Monday, March 28, 2011

The Sunday naturalist

Q - What do you get if you cross a botanist with a geologist and a lepidopterist?
A - A very educational Sunday nature stroll AND some amateur poetry!

On Sunday morning at 9am, myself, Steve and Denis all met.
Pressendye was the hill of choice, not blighted with wind turbines quite yet.

Pressendye from the farm track

At Tarland we started our walk, and set off along winding farm track,
The boys in charge of finding the route, and deciding our plan of attack!

Denis and Steve debate the best route to take

Through fields, bog and wood, our nature hunt began,
Denis' plants, my moths and Steve is a huge ROCK fan!

Yvonne: 'Steve, you're talking schist.'
Steve: 'Thats not very gneiss.'

Denis examines a rare woodland moss

Hairy moth caterpillar (I've forgotten the species...)

But the going was slow and time was pressing, ‘Lads, can we move on now?’
‘We still need to get to the top of the hill, let’s not get into a row!’

I was becoming quite impatient...

So gallantly on to the summit we trekked, enjoying the sights and the view,
To the south Lochnagar, Bennachie to the east, as we finished our biscuits and brew!

Steve and Denis gallantly trekking to the summit

The blazing sun we’d enjoyed all day was making way for the rain,
So we packed our bags, turned our compass to home and headed back down again.

The final stop, atop Pressendye

What a lovely day and a gorgeous hill, with a plethora of nature to be seen,
Where will we go next and what will we see, next time we leave Aberdeen?!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Carn Mairg

On Saturday John & Ann were in the central Highlands to meet up with some old Uni friends and did a fine traverse of the Carn Mairg group. We did the full circuit anti-clockwise from Invervar, heading up the quality stalker's track for the first bit of the route. The going was fairly easy and not too wet considering how much snow melt there has been in the last couple of weeks.
Approaching Carn Mairg
Higher up the low cloud started to break and the drizzle eased off. We though that this was the start of the clearance that had been forecast, but it wasn't to be. We got as far as the top of Carn Mairg in reasoanbly clear conditions, then the clouds rolled back in for the rest of the day.

Summit of Carn Mairg
Our original plan had been to head up Ben Lawers from the north and get in a bit of skiing but there wasn't quite enough snow to make it worthwhile. Luckily we saw enough in the morning to put us off and views on the descent confirmed it. There was maybe enough to ski the top 1000ft sticking to the burns but it would be a long carry for not much action.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Club meet: Glen Clova, 25-27 Feb

Some folk headed down the road to the relatively local and luxury destination of the Glen Clova Hotel Bunkhouse last weekend.

Fine weather tempted Tegwen into bagging a few peaks on the north east of glen clova in contribution to the Cosmic Hillbashers Aberdeenshire 101 Challenge. This included the peaks of Ferrowie, Dog Hillock, Broom Hill and Sandy Hillock. Rivers were high as the snow was disappearing and tough going with feet frequent falling through the thick snow as it gave way underfoot.


The rest of the gang went into the newly named Spring Corrie (ex Winter Corrie) to do Backdoor Gully (II).

Entering the corrie
The snow was pretty deep and soft and it was hard going. 

Trudging up the soft snow
There was a small icefall to pass and then more snow. We then went off route a little and up climbing a nearly vertical 20ft garden with loose rock, water and very little gear - tested the nerves a little! 

Then a short plod to the top, and back to the hotel in time for the second half of the rugby and a few beers.

Half headed home Sunday morning, while the other half wandered in to Corrie Fee just to make sure it was mild and windy before making their return.

Photos and text by Derek and Tegwen.