Search just our sites by using our customised search engine

Unique Cottages | Electric Scotland's Classified Directory

Click here to get a Printer Friendly PageSmiley

The Scottish Mountaineering Club Journal
Notes and Queries


Mrs Macdonald, of the excellent Atholl Arms, Blair-AthqlI, will take in Members at los. a day all the year round.

The Corpach Hotel, Corpach, agrees to take Members at 8s. 6d. a day. A comfortable homely house.

Excellent lodgings can be had at Mrs Ross's, at Cul a Mhuillinn, where the high road along the north side of Loch Rannoch crosses the Ericht, about two miles short of the head of the loch. Three rooms, with four beds; no-license.

Members would be conferring a favour if they would communicate to the Journal particulars of accommodation in out-of-the-way places, like the above.

Mr C. Pilkington's Corrected Maf.' of the C'oolins.—This map has now been reproduced by Messrs J. Heywood & Co., Deansgate, Manchester, who will supply it post free at 6d. a copy. Mr Pilkington says of it that "it is very rough, but may help others to correct still further." Be this as it may, it is probably the most correct map of these mountains obtainable.

Club Photograph Album.—As the result of conversation at the Dalmally meet, it has been decided to institute a Club Album for photographs. It will be kept at the Club-Room in Glasgow, under charge of the Librarian, and it is requested that any Members who may secure good photos of mountain scenery, &c. &c., will be kind enough to furnish copies of them. There is an immense field for work of this description among the Scottish hills. The professional photographers have for the most part been content to view the mountains from a distance, or from their bases, and this too under their summer aspect; but the pictures that appeal most to the mountain fancier, and form the best souvenirs of expeditions, are those taken right up among the rocks and the snows. A number of our Members are known to handle the camera, and it is hoped that through their good graces a fine collection of views of Scottish mountain scenery will soon be got together.


The Editor will be glad to receive brief notices from Members of any noteworthy expeditions undertaken by them. These are not meant, however, to supersede longer articles.


"Yon wild mossy mountains, sac lofty and wide,
That nurse in their bosom the youth o' te Clyde,
Where the grouse lead their coveys through the heather to feed,
And the shepherd tents his flock as he pipes on his reed."


According to arrangement, the Club met at the Crook Inn,' Tweedsmuir, on Friday the 27th February. On Saturday morning, about a quarter before ten, three Members and a friend—Professors Ramsay and Veitch; Mr Hugh Smith, Langside; and Dr Thomas H. Bryce, Glasgow—started for the ascent of the Broadlaw. The day was very windy and lowering, and the clouds lay dark on the highest tops. The route was up the Heystane burn, to where it divides, and then up the Glenheurie Rig, the long slope which lies between the Glenheurie burn and the upper grain of the Heystane burn. The highest summit of Broadlaw (or Braidalb). 2,754 feet, was reached in a little over an hour and a half. The mist on the top was so dense that there was absolutely no view. On a clear day the view is magnificent, extending from the lines of the Highland hills on the north and west to the Cheviots and English lake hills on the east and south. The party then made for the Meggat side, and struck the head of the Wyllie burn in a pretty thick mist. By this glen the descent was made to the Meggat Water, and, as the mist cleared, there was a fine view of the vale of the Meggat in the direction of St Mary's Loch, including particularly the opening of the Winterhope burn. From Meggat Head shepherd's house the route was up the valley, past the Meggat Stone to the watershed of the Talla—about three miles—and then down into the valley of the latter by the Linns and the Linnfoot. Here the contours of the hills are very striking, particularly Garlet and Garlavin, divided by the impetuous Gameshope burn. Opposite, on the other side of the Talla, are the precipitous slopes and crags of Muckle Side and Middle Dod. The latter part, from Talla Lin nfoot to Crook--six miles—was very fine, in a soft afternoon light. The view of the waterfall from a point a little below the Linnfoot was picturesque and impressive, the links of white foam showing grandly against the dark rocks that close in the stream on both sides. The Crook Inn was reached about half-past three. The walk occupied five and three- quarter hours, including half-an-hour of stoppage, and probably covered about eighteen miles.—J. V.

On Sunday morning, the 29th, Messrs Douglas, Munro, and Stott, who had arrived the previous evening, started soon after ten o'clock, in thick mist and threatening rain. Following the route taken by the party the previous day, the top of Broadlaw was reached in about an hour and a half. Thick fog and cold drizzling rain. A good deal of snow lay in patches about the head of the Wyllie burn, down which the descent was made to Meggat Head. Hence a course was shaped tip the course of the Winterhope burn, the peat haggs about whose upper feeders, near Loch Skene, are amongst the worst in the south of Scotland. The Tail burn was followed from Loch Skene down past the Grey Mare's Tail waterfall to the road in Moffatdale. The grass slopes and rocky ribs in the neighbourhood of the fall are of very great steepness. An adventure which the writer, with two other Members of the Club, had here some years ago when benighted, may be described at some future date. In a storm of wind and rain we then walked down to Moffat, reaching there about seven o'clock. Total distance, perhaps twenty-five miles.—J. G. S.


