Creag Pitridh

Labour Day 2005. Instead of attending a traditional union rally in one of Europe’s major cities like Mechernich, Saarbrücken, Nottingham or Berlin we had set our minds on a group of hills where workers’ rights and work conditions – important as they are – would be of less importance than rights of way and weather conditions.

From Luiblea on the Spean Bridge to Newtonmore road we started our hill-walk on a Sunday morning. The weather looked like there would be some rain and sleet on the hills. Twenty minutes into the walk we put on our raingear. It was to be put to good use, indeed, this day. After a little less than one hour of walking on a landrover track we reached Lochan na Earba whence we continued up a good stalkers path which contours around the foot of Sgurr an t-Saighdeir, which basically is some big crags on the lower slopes of Creag Pitridh. Steadily we climbed this path beside the Allt Coire Pitridh. Visibility became rather bad when we entered the cloud cover, the basis of which hung at around 600m.

After about 2 hours we reached the col between Geal Charn and Beinn a’Chlachair. There we turned left on a path which – as our map said – leads to the col between Creag Pitridh and Geal Charn. We got to this second col after fifteen minutes of walking. Here the cloud cover broke for the first time and we were lucky enough to get a few glimpses of the steep path up Creag Pitridh and the crags below its summit. After a short break used to refill our batteries with sandwiches, biscuits and tea we followed the path up the south-westerly face of the first Munro of the day.

At the summit the wind was blowing really hard. We met a pair of walkers up there and these two ladies gave us some directions for the continuation to Geal Charn from where they had just come. We retraced our steps to the col below Geal … [Read More]

2017-09-19T14:17:54+02:00May 1st, 2005|2005, 2009 - 2000, Loch Linnhe to Loch Ericht|

Geal Charn

Labour Day 2005.

Instead of attending a traditional union rally in one of Europe’s major cities like Mechernich, Saarbrücken, Nottingham or Berlin we had set our minds on a group of hills where workers’ rights and work conditions – important as they are – would be of less importance than rights of way and weather conditions.

From Luiblea on the Spean Bridge to Newtonmore road we started our hill-walk on a Sunday morning. The weather looked like there would be some rain and sleet on the hills. Twenty minutes into the walk we put on our raingear. It was to be put to good use, indeed, this day. After a little less than one hour of walking on a landrover track we reached Lochan na Earba whence we continued up a good stalkers path which contours around the foot of Sgurr an t-Saighdeir, which basically is some big crags on the lower slopes of Creag Pitridh. Steadily we climbed this path beside the Allt Coire Pitridh. Visibility became rather bad when we entered the cloud cover, the basis of which hung at around 600m.

After about 2 hours we reached the col between Geal Charn and Beinn a’Chlachair. There we turned left on a path which – as our map said – leads to the col between Creag Pitridh and Geal Charn. We got to this second col after fifteen minutes of walking. Here the cloud cover broke for the first time and we were lucky enough to get a few glimpses of the steep path up Creag Pitridh and the crags below its summit. After a short break used to refill our batteries with sandwiches, biscuits and tea we followed the path up the south-westerly face of the first Munro of the day.

At the summit the wind was blowing really hard. We met a pair of walkers up there and these two ladies gave us some directions for the continuation to Geal Charn from where they had just come. We retraced our steps to the col below Geal Charn and headed up … [Read More]

2017-09-19T14:17:54+02:00May 1st, 2005|2005, 2009 - 2000, Loch Linnhe to Loch Ericht|

