A snowy Saturday in the Southern Highlands

Last Saturday we were out for a short wander up near Tyndrum.  For once, the weather forecast got it a little wrong.  It had seemed to suggest that a band of rain and snow would move down from the north west late Saturday afternoon and so as we were only planning on a fairly short low level walk into Cononish Glen, we thought we’d have plenty of time to do our walk and get home before the bad weather arrived.  That was the plan anyway!

When we left Irvine just after eight o’clock in the morning however, there was already a lot of low dark clouds around and the few breaks in the east soon disappeared……and of course, the sun rise was quite interesting ….what do they say about red sky in the morning?! 

By the time we got to Loch Lomond it was already very gloomy although Nita said you could see the snow covered tops of the mountains.  At the southern end of the loch the snow level was a couple of hundred metres above the road but by the time we got to the top end of the loch …it was down to road level and at Crianlarich and Tyndrum there was quite a bit laying everywhere and the snow plough had piled it up a little at the sides of the road.

Of course, of course, we had to go into the Green Welly for a cuppa (we were good though …we didn’t have a bacon or egg roll this time) but on emerging out into the car park to get our gear on …Nita said that it was starting to snow lightly.  Not in the plan at all …but it didn’t seem much and so we headed off on our walk.  By the time we had crossed the railway by the station and started up the forestry track that leads over into the glen, it was snowing properly and a half hour after that ….it was snowing heavily.  It looked great though as there was no wind and it was falling straight down and settling on every little twig and branch.  

 

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Cononish Glen ….a rather white scene

Cononish Glen is really spectacular with big mountains all around and our plan had been to take some photos and to stop and for me to make some new sound recordings.  When we reached the glen it really was pretty snowy and white.  You couldn’t see more than a couple of hundred metres up the hillside and ice had made the river much narrower than normal.  At this point though, we did stop for 15 minutes while I set my sound recorder to work …inside a water proof rucksack!  On returning home I found I’d captured the soft noise of the snow flakes hitting the outside of the rucksack with the very faint sound of the river in the background.

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Meeting the West Highland Way

Anyway, by this time we were starting to think that the roads might not be so clever and so decided to cut short the walk and to head back.  We didn’t just retrace our steps though but followed the glen back to a point where we could meet the West Highland Way ….and then follow that back through the beautiful Tyndrum Community Woodland into the village. 

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By the West Highland Way, near Tyndrum

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In Tyndrum Community Woodland

It made for a lovely walk and we were back at the Green Welly by about two o’clock.  The road wasn’t looking great …snow with tyre tracks ….but as we got out of our gear the snow plough / gritter came along.

I had said to Nita that we shouldn’t worry as by the time we were back down to Loch Lomond it would be warmer and the roads would be fine there.  Got that wrong ….if anything it got worse and the snow fell harder…..and kept on falling all the way back to Irvine!!  Took us over two and a half hours to get back ….but it did look great and we’d had a fabulous if short day out.

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