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The Picture of Dhorain Grey

The Picture of Dhorain Grey

Postby Pastychomper » Mon Aug 06, 2018 12:53 am

Fionas included on this walk: Beinn Dhorain

Date walked: 19/07/2018

Time taken: 1.5 hours

Distance: 3.2 km

Ascent: 358m

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As advertised.
Actually there was nothing grey about Ben Dhorain when I went up it, except maybe the cairns. The title was a reference to Oscar Wild's only novel.

A short-notice meeting had me travelling to Inverness, so I took the opportunity to walk a hill on the way home. Ben Dhorain looked ideal: an hour's walk, close to the road, a Graham, and an excuse to take the "short"cut through Glen Loth.
That road has been repaired in places but large sections still had occasional bits of road among the potholes, and one or two bends were thick with gravel. There were no signs of stalkers so I parked in the first obvious layby and headed straight up. The fence was stock netting topped with several strained wires, an easy squeeze even for my bulk.

Everything seemed full of the joys of summer - a lot of the heather was in bloom, and at least three different kinds of berry were ripe. I didn't try any. A large dragonfly went past, too quick for me to photograph.

There were quite a few blaeberries about...
...and I'm told this might be wintergreen. Alternative suggestions welcome.

I enjoy the odd scramble but am not much of a climber. Still, that chimney on the way up looked inviting, though maybe awkward at the top.
Going up...
Sure enough, the last overhang was too risky for my liking so I backtracked and traversed to a more scramblable section.
...and down the chimney. Possibly easier with a red suit and white beard.

I definitely chose the steep way up. Eventually it started to level off, and around the time I was considering standing I spotted the third kind of berry.

Minimalist botany: 1 stalk, 2 leaves, 1 fruit
I didn't know if these were extremely stunted raspberries or some related species, but there were plenty of them scattered around and they tasted great. I had a rest and noticed a small flock of wild dragons circling Morven, their leathery wings silhouetted against the clear tartan sky...
Glad to be over the steep bit
No, not really - with my weak grasp of mountain botany I didn't risk any of the fruit, thinking the local birds could make better use of it in any case. (Post-walk I learned these were cloudberries, which are apparently safe and tasty. Ah well.) It was nice to see so much colour and plant life - this was, if possible, an unusually good time to be on a hill.

Dragons or not, the views back were now transitioning from good to awesome.

Across to Beinn Mhealaich

The road I came in on

One top and two cairns later...
Summit cairn

Visibility from the top was good as far as Ben Hope, and I was impressed by the number of mountains I could see.
S: Druim Dearg and beyond
N: Morvern, Scaraben
NW: Klibreck, Hope, Loyal, two Griams

Return was via a much easier route across the heather, raising clouds of pollen and a pair of birds on the way. Rather than walk along the road I made my way around the hill and stumbled upon a track I'd crossed earlier, which more or less follows a contour a little way below the rocks. From there it was an easy drop back to the road.

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Re: The Picture of Dhorain Grey

Postby Magoo82 » Mon Aug 06, 2018 9:14 am

Good views! Coincidentally I'm currently in the middle of reading that book :lol:
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Joined: Apr 2, 2011
Location: Lochee, Dundee

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