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Bridge of Balgie road beyond dam should be temporarly closed

Bridge of Balgie road beyond dam should be temporarly closed


Postby Second chance » Wed Feb 27, 2013 8:51 pm

Like many others today I fancied a bit of hillwalking as the weather is excellent the now. I decided to head for Glen Lyon and thought it should be okay to use the Bridge of Balgie road. Before going I checked all road reports and Walkhighlands website and it looked okay nothing adverse by using this road. I had set off early and there were just a few cars buzzing about the Ben Lawers car park etc. and from the dam I could see a car parked at the end of the loch and therefore thought it was okay to proceed. What an error - got stuck near the end of the loch in snow across the road. The best of it was I was turning back when I got stuck, as I had made my mind up it was getting too risky.
Thanks to 3 fellow climbers who I met also trying to get to the end of the loch, for attempting to dig me out to no avail with ice axes. Very good samaritains ! I managed to turn back many other cars that were also following me into the ruts further on - at least saving them the bother that I had got into.
Walking back along the road I was able to get a signal on my phone and call for help. A tow truck arrived an hour or so later and told me he was doing this task every day recently !!!!!! After 3 hours winching and straining I finally got back to Killin and paid the garage. Thanks to John the mechanic who came to my aid.
As this is now a daily occurance I thought I should highlight this on our website to help others avoid the drama I experienced today. In my opinion there should be snow gates put up and closed when the road is blocked or unpassable simply putting signs up saying the road is not maintained or gritted isnt quite good enough. Anyway learned my lesson and have decided to stay away from the hills until the white stuff goes
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Re: Bridge of Balgie road beyond dam should be temporarly cl

Postby Johnny Corbett » Wed Feb 27, 2013 8:59 pm

After having to turn back myself on this road last week due to a van being stuck in a drift i've come to the conclusion that the longer road may be a long way round mileage wise but time wise there's probably not much in it as it's a far better road.
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Re: Bridge of Balgie road beyond dam should be temporarly cl

Postby Border Reiver » Thu Feb 28, 2013 2:43 pm

I have some symapthy for you getting stuck. I've been stuck in snow many times myself, but it's always been my own choice whether or not to proceed along a snowy track and sometimes I've made the wrong choice - my fault entirely. Highways people have snow gates on major routes, simply because of the great number of vehicles that could get stuck & it's easier to plough a road clear if they know there's no vehicles between the gates. It would be prohibitively expensive and a logistical nightmare to install gates on every minor hill road, with no-one knowing at any particular moment whether a road was blocked or not. Then, at what point would they close snow gates? Snow that would prevent a car from going along, might be easily dealt with by the locals in their 4x4's & a closed snow gate might prevent them from going home, or stop the shepherd in his land rover from reaching his sheep. It's a case of risk assessment. When we go onto the hills in winter we decide whether or not we have the gear and skills on that day to climb a mountain. The same applies to driving on snowy roads. A long time back, one October, I drove through that road myself in a small 4x4, in snow and had to help one unlucky car driver who had got stuck. I wouldn't even consider it an option these days.
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Re: Bridge of Balgie road beyond dam should be temporarly cl

Postby Fudgie » Thu Feb 28, 2013 4:34 pm

I agree with Border Revier above. I've been on that road in heavy snow as far as the Ben Lawers car park and once we put the snowshoes on the tyres, we made it to our starting point fairly easy. Not long after us, two Mountain Rescue Landrovers made up it without any problems so to shut the road would be punish anyone in a vehicle designed for those kind of conditions.
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