Scottish Mountaineering Club Journal Notes and Queries
HOTEL TARIFFS.—Loch Awe and Dalmally Hotels. The
proprietor of these excellent centres has agreed to board Members of the
Club at 9s. each per day, from October to the end of May.
CORRECTION.—Referring to the information on p. 84 of
the May number, to the effect that Maclean, the keeper on Loch Morlich, was
willing to accommodate two Members, Mr D. Mackenzie, one of our Members,
writes as follows :-"After having written to announce our arrival, you may
imagine our chagrin (on reaching there at 10.30 P.M.) on being told that
Maclean had left, it was thought 'for the Badenoch side.' We were informed
that neither refreshment nor lodging could be given, and that Lynwilg (about
ten miles away) was the nearest stopping place. We found Lynwilg Inn a very
comfortable house— limited accommodation, at present being added to. Mrs
Cumming stated that she had had an application from, she thought, our Club,
but not having sufficient accommodation to juI uJ all the Members at once,
she did not reply. The tariff we found so moderate as to render any special
It may be well here to remind Members that if they are
at any time in the position of being able to get special privileges granted
to the Club, or to secure quarters in spots far from hotels, they will be
doing a great service if they will at once communicate with the Honorary
ADDENDA AND ERRATA.—Referring to the May number, Mr
Cohn B. Phillip writes as follows :-" There are one or two things which may
interest you. Cruach Ardran (p. 84) according to the six-inch O.S. is 3,429
feet. The eastern peak, that nearest Ben More, is 3,477 feet. Cruac/zan (p.
86): The eastmost peak, 3,272 feet, is Stob Daimh. Centre peak, 3,312 feet,
is Drochaid Glas, or the "Grey Bridge," a fine edge. The eastmost spur of
ClacAlel (p. 85) is Meahl a Bhuiridh. The highest top of all is 3,636 feet.
The north top of the ridge is Creise, 3,600 feet exact. These heights, &c.,
are from the six-inch O.S., and local information. The correct height of
Bidean nam Bian is 3,766 feet. Sugac/i (p. 63)—the Correct name of this hill
is Ben Uarnan, 3,036 feet, and a very fine rugged hill it is, with fine
castellated crags. Sugach is the name of the farm at the foot."
THE Editor would again remind Members that he will be
glad to receive brief notices of any expeditions they may undertake. It is
not at all intended that these should supersede the more detailed accounts
furnished for the Journal, the intention rather being to keep a record of
what is done, and to put any one in want of special information as to
certain districts in communication with those who are able to give it.
ASCENT OF BEN LUI.----Mr Mark Davidson and Mr A.
Ernest Maylard left Dalmally on 26th April and ascended Ben Lui (1708 feet)
by skirting Ben a Clee. This circuitous course was chosen from there being
some doubt as to the condition of the snow on the more direct and steeper
sides of the mountain. The day was good, the wind NE:, and the atmosphere
clear. Snow covered the mountain top for about 500 feet from the summit. It
was moderately soft, and increased in depth as the top was approached. When
within about 200 feet of the cairn a heavy snowstorm was encountered. The
wind blew with considerable violence, driving the surface snow along in
blinding clouds. All view beyond a radius of fifty yards was obscured. No
progress could be made for about forty minutes. The storm then abated, but a
considerable amount of driving mist remained. This, however, was
sufficiently shifting to make it quite safe to push on. The distant effects
seen under these conditions were particularly beautiful. At no time did the
mist prevent a distinct vision of twenty yards or so. As the top was
approached, a smooth track of snow was seen to the right, which was thought
possibly to be • cornice. As was afterwards observed from a higher point,
this was • smooth ledge of snow from which there was an almost perpendicular
dip of some few hundred feet. The mist obscured any distant view from the
cairn, but by limiting the field of vision added other effects peculiarly
grand and beautiful. The steep snow slopes on the north side, passing away
into the mist below, left the imagination plenty to play on, and one might
have been upon some alpine summit for all it was possible to gauge the depth
of these snow declivities. On the descent the same route was made out, as
the mist forbade any endeavour to descend the steeper northern side. A
little below the summit the mist lifted, and the distant views then were
both extensive and beautiful. The route taken in the ascent and descent was
in every sense an easy one, the last 200 feet only being somewhat rocky.—A.
