New Year Day Trip to Lochgoilhead

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I drove to Cathcart and met up with Ian and Mark, who had walked in.  We transferred to my car and set off immediately, as the rest were all going straight to the start points.  As we drove up, Loch Lomond was covered in mist but the hills were clear.

I stopped at Ardgartan to check with Susan and Debbie, who were walking the section of the Cowal Way.  The car park was full as a group of runners was setting off for Lochgoilhead.  On arriving at Lochgoilhead, we met up with the other 3 cars .. James, Ali, Cat and Cornel; Steven and Heidi; Justin.  After New Year greetings we got the boots on and set off.

We started on the Cowal Way and as we climbed up through the forest, met the runners on their descent.  We left the path at the col and headed up the slope to the summit of Cnoc Coinnich which was, of course, covered in low cloud.

On Cnoc Coinnich above Lochgoilhead

Summit photos were taken and then we found shelter for a lunch break along with celebratory drinks and Christmas cake.  We had to take bearings to descend SW to the col before turning NW towards the Steeple.  Out of the cloud, but in steady drizzle, we made our way over several bumps to reach the Steeple.  From there, it was downhill to meet up with the track back to Lochgoilhead.

Susan and Debbie had already arrived and were in the Goil Hotel, and after changing we joined them for a drink and chat before returning to the cars.  I gave Susan and Debbie a lift back to Ardgartan so they could collect their car for the drive home.

Bob MacDonald

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January Weekend to Pitlochry

7 members signed up for the January weekend outing and were rewarded with some of the best weather of 2017 so far.

Allan and Bob were the only ones to walk on the Friday, climbing the Graham Beinn na Gainimh near Amulree and enjoyed both a temperature inversion and a brocken spectre. They arrived first at the Tayview lodges at Guay and after settling in, they ate at Ballinluig.

On Beinn na Gainimh

James, Susan and Ally set off from Glasgow after the rush hour and arrived around 8pm followed shortly after by Heidi and then Cat from Edinburgh. Walking plans were discussed over a convivial evening at the comfortable lodge.

Saturday dawned rather misty and cold at Guay and the whole group except Susan set off to climb the Corbett Ben Vuirich from the south from the A924 near Tarvie.  As we drove up past Moulin, we broke through the cloud and into the sunshine which was then enjoyed for the whole of the day. A good landrover track led up for approximately 4km to the hut marked on the map. We brought two benches out of the hut and had a pleasant break in the sun.

The map showed the track ending at the hut but a series of white posts, ATV tracks and finally foot tracks led us over Carn Liath and Carn Dubh to the summit. While lunch was eaten, we tried to name the surrounding hills in the near perfect visibility. Nearby  Beinn a’Ghlo and the well-defined notch of the Lairig Ghru in the Cairngorms were easily identifiable. We returned by our outward route including a second stop in the sun by the hut.

Ascending Ben Vuirich  On Ben Vuirich  Taking a break  View of Beinn a'Ghlo

Meanwhile Susan had enjoyed her favourite walk around Loch Ordie at Guay but had missed out on the sunshine due to her lower altitude.

Saturday night’s meal followed the now traditional format of soup (Bob), haggis, neeps and tatties (the Andersons, with vegetarian option from Heidi) and apple pie and custard (Heidi).

On Sunday, Allan and Bob headed for the Graham Blath Bhalg from the A924 and although they could see the whole of the mountain as they drove up, the mist had descended by the time they reached the summit. They were rewarded with some views on their descent.

Ally, Cat and I drove up to Dalwhinnie for a quick ascent of the Munro Meall Chuaich. The frozen conditions meant it was less muddy than usual on ascent but a little slippery on descent. The walk in and out was accompanied by the calls of dozens of red grouse who seemed to be oblivious to our presence as it seemed to be their mating season.

On Blath Bhalg

Heidi and Susan had a walk around The Hermitage and up to Rumbling Bridge before lunch in Dunkeld and the return to Glasgow.

A great weekend was enjoyed by all with better weather that should be expected in mid- January.

James Anderson

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