The Easter meet of the Club was held at Dalmally, and thither, despite wintry and inclement weather, came a goodly company, consisting of Professor Ramsay, the President; Dr Maylard, the Hon. Secretary; and Messrs Rolland, Robertson, Douglas, Rennie, Thomson, Munro, Campbell, Lester, Stott, and J. H. Gibson, an Alpine Club man. The muster would have been larger but for the unavoidable detention, at the last moment, of two or three more men. On the 26th March, Mr Rennie, the first arrival, ascended Ben Lui by its Dalmally side. He was out about seven hours, and was able to inform those of us who arrived that evening that the snow was very deep and soft. Of this we had proof next morning, the 27th, when Munro, Rolland, Douglas, Thomson, and Stott started for Ben Bhuidhe at 9.10. Our route was eastward to Socach farm, near the foot of Ben a Chleibh, where we turned south, up the Ghaill burn, ploughed our way through deep snow between shapely Ben Tigearn and Ben Bhalgairean, and struck the head-waters of the Fyne river at. the north foot of Ben Bhuidhe. A steep grind placed us on the top (30o6 feet) shortly before two o'clock. For the last 300 or 400 feet we were enveloped in dense mist, and had to fight our way through a perfect hurricane that at times all but lifted us. The descent was made much as we had come up, and at the foot we turned west along the Shira river for about three miles, till we left it and shaped a course N.E. across the high-lying moors for Loch Awe. From the high ground above Cladich we had magnificent views. Fording the Teatle water, we joined the Dalmally-Inveraray road near Macintyre's monument, and arrived at the hotel before seven o'clock. Total distance about twenty-five miles. Above 1,200 or 1,500 feet the snow lay a couple of feet thick, and we went deep into it at every step. Frequently in the drifts we were floundering to mid-thigh.----J. G. S.

On the same day (27th March) Messrs Gibson, Maylard, Rennie, and Robertson left the hotel at nine o'clock, and ascended Ben a Bhuiridh (2,941 feet), the S.E. peak of the Cruachan range. Passing the quarries, we held straight up the corrie until under the eastmost portion of the crags facing N. Looking at the cliffs from below, we saw two couloirs, one near the E. extremity, the other at the W.—the latter forming a sort of break between the lower and the higher crags, which project outwards at this point. Midway between these couloirs is a crack, which looked as if it would afford good sport. The party ascended by the E. couloir, which was just steep enough to put some zest into the climb. Maylard and Rennie then went on to some of the peaks beyond; the other two glissaded down the W. couloir, with the intention of climbing the central crack. The first thirty feet of this was perpendicular, being really a frozen waterfall, but patience and the ice-axe surmounted this bit, only to be met by a large smooth boulder covered with ice. After a struggle this was surmounted, and progress was made up a narrow chimney for another twenty feet; but here they had to retreat, as the rocks beyond were impassable. There was some excitement in getting down, because although the party had got oJ the waterfall, they found they could not get on to it again, so one man had to be let down by the rope, and the last man had to jump the thirty feet! This he did, sinking into the soft snow up to his waist. This climb may be practicable in summer, as above the lower bit mentioned there appeared to be some rocks which would "go" if they were free from ice.—R. A. R.

March 28.—Five Members, Rennie, Rolland, Thomson, Maylard, and Douglas, left Daimally at 9.30 for Beinn Eunaich (Anea), 3,242 feet, and reached the top by 12.40. The snow line began at about i,000 feet, and near the top was thinly crusted with ice, but not sufficiently strong to bear. The crest of the ridge, running up to the summit was on the east side surmounted by a grand cornice of snow some four feet thick, from which a thin spray of white powder was flying before the wind. A splendid view was had from the top, embracing all the mountains in the district, but the strong wind was so severely cold it was impossible to admire it for more than five minutes. Descending to the col, three of the party continued along the ridge to Beinn Chochuill (3,215 feet), and returned by the Alit Mhoili to Dalmally in time for the five o'clock train south. The other two took the route by Glen Kinglass, and crossed to Glen Strae, over the snow-clad col between Meall Copagach and Beinn Lurachan, after having looked in vain for a mythical road found only on Bartholomew's map, and reached Dalmally by six o'clock. The snow lay much deeper on the north side of Beinn Eunaich, was quite soft, and had no crust of ice. The day was fine, with a high wind, and only occasional showers of sleet in the afternoon.—W. D.

Six of us left the hotel on the same morning—Messrs Gibson, Campbell, Lester, Stott, Munro, and Robertson—at 9.30, to survey the "Black Shoot." Ina former number of the Journal this is erroneously described as situated in the cliffs of the great comic of Ben Anea. It is really in the craggy N.E. abutment of Stob Maol, just outside the con-ic, and above the track to Glen Kinglass. The Black Shoot was found to be absolutely impracticable in present weather, so while Munro and Stott sat down to watch the operations, the other four climbed along the crags to another chimney, perhaps fifty yards further round towards the corrie. To get to it a very steep snow slope had to be traversed, which would have been difficult had the snow not been in such excellent condition. This couloir the party has christened the "White Shoot," because of its eccentricities in showering down in a continuous torrent drifting snow from the heights above. It starts at a steep angle, and then varies with short bits of perpendicular rock eight to ten feet high, generally with an overhanging boulder on top. After getting up over 200 feet, we found it necessary to bear to the right, and make fora projecting rock forming a ledge between the White Shoot and an adjacent couloir. As it was found impracticable to continue in the White Shoot, after much hesitation the route offered by the upper part of this couloir was adopted. After a sharp struggle for about ioo feet, part of it in a most perfect chimney, the summit of the crag was reached. From the foot of the cliffs to the top nearly four hours were occupied. The rocks were coated with ice, and our seventy-feet rope was used on three occasions, the few "solid" places making this absolutely necessary. It is impossible to say how this route would "go" without the snow and ice, but it is doubtful if it would at any time be an easy climb. The rocks slope downwards, they are treacherous, and the good holds are few and far between; but, on the other hand, only so much of their surface was exposed as was battered with the axe, and if they were free of ice greater assistance might be got from them. On their homeward way the party made a survey of some fine couloirs on the E. face, which are well worthy of a visit. These cannot be perfectly viewed from below.—R. A. R.