NOTES ON MAM SODHAIL, 3,862 feet (MAM SOUL), SGURR
FHUARRAN AND BEINN FHADA.—There is a well-established right- of-way from
Invercannich Hotel (seventeen and a half miles from Beauly, or fifteen from
Temple Pier, Loch Ness) by Glen Affric to Shiel Inn, at the head of Loch
Duich, a distance of thirty-four miles. For the first twelve and a half, as
far as Aifric Lodge, there is a carriage road; thence to Alitbeath, eight
and a half miles, a good track, which for the next four miles, as far as the
county march near Loch a' Bhealaich, is very indistinct. Beyond this again,
it becomes well defined.
The whole of this country is rented by Mr Wynans, and
every effort is made to prevent any deviation from the path.
Two miles short of Alltbeath a good bridle path, by
which there is a right-of-way, strikes up to the north, and, crossing the
col at the county march, two miles SW. from the summit of Mam Sodhail (Mam
Soul), descends by Gleann a' Choilich to the head of Loch Lungard. Half-way
between this col and the top of Mam Sodhail is a bothy, inhabited all
through the summer by two gillies, whose duty it is to keep sheep and
tourists from straying. A half-mile to the north of Mam Sodhail, Cairn Eige
overtops it by fifteen feet, .occupying precisely the same position to Mam
Sodhail that Ben More does to Stobinian. The view from Mam Sodhail, however,
is rather the finer.
There is also a right-of-way from Invercannich through
Glencannich, by Loch Lungard and Glen Elchaig to Balmacara (forty- three
miles, carriage road for the first fourteen). Now, as the north side of
Cairn Eige is under sheep, that mountain can easily be ascended from Glen
Cannich, and from it the top of Mam Sodhail might be reached without very
much risk of unpleasantness. In descending, to avoid the above-mentioned
bothy, keep well on the Ross-shire side till the path in Gleann a' Choilich
is reached, then double back and cross the col to Glen Affric.
Just before Loch a' Bhealaich, a path (right-of-way)
strikes off to the right, i.e., north, and if the glen is followed (for the
path soon becomes indistinct) for four miles, the celebrated falls of
Glomach are reached; thence, after a short ascent to the left, or SW., a
good path is soon reached, leading by Dorusduain and Crocbridge to Shiel
From Shiel Inn, Sgirr Fhuarran (Scour Quran) can
easily be ascended without much risk of interference. Beinn Fhada (Ben Attow)
is more difficult of access. It is, however, overtopped by Sgürr Fhuarran,
which lies only three miles to the SW., and by Mam Sodhail, seven miles to
the NE.—H. T. MUNRO.
CRUACH LUSACH (1,530 feet).—Writing from Knapdale, Mr
Cohn B. Phillip says :-" There is a most astounding view to be had from this
hill. I could make out Gulvain in Lochiel's forest (over sixty miles away),
Roshven in Arisaig, Ben Nevis, Ben Lawers, Ben More, Ben Cruachan, Bidean am
Bian, Ben Starav (just a bit), Ben Ima, the Cobbler, Mull, Scarba, Jura,
Islay, County Antrim hills, Mull of Cantyre, peaks of Arran. The land and
sea are superbly mixed up. I think altogether it is about the finest view I
know, and that is saying a good deal."
THE CHEVIOT (2,676 feet).—Leaving Jedburgh on the
afternoon Of 7th June, I had a pretty walk of about ten miles to Hounam, a
quiet little village surrounded by grassy green fells, and hedges white as
snowdrifts with hawthorn. Inn primitive, but people kindly. Starting about
6.30 next morning, I made my way by tracks through a beautiful hilly country
by way of Belford, Mowbaugh, and Sour- hope, to the main range of the
Cheviots. Rising on the long brae by the side of the Dod Burn, you see
before you two fine bold hills—Auchencairn and Arkhope—the College Burn
flowing from a deep corrie between them. They are 2,400 feet high, and from
the summits you look round in vain for the Cheviot. No higher peak is in
sight, but the moor swells upwards beyond at an almost imperceptible
gradient. It is a veritable bog, and when you have jumped and floundered
through it for over a mile, you arrive at a sort of island in the morass,
surmounted by a few stakes, and numerous broken bottles. Such is the top of
Cheviot! No view, neighbourhood too flat. But for the keen air, you might be
in a big bog at sea-level. Walked along the ridge in a S.W. direction for a
couple of miles, over rolling slopes and villianous peat haggs, descended on
Cocklawfoot, and so back by former route to Jedburgh. Day's work about
thirty-three miles. Country most puzzling, hills so broken up. Map and
compass in constant requisition, and thankful there was not a mist.—J. G. S.
