Our trip to Loch Tay was sandwiched between two major storms, Ciara and Dennis and, the wind never really abated. Gary’s mountain weather App was checked religiously every morning. Every morning it stated that the wind speed was between 70-100 MPH on Ben More, Ben Nevis or any other significant summit. However, there was plenty of snow.
High winds, storm Ciara brewing, and rain, on the first day, sent us up into the forest next to our holiday chalets to search for waterfalls. It was remarkably sheltered in the trees. Due to all the rain, the falls were pretty dramatic and there was even a bit of a climb on which to stretch the hill legs. An afternoon visit to Killin saw even more white water at the Falls of Dochart.
The highpoint of the week for residents of Oaklodge chalet, was the ‘viewpoint’ above Killin, the 603 metre Meall Clachach. Deep snow and wind, momentary views along Loch Tay and a summit too cold and bustery to linger up- on.
Long walks through Narnia-like forests, runs along wintery lanes, geo-caching. There was plenty to do without significant ascent. The proprieter of the local outdoor shop said that there was a nice little bothy along Glen Lochay. Chestnut Lodge residents decided to investigate. The bothy had been invaded by sheep and required significant housework to make habitable, which to their credit, they did.
On the Thursday, a circular walk above Acharn, past the Falls of Acharn, with hermit’s cave and grouse-moors, started as a navigation exercise due to poor visibility. However, the skies cleared, there was minimal wind, and the day finished with the most stunning views over the snow-clad Southern Highlands. There was plenty of wading through and rolling in snow. It was just magic. Thanks to John S. for the route. A meal out at the ‘Capercaillie’ café signalled the end of the week.
It was a week of rescues. The Hastings lifeboat’s dramatic search for a surfer during storm Ciara was all over the national news, and then a rescue of trainer-clad students, from Ben Nevis in goodness know what sort of conditions. Fortunately the only HRFC rescues required were from the Falls of Dochart Inn and Co-Op.