Date: Sunday-Monday 5th-6th April 2015
Distance: 15.4 + 10.2km
Ascent: 1000 + 0m
A frustrating start to the Easter weekend – we were full of hope for a NW highlands high camping trip but the forecast was tripe. With Friday and Saturday having been below par we decided to head for the best chance of sunshine in the SE rather than gamble on inversion elsewhere.
A high camp somewhere in Angus has been on the to-do list for a while so we parked up at Auchavan at 0830 in beautiful spring sunshine with a plan to head up Monega Hill and round Caenlochan Glen to pitch up high on Mayar.
We’ve visited Glen Isla a few times, but never quite had the forecast promised. This time we did.
A proper spring-like day, warm, sunny and still. The birds have burst into full song from the quiet of March and the frogs were everywhere. Could feel my batteries recharging just being out in it. 😉
Glen Isla is a huge glacial glen which divides at it’s head into the very dramatic glens of Canness and Caenlochan. Well worth a visit and not best perceived from the usual munro routes.
Just over 1km north of Tuchan Lodge there’s a signpost indicating the route up Monega Hill. Best ignore this and follow the road over the Glas Burn and head uphill just past this.
Arrived at the top of Glas Maol – a rather fine view to the Cairngorms and even across to Blackmount.
Skirted past the munro summit to head out to Druim Mor. We’ve been meaning to visit this for a while. Bypassed a few times on claggier days it seemed a great day to have a look at the view.
Arrived at the summit of Druim Mor – an excellent viewpoint over Caenlochan Glen and out Glen Isla.
It was only early afternoon…..but having reached Druim Mor we reckoned it was likely to be a better pitch site than Mayar’s summit. So we downed tools and decided to chill out and appreciate the weather and the views.
Dossed around and watched the world go by – heard a couple of walkers visit the top of Druim Mor but saw no-one. Listened to some enthusiastic meadow pipits singing. A great sound of spring.
Quite a view – almost as many sodium lights on view as our summit camp on Arran. Spotted Fife Ness lighthouse too.
Headed to bed, a peaceful still night with occasional ptarmigan calls. Got up at 0100 to full moonlight. It’s always vaguely surprising how much light the moon casts when your vision is dark adapted. Not well appreciated from an artificially lit modern lifestyle.
Had a very leisurely breakfast and tent strike. Why hurry?
The sound of singing pipits was briefly counterpointed by the sound of a motorcycling buffoon on a road machine so loud it could easily be heard over several miles and intervening hills. If wishes come true said buffoon currently has a plague of boils.
Decided to descend via the Caderg stalker’s path – on the “to do” list since spotted a while back.
The path is excellent, although it seems to vanish at the flatter area around 640m, that matters little as what remains is simple walking.
Curlews and oystercatchers were escorting us back down the glen with a few unseen snipe calling.
Even by our low standards a pretty lazy one…..but very enjoyable and relaxing.
A nice descent via Caderg takes one off the “to do” list……while the Monega Hill zig-zags go straight onto the list for a future walk.