Monday, 25 June 2012

Winter Hill – 23 June

Dental work rescheduled for Friday caused me to withdraw from Chris Armour’s Ramsay attempt because I anticipated an extraction that would require a day or two without strenuous exercise. In the event the treatment wasn’t as severe, in fact, not as severe as the weather Chris encountered as his attempt was beaten into submission after 17 hours.

With a poor forecast locally I settled on an early, short run up and down Winter Hill from home. On a slightly circuitous route of about 14 miles I stayed dry and only just warm enough on the top. Flat grey light under a heavy grey sky did little to illuminate distant views or any views. Even on a bad day it is good to get out for a run and today was no exception and the run was much better than the photographs, honestly.

20120623-winterhill-7-EditOne of the many masts

20120623-winterhill-5-EditLooking west over the Lancashire Plain

20120623-winterhill-3-EditNorth east to Darwen Tower (which may just be visible on the far horizon)

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

White Bear Way – 16 June

For years we have considered doing the White Bear Way but because it takes place on the weekend of my birthday and this year on my birthday we have always been away or doing something else. This year but for the weather the “something else” would have been the Cumbrian Traverse. One attempt in bad weather was enough – the next one will be in good weather. The White Bear Way is an “LDWA-like” challenge event starting and finishing in Adlington and run by the local Scout Group. It is well organised, well supported and thankfully free from the excessive “rules” of other Scout events.Entry on the day meant the final decision could be left very late and on the day Pauline decided 21 miles in pouring rain wasn’t really her cup of tea. Before the start it looked as though she had made the best decision.


WBW-1From the car before registration

WBW-2Karen marking her map

WBW-3Waiting for the start

By the “runners start” at 09:30 the weather improved and the rain relented. Perhaps “21 miles in the rain” wasn’t going to be the way of things. The worst of the weather held back until we were approaching the summit of Winter Hill – the highest point of the route – and the cold wind brought more rain with it. Once off the the hill and out of the wind conditions were much better but hardly summer, even for Lancashire. The threat of rain and Albert’s (almost) unrelenting pace ensured my camera stayed safely wrapped up and dry, resulting in a day on the hills without a single photograph of a hill or the view from a hill.

WBW-4Albert responds well to tea & pudding afterwards

We got off quite lightly as the heaviest rain we had seen was in the car park before we set off until returning to the car park after finishing when there was a deluge. By that time it didn’t matter much, at least for those of us who had finished.

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

John Fleetwood’s Fisherfield Round – 06/07 June

With the fine settled weather somewhat unsettled we travelled north through occasional and occasionally heavy rain to Ullapool to meet John Fleetwood. John has a 24 Hour Round in mind and we are going to provide support for him. The weather is threatening the original plans and John decides to start earlier, at 22:00 on Wednesday night.

John’s own account of another successful Round is here, on his blog.

First light at Loch Droma merely hinted how good the rest of the day would be.

FFR-1Towards the Fannichs


After Loch Droma I met John on Bealach na h-Imrich, below Groban, beyond the end of Loch a Bhraoin. With time in hand it was a delight to lie in the warm sunshine watching deer drift by, too far a away to photograph, waiting for John to come down off Meallan Chuaich.

FFR-2Loch a Bhraoin – looking west

FFR-3Loch a Bhraoin – looking east

FFR-4Cottage at the end of the loch

FFR-5Meallan Chuaich

FFR-6Loch a Bhraoin – looking east

FFR-7Loch a Bhraoin – looking west on the walk out


Pauline and  I walked into Shenavall to meet John at the end of the afternoon and by then his decision to start early was completely vindicated as even then the next weather front was moving in, bringing rain and gusting winds.

FFR-8Beinn Dearg Mor from Shenavall

FFR-9John arriving at Shenavall


Tuesday, 12 June 2012

An Gearanach & Sob Coire a Chairn – 05 June

Another bright and sunny morning although the clouds started gathering almost immediately after breakfast suggesting the poorer weather forecast for tomorrow (Wednesday) might be on its way already.

M02-2Still waters on Loch Linnhe

M02-1Loch Linnhe under gathering clouds

We started the Mamores in an ad hoc way a couple of years ago when we found ourselves with only half a day and our wanderings there have continued in pretty much the same manner. An Gearanach & Sob Coire a Chairn are our final two Mamore Munros and by climbing them from Glen Nevis we can cross the river on the wire bridge at Steall – not a “plus” in everybody’s book and, I think, had we known how bad the midges would be we might just have walked through the river instead.

