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A Hazy Shade of Winter

A Hazy Shade of Winter


Postby Jaxter » Tue Oct 30, 2018 10:55 pm

Route description: Ben Vorlich via Loch Sloy

Munros included on this walk: Ben Vorlich (Loch Lomond)

Corbetts included on this walk: Meall an Fhudair

Grahams included on this walk: Beinn Damhain

Sub 2000' hills included on this walk: Cruach Tairbeirt

Date walked: 27/10/2018

Time taken: 12 hours

Distance: 37.15 km

Ascent: 2750m

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27th October 2018 – Ben Vorlich
14.68km
1030m ascent
3 hours 50 minutes

Another sunny Saturday, another morning spent working in Helensburgh. Fortunately I escaped at midday and was parked up at Inveruglas by 1. It was a gorgeous afternoon – this is such a stunning time of year and the sun was shining on Loch Lomond, but it was absolutely baltic 8)
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I headed off along the road (well sign-posted – this was a far cry from my normal off-piste malarkey :lol: ), past the Power Station and managed to head up the wrong track into a boggy field :roll: I climbed over a fence, crossed the railway, climbed another gate and I was on the right track again….oopsies :lol:
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Beinn Narnain to the left
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It was really warm and although I’d put a load of layers on at the car I had to strip them back off again as I made my way up the glen towards the Sloy Dam 8)
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I reached the path – I remember hearing people complaining about this path but it had clearly been improved since then :thumbup:
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Looking back to Beinn Narnain
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As I climbed higher I could see Loch Sloy
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The path climbed steeply and I could see some crags ahead above me 8)
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Loch Lomond was coming into view
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Approaching a steeper section, the path wound its way through these rocks exposing some big crevasses that it would kind of suck to fall into :shock:
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Loch Lomond 8) (any excuse to stop – it was a tough climb!)
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It was really sunny but also freezing cold – there was a brutal wind that ripped across the mountain in the exposed areas. But look – wee silhouttos 8)
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Loch Arklet
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Now on the ridge for real there were lots of impressive rocky outcrops and although there had been bits of ice further down, I was now into proper frozen ground. There’s something really satisfying about the thunk of a boot on a frozen path 8)
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Looking across to Ben More and Stob Binnein – significantly more snow there making it look like something out of Lord of the Rings 8)
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As I climbed higher up the ridge I could see down Loch Lomond and Ben Lomond – what a day 8)
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This was all unfamiliar to me as last time I was here I had been up from the other side, and also it had been clagmaggeddon and I’d actually spent ages wandering around trying to find the summit :lol:

I finally reached the trig point although according to the OS map the real summit is the cairn a few metres further North.
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Looking north towards Ben Lui
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Looking into the far distance I could see a heathy dusting of snow in Glencoe
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The trig point and Ben Lomond in the distance
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The Arrochar Alps
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Sitting on top of a big rock 8)
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Beinn Bhuidhe and Cruachan
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It was looking dark in the distance :shock:
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Loch Sloy and Binnein an Fhidhleir
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It was really cold – the wind was really strong and it was freezing :shock: So I headed off down the path, stopping to pose in the sun 8)
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Arrochar Alps
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Narnain and the Cobbler 8)
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Home time….
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Looking back up….
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Despite it being so cold I just couldn’t get over what a stunning afternoon it was 8)
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Looking down the steep slopes of Ben Vorlich to Sloy Dam
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As I made my way down I looked back – steep wee bugger :shock:
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Loch Lomond
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The light was starting to drop a little
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A dam fine view (I’m here all day :wink: )
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Back on the track it was an easy walk back
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I met a few other folk on the way out and chattered to them (not like me at all…. :lol: )
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I hadn’t thought it looked like much of a sunset but maybe it would have been worth waiting up high…
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A wee visit to the Falls of Falloch turned out to be muddy but impressive (mostly impressive that I didn’t fall over :lol: )
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Vorlich.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts






28th October 2018 – Meall na Fhudair & Beinn Damhain
18.17km
1309m ascent
5 hours 50 minutes

It was a cold night but I was warm and toasty inside my sleeping bag. I’d also had an extra hours sleep! I was awake nice and early and parked up at 7.30. I managed to squeeze Colonel Mustard in near a fence without blocking any entrances. The moon was shining in a beautiful blue sky – it was shaping up to be another stunner 8)
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Glen Falloch farm
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I headed down the road a short distance before heading up the correct track today :lol: This led me to a bridge over the railway today :roll:
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The track climbed steeply uphill – again the extra layers came off fairly soon :shock: Ben More was poking out and looking inviting 8)
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The track contoured around Troisgeach Bheag….
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….which soon gave me some great views down the northern tip of Loch Lomond
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The track then began to zig zag upwards
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The sun began to peek out 8)
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The amazing colours and early morning 8)
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Eventually it was time to leave the track – there were a few traces of a path to follow in places but it was basically off-piste :roll:
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The sun was properly up now
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Looking up Glen Falloch
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As I climbed higher the views increased
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Ben Lui, Ben Oss and Beinn Dubhchraig
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It was rough ground – fortunately a lot of the soggier bits were at least partially frozen making it a lot easier underfoot, although I did manage to stick both feet in the same bog :roll:
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Glen Falloch
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It was tough work but an enjoyable climb – the wind was significantly reduced from the day before which made sticking to the rocky ridges the nicest way up.

