October Day Trip to Crianlarich

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The Mountain Weather Information Service had predicted a lovely day with light wind, precipitation unlikely, summits widely free of cloud and superb visibility.  It was indeed a lovely, but chilly morning as Bob, Ally and I met up at Inverlair Avenue.  We drove to Tarbet to meet up with Jean and Steven for coffee at the Bonnie and Ben Café in Tarbet, near the pier.  The coffee was good, but I had not factored in several busloads of tourists qeueing for coffee to take on their rather early Loch Lomond cruise!

As we drove by, we noticed that the big layby about 2km south of Crianlarich, now the usual starting point for Cruach Ardrain, was almost completely full.  Lots of walkers were out to make the most of the good weather.  We drove on to the small forestry car park across the road from the Ben More Lodge Hotel, which was completely empty.

We set off around 10:15 and an excellent forestry road zig-zagged us gently to around 400m where it ended at a quarry.  A short walk through a forestry clearing took us to a stile, where our route joined the path from Glen Falloch.  We continued climbing along the fence for a while and then turned towards the Grey Height and on to Meall Dhamh where we stopped for lunch.  The breeze was chilly, but we had found a nice sheltered spot in the sunshine.

Asending Cruach Ardrain  Lunch stop on Cruach Ardrain

From our lunch spot, we had to drop down a bit (it looked a lot, but was only 30m or so) and then the path took us along the southern slopes of Cruach Ardrain to the Beinn Tulaichean T-junction.  We turned left an on to the summit of Cruach Ardrain for a well-earned rest.  Visibility was excellent and we had great views all around.

On the summit of Cruach Ardrain  At the summit of Cruach Ardrain

After some discussion and looking at return options, we decided to drop down the very steep north-eastern face of the hill.  Half-way down the descent was made a bit more difficult by debris from a land-slide.  The group were keen to show off their skills!  Jean won the star walker of the day award for her well-executed use of the Connell bum-slide.

On the descent  On Stob Garbh

From the col it was an easy climb up to the summit of Stob Garbh (a Munro top).  From here, the walking along the ridge over Stob Coire Bhuidhe was fairly easy and gradually took us down to a deer fence around the 700m contour.  After climbing over the very awkward stile we turned west along the fence and descended to the edge of a forestry plantation.  We were aiming for a cleared patch of forestry that we had identified as a possible return route on our way up.  After crossing a short stretch of felled forestry without much difficulty, a clearing took us down to a track at about NN394237.  From here, it was a nice, gentle downhill walk all the way back to the cars.

Throughout the day we saw a few rain showers in the distance and at one point were subjected to a few seconds of tiny hail-stones.  On the last km back to the car, the road ahead was framed by a lovely rainbow to end an excellent, but hard day in the hills.  We headed across the road to Ben More Lodge for a drink.  The kitchen was opened early so that Steven could get some soup!  Great service, décor could do with a refresh.

Cornel Brozio

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October Weekend to the Lake District

On the Ullswater Ferry  On Loadpot Hill  On Arthur's Pike  On Great Mell Fell

Just 9 club members made the journey to Ullswater, and to our accommodation at the Pooley Bridge Hotel.  Sadly Steven and Hilary were unable to make it due to a family emergency in Canada.

The weather on both days was good, albeit at times a little cold and windy, and some of our members experienced a bit of clag on the tops.

On Friday, Bob and Heidi travelled down early and had lunch at the Inn, and then walked from the village up to Heughscar Hill and back.  All of the group had arrived by the time our table was ready for dinner with the majority of the group plumping for just main courses, after seeing the size of the portions of food coming out of the kitchen.  Walking plans were discussed over dinner, with everyone deciding to use the Ullswater Steamer to get them to their various start points.

On Saturday a bright sunny day greeted us, and after a hearty breakfast .. the portion size once again was massive .. everyone set off to catch the 9.30am Ullswater Steamer to their various drop off points along the Lake.  The steamer was large and had plenty of seating, and the wind was blowing as we sailed along Ullswater.  The scenery was lovely and very soon we reached our first stop, Howtown, where Bob, Allan and Heidi got off.  They then walked up Fusedale to Gowk Hill.  From there, they headed up to the ridge and walked back over Wether Hill, Loadpot Hill (in the clag) and over to Arthur's Pike where they got good views of Ullswater.  They then followed the tracks back to Pooley Bridge.

Once Bob, Allan and Heidi left us, we were joined at Howtown by about 20 other walkers and their dogs, so it was a very large group who got off at the National Trust stop for Airth Waterfall which included myself, Susan, Andrew and Gordon .. but we soon lost this group as we stopped at the very good National Trust Café at the start of the walk for a hot beverage.

We started our walk by walking up to the waterfall, which after losing the majority of visitors to see the waterfall, took us out to farmland toward Dockray before walking up Gowbarrow Fell where we lost our fabulous views of the lake, as the clag had closed in. We then followed a varied path through forest, and over farmland before descending through a campsite and heading along the main road for a short distance to our start point at the Ullswater steamer.

James and Susan got off the steamer and walked from Glenridding to Howtown on an undulating path (7 miles) before getting on the steamer at Howtown and returning to Pooley Bridge.

We ate dinner on Saturday at the Inn and once again were served huge portions of good food enjoyed by everyone.

On Sunday, the majority of the group headed home or for a drive around the local area. Allan, Heidi and Bob climbed Great Mell Fell then went for a coffee at the Rheged Centre before heading home.

Everyone agreed it was a lovely weekend in comfortable accommodation with lots of walking on the doorstep, and with the added bonus of being just over 2 hours from Glasgow.

Debbie Gallacher

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