An Caisteal

On the morning of 30 April 2005 Frank and I were to meet Alex and Paul at the parking where the River Falloch joins the A82 in Glen Falloch. But by coincidence both pairs of walkers had decided to buy a few provisions in the Crianlarich shop and thus we shook hands and hugged each other on the doorstep of the shop. From there we drove to the parking by the A82. The weather was fine and the sun shone for much of the day. We started the walk up the landrover track beside the River Falloch but soon left it and headed south over the open and slightly wet grassland up the slope leading to Sron Garbh. The gradient of this slope gets steeper the higher up you get but at about 700m the ridge levels off and Sron Garbh is reached. There we paused, drank some water and enjoyed the views of Cruach Ardrain, Ben More and the other hills surrounding us. Our foursome continued over the bumps of Twistin Hill to the point where the final rise to the summit ridge of An Caisteal was waiting for us. We had mistaken the rocks above us for the summit proper which is a few hundred metres further to the south. With the summit in sight we took another break to eat a sandwich and a few bisquits. Then we walked on to the summit of An Caisteal, the first Munro. After a short while we left the cairn and followed the path down An Caisteal’s south-east ridge. Here the terrain changed markedly. The hitherto grassy ridge gave way to crags and – further down – boulders through which the path weaves to the col below Beinn a’Chroin. The west face of this hill is quite steep and we could not really tell where exactly the route ahead would lead up the hill. We soon found out that the path rises over the grassy south-west slope of Beinn a’Chroin traverses some rocky steps needing a bit of handwork … [Read More]

2017-09-19T14:17:54+02:00April 30th, 2005|2005, 2009 - 2000, Loch Lomond to Loch Tay|

Beinn a’Chroin

On the morning of 30 April 2005 Frank and I were to meet Alex and Paul at the parking where the River Falloch joins the A82 in Glen Falloch. But by coincidence both pairs of walkers had decided to buy a few provisions in the Crianlarich shop and thus we shook hands and hugged each other on the doorstep of the shop. From there we drove to the parking by the A82. The weather was fine and the sun shone for much of the day. We started the walk up the landrover track beside the River Falloch but soon left it and headed south over the open and slightly wet grassland up the slope leading to Sron Garbh. The gradient of this slope gets steeper the higher up you get but at about 700m the ridge levels off and Sron Garbh is reached. There we paused, drank some water and enjoyed the views of Cruach Ardrain, Ben More and the other hills surrounding us. Our foursome continued over the bumps of Twistin Hill to the point where the final rise to the summit ridge of An Caisteal was waiting for us. We had mistaken the rocks above us for the summit proper which is a few hundred metres further to the south. With the summit in sight we took another break to eat a sandwich and a few bisquits. Then we walked on to the summit of An Caisteal, the first Munro. After a short while we left the cairn and followed the path down An Caisteal’s south-east ridge. Here the terrain changed markedly. The hitherto grassy ridge gave way to crags and – further down – boulders through which the path weaves to the col below Beinn a’Chroin. The west face of this hill is quite steep and we could not really tell where exactly the route ahead would lead up the hill. We soon found out that the path rises over the grassy south-west slope of Beinn a’Chroin traverses some rocky steps needing a bit of handwork … [Read More]

2017-09-19T14:17:54+02:00April 30th, 2005|2005, 2009 - 2000, Loch Lomond to Loch Tay|

Meall nan Tarmachan

Arriving at the foot of the mountain at about 2 pm we took a look at the south ridge of Meall nan Tarmachan the first hill of the 2005 hillwalking holiday. It was a windy day and we were eager to get going and hike along the Tarmachan Ridge. We shouldered our rucksacks and started the walk using the landrover track. After about three minutes we branched off to the right and proceeded along a path leading to the south ridge. Once on the ridge we felt how strong the wind really was. Walking became difficult when gusts of gale-force wind swept across the ridge. After a while we reached the highest point in the south ridge after which a short descent led to a very windy bealach. From there a steep pull up a path through craggy ground delivered us on another level section of path directly below the summit. It took us another five minutes to get to the cairn. The first Munro in 2005! Unfortunately the wind kept on coming very strongly from the west and the visibility was very limited with only the occasional view of the beautiful east-west ridge of the Tarmachans appearing out of the clouds. Continuing the walk along the main ridge not being real fun in such conditions we decided to call it a day. On the descent we met a group of about 15 English hikers who were also headed for the summit. At about tea-time we got back to our car – much earlier than intended. A good and relaxed start to the 2005 hill-walking holiday.

2017-09-19T14:17:54+02:00April 29th, 2005|2005, 2009 - 2000, The River Tay to Rannoch Moor|