This Sunday was earmarked for Torridon, but the forecast over there looked horrific so we changed our plans. Perthshire looked far better so we made our way down to Aberfeldy on Saturday afternoon after a night at my mum’s in Forres. Aberfeldy because Ally wanted to catch the Champions League final at the pub. We weren’t sure what hills or route to do so stopped in Aviemore en route and bought a map, checked in at Aberfeldy campsite then went out for something to eat and had a look at our options. I then went back to the van and mourned my status as a football widow with wine and nibbles, while Ally went to watch the footie in a loud, noisy and crammed pub 🙂
For my final day of the Easter weekend I just wanted an easy wander before heading home. Again, looking for any slope other than an east due to the avalanche forecast, I chose the Corbett of Beinn Dearg in Glen Lyon that looked like a good choice. I wasn’t based too far from here at Loch Tay and the drive over the pass is spectacular. I always love Glen Lyon – I was last here last autumn, probably at its most beautiful. It really is such a bonnie glen and well worth even just driving down in the car.
I parked up at the Meggernie Estate carpark near the war memorial at Innerwick, crossed the bridge and headed along the track east of the burn, Allt Ghallabhaich. This track is a right of way to Loch Rannoch, about 6 miles away.
Sunday morning was beautiful on the high banks of Loch Tay. A slither of cloud had nestled above the loch and the hilltops were peeking above. My choice of hill today was the Corbett, Meall nan Subh along from Glen Lochay and it looked like near perfect conditions for a fine, scenic walk in the hills.
I stopped in Killin on the way to call Ally from a payphone and let him know my route, and made my way down the wee road along Glen Lochay. This eventually turns into a private estate road with a few gates – a road I drove over last year in Bertha thinking I was taking a short cut from Stronuich Reservoir to Killin, having no clue of either the state or the status of the road. It was the scariest road I’ve driven on in Bertha, with massive potholes, steep zig-zags, huge gates where I had to stop the van and screech open, all the while it was absolutely stotting it down with rain. I didn’t want a repeat of that! I parked at the walker’s carpark just before a farm instead and opted to walk up the road. The carpark was packed out as expected on a beautiful Easter Sunday.
With a mixed forecast and dodgy avalanche risk on all east facing slopes, I was still determined to get away this Easter. 4 days off! Unfortunately, Ally had double-booked so I was on my own again. Following the weather meant Perthshire was probably the best bet so I spring-cleaned Bertha and headed off on Friday – which was a minging day by all accounts. Dinging doon as they say here. The journey took forever – I’d opted for the A90 (via Glenshee or A90 is a similar time from mine) but got caught in the bank holiday traffic and it took me a whole 4 hours to get down.
The forecast for last weekend was looking horrendous. Ally and I had arranged a bothy night in Glencoe with some of Ally’s ML course pals, but MWIS (Mountain Weather Information Service) was forecasting heavy rain and winds with gusts up to 80mph in most areas. As usual, the better weather was looking like it would be in the east, so Ally quickly looked out an alternative in the SE Highlands.
The plan was to walk in from Bridge of Tilt carpark to Allt Scheicheachan bothy, stay overnight, walk up the Munro, Beinn Dearg, the next day (weather permitting) and then walk back. If the weather was really awful we could just walk into the bothy and back out the next day.
My birthday has rolled round once again. Ally asked what I’d like to do so I suggested a weekend involving backpacking, bothies and hills – a few of my favourite things. He planned it all and it was going to remain a surprise as to what / where exactly, but my inner planner got the better of me and I asked him to tell me a few days beforehand. It was in Highland Perthshire, north of Dunkeld – a two day backpack and an overnight stay in a bothy with hill options on the way. Not knowing what the weather would be like, Ally had erred on the side of caution and stuck to relatively lower ground. Looking up the planned route on the map I noticed that although we weren’t in the high hills, there were two Marilyns (Deuchary Hill and Creag nam Mial) en route for each day. Always a sucker for hills on a list, I suggested we included these as well.