Munro started at 12.15 (from where Stott and he had, from below, been watching the operations of the "Shoot" party), and reaching the top of a small couloir, by which he traversed the rocks, saw no signs of the others. Stott, after waiting half an hour longer, had come round by the big corrie and joined meat a height of 2,000 or 2,100 feet. My own climb had been a great deal worse than I bargained for. At first the snow was uncomfortably soft on very steep grass, and needed care; further on I had a good deal of step cutting to do, with my axe at times held close up to the head, so steep was the angle. I was much hampered, too, by having an Inverness cape on, especially when, as happened two or three times, I found my progress blocked and had to descend a bit. With two or three people roped, it would have been easy enough, but alone it was pretty bad with the snow in the state it was. However, I got to the top all right, with some skin off my hands and knees to show the kind of ground I had been on. Hence to the top took us rather over an hour, —the summit at 2.5 5, in the worst gale and most blinding fog and snow I have ever experienced. At a few yards off I could not see Stott. The driving snow stung one's face and legs like small shot. I was glad, indeed, I had an Inverness cape now. We did not halt a minute, but struck down the hill to the Ben a Chochuill cal. It is no exaggeration to say, that although the slope is steep, probably 40, and I fought with all my might, as if wrestling with a man, to get down, there were some moments in which I could not make a foot of ground. Reached the road at Bridge of Strae at 4.35, whence about three miles to the hotel.—H. T. M.

Easter Sunday, 29th March 1891.- Again much dawdling, although a lovely day. Douglas took a photo at the hotel of all the party. At, Stott, Douglas, Robertson, Campbell, Gibson, Rennie, Lester, and myself, left and pottered slowly by the Orchy and Strae bridges to the track where the Cruachan quarry railway comes down. Stott and Douglas went on to climb Meall Cuanail; Robertson to the Loch Awe Hotel to luncheon; Ramsay and Maylard had deliberately stopped at home. The rest of us went up the railway track to the quarry, which we reached at 11.25, where we dawdled, basking in the sun for ten minutes or so. Thence we struck up the easy shoulder between the Coire Creacheainn and Coire Ghlais burns, sheltered and in hot sun. From i to 1.25 we halted behind a rock for luncheon and a smoke; by this time we were well on the snow. At 2 P.M. we reached the summit (3,091 feet), and twenty-five minutes later the 3,272 summit (Stob Damh). Here Lester left us, striking east over the next summit, Sron nan Isean (3,163 feet), and descending by the ridge to the Mhoille burn and the Strae. The rest of us, Gibson, Campbell, Rennie, and myself, kept along the main ridge. The snow, though rather soft, and often swirled up into blinding clouds by the wind, was in very fair condition for walking, and the clouds were high and the views good. We reached the next summit, Drochaid GIas (3,312 feet) at 3 P.M., in a blinding storm of wind and drifting snow ; and, after a little trouble on the steep bit of the arte just below the final peak,—where some of us were glad enough of the assistance of the rope,—Cruachan itself (3,689 feet) at 3.55. Remained at the top five minutes. View fair. Mull, Kerrera, Scarba, in golden shimmer of sea; Jura, dimly seen under a cloud of inky blackness; Morvern, with its hills deep in snow, as were also the Mull hills. Ben a' Bheither above Ballachulish, Bidean, the Buchailles, Ben Starav, and Stob Garbh, were the most noticeable hills to the north. The Glen Lyon hills dimly seen to the east, while Ben Laoigh and Ben Bhuidhe looked particularly well, glistening white in the sun, as did the hills about the head of Loch Lomond, and the full-length views of Lochs Awe and Etive. The descent to the col in twenty minutes was simplified and made easy by the snow filling up all the interstices between the great blocks of granite which usually make it such tedious going. From the col grand long snow slopes for glissading right into the big corrie. Rennie, however, slipped, and going head first a good deal faster than he intended, was cleverly brought up by Gibson, who was below, minus a good deal of skin from his hands, of which he would have lost much more had he not been stopped, although he ran no risk of life or limb. Leaving the big corrie, instead of descending to the road direct, we bore along to the left, i.e., east, by a foot track above the trees, with most lovely views of the lake and Brander (almost the best of the latter), Ben Bhuidhe, and Ben Laoigh, gradually descending till we reached the road opposite Innis Chonain at 6.10, whence crossing by the railway bridge we reached Dalmally at 7.25, having had a real Alpine glow on the snow at sunset—H. T. M.

BEN VORLICH, BEN TULACHAN, CRUACH ARDRAN, MEALL CORRANAICH, AND MEALL COME LEITH.—On 2oth February, Mr and Mrs Philip climbed Ben Vorlich from Lochearnhead (3,224 feet) by the ridge called Sgiath nan Tar-machan, at head of Glen Vorlich, and descended into Glen Ample. No snow to speak of; weather warm and very hazy. On 24th February the same party, starting from Inverlochlang in Baiquhidder, crossed Ben Tulachan (3,0 feet) and Cruach Ardran feet), descending on Crianlarich. Very high wind on the tops, but warm when in shelter. Little snow; very hazy. On 14th March, Messrs Munro and Phillip walked from Kuhn over Meahl Corranaich and Meal Coire Leith, returning to Kuhn same evening. Height of Meahl Corranaich not given on any of Ordnance maps. The i-inch map gives 3,250 feet contour; but any one contrasting this peak with Ben Ghlas on the east, and Meall nan Tar-machan on the west, will see that it is well over 3,500 feet. The aneroid (a falling glass) made it 3,650 feet. It was set at the loch in the pass below (Lochan na Lairige, r,oo feet), and the top was reached in one and a half hours. Allowing 120 feet off for possible fall (the glass was found on return to loch, about four hours after being set, to have fallen the equivalent of I 6 feet), it will be seen that the mountain must be about 3,530 feet, which is a low estimate. There was not very much snow, and it was both good and bad. It was firm at the top, but sticky on the descent to the col between Meahl Coire Leith and Meal Corranaich. Weather beautiful, but slightly hazy. Thermometer 29 at top.— C. B. P.

