The weather looked likely to break in the afternoon , so a 4am start from Aberdeen saw me ready to push my bike up the mine access road at 7am.
But first I had to resist accepting an offer of a lift up the road from the driver of a 6-wheeled articulated dumper truck used to move Baryte from the mine to the loading area by the the road.
It was a lovely sunny morning with a cuckoo giving it stick beyond the forestry. The road passes quite close to the summit of Meall Tairneachan, so only a short diversion to the summit is needed to get some great views of Schiehallion.
The road continues past the mine for a wee bit and terminates round a promontory on the way to Farragon Hill.From the road end there is an option of contouring on to the ridge that leads to Farragon or the diretissimo up an - at first - grassy, boggy line that runs up the hill. I chose the former for the ascent, which is a wee bit lumpy,heathery & peaty. However, it doesn't last long and if I'd moved a wee bit left on the last steeper bit to the summit, I would've come across a path to the top. Naturally, I only found it on the way down on the "green route" back to the track terminus to recover my bike. Again, great views from the top of Farragon to the Atholl hills and the old open cast mines to the east. Pity about the orange access road !
On the way back, I dropped into the mine for a chat, as I discovered it belonged to my old company. A push of the bike to the top of Tairneachan again and a whizz down the other side to the B846 saw me arrive back at the car, just ahead of the rain.
A chipper in Pitlochry fortified me for the trip back to Aberdeen.
Better than the pensioner's bus to the Queens view - eh ?
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Warning Please note that hillwalking when there is snow lying requires an ice-axe, crampons and the knowledge, experience and skill to use them correctly. Summer routes may not be viable or appropriate in winter. See winter information on our skills and safety pages for more information.