walkhighlands

Share your personal walking route experiences in Scotland, and comment on other peoples' reports.
Warning Please note that hillwalking when there is snow lying requires an ice-axe, crampons and the knowledge, experience and skill to use them correctly. Summer routes may not be viable or appropriate in winter. See winter information on our skills and safety pages for more information.

A Tuesday in Glen Clova

A Tuesday in Glen Clova


Postby chickadee » Sat Feb 25, 2012 5:01 pm

Route description: Loch Brandy, Glen Clova

Date walked: 21/02/2012

Time taken: 2.5 hours

Distance: 5.5 km

Ascent: 410m

5 people think this report is great.
Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).

So, with a scary job interview looming, unemployment getting me down and the weather looking not too shabby, I decided it was time I stopped whining about being stuck inside and made a break for my nearest favourite glen, Glen Clova. Well, actually, I usually drive through Clova on my way to Glen Doll, my actual favourite, but having browsed the walks on this fine website I realised I was missing out on the delights of Clova. Initially I'd given Mayar & Driesh the old side-eye, trying to decide if I was brave enough to try them out, but I concluded bravery wasn't the issue - experience was. I think I need a bit of training before working my way up to a Munro. I picked the Loch Brandy walk, checked all the weather forecasts, and off I went on Tuesday.

The drive was nice as usual, I'm pretty familiar with it and so it didn't take much more than an hour to get from my house to the car park in Clova. No other cars were there until I was just setting off when one more pulled up, so I knew it'd be a quiet day. And once I was there, I knew why. The weather had lied - it was overcast, wall-to-wall cloud, and no sunshine to be seen. Pretty disappointing, mainly because I'm a keen amateur photographer and had been excited to get pics of the loch. Good light is essential, and there wasn't much of that.

But I didn't make the trip to be disheartened! After all, the toilets were open despite the sign saying they were shut during weekdays in winter, and if THAT wasn't a good sign I don't know what was. Camera in bag, hat firmly on, lined trousers and boots... I headed off with what turned out to be misplaced enthusiasm for a wee bit of a climb.

one.jpg
doesn't look too bad!


Because folks, I was unfit. I mean, I'm 28 and in no way overweight, but I know fine that's no guarantee of fitness. It was a good thing after all I'd eschewed the Munros in favour of this walk - I'd never have managed them! I was pretty embarrassed even twenty minutes in, even though nobody was about to see me except some sheep who did not look impressed. Easy for them, with their sauntering around on hillsides...

two.jpg
"Out of breath?" scoffed the sheep. "Pathetic."


three.jpg
cloud abounding


I decided the best way to approach this wasn't to jauntily stride up the hill but to stop every wee while and let myself catch my breath. I hadn't eaten enough before I started and my asthma was being a bit of a pain, so this sounded sensible. I sat down and took some photos, of Laird's Chamber to one side and back down the valley to the other.

four.jpg
Laird's Chamber


five.jpg


Drank some water, started off again. Every time I thought I'd made progress, a higher bit of path would appear! This will be a no-brainer to all of you experienced climbers, of course!

six.jpg
yes body, I'm going up there...


Once I took more breaks though, it became easier and I started to enjoy it. The first reward was seeing the Snug up ahead, reassuring me with its imposing height that I was going the right way. There was even some leftover snow, which I was surprised to see. Low-level in Dundee we haven't had any this year.

seven.jpg


I pushed myself on, taking about a trillion photos en route and being annoyed with them all due to the awful light, and eventually I reached Loch Brandy! There was nobody there and although I'd spotted a couple of people behind me on the path up, they were far enough behind that I had about fifteen mins alone to take photos, eat my sandwich, and be literally blown around by the strongest wind I have ever experienced...!

eight.jpg
Loch Brandy & Snug


I'm not kidding, that wind appeared from nowhere and made exploring around the loch extremely difficult. I'm a small person and I was buffeted to the side off the path a number of times. Taking photos was a challenge, but I managed a few dozen. Even without sun, the loch looked lovely.

nine.jpg


I struggled along the path to take a few shots the other way too.