BEN CLEUCH ON NEW YEAR'S DAY. -On 1st January 1891, Messrs D. M'Kenzie and Hugh Boyd Watt walked from Stirling to Alva (seven miles), and thence went up Ben Cleuch (2,352 feet). Left Alva at 12.30 P.m., and took path leaving town near the church, skirting upper side of the wood, and followed this until it was lost in snow. At elevation of i,000 feet most of the ground was snow-clad, and as it was thawing snow was soft and walking heavy. From 1,900 feet snow was continuous to the top; depth in our track from six inches to three feet; hard enough to bear us only occasionally. Went round head of a deep glen (Daigten burn), and followed S. slope to top, which was reached at 2.35 P.M. A wire fence running E. and W. leads right across the top. No proper cairn could be seen, but a loose heap of big stones seems to mark top. Slight breeze from S.E.; thermometer 37 Fahr. Mist flying about, sometimes enveloping us; prospect almost closed. To north great solid bank of mist, but got faint glimpse of three peaks to N.E., probably Braes of Angus. To south could see as far as Forth, but nothing beyond. Made a cast round south face of summit, and found long and fine slope of deep snow there, sometimes taking us up to thighs. Too soft everywhere for glissading. Circled back to our upward track, which had almost disappeared, so rapid was thaw, and thus to Alva, which was reached at 4.35 P.M., and from thence walked back to Stirling. No sunshine all day; occasional rain after 4 P.M; darkness fell very rapidly. Only wild life seen on hill was small flight of birds about 1,200 to 1,400 feet up, probably bramblings.—H. B. W.

LOCHNAGAR AND THE GLEN-SHJtE HILLS.—Messrs H. T. Munro and J. G. Stott left the inn at Clova at 8.20 A.M. on 21st February. Morning very cold and misty. Taking the track up Glen Doll, the mist gave place to sunshine in about two hours. We lunched about mid-day, and at 12.35 reached the top of Fafernie (3,274 feet), S.W. of Lochnagar, 4 NU Turning N.N.E., 1.15 found us on top of Cairn Taggart (3,430 feet). The eastern slope of this peak gave us some little trouble owing to frozen snow, and we had to use our axes. Munro went off here to ascend an unnamed hill between Cairn Taggart and Cairn Corbreach, while I crossed its shoulder and joined him in the depression beyond. His aneroid made its height about 3,420 feet. We topped Cairn Corbreach (about 3,650 feet) at 2.10; and while Munro went off to some of the outlying tops, I proceeded direct to the summits of Lochnagar proper (3,768 and 3,786 feet; they are about quarter of a mile apart—dip not more than too feet), arriving there at 2.50. Meantime Munro, the indefatiguable, reached the Little Pap (3,575 feet) at 3 P.M., made his way to the Meikie Pap and down it again to the col by 3.30, and joined me on top of Lochnagar at 4.5. We made a steep bouldery descent on the north face of Cac Cam Beag (the highest Lochnagar top) to the col, and climbing thence among huge disrupted rock masses, reached the top of Meall Coire na Saobhaidhe (3,121 feet), "the hill of the corrie of the fox's dens," at 5 P.M. Descending N.E. we soon got into the Ballochbuie pine woods, and at struck the path on the Feindallacher burn about a mile above the Garbh Alit fails. We reached Braemar in hard frost and brilliant moonlight at 7.45. The day had been fine throughout—pleasant breeze and strong sunshine. Comparatively little snow on the hills; what there was lay mostly in long strips and patches, and was frozen hard. The actual top of Lochnagar was clear of snow. Mr A. J. M'Connochie tells me that on 21st March, just a month later, the snow was over two feet deep on top. There was too much haze to admit of wide views. Our day's walk may have been thirty miles, Munro's share being probably a couple of miles more. Next morning, 22nd February, we left Braemar, in strong wind and drizzling rain, at 8.25 A.M. Following the Glen Clunie road for perhaps seven miles, we left it and attacked the long heathery shoulder of Cam Aosda. For the last few hundred feet of the ascent we were enveloped in dense fog, while a cold wind lashed a pitiless rain upon us. We reached the top (3,003 feet) at 11.25; and as we could not see a dozen yards, immediately started to search, with map, compass, and aneroid, for the Cairnwell (3,058 feet), about a mile to the southward. We arrived there in an hour's time, after various adventures. The weather had, if possible, grown worse, so we struck downwards towards Glen Beg at once. We had some fine views when getting below the level of the mist. .After forty minutes' halt for luncheon in a sheltered hollow, we reached the road, and arrived at Spittal of Glenshee at 2.45. Here Munro's dog-cart met us, with dry clothes, &c., and after due refreshment we departed on our long drive to Lindertis, which was reached at 8.35 P.M. It had been our intention to have made a wider cast through the Glenshee "tops," but in such wretched wet cold weather this was out of the question.

On Lochnagar we saw numbers of deer, two eagles, quantities of ptarmigan, and some snow-buntings. The following day some grouse, white hares, and as represented all the life encountered.— J. G. S.

