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Something a little different ... Glen and Loch Etive

Something a little different ... Glen and Loch Etive


Postby DonnyW » Sun Apr 11, 2010 9:00 am

Date walked: 12/04/2010

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If someone asks me nowadays why I still climb mountains, its because I consider myself a landscape photographer and traditional artist and I am always looking for the best views that Scotland has to offer. I guess that’s why you wont find me on the hills when they are clagged in. The hills offer views that not everyone will see, and I don’t mind putting in the effort to find those views

Its also the reason I don’t always head for the hills. Im equally as happy walking on the flat or paddling on the water, looking for the views that may inspire my next photograph or painting.

That’s why I headed for Glen Etive on Saturday. The weather was superb and I wanted to take full advantage of it so I set of with camera, hiking books, and dare I mention it here.. a little inflatable boat that fits nicely into the boot of my car.

Yup..I guessed the mountains would be busy on a day like Saturday ..so I was going where I could be alone with my thoughts… right down the centre of Loch Etive

But first I wanted to walk along parts of Glen Etive. It’s a photographer’s dream paradise. Its waterfalls are plentiful and the surrounding hills offer some of the best backdrops in the country.

Waterfalls in Glen Etive
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A study of a waterfall in motion
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Glencoe reflected in Lochan Urr
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In total I only walked about four miles along Glen Etive, then it was off to the head of Loch Etive. Sadly they have now removed the remains of the old wooden pier but they have provided a new car park. It was busy with wild campers but I still found a place to park and inflate my inflatable. Then it was all hands to the oars.

Although I take a little outboard motor along for the ride, its only for safety, and not often used. I prefer rowing as exercise this way and I don’t scare the wild life. In fact I have found that when you row a boat ..the seals will start following.

I rowed for ten miles, five down the loch plus the return journey. The tide working in my favour as it was going out as I went down the loch and started coming in as I returned. Why fight with nature ?

My inflatable dingy parked for a picnic below the slopes Ben Starav
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Glencoe reflected in Loch Etive
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Winter colours are still on the slopes of Beinn Trilleachan
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Two swans heading for Ben Cruachan
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A seal poses in front of Ben Cruachan and wonders if I could be a fish
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Looking back at Ben Starav from another spot I landed
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A lovely little sandy bay at Rubha Bharr. Perfect for a wild camp and and sun set photos. I will return.
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I also saw a couple of otters but they were too fast and far off to get a decent photo. Various sea birds and also some deer

I appreciate it’s a walk report with a difference in that I also used a row boat for part of my report so Im not sure if it is relevant here.. but it was still a good way of getting exercise in the great outdoors .. without hammering knee joints on the down hill sections
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Re: Something a little different ... Glen and Loch Etive

Postby fingeez » Sun Apr 11, 2010 9:27 am

Hey Donny

looks like a beautiful day was had there :)

nothing wrong with using a boat aswell, specially if it helps find those views and quiet places where you can enjoy the quiet and outdoors :)

Some stunning pics there. Keep them coming haha

Im intending on eventually buying my own Canadian Canoe to pair with my walking and using it for long weekends on lochs with wild camping along the way. One of my expeditions i plan for the future is going to start at Killin travelling down Loch tay then down the River Tay and taking a fair few days going all the way back to Perth :)

Ross
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Re: Something a little different ... Glen and Loch Etive

Postby monty » Sun Apr 11, 2010 9:36 am

Picture postcard stuff Donnyw. Absolutely stunning. Are you a professional photographer?

Fingeez take a look at http://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=1060 for inspiration :D
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Re: Something a little different ... Glen and Loch Etive

Postby davgil » Sun Apr 11, 2010 11:03 am

Great photos Donny!

Glen Etive is indeed a photographer's paradise as you say and it shows here, well done!!

David
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Re: Something a little different ... Glen and Loch Etive

Postby Caberfeidh » Sun Apr 11, 2010 11:10 am

Excellent idea with the boat! I have a canadian canoe which I use to explore various lochs and sea-lochs,I have also carried a small inflatable high into the hills to fish in corrie lochans and explore hill lochs. It is an excellent alternative to walking, especially in high summer when the insects are a torment, you can escape them on the water! Lovely photos; that pass through the back of Buchaille Etives Mhor/Beag, the Lairig Gartain, was on a poster I had on my wall for two years while I worked in the Middle East. It always gives me a poignant feeling when I see it again. Do you do any fishing from your boat?
Skye sea lochr.JPG
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Re: Something a little different ... Glen and Loch Etive

Postby DonnyW » Sun Apr 11, 2010 12:05 pm

Hi Fingeez …it’s a great ambition you have. Keep working at it and you will do it. There is another classic trip I hope to do this summer. Starts at Loch Ba on the Rannoch moor where they are building the new bridge on the A82 and you can paddle all the way to Perth ..or I might make it Dundee if the weather holds. A Canadian canoe would be perfect for that journey.