CRAIG NA CAILLICH.—On 22nd May, I started on a sultry
day, in the thickest of mist, to explore the Tarmachan tops (highest 3,421
feet), N.E. of Killin. Taking to the hillside at the burn, just east of
Lochay Bridge, I passed some fine waterfalls, cleared the pine woods,
crossed the high-lying moor, and climbed a steep ridge. Built a stone man
where I topped it to guide me on way down, turned N.E. along the crest, and
soon came to a summit. Could not see twenty yards, and as there was
evidently some very steep and broken ground in the direction I wanted to go,
I gave up the attempt to get farther, after waiting more than an hour in
vain hopes of mist thinning. Followed ridge westward, and made an
interesting descent into Glen Lochay, below the falls. When, in the evening,
the mist lifted, I saw that I had been on top of Craig na Caillich (2,0
feet), the westmost of the group. In the mist I had worked too far to the
left, instead of getting into Coire Fionn Larige.—J. G. S.
THE GLEN LYON HILLS.--On the 3rd August, Mr Munro, Mr
Stott, and a friend left Lochay Bridge Inn at 10.40 A.M. After five miles of
the road along Loch Tay, we took to the hillside at Edramuchy, and at 1.40
reached the top of Ben Ghlas (3,657 feet), the S.W. end of the Ben Lawers
group. Descending the col, and following the ridge, we reached the top of
Lawers (3,984 feet) at 2.30, where we spent forty minutes over luncheon.
Descending nearly 1,000 feet to the cal, we skirted above Lochan a Chat and
reached An Stuc (3,643 feet) at 4.5 P.M. Went down 300 feet to the col, and
then up again to the higher top of Meall Garbh (3,661 feet), arriving there
at 4.40. Both of these peaks are very shapely ones, and can be made to
afford some good climbing. After half-anhour's rest, we continued along the
ridge, which drops z,000 feet, to the top of Meal! Gruaidh (3,280 feet),
reached at 6.io. We went down, first by the north shoulder, then by Glen
Daghob to Chesthill in Glen Lyon, and thence to Fortingal, which was reached
at nine P.M. Total distance—perhaps twenty-two miles, whereof eight by road.
The day was warm and misty, the mist frequently being very dense for
half-an-hour at a time. We had many pretty peeps, both of Glen Lyon and Loch
Tay, and occasional very brief glimpses of more distant scenery.
Next morning we left Fortingal at nine A.M, and drove
in a dogcart to the Free Church, nine miles up Glen Lyon. We began to climb
the long south shoulder of Carn Gorm at 10.30, by way of Coire nam Fraochag.
The top (3,370 feet) was reached at 12.25, and we bore away N.E. for Meall
Garbh (3,200 feet), which was surmounted at one o'clock, a dip of 400 or 500
feet in nearly two miles of distance separating them. We descended to the
ccl (2,700 feet?) for luncheon, and at 1.40 started for Cairn Mairg. The
mist and rain, which had been very bad for two hours past, now became much
worse, and compass, map, and aneroid were in constant requisition. This
mountain has several tops, and we must have found our way on to all of them.