NOTES ON CARN LIATH (BEINN A' GHLO) AND BEN VUROCH. Thursday, 22ndJanuary.—Left Blair Atholl at 9.10 A.M. A glorious day —hard frost, and some inches of snow on the ground, but with a tearing N.N.W. wind, to avoid which followed Fender burn until S. and E. of Carn Liath, when (at 10.40) left road and ascended over the new-fallen snow on the lee side of the mountain to the summit (3,193 feet) at 12. Bright sun, but the wind raised the snow in spiral columns several hundred feet high, penetrating everything, filling pockets, and drifting between my waistcoat and shirt, where it melted and then froze into a solid wedge of ice. In all my winter experience on hills I have never suffered so severely from cold. View good - Cairngorms and Ben Alder groups, the Glencoe hills; Schiehallion (which does not show to advantage from here); Ben Lawers looking well, with Stobinian over his left shoulder; Ben Chonzie; the Fifeshire Loin onds and Sidlaws showing well, with the smoke of Dundee behind. The special feature, however, is the fine view of the higher peaks of Beinn a' Ghlo. The descent, like the ascent, was steep, and only practicable without much step cutting because of the soft condition of the snow. Crossed burn at base of hill (1,300 feet) at I P.M. Loch Valican (easy going) at 2 P.M., and an easy ascent to Ben Vuroch (2,961 feet) at 3.20, whence good views of the Cairnwell, Glas Tulachan, and Beinn a' Ghlo range. Glen Fernach at 5 P.M.; and Dirnanean, two miles above Kirkmichael, at 6.30. Heavy walking all day in soft snow. At Dirnanean they had to scrape me down with a knife to get the frozen snow off me before I could enter the house.—H. T. M.

NOTES ON GLENFINNAN AND LOCHABER HILLS—Tuesday, 10th February.—Having found my way to Glenfinnan from the island of Rum, and Arisaig, proposed making a big day of it over Sgbr nan Coireachan, Sgbr Choileam. and Streap, to Gulvain and down by Loch Arkaig to Gairlochy. Left the stage-house inn at 7.30, half-mile to Loch Sheil, and then up Glenfinnan for two and a half miles ; then just before Corryhully—a shepherd's cottage—instead of keeping up the glen, which bears slightly to the right, I struck over a low beaac/r right in front, and then leaning to the left, up a watercourse, ascended the corrie till a sheep fence was reached. Turned to the right up this in thick mist and snow—winter again, after the spring of Rum. At a summit (2,718 feet) the fence turns off at right angles to the left or N.W.; following it two-thirds of a mile further, skirting some crags on the right, and up a steep rocky pitch, Sgr nan Coireachan (3,133 feet) was reached at 11.25. The fence runs right to the summit. Thick fog limited the view to a few yards. Hence along the ridge in an easterly direction, over some intermediate tops, to Beinn Garbh (2,716 feet) at 12.25 ; still keeping to the ridge (which is fifty yards or so broad, and then falls away steeply), now bearing S.E. over some more tops, to Sgbr Choileam (3,164 feet) at The day was hopelessly bad, and as I was wet through and cold, struck down the Alit Coire a' Bheithe into Glenfinnan, reaching the stage-house again about 4 o'clock.

Wednesday, 10th February.—Fifteen miles down to Corpach Hotel in wild wind and sheets of rain. Members will be taken at this homely and comfortable inn at 8s. 6d. a day.

Thursday, 11th February.—Doubtful morning clearing up to be a fine day. Left at io by the high road. The Distillery at 10.45; a long hour over gently rising moor to the base of the Deargs at a height of 1,200 feet. An easy ascent, at first grass and then stones, over Cam Beag Dearg (3,264 feet) at I P.M., Ckm Dearg Meadhonach (3,873 feet) at 1.20, to 0M Mr Dearg (4,012 feet) at 1.40. This height is only given in the 6-inch map. Good views on the way up ; the summit, unfortunately, although clear before and after, was covered while I was on it. The magnificent N.E. crags of Ben Nevis are from nowhere seen to such advantage as during this ascent. The Deargs, like Ben Nevis himself, have an easy slope to the S.W., but fine cliffs to the E. Two fine arte's descend from. Carn Mbr Dearg, one well known as connecting the mountain with Ben Nevis, and another, running east, abuts against the steep face leading up to the col between the two Aonachs. I descended this one to the col betwixt the Diombaidh and Coire Giubhais burns (2,915 feet) at 3.40, much care and a good deal of step cutting being necessary. Half-hour for luncheon on the way. Too late to attack my old friends the Aonachs from here, so descended by the Diombaidh burn, reaching Inverlochy at 6, and Corpach at 6.45.

Friday, 13th February.—By 7.45 boat to Fort-William, intending a big day on the Glen Nevis hills. Left at 9, and walked up the glen for nearly ten miles, past the end of the carriage road, by the narrow defile through which the Nevis forces its way, past the fine fall of the Alit Coire a' Mhil--one of the highest falls in Scotland, but unfortunately not sheer—to a few hundred yards beyond the forester's cottage at Steall. Here at 12.20 I struck up to the south over a shoulder, working round crags on the right; over moor, and by the course of a small burn, made for a large 3,000 feet contour on the 1-inch Ordnance Survey map. This is An Gearannach, and must be very close to the 3,250 feet—indeed my aneroid made it more. The ascent from below looked very easy; the hard frozen snow, however, required the use of the axe. The top consists of an extremely narrow arte, about a quarter of a mile long, rising slightly at each end, though whether the N. or S. end is the higher I am not certain. The time was 2.15 P.M., and it began to snow, so I descended by nearly the same way, and back to Fort-William at 7.10. Just below the steep snow slopes joined a forester, who greeted me with—" But that was a terrible place you were on." He had seen me from below, and had come up to take home my mangled corpse He was much impressed with my axe. Next day, on board the Fusilier, I was surprised to see a man with an axe. He had been working at the Ben Nevis Observatory for some weeks.—H. T. M.

