Ledi. Will have a go later in the year as the guy we use as a sherpa won`t be allowed out with us as he is about to become a faither. :lol:

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Well, that's another two days this week.

Tuesday I climbed Benvane (the Corbett north of Ben Ledi) - fairly straightforward, but took longer than the literature suggested.

Today I bagged two Corbetts, Ben Donich and The Brack, which now means I've done all of the Arrochar Alps (4 Munros & 6 Corbetts).

Donich was easy apart from the scrambling down to the path near the summit, and the drop into the col took less time than I expected, despite being able to see nothing and there being no path. The Brack was a pretty fearsome ascent, and tragically I lost my camera somewhere on it. :(

So all you're getting is a mobile phone pic of The Brack's trig point.

Seven and a half hours walking in total, btw.

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First walk of the year on Saturday so took it easy and went up King's Seat from Dollar Glen (648m). Found out on Saturday evening that what we thought was the summit wasn't really the summit, and the true summit was another 5m higher and another 150m North West! Still, 643m wasn't too bad.

Taking a mate of ours up his first Munro at the end of this month, thinking possibly Schielhallion.

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First walk of the year on Saturday so took it easy and went up King's Seat from Dollar Glen (648m). Found out on Saturday evening that what we thought was the summit wasn't really the summit, and the true summit was another 5m higher and another 150m North West! Still, 643m wasn't too bad.

Taking a mate of ours up his first Munro at the end of this month, thinking possibly Schielhallion.

Have fun at Schiehallion, just don't fall down the caves! Speaking of which, I take folk up to Assynt for a bit of caving every now and again and half the lot when they get there would rather take a hike up Suilven (The one shaped like a tit). Bloody hill walkers! :angry::P

Edited by Hedgecutter

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I've climbed Ben Ledi and Ben lomond recently and enjoyed both as they were not particularly difficult.

I'm not exactly the fittest, but I always seem to manage the climb in a much shorter time than any of the guides seemt to claim.

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I haven't climbed anything this year yet, and to be honest with teh weather as it has been, I've not really been too fussed. No way I'd even consider going up something with the wind as it's been on a lot of days recently. We did manage a wee trip up the 3 Lomonds, which amazingly is the first time I've ever done them all together despite living about 10 miles away from them.

Starting to want to get out again now though, and we'll probably try our usual for the first of the yar in a couple of weeks by heading up BenCleuch in the Ochils which is a great one to start off with - despite not being the biggest it can be pretty knackering because it's so steep. I've had the book and maps out a few times to see some places to head to, and looking forward to getting a wee trip up to the far North again for a few days.It's good to do any that you can, but it's always so much better to head away for a couple of days camping and see an area you don't get a chance to walk in normally.

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A longer walk yesterday but a shorter hill. We started at Balquhidder and Rob Roy's grave before heading South and East around Ben Shian, ascending from the South, then descending and travelling West past Balimore before going back up to the car. Nine and a half miles I think it was, very enjoyable.

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