Sorry for the non-appearance on Glas Tulaichean today, all to do with men with guns! The WX had been reasonable all the way up the A93, about 25% blue sky. But as I climbed up towards Glenshee the mist descended to about 700m and it was drizzling a little. That didn’t bother me as the forecast was to brighten up and by the time I’d climbed to the mist’s level it should have gone. I parked at the Dalmunzie Hotel at Spittal of Glenshee at 10.15am and popped inside to pay my £2 parking fee. It’s a bargain as you get a nice place to park and it cuts about 5kms of the total walk. Anyway the receptionist came back a few minutes to later to say sorry no walking on Glas Tulaichean today, they’re stalking on it’s slopes.
I hid my disappointment and wandered outside. It was raining hard and I didn’t have an alternative hill planned. I could have parked my car back at the last public car park and sneaked in as you can always walk the main paths and ridges even if they are stalking. But having been told no, it seemed irresponsible to go up there against a polite instruction to keep away. There’s enough irresponsible walkers out causing trouble without me adding to it.
No maps, no routes in the GPS. I was well out of my usual stomping ground and the only two hills in the area I know are Glas Maol and Mount Blair. I’ve done them both and they’re not memorable enough to want to do them again, even on a nice day. Certainly not today in this WX. I rang my XYL and told I would not be walking as I had no maps etc. There’s a mobile phone mast on The Cairnwell and I was parked at the foot of that hill. Full scale phone strength but no HSDPA, EDGE or GPRS data connection so I couldn’t get online to post to Sotawatch.
Rude words were said loudly!
Having come 95 miles North I wasn’t going to turn back though. I drove north for another hour or so up to Barry GM4TOE’s QTH and dropped in to say hello. Having done that I continued onto to Grantown-on-Spey and then back down the A9. Of course my trip down Scotland’s most dangerous road was in beautiful sunshine, the Cairngorms were stunning and so were all the other summits that I didn’t have maps, routes or info. The WX improved all the time.
The rude words that were shouted at every new mountain vista would have won me a gold in the Swearing Olympics.
Well the hills will be there next time. So sorry for the no-show and not updating the alert, forces outwith my control. Apart from reconnoitering roads to see how far it’s possible to drive to a summit and back in a day (some of the A roads up by Barry’s QTH are very narrow and winding) and also seeing the wonderful Autumn colours in the sunshine, that was an extremely valuable day off work wasted.
I’m off to shout some incredibly rude words at the birds in the garden!