TAC 43 Index
Bothies being deemed full is bad enough, but Donald Shiach of Inverness writes of a July jaunt: 'On Monday we had a lazy start and eventually drove to the Strathfarrar gate - only to find a GLEN FULL notice. The nice woman (honest) said she is only supposed to let 25 cars up and she had already admitted 31. Fortunately a car came down the glen at the right moment, so we took its place and drove up for an excellent four-hour round of Beinn na Muice. Needless to say, about 29 cars were parked at one or other end of the Munros route.'
Val Hamilton writes: 'Taking a holiday in late August in Scotland means an additional challenge in the form of avoiding men with guns. But you are okay in Glen Livet where the estate office advice was 'If you see a load of Land Rovers and folk with flags, avoid them'. No other restrictions. And wandering around Abernethy forest we were impressed by the RSPB signs where any prohibition was preceded by the word 'Sorry', as in 'Sorry, no vehicles'. Even more amazing was the ranger who passed us in his Land Rover and apologised for disturbing our peace.'
Ken Crocket revives concern about the parking situation at Lawers village, having received an email from yet another miffed visitor to the lochside hamlet: 'The punter at the cottage charges a fiver, the farmer has filled spaces with heavy equipment, the hotel bans parking.' Which suggests it's high time for a Blackspot Round-up:
Lawers village - The place that hospitality forgot. Almost certainly only a very small percentage of residents are arrogant unpleasant boneheads. The vast majority are most likely too timorous or too intimidated to do anything about it.
Largo Law - The days of standard, civilised access have long gone here, with the old route so corridored as to make folk feel like criminals. There is now rumoured to be a court case pending with a local farmer alleged to have assaulted a couple of walkers.
The Invervar Gate - The request for information on this led to Richard Webb writing: 'I have some experience of Invervar, but it is rather dated. I was wandering up the Glen Lyon road one summer's evening in 1981 when a Land Rover stopped and the driver informed me that I could not camp anywhere in the glen. There was a 'but', however. Were I to hop in he would take me to where I could pitch my tent. This turned out to be the lawn of Invervar House, now an upmarket B&B establishment, then simply the estate lodge. After a comfortable night I knocked off three Munros, anticlockwise! (I later returned for Carn Gorm from Loch Rannoch - do you have to do them anticlockwise if based at Kinloch?) More recently I met some skiers who had an unpleasant time because they ran down Carn Gorm rather than carrying on clockwise. Which brings me to my point. Guidebooks should not publicise unreasonable access agreements, like Carn Mairg being only open to baggers prepared to do all four 'with the sun''.
Beinn Enaiglair, from Braemore - Ian Mitchell had a very good letter on this in the West Highland Free Press, 25/6/99, where he reported having encountered first the keeper's dog and then the keeper himself, 'who proceeded to deliver a stream of verbal abuse and swearing accompanied by threats of physical force unless we retraced our steps'. So nothing new there. Ian and his companions stood their ground, pointed out that the splutterer could only request a withdrawal, and suggested he call the polis should arbitration be required. At which he went off to throw some toys around at home, while Ian and co pressed on. Fair play to them - and thanks to Graham Bunn for spotting the letter.
The Trossachs hut - Still on the skyline between Beinn an Fhogharaidh and Ben Venue, still offending a large number of eyes. It's a wonder that no-one has taken direct action against this by now; presumably were it on a more popular bit of ridge - on Venue proper, for instance - things would be very different. If it has been left unattended to simply through being in a quiet, rarely-walked corner, then this augurs badly for the phone mast situation as outlined by Mick Furey on page 5.
Oh, and the funicular, of course. How could we ever forget that?
Late news: Further to the phonemast thoughts, Wolf Gruellich reports finding Mount Blair with 'a newly eroded track to the summit', where 'a big JCB-type digger was busy constructing a telephone tower ... This delightful landscape enhancement is going up not 20 feet from the trig ... The circular shelter cairn had been moved from its original site and rebuilt next to trig.'
Jacqueline Greaves Perpetually Lost Trophy 1999: Aberdeen MRT 3, Braemar MRT 10. Aberdeen regain trophy.
TAC 43 Index