July Day Trip to the Lake District

A small group of six set off in two cars for the Lake District in what looked like much better weather than had been forecast earlier in the week.  After a stop at Southwaite Services to regroup, discuss routes and have a snack we set off for the Blencathra hills, a few miles short of Keswick.  We dropped off a car in Threlkeld and were organised and on our way from the small hamlet of Mungrisdale by 11am, where we stopped briefly to watch a drive past by a convoy of vintage tractors on their way to a local rally before we hit the hills.

Crossing Blackwater Beck  Lunch at Scales Tarn  On the ascent of Sharp Edge  Still on the ascent of Sharp Edge

The route followed the track beside the River Glenderamackin to Scales Tarn where we had some lunch before tackling the scramble up Sharp Edge.  Everyone teetered carefully along the crest of the ridge to arrive safely at the top of Tarn Crags, grateful that the rain had stayed off and not made the well polished rocks any smoother and slippery than they already were.  We then carried on along the main ridge to Knowe Crags and  descended to Threlkeld for a well earned beer in the garden of the local Jennings Inn.  It was then a tight squeeze as the six of us piled into Bob's car for the short run back to Mungrisdale to collect the other car for the trip back up the M74.  An enjoyable day was had by all, the only sign of the forecast rain being a couple of light showers on the drive home.

Nearly there!  Summit of Blencathra  The alfresco pint

Ian Moffatt

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July Weekend to Skye

Friday

Bob and Mark travelled up, and with the weather not being at its best, decided to climb Beinn Dearg Mhor and Beinn na Caillich above Broadford.  Apart from a slight shower at the start, the only problems were the low cloud and the strong wind .. however some views were glimpsed on occasions.  Andy and Gordon tackled Sgurr Mhic Bharraich at Shiel Bridge before crossing to Skye; Justin and Willie did a low level walk; Jane and Raymond, and Linda, travelled up to the Waterfront Hostel at Carbost where we all duly got settled in before heading across to the Old Inn for a meal and some drinks.

Sgurr Mhic Bharraich from Sgurr an Airgid  Andy and Gordon on Sgurr Mhich Bharraich on Friday  Beinn na Caillich at Broadford

Saturday

We awoke to the usual Saturday low cloud and a lot of rain (with plenty of assistance from our ignorant Chelsea man who elected to blast the TV from 6.45am onwards .. it didn't happen again! .. Ed).  After breakfast, we set off, and with the weather not improving, all made for Coire a’ Bhasteir in full waterproofs.  The Pinnacle Ridge was again not to be an option, so the 7 of us headed up to tackle Am Basteir.  A rope was needed to get us down the bad step due to the wet conditions, but we all made it to the summit.  The descent into the coire needed some care, but after that the weather decided to improve and the waterproofs mostly managed to dry out.  The only problem was that Linda slipped on the path and ended up with various bruises down her left side.

Ready to go ...  Descending the 'Bad Step' between Am Basteir and Sgurr nan Gillean  The Basteir Summiteers  Ascending the 'Bad Step' between Am Basteir and Sgurr nan Gillean  Below the Pinnacle Ridge of Sgurr nan Gillean on the descent  At the end of the day the sun comes out on the Red Cuillin!

Once safely in the Sligachan, it was obvious that Willie’s smile at having climbed Am Basteir may only have been removed surgically!  After a welcome drink (Linda’s brandy was purely medicinal!), we headed back to the hostel where a communal meal was enjoyed by all .. thanks to the chefs.  The bonus was the cakes provided by Jane.  It was a delightful way to end a strenuous day on the hills.

Sunday

True to form, we awoke to sunshine on the Sunday.  Linda, Justin and Willie were going to head home; Andy and Gordon were heading back to climb Sgurr an Airgid at Shiel Bridge en route; while Raymond and Jane were to tackle the Five Sisters with some transport assistance from Justin and Willie.  Bob and Mark headed for Glen Brittle, but there was still a lot of cloud covering the ridge, so instead headed for Shiel Bridge, where they climbed Sgurr Mhic Bharraich before heading home.

Sgurr an Airgid from Sgurr Mhic Bharraich  On the summit of Sgurr Mhic Bharraich on Sunday with the 5 Sisters in the background  Across to Skye from Sgurr an Airgid

The quote of the weekend – “ Now if I could just get someone to massage my left breast.”

Bob MacDonald

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July Evening Walk to Glengarnock Castle

The weather was looking good for a change as Ruth, Ian and myself arrived at the start of the walk.  We were joined shortly afterwards by Dougie, Tom and Alison .. and after Iona and Jane arrived we finally set off up a good farm track to Glengarnock Castle.  This is now very much a ruin, but some of the roof was intact (just!).  After a look round (as instructed in the guide book) we headed steeply down to the river, which we crossed and followed upstream.  The bracken was a little high for some, but the path was just about visible.

After approximately a kilometre we head out of the steep glen alongside a fire hose(??) to the open countryside.  After a short food break a track took us to the Pundeavon Reservoir.  Here we decided to take it easy and shorten the walk, so we went around the reservoir and up onto the ridge leading to Harelaw.  Here we were rewarded with some good views of the coast and the whisky bonds at Beith.  The route continued down the ridge to Smallburn Reservoir and Holehouse Farm.  Once we had negotiated the cow dung it was a short walk along the road to the cars just as the light was fading. Another pleasant local walk with good views of the surrounding hills and towns.

The evening was rounded off with a much deserved drink at the Brown Bull in Lochwinnoch.

Arriving at Glengarnock Castle  Tall bracken .. what lurks inside?  The steep ascent  Ian and Ruth bathed in that golden glow ...  The Glengarnock team

Mark Setford

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