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Monday, 21 April 2014

Glen Lethnot & Anstruther kayak

The East of Scotland has been sunny over the Easter period. First, more exploration of the Angus glens. This time I went to run in Glen Lethnot which can be accessed easily from Brechin. Glen Lethnot is not visited often as the hills are smaller than in Glen Clova but it is just as beautiful as the other glens especially on a sunny day. Here I am on the approach. 
Recently I have started to run or walk the routes which are in the James Carron's walking guide for the Angus glens:
I parked near Craigendowie and from there a landrover track goes up all the way to Tamhilt at 537 m. Generally there are many landrover tracks in this glen which are good for easy running but it takes away from the wildernes. Here is the view all the way down to the North Sea. The lighthouse near Montrose is a whitish dot on the image. 
 I then carried out, again on a landrover track, to the hill of Mondurran which is 602 m and the highest point of the route. To the North is the continuation of the glen and Hunthill lodge. 
 Here a look back again with the lodge. 
 There is a lot of wildlife in the area especially hares and grouse. I then ran southwards and saw a golden Eagle, I think. After that down with sheeps on the opposite slopes. 
 On Easter Sunday we met at Anstruther harbour for a kayak trip to Fife ness. 
 Here is our group with the houses of Anstruther behind. Apparently the orange tiles are from Holland and were obtained in exchange for some goods. 
 We paddled to Crail and saw a miniglider.
 Here are our kayaks in Crail harbour...
 ... and here is a view of the narbour. 
 In the area there are several fossils including fossilised trees. Here is our inspection team...
 We went to the tip of Fife, saw the now abandoned coastguard station and returned. Some dolphins passed in the opposite direction. Here we are back in Anstruther...
 ... and here we reach the harbour. 
Few countries are better than Scotland when the weather is good!

Monday, 7 April 2014

Angus glen runs, Kirrie and Ben Lui

Spring 2014 has arrived and with it a book covering hill walks in the local Angus glens:
I was quite excited about it as I love the Angus glens and any literature related to it is very welcome. There is no conflict of interest as none of my photos are in the guide nor do I know the author nor do I get any royalty for praising the book! Anyway, the guide is perfect for walks and hill runs in my backyard. My favourite so far is Cat Law which can be seen from the coast. Here I am on the ascent via Long Goat.

Here a bit higher up with he North sea coast in the far distance.

The following weekend Robbie and I went to Kirrie. It was 7 degrees Celsius according to the thermometer but Kirrie is surely the warmest place in Scotland. Here is Al 'tops off' working the 7a next to us.

And here is the crag in glorious mid march sunshine.

Robbie and I needed some fitness after a poor winter so afterwards we ran up Cat Law from Glen Uig. Great views of snow capped hills.

A return over lush meadows...

... and past character trees...

... and some daffodils.

The following weekend Mike and Nic from Oxford came to do Ben Lui and some of the Knoydart Murnos from Inverie. I met them for Ben Lui. Here they are on the long approach...

... and here on the grassy slopes...

... and then on the not so grassy slopes. We had followed the snow slope in the clag in the hope that we would reach the Northern ridge but instead ended up below the crags to the right of Central gully.

Thus some good crampon skill training...

... and we managed to find an easier gully towards the easier snow slopes near the top...

... which are actually not that easy if you are the first time on crampons.

After  plenty of action we finally reached the summit.

Here is Nic reaching his first gully in winter conditions.

We worked on our bum glissading skills and saved the old knees...

... did the adjacent Munro and then a long traverse to the bealach between Ben Lui and Ben Oss followed by a long walkout.

My rat is not as hungry as the rat of other people but it has been fed once again.