ten.jpg


You've probably worked out by now that I'm a bit of a numpty. I watched the other couple coming back from right down at the loch and realised that 1) I could actually get down there which would be more interesting and 2) I bet it was less windy down there, they didn't look as if they were battling a mini tornado. It was a bit boggy but I headed down to the lochside. I learned from an info board in the car park there's a rare type of moss here, but sad to say I wouldn't have known it if you'd thrown it at me. I wish I had studied it beforehand! Also a rare dragonfly lives here, but it was clearly too sensible to venture out in the wind so I didn't see it.

eleven.jpg
more Snug


twelve.jpg
this wee pond was still frozen in places!


thirteen.jpg
lochside... this could be the moss? well, it's SOME moss anyway...


Very peaceful down by the water, much less hilariously windy, and so I sat on a rock and ate much-needed chocolate. The wind was blowing hard on the loch, it looked pretty cool as an effect, sadly without my tripod & lenses there was no point trying to capture it. I called a hello to the dragonfly but it probably laughed at me while remaining hidden.

Time to head home. I shouted "this is ridiculous!" into the wind and after a comedy moment when my hat blew off and I had to run awkwardly over rocks to fetch it, I climbed down the rocky path. This involved actually sitting on my bum and shuffling down, because the wind was holding me up at the edge, preventing me from walking down! Incredible and a bit scary, I needed to get home!

Phew, back on the path...

fourteen.jpg


Looks a lot less daunting going downhill! I was almost skipping back down, it was so easy, and the wind was gone so I had a lovely stroll back. Still no sun, but at least there was no rain either.

sixteen.jpg


Came across the sheep again, and this time I waved and told them their snootiness had been misplaced. They apologised. One seemed particularly contemplative.

seventeen.jpg
"We misjudged you, chickadee. Look at this waterfall!"


I thought about a drink in the hotel, felt I deserved it, but I had a long drive home and I've never fancied drinking alone. Maybe I need to start! The other couple's car was gone, and so it ended as it began: me in the car park being grateful for the toilets being open. I'm nothing if not glamorous. :)

I won't blame you if you laugh at my complete inexperience, it was a bit stupid - but I'll get better and hopefully in a few months I'll be atop a Munro!
User avatar
chickadee
Mountaineer
 
Posts: 264
Munros:13   Corbetts:4
Grahams:1   
Sub 2000:3   
Joined: Mar 27, 2011
Location: Inverkeithing

Re: A Tuesday in Glen Clova

Postby DarrenJeffrey » Sat Feb 25, 2012 5:15 pm

Lovely walk this one. My fiancée and I holiday in the log cabins you pass at the foot of this walk and the first place we usually walk is up to Brandy as it is beautiful. It is a fairly rapid ascent so don't think for a second a more experienced hill walker wouldn't find it challenging. You can actually do a circular route that takes you over to Loch Worral then drops back on to the Clova access road.

Great pics :)
User avatar
DarrenJeffrey
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 283
Munros:141   Corbetts:10
Grahams:8   Donalds:12
Sub 2000:15   
Joined: Nov 5, 2011
Location: Edinburgh

Re: A Tuesday in Glen Clova

Postby fraochydug » Sat Feb 25, 2012 5:29 pm

well done for pushing through. in a few days your legs will want to do it again
fraochydug
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 292
Munros:17   Corbetts:10
Grahams:6   
Joined: Jan 29, 2012

Re: A Tuesday in Glen Clova

Postby AlastairStevenson » Sat Feb 25, 2012 5:37 pm

Looks like you had a good workout there, Chickadee, and you enjoyed it as well, the pictures are good, and you probably didn't think about that 'scary interview'. Hope it went well ...
I love Glen Clova and Glen Doll - there are many opportunities big and small around there to enjoy the great outdoors.
You can take Mayar and Dreish at your own pace - there isn't anything scary or too hard about them - and traversing Corrie Fee on the way is just wonderful.
Also - when the wind isn't a feature - going up the Snug and around the horseshoe overlooking Loch Brandy is also pretty good to pencil in for your next visit.
AlastairStevenson
Mountaineer
 
