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In January 2006 I climbed Glas Maol, thus achieving a long-sought target of being on top of a Munro on every day of the year. That same month I also went to Ben Cleuch, the highest point on the Ochils, and five years later there I was again, on the last day of January 2011 … a windy, cold, cloud-covered day when only the masochistic or driven individual would be prepared to struggle to the 721m/2365ft summit trig point. There had to be a good reason.
With gales forecast for the high tops, especially in the west, Jimbo, John and I adopted the usual practice of heading east for a low-level walk. On a cold blustery day, an outing by the banks of the Rivers Tay and Almond was a good choice and we were soon warmed by the brisk walk.
Rhona and I had an early morning start to climb Beinn Fhionnlaidh, Finlay's Hill, the central peak in the rocky region between Glen Etive and Glen Creran.
Back from an enjoyable but exercise-free holiday, the lure of the hills was too strong to ignore, despite an iffy weather forecast. With that lay-off and forecast in mind, a shorter day was called for. Meall nan Tarmachan fitted the bill.
THE Falls of Glomach – perfect on a dry day after rain
DRIVING westwards on the A86, the Laggan road, Jimbo, Gentleman John (GJ) and I were eagerly anticipating going hillwalking.
OF modest height at 953m/3127ft, Beinn Mhanach, hill of the monk, is a rounded, grassy hill, at least when climbed on its southern flank; a route described below which presents little navigational difficulty, even on a very misty day.
A FEW weeks ago I headed for Carn a' Mhaim, one of my favourite Cairngorm hills. Though I prefer less-crowded midweeks, circumstance and weather meant I had not been out for some days and Sunday coincided with less buffeting wind forecast for the north-east.
STOB A' CHOIRE Odhair lies west of the A82, where the road starts to rise from Bridge of Orchy to Rannoch Moor. I last wrote about and climbed it in October 2005 yet here am I describing a return earlier this year to the same hill.
THIS week's walk goes to Loch Ordie, north of Dunkeld, and includes a circuit round Deuchary Hill. Jimbo and I had planned to go further west and higher that day, but with poorer weather forecast for that direction, a more easterly outing seemed sensible. In fact, we went too far east, but with a well-nigh perfect day for a walk – cold, but with blue skies and no wind – who could complain about such an attractive outing, even if at lower level.
JUST back from the Galapagos and high-altitude climbing in Ecuador, the super-fit Rhona was looking for a long winter's day on the hills. We met at Kincraig to climb Sgor Gaoith above Glen Feshie.
CARN A' CHLAMAIN OVERLOOKS a glen of historical interest in terms of the right to roam; Glen Tilt. In 1849, the nascent Scottish Rights of Way Society successfully contested an attempt at closure by the Duke of Atholl. Queen Victoria "climbed" Carn a' Chlamain in 1844.
ONCE the north-western frontier of the Roman Empire, the Antonine Wall, constructed in the AD 140s on the orders of the Emperor Antoninus Pius, straddles the Forth-Clyde isthmus from modern Bo'ness to Old Kilpatrick, although only some 25 miles of the original 37 survive.
BEN Vane is the finest of the Arrochar Alps and I had the pleasure of being there in the midst of the recent very cold spell, but on a day of bright blue skies and very little cloud.
THOUGH scarcely needed, Ordnance Survey map 51, Loch Tay, covers the area. My 1999 edition does not show the new cycleway (a more current edition is required), but the route, where it leaves the old line, is well-signposted.
COULD IT REALLY BE JUST over a year ago that I described a delightful walk on the new Loch Leven Heritage Trail, or rather what there was of it at the time? How time flies.
Situated six miles north-east of Moffat, its southern slopes bounded by the Moffat Water and the River Annan, Hart Fell is the highest hill in Dumfriesshire and home, according to legend, to the wizard Merlin who could change into a hart.
AS A RESULT OF CLUTCH PROBLEMS with the car, last week's reported trip to Carn an Tuirc turned out to be longer and more expensive than expected.