April Day Trip to Glenshee

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I met up with Steven and Heidi at Cathcart and set off to meet Willie at the Black Bear. When we got there, he said that after looking at the forecast he would try a shorter day in the Ochils. Cornel was travelling up with James and Ally.

When we arrived, it was pouring and there was also a strong wind, so we decided to just try for Creag Leacach.  I got a text from Cornel to say he and James were setting off from the ski centre to do Glas Maol and its Tops.

The path beside the stream was narrow, and in places the bank had collapsed making it hard going.  When we got to the crossing point the stream was too deep and fast to get across, so we headed upstream. However, we had gone beyond the summit of Creag Leacach and still hadn’t found a crossing. On to plan C .. to walk up to Meall Odhar and then return via Leacann Dubh.  As it was not easy going we decided to climb up to the ridge as it had a path.  This proved to be fortunate as after about 100m, we came to a hut that was open .. a very well appointed and fairly new hut for the shooting parties, complete with a grill and heater, which provided a good lunch stop out of the wind and rain.

Shooting Hut  Inside the hut  The hut heater  On Meall Odhar  On Glas Maol

While there, I got a text from Cornel to say he and James were on Meall Odhar on their way back. They had reached Glas Maol and decided to turn back. During our lunch, the rain stopped and so we had a dry walk into the headwind up and into the mist on Meall Odhar.  After a quick photo, we headed back down the ridge, making good time with the wind at our backs.

Once back at the car, and after changing, we drove up to the ski centre to join James and Cornel for a coffee and cake while they waited for Ally.  He had driven round and cycled in to climb An Socach.

We then got back into the cars and drove home.  Not the planned walks due to the weather, but at least we got out.

Bob MacDonald

PS when I got home, Willie had sent me this mail ....

A note to say I did a circular walk over Blairdenon Hill.  It was cold and windy with cloud cover on the top, drizzle and wet underfoot lower down.  A new forestry track on Big Hunt Hill helped my return journey. I finished the walk about 14.00 just before the drizzle turned to rain.

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April (Easter) Weekend to Skye

Thursday:
A group, organised by Cat and including James, Ally, Cornel and Gerry (Cat's Dad), had arranged to have a few days being guided up some of the hard Munros of the Black Cuillin. This required them to travel up on the Thursday so that an early start could be made on the Friday .. Susan and Christine (Cat's Mum) provided moral support.

Friday:
The Black Cuillin 'baggers' climbed Sgurr nan Eag and Sgurr Dubh Mor.

Miriam and I set off early from home to make the most of the sunny day. After breakfast at Morrison's in Fort William, we reached the Sligachan Hotel for midday. We started by heading straight for Glamaig. It was a relentless climb, which gave us a good excuse to stop and admire the views. Surprisingly the wind was very strong near the top, to the point we were on our hands and knees at times. However, the wind eased and it was OK at the summit. We did consider going on to climb the rest of the Red Cuillin, but decided to save our energy and head down to the col and then down the glen to the Hotel and a well-deserved drink.

Justin was up early too and climbed Bla Bheinn.

Jean and Tom had a leisurely drive up.

Saturday:
The Black Cuillin 'baggers' climbed Sgurr a'Mhadaidh and Sgurr a'Ghreadaidh.

Jean and Tom climbed up to see the Old Man of Storr.

Miriam and I opted for the long walk down Glen Sligachan to get views of Loch Coruisk and the Black Cuillin. It took 2 hours to get to the junction, where the path turned off to the right and slowly climbed to a ridge. Once at the ridge we had to decide whether to carry on down to the loch or head back. The weather was clearing up a bit and Miriam persuaded me to go for the hill above the entrance to Loch Coruisk .. Sgurr na Stri (497m).

In the Cuillin  In the Cuillin

What a great view over to the Black Cuillin and Loch Coruisk! We spent a long time taking photos and absorbing the views. Finally we started the long walk back to the Sligachan Hotel and got back at a reasonable time.

Sunday:
The Black Cuillin 'baggers' climbed Sgurr na Banachdich.

Jean and Tom set off via the Fairy Pools but went quite a bit further to the foot of Sgurr an Fheadain and then turned left through Glen Sligachan and back to their start point which took about 3 hours.

Today was forecast to be the worst weather day and Miriam and I decided to have a break and do some sight-seeing. Justin joined us and we headed for Portree for coffee and then onto Neist Point, along with all the other tourists on the island. After a few traffic jams we made it and went for a short walk along the coast.

Neist Point

Monday:
The Black Cuillin 'baggers' climbed the In Pin (Sgurr Dearg) and Sgurr Mhic Choinnich. All five reached the summit of the In Pin. It was a long day, getting back to the cars at 9pm. (Check this out from September 1992 .. Ed)

Miriam and I headed home with the intention of stopping off to climb a small Graham. We plumped for Glas Bheinn at the eastern end of Loch Arkaig. It was another fine warm and sunny day with fine views down Loch Arkaig, and overlooking the Invermallie bothy we visited in March.

Justin climbed Sgurr na Banachdich and headed home.

We had a great weekend on Skye, with everyone climbing pretty much everything they wanted. The Skyewalker Hostel at Portnalong was well appointed and we had a very comfortable stay.

Mark Setford

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