Posts: 10
Joined: Jun 21, 2011

Re: A Tuesday in Glen Clova

Postby mrssanta » Sat Feb 25, 2012 6:05 pm

I really loved this report, it made me chuckle, I enjoyed your sense of humour. We all have to start somewhere. I always gasp and groan going uphill too.
User avatar
mrssanta
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 3048
Munros:252   Corbetts:11
Grahams:3   
Sub 2000:9   Hewitts:44
Wainwrights:40   Islands:8
Joined: Jul 18, 2011
Location: north yorkshire moors

Re: A Tuesday in Glen Clova

Postby pigeon » Sat Feb 25, 2012 9:27 pm

Good report chickadee ,bet you are back out soon :lol: :lol:
User avatar
pigeon
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 1385
Munros:282   Corbetts:94
Grahams:38   Donalds:35
Sub 2000:19   Hewitts:2
Wainwrights:1   Islands:2
Joined: Apr 29, 2010
Location: Linlithgow

Re: A Tuesday in Glen Clova

Postby LeithySuburbs » Sat Feb 25, 2012 9:41 pm

enjoyed that :) . Not been in Glen Clova in far too long [tutting smilie] .
User avatar
LeithySuburbs
Ambler
 
Posts: 1946
Munros:259   Corbetts:54
Grahams:27   Donalds:33
Sub 2000:41   Hewitts:14
Wainwrights:23   Islands:13
Joined: Feb 19, 2009
Location: Inverness

Re: A Tuesday in Glen Clova

Postby morag1 » Sun Feb 26, 2012 9:30 am

A very honest report chickadee, well done on making a start to your hill walking adventures :D

Good luck with the job interview and good luck for your next time outdoors :thumbup:
morag1
 

Re: A Tuesday in Glen Clova

Postby Sabbathstevie » Mon Feb 27, 2012 1:59 pm

Entertaining report, enjoyed thoroughly! :thumbup:

As a fellow novice, I can sympathise with the fitness chat - when I did the Pentlands back in January, my ex-smoker lungs almost exploded half-way up West Kip! Didn't find Mayar too bad though (didn't have time for Driesh sadly).

Got to get up to lochs Wharral and Brandy though, despite having notched up a list as long as my arm of "must do" hills, something about the Angus glens gets me everytime.... :D
User avatar
Sabbathstevie
Hill Bagger
 
Posts: 231
Munros:60   Corbetts:3
Grahams:2   Donalds:3
Sub 2000:5   
Joined: Jul 20, 2011
Location: Edinburgh

Re: A Tuesday in Glen Clova

Postby basscadet » Mon Feb 27, 2012 4:11 pm

Aye, good report there.. There are so many lovely spots up Glen Clova.. :thumbup:

Och I think the fitness thing just comes and goes.. Last weekend I felt like I could hardly manage, but yesterday I felt like a mountain hare, and I havent even been to the gym this last week, so god only knows how that works :shock:
I'm still an avid smoker, so well done you for giving it up Stevie.. :D
User avatar
basscadet
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 2779
Munros:84   Corbetts:52
Grahams:18   Donalds:8
Sub 2000:34   Hewitts:13
Wainwrights:17   Islands:21
Joined: Dec 1, 2011
Location: Edinburgh

Re: A Tuesday in Glen Clova

Postby monty » Mon Feb 27, 2012 5:09 pm

A nice report Chickadee. Well done on walking in the windy dreich conditions. Hill fitness comes with walking in the hills :D Look forward to your next report.
monty
 

Re: A Tuesday in Glen Clova

Postby chickadee » Mon Feb 27, 2012 7:26 pm

AlastairStevenson wrote:Looks like you had a good workout there, Chickadee, and you enjoyed it as well, the pictures are good, and you probably didn't think about that 'scary interview'. Hope it went well ...
I love Glen Clova and Glen Doll - there are many opportunities big and small around there to enjoy the great outdoors.
You can take Mayar and Dreish at your own pace - there isn't anything scary or too hard about them - and traversing Corrie Fee on the way is just wonderful.
Also - when the wind isn't a feature - going up the Snug and around the horseshoe overlooking Loch Brandy is also pretty good to pencil in for your next visit.


