Beinn Dearg in the rain
Beinn Dearg 427m
There is room to park a car at the entrance to the track at NN617047 but there was a car already there when we arrived so Chris parked the car in the lay-by opposite.We started walking at 10.40 am up the steep track which led to Ben Gullipen. It had been sunny on the drive to the hill but the sun had disappeared and we had frequent heavy showers for the rest of the day. As we climbed towards the communications tower on Ben Gullipen there were views of the Ochils, Stirling Castle, the Gargunnock and Fintry Hills, Uamh Bheag, Ben Ledi and Ben Venue but it was hard to enjoy due to the heavy showers and strong wind. From Ben Gullipen a rough wet path descended to the col below Beinn Dearg. I lost the track here and didn’t see that Chris had gone left. I made the mistake of climbing over a stile and I ended up climbing some small vegetated crags and wading through deep heather. It was hard work and to make it worse I climbed a small subsidiary top when I didn’t need to. I reached the summit at midday, 5 minutes after Chris, although his ascent had been easier than mine. From the top there were views of Earl’s Seat, Meikle Bin in the Campsies and Duncolm in the Kilpatricks, as well as the hills we had seen earlier. We started the descent at 12.10 pm by following the wet path by which Chris had ascended the hill. This became a quad bike track and after crossing a stile the path disappeared. We traversed some rough, waterlogged ground before reaching the track, which was followed to the car. The whole round trip took us two and a half hours.
Craig of Monievreckie (400m)
Chris drove us round to the Braeval Forestry Commission car park and we had lunch in the car. We started the walk at 2 pm by walking up a forestry track and following the red route. At NN538013 a clear path left the track and climbed through the forest. After a walker’s gate the open hillside was reached and to our surprise the path just kept going. It went over the 393m foretop and all the way to the summit, which was reached after an hour and ten minutes. Looking out over central Scotland the extent of the flooding could be appreciated, and more rain was to come. The view took in the Campsies, Gargunnock and Fintry Hills, the Kilpatricks, Ben Ledi, Ben Venue and Ben Lomond. We descended after a five minute stay at the top, contoured round the 393m foretop and endured more heavy rain. We got back on to the path just before the gate and then retraced our outward route to the car. The whole walk was a 2 hour round trip and we celebrated with a small beer before setting off.