Archive | Summer Hill Walking

Beinn Each, Loch Lomond & The Trossachs NP

Yesterday saw me collecting Calum and Rhonwyn for a hill walking day trip to the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park so we could climb the Corbett, Beinn Each.

The day began with typically Scottish weather – rain – for our drive north. We parked the car at the bank of Loch Lubnaig and headed into the pine forest towards Glen Ample. We were lucky enough to encounter some wood sorrel, so had a nibble and continued on our way.

After a short walk along forestry track headed for the glen, we branched off to the east and headed up the western slopes of Beinn Each. From 550m upwards we saw an abundance of blaeberry plants starting to flower. In a couple of months’ time these will have transformed into tasty berries, ideal for hillside snacking!

blaeberry

At about the same height, the rain got heavier and the clouds closed in, reducing visibility to about 100m or so.

Despite the decline in weather, Calum and Rhonwyn were still in strong spirits and eager to continue to the top of the hill. We soon reached the summit at 813m and after taking a few photos in the mist, the cloud lifted and we were presented with fabulous views over Loch Lubnaig, Ben Vane, Ben Ledi and along the ridge line to Stuc a’Chroin.

Beinn Each Summit

Despite the mixed weather, Calum and Rhonwyn had a great day out (or so they say!) in the Scottish hills and are keen to get into hill walking. They have aspirations for completing some multi-day expeditions this year which we are going to make sure they achieve.

Loch Lubnaig

Thank you both for an excellent day out!

Keith

A Week in Barra, the Outer Hebrides

The Get Out Adventures team are just back in Edinburgh after spending the last week on the Isle of Barra; this was our first trip to the Outer Hebrides, and it certainly will not be our last. The entire island is surrounded by crystal clear emerald water & unspoilt white sand beaches that wouldn’t go amiss on a postcard for the Caribbean.

During our trip we explored all of the main beaches and completed two of the must do walks, amongst others. One of the famous walks we did was the Vatersay Coastal Circuit. It includes several beautiful beaches, an abandoned croft, and views towards Sandray in the South and the climbing destination island, Pabbay. Mingulay was hiding behind Pabbay so sadly we couldn’t see it.

Vatersay Beaches

Vatersay Beaches

The second of the must-do walks was an ascent up the highest peak on Barra - Sheabhal (383m). The rugged hill overlooks Castlebay taking in views of Kisimul Castle and majority of the coastline around the island. Luckily for us, the visibility was so good that we were also rewarded with views of South Uist and The Isle of Skye in the distance.

Sheabhal

Sheabhal

We sampled some of the rock climbing on the island by bouldering on a developed boulder that overlooks the Airport beach and an undeveloped outcrop by the sea beside our holiday home. Due to the unsettled weather of heavy rain then golden sunshine most days we decided to hold off on the bigger routes on the western sea cliffs of the island for another visit.

Bouldering on Barra

Bouldering on Barra

The sea kayaking was utterly fantastic and relaxing. We could launch from our literal doorstep on a high tide after a gentle 15 metre walk with the boats and tour around the airport beach bay during high tides. We spent several days rock hopping along enjoying the sounds, scenery and sea life, which sadly only consisted of seaweed and oystercatchers for us, despite our neighbours having several sightings of otters in the bay outside our house! There were a number of great bays and inlets around the coast for us to investigate in the boats also. The only things missing were some natural arches and caves!

Keith and Tom enjoying the crystal clear water

Keith and Tom enjoying the crystal clear water

After our daily kayaking trips it was swim time for Tom, who is a keen open water swimmer. We practiced with different techniques to find out what worked best for a swimmer when following the kayak as Tom is soon to be safety boating for the St Kilda Swim 2014. 9 open water swimmers are planning to swim from the Isle of Harris to St Kilda on 28th June along with 3 supporting sea kayakers for charity…it’s never been attempted before!

Tom out for a swim

Tom out for a swim

One evening during low tide we ventured out onto the beach for a spot of cockle searching and managed to harvest enough for lunch the next day. TOP TIP: once you’ve collected enough, rinse them well then place them all in a large tub of fresh water with a generous palm full of salt and some fine oats and leave them overnight for them to filter through and clean themselves. The next day, boil in a pan until they’ve all opened, season and enjoy! Very yummy indeed.

While on any island it is also worth visiting the local fishing docks and finding out if you can buy fresh from them. We did from Barratlantic and came home with the freshest and tastiest Scallops, Langoustines, Prawn tails, Monkfish and Haddock. Utterly delicious. It was interesting to find out that the majority of their catch gets exported to France and Spain as the market in the UK is not that large!

All in all, a brilliant trip and definitely recommended!

Scallop Shells

Scallop Shells

The Fannichs, Wyvis and the Glen Feshie Munros

Haven’t had a chance to post about this as we’ve been so busy over the past month!

Anyway, for the last week in August we spent some time in the Highlands bagging some hills. We went up to the Fannichs, Ben Wyvis, and then spent a few days in the Cairngorms.

Peaks included were: A’Chailleach and Sgurr Breac (Fannichs), Ben Wyvis and Sgor Gaoith, Monadh Mor (Cairngorms). 

Here are some photos…

The Fannichs:

Keith admiring the view of the remote Fisherfields
An Teallach
Loch Fannich
Sgurr Breac from A’Cheallaich
A’Cheallaich summit cairn
Sgurr Breac (right) and A’Cheallaich (left)

Ben Wyvis:

start of the ascent – good path all the way
A sunny Ben Wyvis
National Nature Reserves work to re-establish the summit moss heath
Keith collecting water from a spring
Summit!
Descending, looking over to Little Wyvis
Bathtime!

The Cairngorms:

Our lovely weather for the first two days didn’t last. We had two days of hill fog and rain once we reached the Cairngorms! Wild camping wasn’t as pleasant as it usually is!

Before the bad weather arrived!
The remainder of our trip

MTA