[A very interesting paper by Mr Munro, on the Rum Hills, will appear in the September number. It was received too late for the present issue.—ED.]

DALWHINNIE TO TYNDRUM.—Sunday, 22nd March.—A glorious day; bright hot sun; nearly still; and hard frost. Not a cloud in the sky till the afternoon, and then so high as to hide nothing. Left Dalwhinnie 8.20. Loch Ericht Lodge io A.M. Crossed the Culrae (Cheoil Reidhe) burn on the ice a mile above Loch Pattack at 10.40. Twenty minutes over peat haggs, and thence over dry but soft and deep snow by steep easy ascent to Cam Dearg (3,391 feet) at 12.25. Much tempted to descend to Loch an Sgir and up by Mr Stott's "lancet edge,"—in reality a spur of Geal Charn. But feared, with the snow, might find it too steep and have to return. After quarter of an hour on top of Cam Dearg, continued in same direction (S.W.) to a top 3,080 feet (?) at 1, where twenty minutes for luncheon. Then bearing round to the left, made a half-hour's detour to the summit of the "lancet edge," a fine arte, with a very distinct top (3,300 feet ?), at 2.15. An easy three-quarters of an hour's walk from here to Geal Charn (3,688 feet),—neither the name nor height given on the i-in. O.S. map. The summit (no cairn) is a great snow-covered polo ground! Hence in twenty minutes to Aonach Beag (3,646 feet), which has a small cairn. Continuing still in the same direction (S.W.) for another twenty-five minutes, a top about 3,450 feet, with a small cairn, was crossed, and ten minutes later Beinn Eibhinn (3,616 feet) at 3.55. It has a cairn, with a stick on the top. At 4.15 another top, about 3,350 feet; and at 4.30 Meall Ghlas Choire (unnamed on the I-inch O.S. map), a little over 3,000 feet. Hence struck down S.E., reaching the Uisge Labhrach at a height of 1,800 feet, and a distance of about three miles from Loch Ossian at 5.15. Was reluctantly compelled, owing to lateness of hour, and extreme depth and softness of snow, to abandon all idea of Ben Alder. Very heavy going to the summit of the pass—the Bealach Dubh (about 2,350 feet)—at 6.20. Descending the Glen, fine views to the left of the "lancet edge," and to the right of the arte of Alder, by which the two ascents recorded in the 7ournal were made. Dalwhinnie was reached at 10.10 P.M.

Monday, 23rd March.—Starting at io.15 trudged again the six weary miles to Loch Ericht lodge, and about five more to the foot of Beinn Bheoil at 1.30. Half an hour's ascent, and then an hour's halt, first for luncheon and then to shelter from a blinding snow storm. After this fought my way up in the teeth of a blizzard, by the steepest slope of soft snow I have ever encountered, taking the face by mistake instead of the ridge, to the summit feet), at 4.5. Ten minutes to the col and a quarter of an hour more to the pretty little Srbn Coire an-h-Iolaire (3,128 feet); neither name nor height on 1-inch O.S. map. Down by Prince Charlie's Cave to Ben Alder Lodge at 5.15. Hence a rough walk in the rain by a track, conspicuous for the most part by its absence, to the foot of the loch, and over the moor to Loch Rannoch side, reaching Cul a Mhuilinn at 9 P.M., where the high road crosses the river Ericht. Here excellent lodgings can be had of Mrs Ross—three rooms, four beds—NO LICENSE.

Tuesday, 211h March.—Much fresh snow in the night, which soon melted from the low ground. Started at to A.M. Two miles to bridge over Gaoire at head of loch. Left the road and ascended the Fheadain burn till the track bears away to the left, when crossing the low watershed continued south up the Stoena Creadha burn, through deep soft snow. Ascending by a small bum to the S.E., reached the summit of Garbh Mheall (3,054 feet)—an uninteresting hill—in a tearing wind and blinding mist at 2 P.M. ; then keeping a little E. of S., crossed a second summit a little over 3,000 feet, and after thus bearing to the right reached the farm of Lochs, between Lochs Dhamh and Girrie, at a height of about 1,350 feet, at 3 P.M. I had intended crossing Stuchd an Lochain from here to Glenlyon, but the weather was vile, so I just walked down three miles to Gualann-.--one mile above Meggernie—where I was most kindly received by my friend Mr Scott. The descent of the glen between Lochs and Gualann is extremely pretty. On Sunday, the 15th, a shepherd from Lochs was lost on Garbh Mheall in the morning, and was only found very nearly done on the Monday afternoon. Wednesday was a wild day, so I only made my way up the glen in the teeth of the gale to Inverineran at the toot of Loch Lyon.

Thursday, 26th March.—Cold bright morning, with fresh snow on the ground. Started at 9.50, ascending at once to the west through soft snow to Ben Vannoch (3,125 feet), at 12 ; thence in half-an-hour to Beinn a Chuirn (3,020 feet). Fine views of all the Glenlyon range. Steep but easy descent over soft snow due south to the glen, and an easy walk to Tyndrum, whence caught the 4 P.M. train to Dalmally for the Easter ineet of the Club.—H. T. M.

