Posted by & filed under Military/Aircraft, Mountains & hills, March 24 2010.

Air crash memorial on Blairdenon Hill

Air crash memorial on Blairdenon Hill

Last Sunday I went for a short walk in the western Ochil Hills at Sheriffmuir (nor far from where I went to school). This area of the Ochils has historical associations with William Wallace and also the Jacobite uprising of 1715. Near the start of the walk was an interesting ancient alignment of stones, that seem to point towards the escarpment of the Touch Hills on the horizon, and one of the stones is called the Wallace Stone after William Wallace.

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Posted by & filed under Military/Aircraft, Mountains & hills, March 12 2010.

On the summit of Glas Bheinn Mhor, peaks of Glen Etive and Glencoe behind

On the summit of Glas Bheinn Mhor, peaks of Glen Etive and Glencoe behind

On Wednesday I travelled to Glen Etive and climbed to the 997m summit of Glas Bheinn Mhor.

Conditions were absolutely perfect on the walk, with little wind and clear skies. The route up to the summit ridge from Glen Etive is a fairly punishing climb from sea level along the Allt Mheuran into Coire Odhar. There was substantial snow cover above about 700m, but only one small section that was steep and required a bit of attention and the use of ice-axe and crampons, although no real difficulties. The views from the summit were out of this world and it was a perfect day for taking photographs.

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Posted by & filed under Mountains & hills, March 9 2010.

Derwentwater and Borrowdale from Skiddaw

Last weekend I travelled to the Lake District in England and walked up to the 931m summit of Skiddaw.

This was the first time I’d been hillwaking in the Lake District, so I thought I’d do a straightforward walk, and indeed the summit of Skiddaw, despite being one of the highest in the area, is not difficult to reach, with a clear and well-surfaced path almost all the way up. Above about 600m there was significant snow-cover although crampons and ice-axe were never required. Above about 700m thick cloud meant no views and some navigation with a compass to find the right way, but it was never difficult.

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Posted by & filed under Mountains & hills, February 23 2010.

Meall an t-Seallaidh from Cam Chreag

Meall an t-Seallaidh from Cam Chreag

Last week I went walking in the Balquhidder area of the southern Highlands. I walked up Kirkton Glen through fir plantations and to the col at the head of the glen where there is an impressively large rock called Rob Roy’s Putting Stone below the crags of Leum an Eireannaich. From there I walked along the tops of Meall an Fhiodhain, Cam Chreag and Meall an t-Seallaidh, which form a high ridge about 4km long that nowhere goes below 700m in altitude, but also never goes above 900m, so there are no Munro summits on it. This means that it is not a well-visited area of the Highlands, but it still offers a proper mountain hike.

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Posted by & filed under Mountains & hills, January 21 2010.

Yesterday I went on a one-day winter skills course organised by C-N-Do. This was a short introductory course and was a review of the basic skills needed to walk in the Scottish mountains in winter. The content of the course was not new to me although it was good to get some formal instruction and practice in some of the techniques, particularly the use of ice-axes and arresting slides on steep snow slopes.

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Posted by & filed under Military/Aircraft, Mountains & hills, December 20 2009.

Hawker Hurricane Merline engine in Galloway Forest Park

On Monday last week I travelled to Galloway Forest Park to walk near Loch Doon. The weather was pretty bad, with freezing rain, mist and frozen ground underfoot.

I walked in a plantation of fir trees to the southeast of the Loch, west of the Rhinns of Kells ridge, to the site of a Hawker Hurricane that crashed in the Second World War. There is still some wreckage at the site, hidden away in a firebreak in the forest. The wreckage is in danger of disappearing into the new forest growth but the Rolls-Royce Merlin engine from the Hurricane is still visible sitting on the ground underneath the canopy of trees.

You can see my page about this wreck site on my website here.

Posted by & filed under Military/Aircraft, Mountains & hills, December 10 2009.

Fairey Firefly remains on Meikle Bin

Fairey Firefly remains on Meikle Bin

Last Sunday I went for a walk in the Campsie Fells, starting just north of Queenzieburn and walking directly up the escarpment of the Kilsyth Hiils, going via the Birkenburn Reservoir towards the 570m summit of Meikle Bin. It was a gloomy day and the moorland of the Campsie Fells is a pretty desolate and featureless place, even though there are views towards the centre of Glasgow from the high ground.

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Posted by & filed under Mountains & hills, December 4 2009.

On the summit of Ben Chonzie

On the summit of Ben Chonzie

Last weekend I climbed Ben Chonzie with a work colleague. It was a the first proper winter hillwalk of this year, with ice on the route and a good covering of snow on the broad summit ridge above about 800m. We saw plenty of all-white mountain hares, they are very widespread in this area.

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