Meikle Bin and a mickle bit more
by GillC » Sun Apr 07, 2013 1:33 pm
Sub 2000' hills included on this walk: Meikle Bin
Date walked: 06/04/2013
Time taken: 3.5 hours
Distance: 11.8 km
Ascent: 622m1 person thinks this report is great. Register or Login free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).
Often overlooked for more challenging or far flung walks I thought it would be nice to use my 2 yr old, and so far unused, Cicerone book on The Ochils, Campsie Fells and Lomond Hills, so coupled with the OS map,, I got to the Crow Road carpark before investigating where to go. From the carpark, I considered revisiting Cort Ma Law and Lecket, having done that solo before,,on a very wet misty day, but the lower slopes were mobbed, as was the downward on the reverse at Lecket Hill. I then decided to wander up Dungoil a little further on the Crow Road, then Meikle Bin came into view. Was it too late in the day (after 2pm)? Stronend crags was an option, then with no where to park there, I thought, stuff it,,Meikle Bin it is.
The last time I climbed Meikle Bin, I did the majority of the journey on my dads shoulders....you may realise then, that this was not recently. In fact I think much of the forestry covering the walk up probably hadn't even been planted then. From memory,,only dad and I made it that day as mum, sis and bro turned back because the flies and midgies were too much. I have spent almost 40 years or so thinking my dad carried me on his shoulders to let me escape the little blighters,,,but yesterday, it suddenly struck me,,,did he do it to keep them off HIM!! lol
I know of the remnants of a plane that crashed there but didnt see any sign of it on this walk, is it still there?
Quick change of trousers in the spacious parking area opposite Todholes, boots on and off I went. Low views over the Carron Reservoir and several 3 manned boats out fishing. There are one or two paths leading off the main track, but just carry on until you cross the river on the concrete bridge, over a very straight, shallow River Carron flowing to the reservoir.
I often pass walkers going up hills later in the day and wonder why, but here I was,,today I WAS that person. Walking on my own, means no reason to stop for a natter, so on I went, at a fairly fast pace for me. Lots of walkers around in the lower forest paths which weave around the land south of the reservoir.
As you rise through the trees after taking the right hand fork beyond the river, you are teased by glimpses of the views North. Passing under Little Bin on your left, you dont get a view of that until you pass by and get to look back over your left shoulder. The views to the North open up here for a short spell. Could see straight through to the tracts of snow covered hills.
The forestry looks thick on the map but there are plenty breaks in the trees and with the sun shining on a pretty snowy track,,it was a pleasure (if a bit slippy at times)
This is an easy to follow, constant incline, no real toughy,,keeps the heart pumping and legs working though. Smashing...
Onward and upward, you peel off left and out of the trees on to the long sloping shoulder. Several singular pine trees looked ever so Christmassy against the snow covered North slopes , in fact one tree had tinsel and decorations, has someone had a Christmas climb there?
Its less than a km from the tree line up to the trigpoint but climb gets a wee bit steeper and there are a couple of shoulders to clear before getting to the top. With quite a bit of cloud cover now, accompanied by an icy wind on the open top, I dug in and decided not to stop for gloves hat etc, until I was at the trig. I could see 2 people and a dog there already. By the time I got there,,my hands were so cold they were a combination of red raw and blue. Colourful. so, hat on, gloves on, windproof jacket too. jumbo fruit and nut bar scoffed, and a few pics taken.
My proposed route was circular,,leaving the summit to the South East and down to the tree line, off to the left to and back along the low ground beside the reservoir. BUT...... down into the trees,,following a wide path of footprints in the snow (as well as the 2 with the dog from earlier) I got to the "drainage ditched crossed with sleepers" WHERE,,tell me,,WHERE ARE THE SLEEPERS??? I saw plenty of evidence of people clambering through 3-4' deep peat and mud BEFORE getting to the drainage ditch of running water. I made several attempts at scrambling under the low trees to either side to avoid the leg-sucking mud, then, erring on the side of caution, (Im on my own and I dont think anyone else will be passing this way today) I decided to head back up to the summit and take my ascent route, back down. Wasn't happy about the decision, a) I had to regain a bit of height and b) I do like a circular route.
Anyway,,back to the top, gloves and hat back on as the wind was pretty relentless here, spent another few mins just enjoying the open air. Then off down the snowy track. Having had my nasty fall on packed ice on Nevis,,I made a mental note not to get too relaxed and kept an eye on my footing. The path down through the trees was pretty slippy too for quite a way, but sticking to the softer patches or the slushy broken up bits, made it a bit easier.
