Jen and I were out for a walk above Glendevon in the Ochils today. We walked the Glensherup skyline taking in Innerdownie, Bentie Knowe, Whitewisp Hill, Tarmangie Hill, Cairnmorris Hill, Scad Hill and Ben Shee. This gave a very pleasant round initially through forestry and then on rolling moorland and hills.
There’s some felling and a lot of native woodland regeneration going on in the area, mostly thanks to The Woodland Trust, but the route was all on good tracks and clear and often signed paths. The hills are very dry at the moment, making for easy walking. Mona’s in Pool of Muchart provided good and much needed post walk tea and scones.
An interesting week in Central Scotland for myself. On Sunday Jen, Mick and I were out walking in the Culter Fells. This is a lovely quiet area of South Lanarkshire with rolling hills and picturesque valleys. We walked from Cowgill up Hudderstone and via Dod Hill to the Culter Water for our return. It’s worth noting that it’s lambing time in this area at the moment, so care should be taken to minimise disturbing sheep if out and about; we deliberately changed our intended route on the day for this reason.
On Wednesday I was out with Mike and a school group for Falkirk Community Trust Outdoors who were canoeing in Loch Ard in the Trossachs. Thursday I was out again with a Falkirk Community Trust Outdoors school group in Dollar Glen in the Ochils.
After work on Thursday John and I headed to Callander Crags for an evening of sports climbing with me finishing off the routes I hadn’t climbed there and John climbing all of the currently bolted routes with the exception of the left hand line, which looks to be a closed project at the moment.
The hills and crags in the area are all currently very dry for the time of year.
Jen and I were out for a quick walk in West Lothian today taking in Cairnpapple and Cockleroy hills. Cairnpapple includes the highest point in the old West Lothian boundary and, although not particularly big, gives great views. There was a fair bit of cloud about today, but the view North showed the Ochils still holding some snow in sheltered locations.
I was working on the second day of a Climbing Wall Award Training course today at EICA Ratho. Alasdair, Inga, Lynda, Neil and Will did a great job of staying attentive throughout the day, particularly given the low temperatures in the arena. It’s definitely worth taking a belay jacket and hat, gloves etc. if your visiting Ratho at the moment. My job was made much easier by having a group with a genuine interest in climbing and/or working with groups in a climbing wall environment.
Winter climbing conditions further north looked like they may have been excellent today as there was a hard frost in Edinburgh this morning and a good dusting of snow on the Ochils.
I have been out today with Steve from Falkirk Community Trust completing a staff training day. We visited the Ochils were we climbed The Law, Ben Cleuch, Andrew Gannel Hill and King’s Seat Hill.
From the summits we had great views of mountains such as Ben Ledi and Ben Lawers among others. There was still plenty of snow visible and some good options may still exist for the adventurous skier!
I was working in the Forth Valley today for Falkirk Community Trust. There was a thin covering of snow to low levels. The Pentlands appeared to have a light cover of snow with scouring on the windward sides. The Ochils looked to have a better cover though probably on the thin side for skiing.