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Ben Cleuch, so good we climbed it twice

PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 11:20 pm
by jaybee
Finally, we were out in the hills again. This time our local hills – the Ochils.
First walk was on 19th February, next was 4th March. We enjoyed the first walk so much we decided to do it again but in reverse.

On the first weekend we headed off from the Country Park towards Tillicoultry then up the hill as the path through the glen remains closed. Scrambled down to cross the burn then up the beginning of The Law. I wanted to do the walk this way round to check out the “scramble” and to make sure it was doable in a downward direction. Headed off up The Law; my goodness it is steep and long. Eventually reached the top (summit cairn is over the fence with no apparent easy access– very odd)

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First walk - Clouds clearing as we rise above them

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First walk - Top of first steep bit of The Law

We started to see patches of snow around this height but it made it easy to walk over the boggy ground as it was frozen solid. Carried on to the junction of paths and turned left up the main ridge of Ben Cleuch . We had walked up through the clouds today so had a glorious view from the top, across to the highlands and further north. The light made for interesting photos but it was too windy / cold to linger for long.

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First walk - view across the Forth from summit

We walked back over the top of Ben Ever and down to the forest via the very good farm track. The wind dropped and the temperature increased dramatically once we were back on the track. A final cup of coffee while we took in the view across the Forth then back to the car. Legs complaining that they were feeling the strain after a virtually exercise-free January.

Two weeks later and we were tempted a second time. However for this walk we headed up through the trees towards Alva then took the lesser used path up the side of Silver Glen then on up to the top of Wood Hill. Whichever way you choose to ascend these hills, there is a lot of up!

We had decided to take the path across the ridge spotted from Ben Ever two weeks ago. These hills are deceptive and it was further than it looked but eventually we reached the junction of the path that came up the side of Ben Ever. Just before this we “enjoyed” a break whilst being pelted with hail the size of large peas. The shower lasted for at least 15 minutes and the ground was transformed.

Week 2 - after the hailstorm

We traversed the north side of Ben Evers and completed the final steep slog to the Ben Cleuch ridge. The summit shelter and trig point were soon reached, had a brief conversation with a couple of cyclists who had cycled from the Devon Reservoir direction and were looking forward to the return, downhill, journey.

Week 2 - view from summit

So this time we were descending via The Law, which was just as interesting as slogging up the path. Especially when the grassy track is muddy – several spectacular slips later we were looking at the bottom bit of The Law from a different perspective. Don’t remember it being that narrow. Apart from one hands-on section, it was a relatively easy scramble down then back across the burn to the hill path. There were plenty of people out and about at this point, enjoying the sunshine.

A gentle stroll back to the car through the forest park and that was us done. A really enjoyable walk, five minutes from home. Today the legs are definitely complaining but we know the fitness will return.

Re: Ben Cleuch, so good we climbed it twice

PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 11:46 pm
by mrssanta
Brilliant cloud pictures there