M02-3Pauline on the wire bridge

M02-4Binnein Mor

M02-5An Gearanach with An Garbanach at the near end of the ridge

M02-6Ben Nevis

M02-7The Pap of Glencoe at the head of Loch Linnhe

The cloud cover was more or less complete by the end of the day and for the first time this week we were denied a colourful sunset. The poor weather and rain forecast for Wednesday looked pretty certain although it didn’t matter too much as we would be driving north to Ullapool.

Monday, 11 June 2012

Stob Coire Sgriodain & Chno Dearg – 04 June

Almost unbelievably another day dawned bright and sunny in Lochaber. Again with Keith, before he headed further north, we headed for the hills and again the choice was a pretty hard day or a fairly comfortable one. Fortunately, the comfortable one won and we had time to see a couple of other things on the way to Stob Coire Sgriodain.

20120604-lochaber-502-EditLoch Linnhe and Ardgour in morning light

LT-1PS Waverley leaving Fort William

LT-2Church and churchyard at Achluacharach

LT-3Loch Treig

Watching the Waverley make here way down the loch away from Fort William was a treat – we arrived just as she was backing away from the pier and we were able to watch her turn and sail away. The small church has been on “our list” since we last went to climb the hills on the other side of Loch Treig with Keith and it is well worth visiting.


LT-4Loch Treig from Stob Coire Sgriodain

Bright and sunny it might have been but the bitterly cold wind made it a day to keep moving and so we did. Over Chno Dearg and back to Fersit almost without pausing. Beinn na Lap could have been added, or at least I thought it could have been added, but it would have been a very long drag back round to Fersit and I lost the vote.


LT-5Evening light on Loch Linnhe

LT-6Last of the evening light on Loch Linnhe

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Binnein Mor & Na Gruagaichean – 03 June

Another sunny, bright, cold day once out of the valley and into the wind. Although we have only four of the Mamores left to do we would need a very long day to do them all at once – the days at this time of year are, of course, plenty long enough and it looked as though we might get three of them but it makes for two better days to do two pairs and so it was. In from Mamore Lodge – or from the road to Mamore Lodge because the road up to the lodge is now closed and the new gate may “be locked at any time, without warning”.

20120603-001Looking back to Loch Leven with the Pap of Glencoe prominent

20120603-002Sgurr Eilde Mor above its lochan

20120603-003Looking west along the Mamores

20120603-004Ben Nevis and Carn Mor Dearg

20120603-005The Grey Corries beyond Binnein Beag

20120603-006Spyke approaching Binnein Mor on a Tranter Round

20120603-007Loch Leven

The evening light again produced interesting skies and reflections on very still lochs.


20120603-008Looking west over Loch Linnhe

20120603-010Loch Linnhe

20120603-009Loch Linnhe with the Pap of Glencoe in the distance

Sgurr Choinnich Mor – 02 June

Sgurr Choinnich Mor lies at the head of Glen Nevis above the watershed and marks the south-western end of the Grey Corries ridge. Even the shorter route to the summit is over three and half hours long and with only half a day left after travelling from Glasgow we didn’t have time for anything longer. Although it is probably wrong, Glen Coe always seems to be the “gateway” to the western highlands and it is always worth stopping (if the clouds are high enough) to savour the views.

20160601-001The Three Sisters – Beinn Fhada, Gearr Aonach and Aonach Dubh

20160601-002Across upper Glen Nevis to Binnein Beag and Binnein Mor

20160601-003Sgurr Choinnich Mor beyond Sgurr Choinnich Beag

20160601-004Across upper Glen Nevis to Binnein Beag and Binnein Mor again

20160601-005Pauline contemplating the Aonachs (on the right) with the Mamores in the distance

20160601-006Sun appears briefly on Binnein Beag

20160601-007One of the many, very low burns in the glen

With our first “Munro” of the trip ticked and the swarms of midges survived the sun started making serious attempts to break through the clouds producing the most dramatic skies of the day.

20160601-008West across Loch Linnhe

20160601-009Same view moments later

20160601-010The Pap of Glencoe and the Aonach Eagach catching the evening sun

20160601-011Sun setting over the Ardgour peninsula