THE BEN LUI GROUP AND BEN CHABHAIR.—On 19th April, Messrs Cowan, Douglas, and Stott, with two friends—Messrs GreenhiU and Sang—left Dalmally at 9.15 A.M. in perfect weather. Following the road as far as Socach farm, we got on to Ben a Chleibh, the westmost of the Ben Lui group, and after a pleasant walk, topped him (3,004 feet) at 11.50 ; 400 feet of descent to the col, whence we had good views of the north-east cliffs and couloirs, and we rose at the south-west slope of Ben Lui himself. We got to the top (3j08 feet) at 12.55, and stayed there half-an-hour for lunch and photographic purposes. The atmosphere was slightly hazy, but every peak within thirty miles was visible, all of them carrying an abnormal amount of snow. Leaving the top at 1.20, for nearly three miles we skirted round the rim of the profound Corrie Laoigh (our lowest poit being 2,350 feet), and at 3.15 reached the round snowy top of Ben Oss feet). Here our photographer successfully essayed the difficult task of changing plates in the dark recesses of his rucksack. From Ben Oss, for a couple of hundred yards, we descended a genuine little snow arte towards the col (2,650 feet). It had a razor crest, and, in places, a miniature cornice; but fortunately the snow was soft—as was unfortunately the case nearly everywhere else—and we were able to traverse it easily, despite ugly slopes on either hand for a small distance. Twelve hundred feet beneath us Loch Oss was fast bound in ribbed ice. From the col we ascended easily by a heavily corniced ridge to Ben Dubh-chraige (3,204 feet), reaching the cairn at 4.30. Ever since leaving Ben Lui, the views of it had been magnificent. From this side his pyramidal peak, all rock and snow, bore quite a strong resemblance to the Matterhorn. A long steep descent, knee- deep in snow, took us to the Sput Ban burn, and following it downwards, we struck the road in Glen Falloch at 6.15, and arrived at Ardlui, at the head of Loch Lomond at 7.15. The total walk may have been twenty or twenty-two miles, and the climbing about 6,000 feet.

Quitting the hotel at 9.20 next morning, we rowed across the head of the loch, and attacked the steep heathery slopes, heading in an easterly direction. Our objective was Ben Chabhair. Although the map showed the actual distance to be shorter by this route than by the line we had at first intended following,—viz., the course of the Innse burn, which falls steeply into Glen Falloch, near Inverarnan,it actually took us much longer of accomplishment; for having had a sweltering climb to the top of the first ridge (about 1,700 feet), we had immediately to sacrifice 400 feet of this in a descent to the foot of Parlan Hill. Up this we struggled through snow, peat, and rock to 2,000 feet, and again threw away 400 feet, descending nearly to the level of Loch Amhghair, the feeder of the Innse burn already mentioned. It lies at the foot of the Ben Chabhair corrie, and was partly frozen over. The floor and lower slopes of this corrie were peat haggs and snowdrifts, and again and again we plunged through the latter up to our waists into holes and streamlets. The final slope for 800 feet was steep and rocky, and in places heavily snow-clad. We reached the top (3,053 feet) at two o'clock, after hot, hard work, not the pleasantest feature having been the blinding glare of the sun on the snowfields. The view was splendid. The mountain throws a very fine rugged ridge north-westward down towards Glen Falloch, and might best be climbed from this direction, or by the Innse burn. After half an hour's halt, we made a steep descent on the north-east face to the col connecting with An Caisteal (unnamed in the 1-inch map). We had intended to climb this bill also, but time was now becoming an important consideration, so the majority of the party decided against it. It may easily be climbed by way of either of the fine ridges it sends down to Glen Falloch, on the north and south of the Andoran burn. As it was, we followed the course of the Chuilinn burn down to the Falloch at Derrydaroch Bridge, and thence walked to Crianlarich, which was reached at 4.30. The limes given for both days are no very exact criterion, as the condition of the snow made the going very heavy, and photography called for numerous halts. -J. G. S.


I have lately received the two latest published sheets of these useful maps—No. 17, Aberdeen and Deeside; and No. 20, Central Ross- shire. They are not entirely free from inaccuracies. In No. 17, for instance, a number of summits to the S.E. of Glen Dye of between 1.000 and 1,500 are coloured as if over 1,500 feet, while in sheet 20 Mullach Coire Mhic Fhearchair, 3,250 feet, is coloured as under 3,000. But I am glad to see that on the whole they have been very carefully prepared, and have far fewer mistakes than the previous sheets.

The colouring, however, adopted in the later published sheets— Nos. 17, 20, and 21—is not, in my opinion, satisfactory. Five shades of red or brown, and then two of neutral tint, differing very slightly from one another, are confusing, and require almost as much spelling out as the uncoloured Ordnance Maps. As was said in a previous review, neither these nor any other maps can be looked upon as a substitute for, though they certainly are a most valuable addition to, the z inch Ordnance Survey. What is required is a map by which it is possible at a glance to tell the elevation ; for this, the fewer the colours, and the more distinct they are, the better. I have now ten sheets of this series, Nos. 4, 11 to 17, 20, and 21, and in my opinion the clearest, and therefore the most useful, is No. 14—Arisaig and Rum—in which green is used up to 500 feet; Brown No. 1, 500 to 1,000; Brown No. 2, 1000 to 2,000; Brown No. 3, 2,000 to 3,000; and neutral tint above 3,000. In this sheet no hills exceed 3,500 feet, but these should be left white. A still better arrangement of colours, however, is that adopted in Mr Bartholomew's admirable maps published in Baddeley's "Thorough Guide to Scotland." In these, two greens, two browns, neutral tint, and white are used—the greens for elevations of under 500 and i,000 feet respectively, the browns under 2,000 and 3,000 respectively, the neutral tint between 3,000 and 4,000, and above 4,000 white. The only alteration to this which I would suggest is that white should be used for all heights above 3,500 feet.

