Log 7 Nov 2010

7 NOVEMBER 2010

The Club programme had both a Sunday excursion to Balquihidder and a week-end in Arran.   So both reports are given here.

BALQUIHIDDER

Kevin & Ian G met at the car park at 7:00 am and headed off to Inverlochlarig to climb BEINN TULAICHEAN and CRUACH ARDRAIN.  
After driving through sun and fog we arrived at a frosty Inverlochlarig (-3 C) and left the Car park at 08:45.  
The first 30 minutes or so were walked in the shade and temperatures remained low.  
However, we soon reached the sunshine and were treated with wall to wall blue skies and some heat!
The top of Beinn Tulaichean was reached at 11:15 and with the cloud increasing considerably at this point and a poor forecast we quickly materialised as we continued onto Cruach Ardrain and reached the top at 12:15.  
The temperature was now dropping quickly and we descended back to the bealach for some lunch and thereafter dropped down into Inverlochlarig Glen ultimately reaching a good path which got us back to car park at 2:30.  
We stopped off for a quick pint at the Monachyle Mor Hotel (slightly more expensive for accommodation than a Bothy!) and arrived back in Milngavie at 4:45.
Those who decided to stay at home missed out on a great day with the weather, particularly in the morning, exceeding November expectations!
Report by Ian Gilmour

ARRAN

Donald, Malcolm and Fraser, Derek Hall and Koon took two cars over on the morning boat on Friday 5th, hoping to get over to Holy Island, but the sea was too rough for the small boat, and we opted to try again on Sunday.  
After dropping off our food and spare clothing at Whiting Bay, we all set off for the Glenashdale Falls, and enjoyed the spectacle at its best after all the recent rain. 
Derek then headed back via the Giants Graves and spent some time family visiting.  
The others carried on by the waymarked cycle route through the forest, noting a new Outdoor Centre as they went.  
The marked path to the Carn Ban prehistoric burial was fairly wet and muddy, with some fallen trees to be circumvented.  
Packed lunches were partaken at that point, and then the usual confusing push up through the planted trees eventually took us out onto open hill side and poor visibility.  
Some compass, map and GPS consultations took us onto the twin tops of TIGHVEIN (Taighbheinn more correctly).  
The clouds lifted conveniently as Donald revealed that the hill had two claims to fame, namely that in 1951 it had become Jimmy White’s first Marilyn during a scout camp that summer.  
The second reason was that in a national poll to nominate Britain’s least worthwhile hills it had emerged in the top ten.  
Clear visibility gave views of Holy Island  and a clear route back onto the cycle path.   Although it had become dark, Donald, Koon and Fraser returned by the Giant’s Graves, meeting up with Derek on the main road, and an exploratory drink at the Eden Bar.   Tentatively we suggested that we might return there for a meal on the Saturday.

Saturday morning produced superb sunshine.   Derek dropped Koon and Malcolm off at Blackwaterfoot, where they were to explore the cliffs at Drummadoon Point, deeming the environmental sensitivity to be such that climbing would cause unnecessary damage, so they boulder climbed, visited King’s Cave, and returned by bus in the afternoon.   
Donald drove Noelle and Fraser to Dougarie, where boots were donned, and Derek then drove up, and took them to Pirnmill.  
All four set off and had a look at the house which Donald’s mother had taken for summer holidays in the 1940s.  
The walk across the moor due east was fairly comfortable, although the river needed some care in crossing.  
The rocky north ridge of Beinn Bharrain caused some delays, some wriggles, many giggles, and Donald and Noelle took it all in their stride, but by the time they emerged from the final difficult pitch, the weather had closed in, the wind was very cold, and sleet soon gave place to snow.  
Fraser spotted the ‘cave’ which he remembered from many years ago, and it gave damp shelter for a lunch break.  
Derek then continued down the north west ridge to his car, finding that heavy rain lower down had made the river much harder to cross.  
The others made their way over the trig point on MULLACH BUIDHE, and on surprisingly easy ground past Dubh Loch and over SAIL CHALMADALE, a newly promoted Marilyn.  
This was worth while and enjoyable, on a hill which would be popular if located in a more accessible situation.  
As light was fading, a descent due south from a small loch towards the path from the boathouse in Glen Iorsa was thought to be the best option.  
Not so, as we floundered in some of the deepest tussocks we had ever known, and by the time the path was reached it was totally dark, pouring with rain, and there was still an hour’s walk ahead.   The diversion of the public footpath to the road was not easy to follow.   
On a happy note, Donald spotted a building on the other side of the road, all in darkness, and set off to find a shed in which to change.   Thinking that he had succeeded, he proceeded to use it, only to find that it was a domestic garage to which the surprised owner returned, catching him in the headlights.   Derek drove up a moment later.   We did all return to the Eden for an evening meal, good food, Arran beers, and the warmest welcome and obliging service experienced anywhere.

Sunday was a fine sunny day, but cold, and with a forecast of high winds developing in the afternoon, so the boatman was unwilling to risk the return trip.   The walk from Sannox to the Fallen Rocks, some bouldering, and the forest walks up the hill to more prehistoric remains and the Measured Mile posts gave a relaxed end to what had been for some a fairly strenuous but enjoyable week end.    Many thanks are due to Derek for making the arrangements and to him and Donald for the driving.
Report by Fraser Gold