Well then, yesterday saw Nita and I back out walking amongst the hills again…..after 93 days. We’d hoped to get out last week when the weather was reasonable, but work commitments put an end to that and so we decided that we’d get out on Sunday despite the poor weather forecast. After such a long break from the walking we didn’t want to head up hill…. we just wanted a low level wander for a few hours somewhere …… in amongst the hills.
As it was going to be a relatively short day we reckoned we might as well do things in style and so drove up to Tyndrum for a late breakfast at the Green Welly. A bacon roll and coffee would set us up for the driving rain and strong winds that were forecast. After the snow of the previous weeks it was amazingly mild and although the snow was melting quite quickly there was still plenty of it around …even in Tyndrum.
Once the food and coffee were downed, there were no further excuses and we climbed into the wet weather gear and headed off for the forestry track that leads from near Tyndrum low level station around the base of Meall Odhar and into Cononish Glen. The snow on the track was soft and my legs took only a short while to start complaining! But it was just so good to get out again and see, (albeit in a rather vague and misty fashion) the hills rising up into the low cloud around us. As the track descended into the glen we could hear the rush of the river…..swollen with the melting snows and quite heavy rain. It was quite an impressive sight and the water was racing along and bashing over the larger boulders. We passed a parked car with an empty canoe trailer ….brave souls but I guess if you’re a water person it must be quite an exhilarating trip rushing down the river in a canoe ….though not for me!
We had no real plan for the day, just to walk up the glen for a couple of hours and stretch the legs and get some fresh Highland air into our rather rusty systems. About 10 years ago on a similarly grey, wet and windy day, we walked up the glen with our friends Guy and Roy and on that occasion headed up to the entrance of the gold mine beneath Beinn Chuirn ….where we sheltered from the weather in one of the disused huts. It made for a good lunch spot and we had thought about revisiting the hut. Despite the poor weather yesterday however, there had been a few lulls and during these we’d had tantalising glimpses of Ben Lui up at the head of the glen. For this reason, we decided to carry on up the glen rather than head for the gold mine cafe and carried on until just after half past one before turning around and making our way back. We did get a very brief look at the steep lower section of the east ridge of Ben Lui …where we did our only proper winter scramble with Guy a good few years ago, but mists and rain quickly returned and we were glad to have it at our backs as we wandered back alongside the river.
Cononish Glen really is a magnificent place even when most of its fine mountains are shrouded in weather. This was the perfect wee walk for my very un-fit legs and the tight muscles this morning prove that they needed the exercise. If you’re ever looking for a spectacular but relatively short walk, then I’d thoroughly recommend a wander up Cononish Glen. The advantage of a short day is of course that you’re back to Tyndrum in time for another cup of coffee and a bowl of soup before the drive home.