Feeling inspired (and hungry) I broke into a jog for some stretches coming down and got back to my car after 3.5hrs,,quite happy with that considering I'd reclimbed the hill after the mud episode.
Not a big hill, not a hard climb, but one thats easily bypassed in the search for more interesting days out. But for a late start and smashing views, this was a good decision. Loved it. I WILL be back. Home for pizza and wine and an early night,,ROCK N ROLL!
by The Rodmiester » Sun Apr 07, 2013 1:55 pm
by GillC » Sun Apr 07, 2013 2:17 pm
by The Rodmiester » Sun Apr 07, 2013 4:10 pm
GillC wrote:Hey,,thanks Rodmeister,,,just noticed you have only 1 Munro to go,,,whats your last and when are you planning to 'bag' it? Think I'd need someone to point the way for me to get many more in.....need to get more involved in group walks I think. Best of and thanks for your message. G
Hi GillC, Walkhighlands only show up to 282 as that is the updated listed numbers. I completed on Beinn na Lap in 2009, so at present just enjoy days on any hills. Trying to encourage my Grandson from Nottingham when he comes to visit Grampa to add to his tally and also my Niece and Nephews are also showing an interest so I go out with them also. I am also a member of the Argyll Mountaineering Club and try and get out on their monthly meets. At present nursing either bruised or brocken ribs, had a bit of a tumble off, wait fot it West Lomond of all places, it just goes to show you cannot be too careful, even on the smallest hills when there is ice and snow about. I was impressed with your approach re safety on your report Be safe and take care and who knows we might bump into each other some day on the hills.
by GillC » Sun Apr 07, 2013 5:08 pm
Safety, its a must, been too close to nasty experiences and retrospective brow wiping to take it any other way,,and besides,,my mum worries lol
by AlasdairMcD » Sun Apr 07, 2013 6:39 pm
by dtaylor5632 » Wed Apr 24, 2013 11:35 pm
A lot better with the views than back in Feb when I slogged up there in snow up to my waist and in the middle of a storm lol
- Bit blowy at the top
- erm, where's the scenery ??
by GillC » Thu Apr 25, 2013 11:02 am
by hills » Thu Apr 25, 2013 3:32 pm
by GillC » Thu Apr 25, 2013 4:21 pm
by hills » Thu Apr 25, 2013 10:47 pm
by Stuart Angus » Fri Apr 26, 2013 8:48 am
by GillC » Fri Apr 26, 2013 10:06 am
Cheers again, G
by colingray8 » Fri Apr 26, 2013 7:57 pm
GillC wrote:Thanks Stuart, I read your report after my trip actually, I 'think' I took the same route down as you, there were certainly a lot of feet going down the same way in the snow but couldnt see an alternative anywhere when i was regaining ground on the way back up. Hoping to get back up this Sunday with my friend, the snow should have cleared a bit so Im going to keep my eyes peeled for a possible different path.
Cheers again, G
As you come off the back of the hill and are approaching the tree line, the muddy fire break is in front of you, (photo 4 on part 2 of Stuart's excellent guide) just to the right of the fire break, someone has cut back some of the branches which allows you to walk down parallel to the path but just inside the trees. This will take you to the drainage ditch which, if I remember correctly is not as bad as it is on the main path. Once over the ditch, head back to the left. This will bring you back to the main route just after the ditch where you would have turned left (East) to follow the main fire break along (roughly photo 6 on Stuart's guide). Follow the fire break East but this is muddy in places and towards the end is completely blocked by windblown trees. (Photo's 7 & 8 ). By nipping in and out of the trees most of the time on the right hand side of the fire break, but never loosing sight of the path, it is possible to miss most of the mud and trees. Keep inside the trees on the right hand side as you get towards the end of the fire break, some of the tree branches have been removed creating a path. This path brings you out of the trees where you descend down to cross over a wee burn before climbing a few meters to join an old forest track at grid reference 673816. (Photo's 9 & 10). From here follow the route as described by Stuart and in your book. I'm sure I have the same one.
This is the wettest and muddiest part of the walk and once your past it it is pretty straight-forward all the way back to the start.
What ever you decide to do, enjoy it. One of my favourite walks.
by rockhopper » Sat Apr 27, 2013 11:46 pm
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