Wednesday 7 January 2009

The Bastard

The 1st & 2nd January passed non-eventfully.

Myself, Gordy & Andy had made tentative plans to try & get up a hill on the Saturday though, and eventually decided on Beinn Sgulaird at the far away end of Glen Etive, on the basis none of the three of us had done it before and although it was a long drive, the walk itself wasn't supposed to take more than about 6 hours.

Me & Andy left here about 7:20 and eventually managed to meet up with Gordy at Callander. The bacon roll shop, tragically, was shut.

Bravely soldiering on, however, we got to the car park at the Glenure end of the road around 10:30. It's an odd drive along that road. It looks like a typical "oot the way" back road where you'd only expect to see a farm house or two, but this one has a fine selection of huge feck-off houses; new build, traditional and indeed boat shaped in one instance. It's obviously an opulent wee enclave.

We elected to go past the farm at Glenure, across the river and then head left along the footpath signed for Glen Etive. The excellent landrover track gains a fair bit of height along the way, and once we had reached the high point we struck off track and headed onto the hill itself. Gordy provides a wee bit of detail. I'd forgotten my camera again.

It was a cracking walk up. The brilliant views along Glen Etive turned into brilliant views out to Mull as we gained the ridge proper.

On reflection we should have looked at a map, or considered the likely terrain, or indeed paused for the briefest moment to have a wee think about our return route before setting off straight down the hill on the basis that "McNeish says you can walk straight up it from the back of the farm".

My erse. It's no surprise the hill at the back of the farm doesn't seem to feature in any other recommended routes that I can find. It's just stupidly steep, with rocky channels, slippery grass slopes, icy patches and all manner of rubbishy bits designed to ruin a nervous hillwalker's day.

It had taken us about three & a half hours to get up the hill. It took two & a half to get down, and bearing in mind we were travelling in a straight line back to the starting point, something wisny quite computing.

The one saving grace was that for some reason neither me nor Andy had brought any of the dugs and that was a positive blessing. Getting dugs down - particularly with the icy patches and the loose scree (and the patches of loose icy scree!) would have been unworkable. And we got back to the track in virtual darkness as it was.

I doubt I'll be back to this one! Particularly as this was the second attempt anyway!


  1. Och, it wasnae *that* bad. :O)

    The dugs would have been down it in five minutes flat btw.

  2. What a coincidence! It was the prospect of coming down it in five minutes flat that was worrying ME.


  3. We'd have had time for a pint at least.

  4. Enjoyed the post and the links scott. Wondered if the "McNeish" route was more or less Gordy's first photo - if so couldn't see why anyone would want to do it. Looked horrendous other possibly at the RHS of the photo.

    Noticed you stop in Callander for food. I can recommend the venison (stew) pies out of Mohr bakery at the west end.

    Also picked up on the photo of Molly on the Meikle Bin - is that the one at Carron Reservoir in the Campsies or is there another one? Wondered as it's my "local" hill - been up a few times.

  5. I think that photie must be the McNeish route, Ken. He doesn't give any detail in the book about it other than going straight up behind the farm, but it certainly wouldn't be much fun!

    Venison pies for breakfast would hit the spot all right. ;0)

    And aye, it's Meikle Bin in the Campsies. I'm just over in Bellshill so it's only about half an hour or so to the reservoir. The dogs love it so we go fairly regularly - it's always an option if I can't be bothered trailing half way across Scotland to walk up a Munro. We'll need to organise a dog walking meet there. I'll get Andy to bring all four of his and we can create mayhem.


  6. Mass dog walking sounds a good idea Scott (LOL)- definitely up for it - give me a shout the next time you're heading up that way and I'll see if I can make it.

    Maisie was quite used to mass dog walking as a pup when on a Saturday there used to be about 8 folk and up to 16 dogs doing the needful around the wooded grounds of a derelict victorian hospital in Larbet.

    Good hill for dogs is Meikle Bin.