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November Weekend to Newtonmore

Bob, Kenny and Cornel met at the Griffin Forest car park for an ascent of Meall Dearg (Graham) near Amulree from the north. The route was mostly on good tracks that don't appear on older maps and a short-cut through a forest clearing was much better going than the usual muddy mess that was expected. There were showers to be seen all around, but we missed most of them. Hamish and Elena walked around Loch an Eilein, Justin climbed Carn Mor .. a Corbett and the highest point in the Ladder Hills north-east of the Lecht ski centre .. while James completed an ascent of the Corbett Carn na Saobhaidh from Strathnairn south of Inverness. Willie stopped off at Dalwhinnie and walked through the Caochan Wood to a viewpoint above the trees .. a good warm-up walk although the views were a bit restricted. Heidi and Steven set off for lunch at the Gloagburn Farm restaurant outside Perth, but due to the large queue, they decided to not to wait and take luncheon at the Taste of Perthshire restaurant in Bankfoot. Some calories were worked off by climbing up the pathway at the picturesque Falls Of Bruar, and the calories were quickly put back on again enjoying coffee and cake at the House of Bruar.

On Carn Dearg

Eleven club members congregated at the Glen Hotel in Newtonmore for dinner on the Friday evening, conveniently located across the street from our base, the comfortable and cosy Newtonmore hostel. The hotel was kind enough to accommodate our group despite a staff shortage and having to observe Covid restrictions. The food was excellent and a good evening was enjoyed by all. Earlier in the day, Bob had collected a big bag of wood from a local supplier and fired up the stove in the lounge area, making the hostel even more cosy! Although laudable, doing this on foot may not have been the best idea since the heavy bag came from an industrial estate near the station, half a mile away!

The weather forecast for the Saturday was not good, promising low cloud, rain and strong wind. Various plans were changed accordingly. Hamish and Elena headed for Loch Morlich, where it was raining. They drove on to the Cairngorn ski centre car park, from where they walked up Coire Cas to the Ptarmigan restaurant/station. The freezing conditions forced a return via the same route. Willie, Steven and Heidi completed a successful ascent of Creag Dhubh (Graham) starting from the hostel door. The walk apparently involved some backside-sliding adventures! Debbie walked to the Raitts township, east of Kingussie, via Tom Baraidh. Unfortunately her day was later spoiled by a key-locked-inside-car incident .. thankfully eventually resolved by the AA. Kenny, Bob and Cornel climbed the Corbett Carn Dearg Mor above Glen Feshie from the Auchlean car park. The weather was better than expected – there was even some sunshine – although it was pretty breezy along the ridge on the return route via the trig point on Carn Dearg Beag. James and Justin cycled along Loch Garry from Dalnaspidal Lodge and climbed the Corbett Beinn Mholach.

Ascending Creag Dhubh  On Creag Dhubh  Carn Dearg Mor  On Beinn Mholach  At Newtonmore Hostel

After our various walks on the Saturday, a communal meal was consumed in the hostel. On the menu were vegetable soup and bread (Heidi), pasta puttanesca (Bob), brioche and wholemeal bread and butter pudding and cream, previously home prepared by Hilary, and served by Steven, finally followed by a cheese and cracker spread provided by Elena. A big thank you to all the cooks!

Sunday morning saw a cold start, with snow covering the mountains. Heidi and Steven stopped at the Hermitage at Dunkeld to walk up the river and take photos of the falls, followed by an early beat-the-queue lunch at the Gloagburn Farm restaurant. Willie drove to Garva Bridge and walked up the ridge towards the Munro Top of Stob Coire Dubh. He reached the trig point at Carn Dubh at nearly 800m before snow, cloud and wind conditions deteriorated and an about turn was the more sensible option. Bob and Cornel climbed a snowy Creag Liath (Graham) above Glen Banchor, west of Newtonmore. The wind was bitter, but the hill remained clear and only a few light snow-showers made a brief appearance.

On Carn Dubh (Carn Liath)

Cornel Brozio

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November Weekday Walk to the Fereneze Braes

A team of 12 met up at Graham Street in Barrhead for a round of the Fereneze Braes .. Andy, Gwen, Miriam, Allan, Ian, Iris, John G, Bob, James, Heidi, new member Michael, and Steven who was only going part-route. Early morning rain had given way to cloudy blue skies and even the threat of some sunshine! The ascent began immediately on leaving Graham Street, up through mixed woodland as far as the Fereneze Golf Course. The path follows the edge of the Course up to its highest point at the 15th tee, then descends slightly and follows field-edge paths to the viewpoint at 219m. Here we could clearly see the extent of the Central Belt urban sprawl, the Campsies and Kilpatrick Hills, and further to the southern Highlands.

At 219m on the Fereneze Braes

The route then contours across the Braes through some heavy bracken and brambles .. we made a short coffee and biscuit stop before this section .. then descends through mixed woodland again into the Killoch Glen with its notable waterfalls. The return to the start point is road and pavement walking through the Gateside and West Arthurlie outskirts of Barrhead with its many elegant homes and gardens to admire. Everyone decided to return home rather than choose a location for refreshments .. after enjoying a good wee route.

GPS data for the walk .. distance 8.5km(5.3mls) .. total ascent 270m .. total time 2hrs53min .. average walking speed 3.3km/h.


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