2015 – the year in review

I’m a bit late to the party with reviewing last year but December was such a busy month (and I still have not caught up with all my trip reports).

However, 2015 was an epic year for being outdoors.  It was dominated by hills, hills and more hills with less running or cycling than in previous years as weekends away in the Bongo presided over any other plans.

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Sgurr a’Mhaoraich (Loch Quoich)

I’ve not written for a wee whilie….last time I wrote I was driving down Loch Quoich after walking the Easians one fine September weekend.  It was still daylight as I didn’t fancy driving this long remote glen in the dark in my Bongo, just on the off-chance the worst would happen and it would break down, miles from anywhere on my own, in the dark!

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The Easians (near Roy Bridge)

Stob a’Choire Mheadhoin & Stob Choire Easian 

I originally planned to drive across to Loch Quoich after work on the Friday evening then spend the Saturday and Sunday walking up some of the hills there.  But the prospect of a long drive along the very long and very lonely Glen Quoich in the dark put me off so I decided to drive to Fersit on the Friday night instead.  It made a convenient stop-over and I could walk up the Easians the next day.

I arrived at Fersit early evening in the van and found a spot to camp near the wee lochan.  It was a bonnie spot, the lochan was perfectly still and there was not a soul in sight.  I was really tired and fell asleep quite soon after my tea and some Friday night wine.

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Abernethy Forest & Geal-Charn Mor (Boat of Garten / Aviemore)

Ally was away camping with pals this weekend so I decided to go off somewhere in Bertha.  But where?  Friday had been a stunning day but the weekend, as usual, was looking decidedly rubbish with heavy rain thunder and lightning just about everywhere.  There was one small window where it looked like the Aviemore area might just miss the worst of it, so off I went.

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Beinn Dearg (Glen Lyon)

For my final day of the Easter weekend I just wanted an easy wander before heading home.  Again, looking for any slope other than an east due to the avalanche forecast, I chose the Corbett of Beinn Dearg in Glen Lyon that looked like a good choice.  I wasn’t based too far from here at Loch Tay and the drive over the pass is spectacular.  I always love Glen Lyon – I was last here last autumn, probably at its most beautiful.  It really is such a bonnie glen and well worth even just driving down in the car.

I parked up at the Meggernie Estate carpark near the war memorial at Innerwick, crossed the bridge and headed along the track east of the burn, Allt Ghallabhaich.  This track is a right of way to Loch Rannoch, about 6 miles away.

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Meall nan Subh (Glen Lochay)

Sunday morning was beautiful on the high banks of Loch Tay.  A slither of cloud had nestled above the loch and the hilltops were peeking above.  My choice of hill today was the Corbett, Meall nan Subh along from Glen Lochay and it looked like near perfect conditions for a fine, scenic walk in the hills.

I stopped in Killin on the way to call Ally from a payphone and let him know my route, and made my way down the wee road along Glen Lochay.  This eventually turns into a private estate road with a few gates – a road I drove over last year in Bertha thinking I was taking a short cut from Stronuich Reservoir to Killin, having no clue of either the state or the status of the road.  It was the scariest road I’ve driven on in Bertha, with massive potholes, steep zig-zags, huge gates where I had to stop the van and screech open, all the while it was absolutely stotting it down with rain.  I didn’t want a repeat of that!  I parked at the walker’s carpark just before a farm instead and opted to walk up the road.  The carpark was packed out as expected on a beautiful Easter Sunday.

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Meall nam Maigheach (Loch Tay)

With a mixed forecast and dodgy avalanche risk on all east facing slopes, I was still determined to get away this Easter.  4 days off!  Unfortunately, Ally had double-booked so I was on my own again.  Following the weather meant Perthshire was probably the best bet so I spring-cleaned Bertha and headed off on Friday – which was a minging day by all accounts.  Dinging doon as they say here.  The journey took forever – I’d opted for the A90 (via Glenshee or A90 is a similar time from mine) but got caught in the bank holiday traffic and it took me a whole 4 hours to get down.

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