Loch Lomond and Ben Lomond
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How on earth does this rock stay upright? :shock:
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And finally I was on the summit of Troisgeach 8)
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Another perfect day 8)
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Meall nan Caora and Cruachan
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Beinn Damhain and the Arrochar hills
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Towards Ben More
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The summit of Meall an Fhudair – looks a long way away :shock:
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Although the route description said to bypass Meall nan Caora I figured I might as well go over it – and it turned out to be another great viewpoint as well as a slightly drier route
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A wee frozen lochan
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Ahead to Meall an Fhudair
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The bealach would normally have been a bog fest but largely frozen all I had to do was dodge the lochans
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It was a relatively easy climb and there were traces of a path which became much more pathlike as I climbed higher. Finally at the top the views down to Loch Fyne opened out 8)
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Loch Fyne and the Paps of Jura
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Beinn Bhuidhe
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The Cruachan range
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Bens Lui, Oss and Dubhchraig
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North – Ben Challum I think
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Ben More and Stob Binnein
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Arrochar skyline
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Meall an Fhudair summit
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Troisgeach and the Crianlarich hills
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Lochan Beinn Damhain
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I sat and enjoyed the views for a while before heading down the south side of Meall an Fhudair – it was a much easier descent than I had feared although I did scare off a big herd of deer :lol:
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Beinn Damhain ahead
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After a while I picked up a burn which I followed downwards – it cut an impressive groove in the hillside
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The ground became a bit squishy at the bottom as I hopped across a couple of burns – looking back to the lochan
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Whoops I didn’t need to drop down this low :lol:
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It was a steep climb up towards the ridge of Beinn Damhain – fortunately it was in the shade which made for a slightly easier ascent :lol:
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Finally on something of a ridge I could see back to the lochan
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The summit of Beinn Damhain ahead
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Reaching the summit the views down Glen Falloch were back 8)
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Loch Sloy glinting below Ben Vane
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Beinn Bhuidhe and Cruachan
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Paps of Jura
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Ben More
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Beinn Damhain summit
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Meall an Fhudair with Bens Lui, Oss & Dubhchraig
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Ben Vorlich, Loch Sloy and Ben Vane
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It was chilly – I enjoyed the views for a while before heading downwards – it was craggy and steep to start with and lost height quickly
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Meall an Fhudair
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Lochan Beinn Damhain and Ben Vorlich
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There were some more steep sections and I was into heather and rocks – treacherous ankle-breaking territory but I made it down intact :roll:
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I was finally on a track, across a bridge and on the home straight – looking back up my descent
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The railway viaduct
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I got back to the car before 2pm thanks to my early start. It was such a nice day that it seemed a shame to head home so early, so I hatched a master plan 8)


Meall na Fhudair & Beinn Damhain.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts






Cruach Tairbeirt
4.30km
411m ascent
2 hours 21 minutes

I stopped at Inveruglas for a cup of tea (and a pee :wink: ) before heading down the road…it was a beautiful afternoon and everyone was out and about. However I eventually found myself parked up at Arrochar and Tarbet station.

I had scanned through Denfinella’s report and sure enough, as I sat in the car I could see a lady wandering around looking at my car….as I got out to put my boots up she came over and let me know that I was parked in a railway carpark and that I was supposed to park at the bottom of the road… I pointed out that there were no signs to this effect and she admitted that as it was late I was probably ok. As I headed for the underpass she did remind me again that I really shouldn’t be parked there :roll: I thanked her for informing me and headed uphill :lol:

The path was easy to follow initially, despite there being a few fallen or felled trees to climb over. Ben Lomond was visible through the trees 8)
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The path was fairly clear although it got progressively muddier as I climbed. The forestry wasn’t too dense and it was easy to dodge the worst of the mud.
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As the forestry came to an end it became impossible to climb out as there were uprooted trees and a big bank of mud – a bit of exploration found me a bit where I could scramble up and I was onto the hill for real.

