Showing posts with label Corbett. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Corbett. Show all posts

04 May 2015

The Grey Mare's Tail and White Coomb

Bank Holiday Monday was billed as the best weather day of the 3 so we planned our walking for that day on route back home from Scotland taking in some Border hills.  After a lovely breakfast in Moffat we headed a little south to the National Trust Car Park that was the start of the path up the side of the hill.
The Grey Mare's Tail came into view almost immediately and the steep path upwards wound round so that very quickly the waterfall was facing us and with each step upwards more of it came into view.  The light wasnt great but every now and then the sun peeked through from the clouds and threw some beautiful light on the surrounding hills.
The path up the side of the waterfall was steep but well maintained with good steps and the waterfall itself was magnificent.  Above the main drop of water was several other smaller falls but just as impressive and we were lucky that the water was high and forceful which made a spectacular sight.
Up to the left as we walked up were some wild goats that we had read about and near the crags at the top of the falls we read there were Peregrine Falcons and caught sight of one leaving the nest area and swooping over the hills and away in an instant.  I didnt manage to get a picture sadly but got plenty of the little waterfalls at the top that fed the main drop.

The steep path soon leveled out and formed a meandering path adjacent to the river that fed the falls from the Loch up ahead.  There were loads of little birds flying in and out of the heather all around and we discovered they were Meadow Pippets but yet again they were too quick for me to get coordinated with my camera and capture these cute little birds, noisy too.

The path soon came out at the Loch and we could see our first hill straight ahead, Lochcraig Head and the path going straight up the side.  The only good thing about a steep path is that its generally quick, as in you get to the top quicker than if it weaves its way round and round and this one was certainly steep.   Another surprise of the day was the mucky bog that met us as we left the lochside which we waded through until we reached the base of the hill.  Horrid stuff but we managed to navigate it quite well and didnt have a major bog incident!

The steep path swung to the left near the top and took us right up to the cairn at the top which gave us a very good view of White Coomb which was our next target.  It had snow on it and the air was a bit on the chilly side now especially when in the wind.  Hats and gloves on we ventured forward towards the big dip.  What generally happens after a big dip..........yep you guessed it, a big steep climb back up the other side and thats exactly what we got.  Today's walk was certainly a leg stretcher.

The top of White Coomb was nice with another small cairn.  We stopped for a moment to consume the rest of our food and then it was down again towards the Loch and back down the path we'd taken upwards earlier in the day.

The sun was out and the walk downwards was steep but not too bad.  A bit rocky in places and damp as we had to cross the river as we'd come down on the other side.  Had it not been in full flow there would have been a good number of stepping stones to get us across but Chris found a good spot that was hardly ankle deep and the stones were surprisingly not slippy at all.  

Before long the afternoon sun was waning and we were back at the car park with thoughts of some nice dinner before heading back down the M6.  Unfortunately Moffat let us down on the dinner front but we had our lovely cheese to look forward to when we got home.  Great end to a great bank holiday weekend and the Grey Mare's Tale lived up to its expectations. 

26 December 2014

Boxing Day Ben - Ledi

Boxing Day was bright and clear and to counteract the excesses of Christmas day prosecco we headed for Callender just before first light to get Chris his first Corbett.  Ben Ledi, from what I can remember, is a lovely little Corbett with spectacular views (if you are lucky)

We hoped we'd be lucky today but as the mist and fog lay settled on Loch Lubnig obscuring our view of any hill we were doubtful.  Nevertheless we parked the car at the foot of the path and set off.  The first thing that was different now to the first time I wandered up Ledi was the trees.  The start of the walk was through a thick forested area then out onto an open path but all these initial trees were gone, sadly.  The path was open from the start and almost immmediately as we started to climb up the path the views started to open giving us a glimpse of the hill ahead.
It was an eerie atmosphere with mist swirling in and out both ahead and behind.
 The path however was good and it was a lovely cold crisp winters morning.  The frost was thick on the ground and where there should have been watery boggy bits there was hard ground so that was a plus.

Onwards and upwards the views just continued to pour out from each side.  Behind, to the left and to the right.  The cloud was still sitting thick and fast on the Loch but as the sun tried to peek out we could see over to where Ben Vorlich and Stuc a Chroin was and the light was just starting to touch them.

The sun was trying so hard to come out and when it finally did poke its head through the clouds it gave a golden hue to everything.  Shadows created and light danced upon the snowy ground.  I didnt have my sunglasses with me but for the first time today I needed them.
The conditions were great and after the notorious 3 false summits we could finally see the memorial cross that indicated the top was in sight.  It had been a great walk up and we met a few nice folks along the way.

After stopping at the top for only a few mins as the cloud had come in again and offered us nothing in the way of views I was reminded of a sunny day a few years back where, in t shirts, the summit offered views as far as the eye could see.  Not today though, the cloud was firmly settled over us and visibility was to the edge of the top and no more.

We ventured off northwards and followed the path that would take us round towards Benvane but not that far.  We'd make a right turn and follow a path downwards.  I'd never been this way before so it was a nice change from going back the way we'd come up.  The path itself was fairly straightforward and guided us round the flanks of Ben Ledi downwards through the valley behind.
Cloud was still settled in every nook and crannie and the ground still firm and icy.  The sun that tried to break through earlier in the day didn't quite make it and as the afternoon wore on there was no chance of any more sunshine.

The path down was uneventful and took us through the forest and quickly back to the road from the holiday cottages that ran parallel to the main road.   The whole walk took just over 5 hrs and it was lovely to see the Ben with its sprinkling of snow but soon we were back at the car and on our way back to mum and dads after a grand Boxing Day on a hill.