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Glen Artney Donalds

Glen Artney Donalds

Postby weaselmaster » Sat Dec 19, 2015 11:47 pm

Fionas included on this walk: Uamh Bheag

Donalds included on this walk: Beinn nan Eun, Uamh Bheag

Date walked: 19/12/2015

Time taken: 5.25 hours

Distance: 14.5 km

Ascent: 794m

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Having done the southernmost Graham last Saturday - Cairnsmore of Fleet - it seemed symmetrically fitting to take on the Northernmost Donald, Beinn nan Eun up in Glen Artney. So much for my new lexicon of South Scots as opposed to Gaelic - here we were with "Allt na Caillich", Beinn Odhar" and Coire Seasgaich" on the map - this is Gaelic country. As it's a Donald that didn't feature on Percy's original list, he wasn't up here in his kilt I guess.

We were only getting one hill day this weekend, so I picked somewhere that would be apart from the larger groups of hills. This combination of Donald/Graham seemed that it would fit the bill nicely. I decided we'd stay at Comrie Croft campsite, where we'd enjoyed a weekend in the early summer - no sitting round a campfire this time though, with a crap weather forecast. We got away from work before 3pm, but already the motorway signs were noting queues from Junction 26...I elected to go over the Erskine Bridge, thinking to go up the back road to Dunblane. Uh-oh - the road to Faifley/Duntocher is closed! I'm now stuck crawling along the dual carriageway towards Glasgow thinking I'd have been better choosing the motorway - it's always the way you don't choose that's better :wink: Fuming, we did manage to turn north at the next roundabout and head up through Milngavie and out on the Drymen road. Hearing of congestion round Dunblane, we opted for the Aberfoyle/Callander route. Oh the rain was vicious, pelting down against the windscreen as we turned and twisted up by Strathyre and I wasn't relishing putting up the tent in it - but it eased as we went along Lochearnside and- to my surprise - was almost dry as we got to the campsite and pitched high in the forest. The rain did come on heavily at times overnight, drumming on the nylon whilst the wind whistled through the treetops.

Sub-tropical camping (compared to frozen solid tent last week)
ImageP1110665 by Al, on Flickr

uamheunx.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts

Saturday morning was quite dry as we gathered up the tent and drove the short distance into Glen Artney. A nice recently resurfaced road brought us to the car park beside the church. Allison still wasn't over her recent bout of illness - from the coughs coming from her it sounded like she should be heading for a sanatorium in the Swiss Alps rather than Glen Arntey Donalds - more The Magic Mountain than Uamh Bheag. So I was glad that there was no snow to tramp through, to drain her depleted energy reserves further. I'd pinched Malky's route, up Auchnashelloch Hill first, round Uamh and finishing on Eun. I was expecting bog, especially with all the rain/snowmelt of the last fortnight. It turned out to be not bad, actually. There was a fast running stream to cross on the way up, some nimble leaping onto a tussocky islet mid stream required. Otherwise it was weirdly unseasonal - green shoots of new reeds spearing the air, sphagnum mosses providing a living carpet rather than the blanket of snow we should have been expecting.

Our route ahead
ImageP1110668 by Al, on Flickr

The Lednock hills to the north
ImageP1110669 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1110672 by Al, on Flickr

River crossing in action!
ImageP1110675 by Al, on Flickr

Ben Vorlich behind the wind farm
ImageP1110679 by Al, on Flickr

At least we were shielded from the worst of the wind coming up this way. I could see the tips of wind turbines from the wind farm on the southern side of the hill, from which direction the wind was coming. As we neared the top of Uamh Bheag we were exposed to the full blast of it - all I can say is that i was glad we were at 664m, not 1064. We'd come up a bit too close to the trig point - and had to track over to the 664m west top (which is actually 665.5m, not the 664 marked on the map). Wow, it was windy there. We tracked back along the fence line and had a bite to eat, huddling behind a peat hag out of the wind.

There were a few peat hags to negotiate
ImageP1110682 by Al, on Flickr

Cairn, Uamh Bheag
ImageP1110685 by Al, on Flickr

It's a bit windy
ImageP1110686 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1110687 by Al, on Flickr

Next it was a descent following the fenceline east towards the windfarm. There's a strange cairn to pass beside, then we headed north, avoiding the worst of several deep channelled hags. Reached the cairn on Beinn Odhar then set our sights on our final target, Beinn nan Eun. This involved walking along numerous of the peathag channels - like sunken roads. Fortunately most were not too squelchy underfoot. The summit is the wooden post-in-stones, although I did go for a wander to find the 631m ring contour marked on my gps- this was lower than the post :lol: Off down the NNE side of the hill, along the top of surprisingly steep grassy crags - this enclosed perhaps the only patch of remaining snow in Perthshire :lol: I started down the northern rather than WNW shoulder and needed a quick correct in route.

Down towards the windfarm
ImageP1110691 by Al, on Flickr

Cairn marking the site of the slaying of the last Scottish Giant in 1572. His shinbones were used in the door frame of the Glen Artney Church
ImageP1110692 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1110693 by Al, on Flickr

View back to Uamh Bheag
ImageP1110694 by Al, on Flickr

Sunken roads on Beinn Odhar
ImageP1110696 by Al, on Flickr

Summit post, Beinn nan Eun
ImageP1110697 by Al, on Flickr

As we headed down the hillside a small group of deer dispersed below us, re-assembling after we'd passed by them. We made for the bridge across the Allt na Caillich, choosing to cross the smaller bridge over the adjacent stream and returning along the western side of the Allt. I headed across to the church, which has boarded up windows, although the door opens and it seemed to still be aired inside - I couldn't see a thing due to the windows being blocked- the lights didn't come on. Back at the car and a wet drive down the road, via a slap up meal at the Banana Leaf where the waiter informed us we had ordered too much food - not a morsel of it left when we'd finished :lol:

ImageP1110698 by Al, on Flickr

The last remaining snow in Perthshire!
ImageP1110699 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1110700 by Al, on Flickr

God don't live here anymore
ImageP1110701 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1110702 by Al, on Flickr
Last edited by weaselmaster on Mon Feb 19, 2018 9:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Hill Bagger
Posts: 2441
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Re: Glen Artney Donalds

Postby Petr Dakota » Sun Dec 20, 2015 6:08 pm

some gentle breeze :lol: :lol: :D
Well done in this conditions :clap: :clap: :clap:
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Petr Dakota
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Re: Glen Artney Donalds

Postby Collaciotach » Sun Dec 20, 2015 7:14 pm

I still say your mad :wink:
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Re: Glen Artney Donalds

Postby Borderhugh » Mon Dec 21, 2015 1:08 pm

Good on ya for getting out. I dig the river crossing and wind posing shots.

It certainly was a blowing a hoolie this weekend!
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Re: Glen Artney Donalds

Postby Graeme D » Tue Dec 22, 2015 12:32 pm

Aye, Saturday was a bit of a stinker all over I think. Kev and I got the same treatment down in the Daer Donalds! :shock:
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Graeme D
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