My main concern with the Munros was just that the cloud was pretty low and I didn't fancy getting lost. Had I been with a friend I might have tried it out. I'll go myself when it's sunnier, I'd rather have the chance of decent views anyway! Glad to hear it's not as bad as I'm imagining!

Considered going up the Snug but the walk guide was fairly firm in saying you should be more experienced.. maybe I took it too much to heart but you can never be too careful! I'd be up for that another time though.
User avatar
chickadee
Mountaineer
 
Posts: 264
Munros:13   Corbetts:4
Grahams:1   
Sub 2000:3   
Joined: Mar 27, 2011
Location: Inverkeithing

Re: A Tuesday in Glen Clova

Postby chickadee » Mon Feb 27, 2012 7:29 pm

Thanks for all the lovely feedback everyone! I wish the photos were better but it was the weather's fault, that's what I blame. It was a wee achievement anyway, just getting out there alone. Normally I go with a friend but I wanted to get started with solo walking.

Re hill fitness - makes sense it comes in time, and at least I didn't collapse despite feeling like I might! Is it worth building up to a Munro, doing a bit further each time, or do you think some can be tackled maybe after just one walk like this? I fancy giving it a go but my chest really hurt on this one, is my only issue.
User avatar
chickadee
Mountaineer
 
Posts: 264
Munros:13   Corbetts:4
Grahams:1   
Sub 2000:3   
Joined: Mar 27, 2011
Location: Inverkeithing

Re: A Tuesday in Glen Clova

Postby GariochTom » Mon Feb 27, 2012 8:30 pm

Enjoyed reading this trip report - very entertaining, especially the captions and the contemplative sheep... :D
Nice photos too - shame about the light though, as you say... I'm also one for taking hundreds of photographs on walks!

Do you prefer solo walking then? Have you considered joining a hillwalking club? That's how I got into it, and going out with them helped me get fitter and able to do bigger hills. There are quite a few Munros that are relatively straightforward and not too demanding, so you could opt for one of them first. (I can't think of any off the top of my head though...names of hills aren't my strong point!)
User avatar
GariochTom
Hill Bagger
 
Posts: 142
Munros:148   Corbetts:34
Grahams:9   
Sub 2000:9   Hewitts:1
Joined: Aug 5, 2008
Location: Aberdeenshire

Re: A Tuesday in Glen Clova

Postby chickadee » Mon Feb 27, 2012 11:10 pm

GariochTom wrote:Enjoyed reading this trip report - very entertaining, especially the captions and the contemplative sheep... :D
Nice photos too - shame about the light though, as you say... I'm also one for taking hundreds of photographs on walks!

Do you prefer solo walking then? Have you considered joining a hillwalking club? That's how I got into it, and going out with them helped me get fitter and able to do bigger hills. There are quite a few Munros that are relatively straightforward and not too demanding, so you could opt for one of them first. (I can't think of any off the top of my head though...names of hills aren't my strong point!)


I took over 500 on this walk - that's ridiculous! Partly this is why I like to go alone, so I don't feel guilty when I'm stopping every two seconds to take what appears to be the same shot again.

I do like walking with a friend or solo. I find solo walking really good for clearing my head and giving me some constructive alone-time. I want to be able to go by myself without relying on others, so I don't miss out when people aren't free. I did try to join a walking group when I lived in Edinburgh, but I'm not sure what's around Dundee. I'm shy in groups, is the only thing...!
User avatar
chickadee
Mountaineer
 
Posts: 264
Munros:13   Corbetts:4
Grahams:1   
Sub 2000:3   
Joined: Mar 27, 2011
Location: Inverkeithing

5 people think this report is great.
Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).
Next



Walkhighlands community forum is advert free

We need help to keep the site online.
Can you help support Walkhighlands and the online community by setting up a monthly donation by direct debit?



Return to Walk reports - Scotland

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 38 guests