Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Ben Lomond

Winter days can often be rubbish: short, cold and cheerless. How lovely then to find that your plan to do a hill over the holidays lines up with some high pressure.

As with quite a few of my best walks, this one only took form on the day. To start with, there was quite a bit of impromptu photography, including the view from Tom Weir's favourite hill:

Coincidently, a statue of Tom was unveiled the next day.

By this point we had decided on Ben Lomond via the Ptarmigan ridge (to the right of the loch in the picture above). This is a somewhat more exclusive and interesting route than the tourist path. I also have a bit of a personal connection with it, as some time ago (20 years, gulp) I worked on the path.

At this point, I am a bit lost for how to continue, as I have almost an embarrassment of fine pictures taken in the winter sun. Let's just go through some nice images:
That classic down-the-loch view. The viewpoint of the first picture is on the far side of the loch. My companion of the day is trotting down the bump in the middle.
A panorama of the Southern Highlands from the base of the summit cone. I reckon there are at least 17 Munros in here. Distant smudges could take it higher.
  Our summit awaits.  This is why we do this.
On top with sunset approaching. Don't try this at home, kids. We are sensible really: we had headtorches and enough sense to get down safely via the tourist path.  Some refreshments and a read of the Sunday Post in Stirling completed a splendid day out.

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Ben Vorlich

I went for a walk up Ben Vorlich (the Loch Earn one) on Sunday with some friends. Like a lot of the best walks, it was rather ad hoc and all the better for it. The destination was only chosen at about 10 am while standing in the main street in Callander.  We had all done the hill before, but the fine weather turned it into a memorable day. We started in the sunny area on the lochside in the picture below.

I thought my camera had plenty of charge, but it quickly started warning of low battery. I tried placing it under my fleece as body heat can revive things, but on the summit the camera decided it was done and turned itself off. A pity, since there was a 360 degree view from Ben Nevis down to the Pentlands. Here is what I did manage to take, looking south towards the Ochils.