Monday, 11 June 2012

A Swift One at the Local

It's not far up the road so I spend quite a lot of my days out up in Arrochar. The Cobbler is a cracking hill, it's not quite a Munro but it but it make up for it in charm. It's popular too, even with the forecasted poor weather didn't deter a full car park in Arrochar. It was muggy, and we had intermittent rain.

We started off in short sleeves and as we made our way up the zig zags. It wasn't looking good for a view from the top. When we get to the foot of the path leading up the south face, which has a bit of a scramble in places, a group of three guys asked us about the route. They also decided to head up this way. We stopped further up for a snack and one of the three, Andy, was hot on our heels. He had broken off from the slower pair of his party. He was keen to get through the eye of the needle on the south peak. With the weather the way it was it was going to be unlikely.

As I said, not likely for a view, what we are looking at is the southern peak, on the right hand side of the out crop is 2 people, hard to see due to the rubbish weather and worse camera. Andy never got right on to the needle but he got through the eye, that was going to be the limit for this day. It will be there in the morning.

As we headed back to the coll Andy asked us if we knew about Geocaching. He produced his phone and  told us 40ft from the summit was a cache. We headed over to the boulders the app directed us to and with the hint ~ it is in a crack in an outcrop of boulders. When we got within 10ft of the location we had a good hunt around. My wife will tell you my looking skills are rubbish, so I wasn't confident I would be the one to find it. But low and behold, I spotted it. A tupperware covered in a handful of turf to camouflage it from view.

The box was full of nik-naks (not the crisps) and a little pad to sign-in on. Andy signed is all in and he took one of the peices of tat and replaced it with another piece he had taken from a previous find. I can see the draw to this, it's a bit like a modern day treasure hunt. Apparently there are caches everywhere, there could probably be one near to where you're sat now.

Andy returned the treasure chest to it's location and replaced the turf. To be honest you could see more of the box when we got to it but it's not my game so I left him to it. Geocaching could be a good way to get young ones into the hills. I'll probably look into it when my wee yin gets bigger, make it a little more fun rather than following Dad up a hill, bored and getting soaked in the process. Note made.

We headed back to the saddle where Andy's two companions appeared breathing hard and struggling a little from the steady scramble they had just underestimated. They stopped for a cuppa whilst Andy, Del and I headed for the north peak.

Again no views but we were surprised to find a wild camp. Fair play, hopefully the rocks they were using to secure the guy lines didn't shift in a strong gust.

We headed pack to hook up with the tea party. At this stage we parted company with Andy and his pals. The other two were considering doing the north peak as we left them. I like meeting folk on the hill, all this open space seems to bring people together, ironically. Del and I headed down the, less steep, north path which brings you to the intersection of paths through the Arrochar Alps. It's quite boggy here so we headed up the path a bit towards Beinn Narnain and had a seat for some lunch.

With our on lookers we had lunch and thought about bagging Narnain as well today but we did tell the other half's that we wouldn't be out too long. So we filled our faces and packed up and headed back down the path. It wasn't late but there was still loads of folk heading up the path. And as is the norm with this area due to its ease of access form Glasgow, these folk were in varying degrees of preparedness for the outdoors and the current weather conditions. Jeans and trainers do not mix with this area and the rain!!

We weren't out for long, but it was a nice wee day. Meeting new people, introduced to new things. Most importantly, just being out on the mountain. I don't mind this sort of weather, it was warm enough and it didn't throw it down all day but the midges were out in force. There wasn't enough of a breeze to keep them at bay. When we stopped for lunch it took them a while but they found us.

The GPS dropped from my phone for some reason so the route looks as if we came off the path a bit. 

A good day on a local hill.