Some explanation should be given of the routes traced in red, in the New Series, comparatively unimportant roads often being so marked, while others are omitted.

I do not know whether Messrs Bartholomew & Co. have yet decided on the colouring that is to be finally adopted for these maps, but if not, I would call their attention to the above opinions, formed after a good deal of practical experience on hills. And I am glad to have this opportunity of saying that, notwithstanding the inaccuracies of which I have previously complained, I never now—even on a knapsack tour, when every extra ounce is a consideration—travel without carrying these excellent maps in addition to the 1-inch Ordnance Survey.—H. T. MUNRO, F.R.G.S.

THE CAIRNGORM CLUB.—We notice, with pleasure, from its second annual report, the flourishing condition of this Club. As its name implies, it exists for the purposes of exploring, and fostering a love of the Cairngorm mountains. The members number 141, presided over by Mr James Bryce, M.P., and Mr Chas. Ruxton, Advocate; and Mr A. I. M'Connochie, whose writings are well known to readers of this 7ournal, is the Hon. Secretary. Although the summer excursions of the Club, which partake much of the nature of well-arranged mountain picnics, probably form the extent of the acquaintance of most members with the mountains, much good work has been done on the hills at all seasons of the year by several gentlemen, and some valuable information collected. The publications issued by the Club (one of which is noticed below) are interesting contributions to mountain literature; and another satisfactory feature is the love of mountains and mountain scenery diffused amongst people who might not otherwise be drawn towards them.


BRAERIACH AND CAIRNTOUL.-A very interesting little brochure published by the Cairngorm Club. Although chiefly concerning itself —as its title indicates—with these two mountains, there is in it much information, philological, historical, botanical, mineralogical, and otherwise, relating to the Cairngorm range, or (to give them their ancient title) the Monadhruadh mountains generally. The various approaches and routes are clearly set forth; and the descriptions— culled, as they are, from the writings of all the better-known authors who have treated of these glorious hills, Keith Skene, Cockburn, Burton, Macgillivray, &c., not forgetting such modern explorers as Mr Copland, and our own friend Mr M'Connochie—vividly recall the various scenes. The pamphlet may be had from the Cairngorm Club, and is well deserving of purchase by any one who knows the Cairngorms, or contemplates acquiring such desirable knowledge.—J. G. S.

I have also received a very concise little pamphlet, which I may best describe as a guide to the mountain of Morven, near Ballater, Byron's "Morven of snow." It is to be the scene of the May excursion of the Cairngorm Club.—J. G. S.

It will be seen that seven counties rise to a greater altitude than Snowdon (i.e., 3,560 feet), and that all the lowland shires contain summits above i,000 feet. The average for the 33 counties is 2,690 feet.

N.B.—For the purposes of the Local Government Bill the shires of Ross and Cromarty are united, but in the above Table the old historic division has been followed. W. W. N.

IN Nature Notes for the month of March, there is an interesting paper by the Right Rev. Bishop Mitchinson, on the distribution of rare plants in Britain. It is too long to be reproduced even in outline here. "In North Britain," says the Bishop, "there are three natural botanic gardens of the first class: Ben Lawers, with the neighbouring Breadalbane mountains; the Clova mountains, or Braes of Angus, in Forfarshire, both of which contain within a very limited geographical area the most astonishing collection of rare plants of all sorts ; and the south-west corner of Aberdeenshire, i.e., Craigindal, Cairngorm, Lochnagar, and their glens; to which we must add, as nature gardens of the second class, West Sutherland, Arran (for ferns), and perhaps .the Lowther hills round Moffat." Then follows a long list of rare and beautiful specimens— Veronicas, Saxfrages, and other Alpine plants, with some information as to where they are found, and the curious laws, or, it would appear, absence of laws that govern their distribution. Some knowledge of botany adds immensely to the pleasures of mountaineering. Those of us who have it not, and whose iron-shod boots may trample into shapeless pulp delicate blossoms a savant would cross a continent to gather, may learn from the Bishop's paper what we are missing, and may be persuaded, possibly, to add at any rate a rudimentary knowledge of the plant-science to our other attainments.—J. G. S.

The Journal. -The first number of the Journal is unfortunately out of print, and there is a considerable demand for it among new Members and candidates for membership, who contemplate binding the set. If any readers who have not this intention, or who may be able to procure the first number from gentlemen who have resigned, will inform the Editor, he will be happy to put them in communication with the people who want the number. Sooner or later it may be necessary to reprint it.

Lost Maft.—There was left at Dalmally on 30th March, Sheet No. i i—Oban and Lochawe—of Bartholomew's New Series of Reduced Ordnance Maps. If the owner will communicate with the Editor the map will be sent to him.

Annual Subscriptions.—The attention of Members is called to the following extract from the Rules of the Club :-" The Annual Subscription shall be half a guinea, due on the 1st of January. Any Member whose subscription is more than three months in arrear, and who has not intimated to the Hon. Secretary his intention of resigning, shall be posted in the Club Room, and in the event of the arrears not having been paid up before the 31st of October, such defaulter shall cease to be a Member of the Club." Subscriptions must be paid to the Hon. Treasurer, CHAS. GAIRDNER, Esq., LL.D., at the Union Bank of Scotland Limited, Ingram Street, Glasgow.

Return to Book Index Page


This comment system requires you to be logged in through either a Disqus account or an account you already have with Google, Twitter, Facebook or Yahoo. In the event you don't have an account with any of these companies then you can create an account with Disqus. All comments are moderated so they won't display until the moderator has approved your comment.

comments powered by Disqus