I don’t make my living from photography or painting Monty, I have been a contractor in the telecoms industry all my life and its been hard going. I hope to retire very soon then spend time marketing myself. This is the type of painting I do. Its of Loch Tulla. and Im sure anyone familiar with the area will recognise it. The photo makes the watercolour very “contrasty” ..but you get the idea.

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Hi davgil..yup..Glen Etive is a beautiful spot. Sadly not all wild campers treat it the way it should be. I have even witnessed old bed mattresses abandoned after there after their nights out. I hope now the Loch Lomond area is restricted for camping.. they don’t all descend on Glen Etive and destroy it :(

Yup..Im partial to a bit of fishing Caberfeidh although I haven’t done it in ages. It took us a while to land this whale. Its one of the biggest ever found which beached itself near Gatehouse of Fleet a few years back ..phew..I can still smell it. :shock:

I prefer the mackerel to whale and couldn’t notice the delicious one in your canoe. I don’t like the cod though.. I have caught too many full of worms for my enjoyment

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I tried kayaks a few times but having capsized one 5 years ago..in the middle of the firth of clyde ..in the middle of December ..and almost died of hypothermia .. Im not so keen on them … but in a lovely still day like this photo at Arisaig …well Im yer man..yup that’s me among the seals

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Thanks to all for your interest in this report
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Re: Something a little different ... Glen and Loch Etive

Postby Alastair S » Sun Apr 11, 2010 12:08 pm

Yes, great photos Donny - thanks for sharing :)

BTW do you have a Flickr account? I guess not seeing as you are using imageshack but thought I'd ask anyway.
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Re: Something a little different ... Glen and Loch Etive

Postby Caberfeidh » Sun Apr 11, 2010 2:55 pm

Excellent pics of the expired whale ( I too have smelt one and it is not good ! :sick: ) and those selkies off Arisaig. I canoed out to a seal colony off Arisaig one lovely summer day and they came into the water and swam over to meet me. Very inquisitive creatures, and cute with it. I have heard of someone seeing a big shark out there, possibly attracted to the seals, or maybe it was just a Basker... :-/
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Re: Something a little different ... Glen and Loch Etive

Postby gaffr » Sun Apr 11, 2010 3:19 pm

Many thanks for allowing us to see these.....must be as near to perfection as you could get....what about the 'Slabs'? do you have a good one of the 'Etive Slabs' from the boat? Also I have always enjoyed that backwards look towards the Buachailles.
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Re: Something a little different ... Glen and Loch Etive

Postby DonnyW » Sun Apr 11, 2010 4:00 pm

Hi Alistair S, I don’t have a web page at the moment but if you want to see parts of Scotland that very few people see, you could do worse than browse my brother’s blog site.

http://seakayakphoto.blogspot.com/

He gave up mountaineering because it finally got to his knees. If you are young and run down mountains every weekend ..be aware .. there is a price that some people pay much later in life. He took up sea kayaking and explores the remote coasts around Scotland. Im not sure if arm muscles can wear out like knee joints can ? :?

Yup..I got the Trilleachan slabs too Gaffr. Here is a couple of photos of them. The first shows the slabs still streaked with water in the early morning sun. The second shows them dry in the afternoon. Notice the tent and campers for scale..they are huge..the slabs ..not the campers. :lol:

My brother lost a friend many years ago. He slipped on the grass on the decent route after climbing on the slabs. Even the decent is very difficult. Im happy just to take the photos.

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Re: Something a little different ... Glen and Loch Etive

Postby Stretch » Sun Apr 11, 2010 7:11 pm

Amazing stuff as usuall Donny, Glen Etive/Loch Etive is probably my favorite place in Scotland that I've been to so far. Thanks for sharing these!
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Re: Something a little different ... Glen and Loch Etive

Postby fingeez » Sun Apr 11, 2010 7:29 pm

Hey Monty

Looks like you had a cracker of a day on that walk with your kayak, def something i want to start doing in a year or two, gotta save the pennies towards some more canoeing and some lessons for safety, oh yeah spose for the canoe and gear aswell lol.

Yeah DonnyW iv had a look at that route aswell, think it involves a few portages along the way, best get practice carrying the canoe haha. Yeah def possible to go to dundee, altho id be guessing it wouldnt be best in bad weather along with the tidal flow. Id stop in Perth though, mainly as thats where i stay so could have my car parked near the North Inch ready to stick the canoe ontop and nip home quick :)

Ross
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Re: Something a little different ... Glen and Loch Etive

Postby walk aboot » Sun Apr 11, 2010 10:43 pm

Brilliant photos DonnyW. Loved the description of doing something different too :)
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Re: Something a little different ... Glen and Loch Etive

Postby walk aboot » Sun Apr 11, 2010 11:00 pm

...that last photo amongst the seals is terrific :) :) :)
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Re: Something a little different ... Glen and Loch Etive

Postby FloozySuzie » Sun Apr 11, 2010 11:08 pm

I never noticed the seals the first time round! Wow. I love seals.
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