The views onto Loch Lomond were wonderful in the Autumn evening light 8)
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Beinn Narnain and The Cobbler
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I headed up through grass and soon picked up a path – turns out I’d missed a turning in the forest :roll:
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As I climbed higher I could start to see down Loch Long – it was going to be a good one 8)
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The Brack and the Cobbler
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The Cobbler and Beinn Narnain
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Loch Lomond opening out
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The path was fairly squishy a lot of the time but it was decent underfoot and led me easily uphill. I was at the summit in well under an hour and having a wee wander around gave me spectacular views in all directions 8)
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The summit of Cruach Tairbeirt with Beinn Narnain and Ben Vane behind
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Loch Long and the sun making its descent behind The Brack
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Ben Vane, Loch Sloy and Ben Vorlich
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Ben Vorlich
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The Cobbler
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I tried to get a Jaxter on the trig point but the camera angle wouldn’t work and this was the best I could manage :lol: :lol:
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So had to make do with using the trig as a tripod :lol:
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Ben Vorlich and Loch Lomond
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Ben Vorlich
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Ben Lomond
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I headed a wee bit West to a wee hill which made gave me a better view down Loch Long for the sunset, which was pretty awesome 8)
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Looking back to the summit
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Loch Lomond
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The Cobbler
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Sunset behind The Brack 8)
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It was really cold :shock:
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The sky didn’t quite light up in the way I hoped but it was still stunning 8)
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The Cobbler
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Now it was just starting to get dark and it was time to get down the hill….
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Looking back up – a wee hill but some impressive cliffs
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Loch Lomond
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I actually followed the path this time which led me into the forest without any acrobatics :lol: The head torch was on as it was dark in the forest and soon I was crashing around in undergrowth :lol:
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Safely on the trail made for easier walking (no big tree trunks to climb over :lol: ) and soon I saw the lights of the station and then my car, in the still virtually empty car park :roll: Fortunately the car park lady was safely inside out of the dark and cold and I was able to drive off in peace.

A wonderful weekend – sometimes all you need is some beautiful weather, great hills and a bit of alone time 8)


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

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Jaxter
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Re: A Hazy Shade of Winter

Postby Collaciotach » Tue Oct 30, 2018 11:09 pm

Ha .. i nearly always walk alone 8) ....well there is the dog :D

My tactic when challenged on accessing the hills ? ...a bit of Gaelic ;)

Great sunset photos :clap:
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Collaciotach
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Re: A Hazy Shade of Winter

Postby iainR » Tue Oct 30, 2018 11:17 pm

Visited Ben Vorlich on Saturday with a mate and his phone failed on the summit due to the temperatures !
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Re: A Hazy Shade of Winter

Postby malky_c » Wed Oct 31, 2018 1:07 pm

Perfect weekend, pretty much. Perhaps some snow would have improved it, but not by very much 8) . Looks like you've forgotten how to set up your camera for Jaxter poses though :lol: .
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Re: A Hazy Shade of Winter

Postby Jaxter » Wed Oct 31, 2018 7:07 pm

Collaciotach wrote:Ha .. i nearly always walk alone 8) ....well there is the dog :D

My tactic when challenged on accessing the hills ? ...a bit of Gaelic ;)

Great sunset photos :clap:

I do enjoy company, but it has to be the right company :wink: And some days I just want to be alone. Let's face it, I'm a hermit. Good shout on the Gaelic though - I'd better start learning :shock:



iainR wrote:Visited Ben Vorlich on Saturday with a mate and his phone failed on the summit due to the temperatures !

It was baltic wasn't it :shock: :shock: Well worth it though. I probably came past you on my way up!



malky_c wrote:Perfect weekend, pretty much. Perhaps some snow would have improved it, but not by very much 8) . Looks like you've forgotten how to set up your camera for Jaxter poses though :lol: .

Clearly I've got too used to having a minion with me.... :roll: :lol:
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Re: A Hazy Shade of Winter

Postby brpro26 » Thu Nov 01, 2018 2:21 am

Nice photos....to be honest I started to get bored a bit samey so started scrolling quickly through them....until I hit the one titled "It was really cold"....nearly shat myself. That will teach me....next time give some warning in advance. :lol: :lol:
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Re: A Hazy Shade of Winter

Postby denfinella » Thu Nov 01, 2018 10:01 pm

Pretty special weekend by the looks of it, especially for late October!

Think you got away lightly with the lady at Arrochar & Tarbet station :shock:
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Re: A Hazy Shade of Winter

Postby Mal Grey » Thu Nov 01, 2018 10:22 pm

Wow, lovely conditions. Some great images.

Can I just point out that there are only 2 days in a weekend, therefore 2 walks is your allotted quota. Anymore is taking the mick! :D :lol: :clap:
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Re: A Hazy Shade of Winter

Postby Jaxter » Sun Nov 04, 2018 10:39 pm

brpro26 wrote:Nice photos....to be honest I started to get bored a bit samey so started scrolling quickly through them....until I hit the one titled "It was really cold"....nearly shat myself. That will teach me....next time give some warning in advance. :lol: :lol:

Serves you right :lol: :lol: :lol:



denfinella wrote:Pretty special weekend by the looks of it, especially for late October!

Think you got away lightly with the lady at Arrochar & Tarbet station :shock:

Yes, it was incredible 8) She's a bit of a piece of work isn't she..just hope she doesn't put other folk off :shock:



Mal Grey wrote:Wow, lovely conditions. Some great images.

Can I just point out that there are only 2 days in a weekend, therefore 2 walks is your allotted quota. Anymore is taking the mick! :D :lol: :clap:

Thankyou :lol: :lol: It was a bit greedy, but I couldn't resist a good wee sunset 8)
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