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February Day Trip to Ardgartan

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The weather had been wet and windy for the few days prior to the walk to Mark Cottage and resulted in a few call offs. However, the forecast indicated some sunny spells so it was decided to proceed with the walk. Fortunately the day remained mostly dry and the 6 hardy walkers .. Cornel, James, Kenny, Bob, Michael and Allan .. enjoyed a pleasant forest walk. We met up at the Ardgartan visitor centre where we split into 2 car loads for the short drive up to the end of the public road at Coilessan. It took us about 2 hours to walk to Mark Cottage, which is an MBA bothy.

At Mark Bothy  Inside Mark Bothy

This provided us with an excellent shelter for lunch and with wide views across Loch Long. After a good break we made our way back by the same route. We were fortunate to have found a break in the bad weather and made the most of the conditions.

Allan Boyd

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February Weekday Walk to Dumyat

10 of us met up at the car park in Blairlogie for an ascent of Dumyat .. Andy, Gwen, Diane, Steven, Heidi, Mike, Allan, Willie, Bob and Michael. We set off to the north west (from sea level) on a surprisingly steep path to about the 200m contour, then turned northwards to cut off the dogleg on the main path. A fence crossing just below the main path proved to be tricky for some, but the ascent continued eastwards after regrouping. The forecasted rain fortunately stayed away, and the sky remained largely blue all the way to the summit at 418m .. where a photo and sandwich break was enjoyed.

Ascending Dumyat  On the summit of Dumyat  Descending from Dumyat

To extend the day, the plan had been to descend to the north, but with Mike struggling a bit, the opportunity to return by the upward route was considered .. but it was decided to continue the plan, and all eventually arrived at the LandRover track below Lossburn Reservoir to examine the "eco" van and trailer parked by a sheep fold (no results from a Google search!). A decision had to be made whether Mike would try the long return route, which included a further ascent of about 60m, or head in the opposite direction to the minor road connecting Bridge of Allan with Sheriffmuir .. a much shorter route, and where he could wait and be collected by car once we had returned to Blairlogie.

But, just as the weather had been kind to us, fortune brought us the shepherd in his ATV on his way to the very sheepfold we were standing by, to tend the flock. He kindly agreed to take Mike back to Blairlogie when he was finished, and we headed back with a sigh of relief. Most of us stuck to the LandRover track and the short road walk, while others followed marked paths, but all arrived back at Blairlogie to find Mike comfortably sitting in the back of Steven's car.

GPS data .. distance 8.74km(5.5mls) .. total ascent 479m .. total time 3hrs53min with walking time 2hrs41min .. average walking speed 2.8km/h.

PS: It turned out that Mike tested positive next day, and Steven and Heidi, who had travelled with him to Blairlogie, also tested positive after hearing his news. The rest of us tested negative .. phew ..!

AMcG

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