I had left these two Corbetts for a Munro/Corbett bashing round of Loch an Daimh, however my brother had already been up and bagged the Munros here, so I decided to try these from the Loch Lyon side. It had been years since I had turned west at the Bridge of Balgie and into the upper reaches of Glen Lyon and I was pleasantly surprised. Expecting rounded moorland and peat, I was amazed at the ruggedness and splendour of western Glen Lyon. The natural pines around Meggernie were beautiful and the step buttresses of the north side of Meall Ghaordaidh were almost like the three sisters in a smaller scale! I left the car at Pubil and headed up Meall Buidhe. It was a steep pull and I thought I had reached the summit, only to find I was only on top of Creag a Chaorainn!! A short descent and then a pull up to Meall Buidhe gave me my second surprise of the day - fantastic views over Rannoch Moor to the Black Mount and The Buchaille. Further North and The Ben was clearly visible with an early coating of snow (most peaks above 3200 ft had a white sprinkle....) The views continued round past Ben Alder toward The Atholl hills-superb!!!
It was breezy up top and the snow showers were peppering in from the NE. I quickly descended into the valley and made my way to Corbett number two - Sron a' Choire Chnapannaich. The going was rough and pathless along the side of the glen and then I hit a few peat hags before striking upwards. Surprise number three and for me the best view of the day- a cracking panorama down Loch an Daimh and over to Stuchd an Lochain. The summit is a little pile of stones with a steep drop down to the Loch - fantastic views. So my preconception of these being (dare I say ) featureless rounded hills- was completely blown out of the water. An amazing Glen, amazing views, airy summits and snow capped peaks - an excellent day out:)
A constant battle, probably for everyone, is getting time away to enjoy the hills and not allowing it to affect family life! With two kids, I am constantly aware that weekends away in the mountains are weekends away from the kids. I must admit to feeling guilty when I am away at work all week and don't see the kids much, to then say - see ya - I'm off on an adventure!! Its a constant balancing act and I am lucky to also have a very understanding (non outdoorsy!!) better half! Sometimes the remedy is to take the kids with me, and my daughter who is nine has been up a few munros and been cragging to a few easy sport venues, but most of the time I am off with my friends - or on my own.
Something I have started more recently is the little "get aways" or microadventures. My disastrous first wild camp of the year (usually do these once every few years- see below video of being on a mountain in a storm - or felt like one anyhoos!!!) forced me into buying some half decent wild camping kit and this is what initiated the quick get away adventures.
Leaving in the afternoon or evening and camping out or staying in the back of the car for an extra early start has many great advantages. Firstly you get an early start and as such are usually first on the hill and get some solitude (good if you like that!!), secondly you get the best parts of the day (in my opinion) and can enjoy summit sunsets and sunrises, and most importantly leaving late and getting home early means more family time :)
Most recently I enjoyed a smash and grab munro wild camp. I left home at around 15.30 (earlier than usual but sun set is earlier) and was home in time to take my kids to a birthday bash at 09.30. I have done a few of these and the summer months are perfect as the nights are short:) This will probably be the last of these in a while as the winter comes in.
Before I stop my rambling, I also wanted to share another "quicky"- this time without the tent. I hadn't been out climbing for a while so the desire for some hands on action led me to a morning ascent of Curved ridge. It did involve an early start but once again I was back for the afternoon and spent it with the kids (gaining valuble brownie points lol). The video's below if interested... Just shows that if you can put the effort into getting up early enough thn the balancing act d jggling can be a little easier - however as Autumn envelopes us and winter approaches - I am not too sure this approach will work quiet so well!!!
Some thoughts and reports from my outdoors activties...