Author Topic: First Visit  (Read 4310 times)

titaniumdude

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First Visit
« on: 00:04:38, 12/08/06 »
I recently returned from my first visit to Scotland and absolutely loved it.  Being the first time, we made a beeline to Fort William and Glen Nevis to take in Britains highest mountain.  During all our walking trips there I became concerned at some points that we were walking on private land.  I know that Scotland has traditionally had a philosophy of freedom to roam, but was unaware how much of a right to do this under the law we had.  Unlike England however we were not chased off by irate farmers, but greeted.  Having made a promise to myself to return (many times) I bought two books on the Munros by a chap called Cameron McNeish.  I was thrilled to find that the right to roam passed into common law in 2004 and meant that walkers in Scotland can pretty much go wherever they want, including the borders of cultivated fields etc.  Hence you can gain access to anywhere in the country.  The only resttrictions concern the curtilage of dwellings and places where other activities are going on (dearstalking season has many of these areas and it is apparently a good idea to contact land wardens or use the hillphones service during this time).  Obvious restrictions are areas where a fee is expected for entry and places such as golf courses whilst in use.  The freedom incorporated in these laws is fabulous and puts to shame Englands laws on rights of access.  Its also useful to know that signs declaring "keep out" for no good reason are actually illegal and signs that declare a mapped path to be a "private road" may be ignored without fear of recourse.  Our next trip is definetely going to take in some wilder areas armed with this knowledge and we have already started to complete the list of Munros (may bag a few Corbetts along the way). ;D
I'm the Dude. So that's what you call me. You know, that or, uh, His Dudeness, or uh, Duder, or El Duderino if you're not into the whole brevity thing

marmot

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Re: First Visit
« Reply #1 on: 14:12:37, 12/08/06 »
Which route did you do up Ben Nevis?
Also, what's top of your list for your next one?

titaniumdude

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Re: First Visit
« Reply #2 on: 00:40:29, 14/08/06 »
Well, being a complete plank and having not thought about the extreme tourist nature of the area we walked the tourist path.  It was areasonable slog, but of course marred by the vast amount of human traffic, which was mostly foreign.  The next day we followed the tourist path to Lochan Meall ant-Suidhe and followed the left hand path, but instead of decking up west to Carn Mor Dearg we followed the path around the mountain rescue hut and took the descaent following the forrest route.  This was all more of a long stroll rather than anything truley taxing, but enjoyable non the less.  Still naive to Scottish territory, the next day we walked from Corriechoille ( after moving campsites ) to the bothy at Lairig Leacach and took a trail around the mountains to return by the same path.  This was a fairley long route (about 30 miles ) from the campsite where we forded the river running behind it (boot strings in teeth ;D), but incorporated nothing too difficult and we made it back in time for a pint or three.  Armed now with the knowledge in Cameron Mcneishs' books I will be returning to this area and wil be taking the Ben Nevis route via Carn Morg Dearg and following the ridge to Bens summit to descend via the tourist track.  I have also noted that the route from Corriechoille Can be used to access several Munros and will be definetely take advantage of this fact. 
As for which our next will be I think I will have to look a bit more deeply into the  logistics, but living in Manchester will probably try tackling rouites further south first.  There is definetely a lot to be done in tackling the Munros.  I heard that some dude did the lot in one expedition in bout 50 days! Ouch!
I'm the Dude. So that's what you call me. You know, that or, uh, His Dudeness, or uh, Duder, or El Duderino if you're not into the whole brevity thing

marmot

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Re: First Visit
« Reply #3 on: 14:27:57, 14/08/06 »
Yes Carn Mor Dearg / arette is a classic way up Ben Nevis, I've only done it once but was very lucky with the weather - we actually climbed through a thin layer of cloud to the top of Carn Mor Dearg (Which was just above the cloud base) to see the top of Ben Nevis poking through, the cloud then quickly lifted.  We descended the tourist path, which, as you said is a real grind, passing girls in sandals with no extra gear / water etc.

Ben Lomond is worth a look if you don't want to travel too far, also maybe The Cobbler.

I'd love to get up there more, but with the arrival of a baby am a bit pushed for free time.  I'd really love to go back to Skye and do the South end of the Cuillin ridge, Blaven and re-try Am Basteir (We chickened out at the Bad Step last time).  If you can get up there, it'll be really worth it (If you're lucky with the weather), even if you don't have a head for heights there are plenty of less exposed walks / scrambles; Bruach na Frithe, Sgurr na Banachdich, Sgurr Dearg, South end of the ridge, Blaven....... There are more easy ones than some of the guide books suggest, even Sgurr nan Gillean isn't that bad - just a bit exposed near the very top.
I have to admit to being terrified doing Sgurr nah-Uamha though - a killer Corbett!! Or is it a Graham?