We left what we believed to be the highest at 3.5, missed the shoulder, and
had descended nearly i,000 feet to Coire Eachainn, when the clouds for a
moment showed us a mass of mountain due east We worked up its long heavy
slope, and at four o'clock reached a fine rocky top, which could only be
Cairn Mairg's highest (3,419 feet). Another hour of up and down, into the
S.E., saw us on top of Creag Mhor (3,200 feet?), whence we made a steep and
rapid descent on Chesthill. Fortingal was reached again at seven, and
Aberfeldy at ten—total hill walking twelve or fourteen miles probably. The
weather from after twelve o'clock until we reached the lower edge of the
clouds, 2,000 feet above Chesthill, was of the most disagreeable
description. Mist of ever-increasing density—twenty yards limited the vision
on top of Cairn Mairg,—a tremendous gale of wind, and a pitiless rain that
soaked us through and through, and reduced maps, matches, and remaining
provisions to a state of pulp. Nevertheless, the two days made .a most
enjoyable expedition, and we have still left several new tops to conquer in
the neighbourhood. I am inclined to think that the O.S. maps of the Cairn
Mairg group are not absolutely correct. Members who visit the hill in fine
weather may be able to throw light on this.—J. G. S.
LETTER TO THE EDITOR.
To the Editor of the Scottish Mountaineering Club
SIR,—Would you kindly bring before the Members,
through the medium of the Journal, a suggestion, which I hope, if acted on,
may be of practical use to the Members and an incentive to mountaineering :-
Members desirous of meeting at any convenient centre
during next year, should send their name, mention centre they desire to
visit and the probable date, to the Editor of the Journal, before the Annual
Meeting. The groups for the different centres selected, could talk the
matter over at the Annual Meeting and arrange preliminaries as to tents,
&c.; or, if in sufficient number, and the terms admit, by Tortoise Sporting
Those availing themselves of this method would have
secure accommodation, avoid much needless walking, and accomplish more work.
There might also be looked for that pleasure derivable from meeting with
kindred spirits, and that romance inseparable from camping out. D. M'K.
[There is much that is difficult of arrangement in Mr
M'Kenzie's letter. Possibly some other Members may have valuable ideas on
the subject. It seems to us that the object would be, in part at any rate,
attained, if Members were to look up the dates of approaching holidays—say
bank holidays, or the local holidays in Edinburgh and Glasgow—and if they
are desirous of making an expedition, send in their names sometime
beforehand to the Secretary of the Club, who may be able to put them in
communication with other Members similarly minded. The intervals between the
publication of the Journal are too long to admit of its being of much use as
a channel of inter-communication of this nature; but it is highly desirable
that our Members should be brought together as much as possible, and that
Club Expeditions on a small scale be organised. It is often very difficult
to secure a companion for a holiday ramble; and any system by which the
names of Members anxious to come could be made known to inquirers, would be
a boon to many of us.—ED.]
From the Scotsman.
THE SUN'S ON THE HEATHER TO-DAY.
Ho, comrades! the skirmisher rain-clouds Are over
the seas and away; The lakes
and the mountains are smiling, The sun's on the heather to-day.
The sun's on the heather, I trow, lads; There's light on the brown mossy brae; There's joy
in the bickering hill streams That fall in a glory of spray.
And here in the depths of the city My fancy is ever astray, My heart's with the kings of the Highlands; I see
them, I hear what they say.
Ben Lomond looks down his long valley, Afar to the
Bass and the May, And sees
all the myriad flashes Of
Forth on her 'wildering way.
There, too, is the lofty Ben Lawers- Breadalbane is under his sway— His loch is a
blazeof pure silver, The
sun's on his heather to-day.
Schiehallion speaks only in Gaelic, I hardly know what he would say, But Rannoch is
heather all over, And the
sun's on the heather to-day.
See! there are the grand Cairngorms, Afar in the
shimmering ray, Their blue
bonnets merrily bobbing— Hooch! reels to the music of Spey!
Let's off from the soot of the city! We're off for a month and a day To the hills, and the glorious heather— Hooray! (caps in air, lads) hooray!
P.S.—Arrangements are being made whereby it is hoped
the hothy on Loch Eunach, at the foot of Braeriach, will again be granted
for the use of Members during the winter and spring months.
The tenant of a small farm at Tullochgrue, Aviemore,
is willing to put up Members at any time of the year (except the letting
season). It is the nearest house to Braeriach and Cairn Toul on the Spey
The head keeper of the Glen More Forest (Maclean) is
also willing to put up not more than two Members at any time (except the
shooting season). His house is just at the foot of Cairn Gorm, and thus in
close proximity to Ben Muich Dhui.
The Secretary hopes that Members will send him
intimation of any facilities they have been able to acquire regarding
approaches to hills.
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