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  The Chatter Box : Travel
Messages 1 2 

Favourite Climbs. by Ken Dunn on 27 April 2017 7:12am
I have done some hill walking/mountaineering routes in my younger days and have recorded a few of them on this website (Caurantouhill and Stuck on a Mountain) so thought it would be a good idea to record the others that I can remember here - if the WEBMASTER doesn't mind! I'll start with Slieve Donard in The Mournes and the highest mountain in Northern Ireland.

Note that mountaineering is dangerous, and the climb descriptions may make them sound easy, especially if you go on to them unprepared so be wary of the weather, your fitness and your survival equipment. Never think that having a mobile phone in your pocket is all the equipment you will need.

All the climbs described can be done in a day and were started from, Ballywalter, Co. Down - for The Mournes; Helensburgh, Dunbartonshire for western Scottish mountains; Edinburgh or south central Fife for central Scottish mountains; Ullswater Outward Bound school for English Lake District Peaks; Leeds for Pen-y-Gent; Mold, North Wales for Snowdon and one in USA from Denver, Colorado (This is Pike's Peak and can't be done in a day especially if you live in the UK).

Editorial note : I'm surprised by the extent of this list and the number of climbs that I can recall so you'll have to bear with me for the next few weeks as I enter the details for each climb.

In view of this note the following is a list of the mountains climbed in the order they appear in this topic:

To be continued...

I've started the list about 4 posts further on and can take requests on any mountain/hill not already written about to do next.
Re: Favourite Climbs. by Ken Dunn on 27 April 2017 7:20am
The nearest town to Slieve Donard is Newcastle, Co. Down and when the tide is out it has a big sandy beach (or it had 45 years ago!) - I'm sure it'll still be there. I'm sure the mountain is less than Munro height (3,000 feet) and the climb is by a wide gulley with a stream. At the top of the gulley it is a left turn onto a steepening slope towards the top of Slieve Donard. A right turn at the top of the gulley takes you to the top of Comedagh, Slieve Donard's slightly lower neighbour.

I'll mention here that you must remember a climb is not finished until you are back at base so in some entries in this topic I may describe the ascent without the descent which can be much more difficult because you are tired and/or the weather has changed and/or daylight is fading.
Re: Favourite Climbs. by Ken Dunn on 27 April 2017 7:23am
The next one is Ben Lomond in Scotland, to the east side of Loch Lomond (not the one with the monster so you'll be at low risk if you go for a swim after the climb!) Access to climb Ben Lomond is by road up the east side of Loch Lomond from Balloch. Parking can be found in the area and as it's a long time since I've done this one I can't give specifics. It is a bit of a slog up to a shoulder where the terrain levels for a while then another climb to the fairly level summit. The view to the west from the summit area overlooks Loch Lomond and an alternative route of descent can be taken over the curving Ptarmigan (?) shoulder which eventually rejoins the ascent route near the bottom of the mountain.
Re: Favourite Climbs. by Ken Dunn on 27 April 2017 11:05pm
Still in Scotland, this and the next route are very close to being my best favourites. Firstly it's one called the Cruachan Horseshoe which takes in Ben Cruachan and its tops in western Scotland. I remember this one being a lovely anticlockwise loop around about 4 tops near the same height in the upper reaches of the Cruachan range. The descent brings you passed the Cruachan Reservoir which feeds an hydroelectric power station. I haven't been to this reservoir recently but am sure that it is still likely to be operational. The highlight of this route is getting to the height for a fairly gentle stroll across the 4 or 5 tops with a slightly different view from each of them.
Re: Favourite Climbs. by Ken Dunn on 27 April 2017 11:13pm
Secondly, Ben Lui, Ben Oss and Ben Dubhcrag (dubh is black in Gaelic). This is a killer if you are not fit, fortunately I was when I did it. All three are done from the road that runs past Ben Lui - you'll need a map to get as close as possible to the rising flank of the mountain. I needed two attempts at this route as the first time I went there was low cloud and a walk round the base of the flank with the cloud ceiling about 200 feet above the road indicated that no photos could be taken that day as the cloud showed no signs of lifting.

On the second attempt the weather forecast was good for the day and I parked at the side of the road near (relatively speaking) Ben Lui. The climb was uneventful but tough up to the top of the very high first ridge. From here I could see Ben Lui in glorious sunshine about a mile away so I made for the top. I don't remember much about the view other than Ben Dubhcrag was obscured by Ben Oss and there was a significant dip in the terrain to Ben Oss quite a distance away. I proceeded to the next mountain and Ben Dubhcrag was now in view. Another enjoyable slog got me to the top Ben Dubhcrag and I had come a long distance from the car. I checked my map to work out the easiest return route and set off down into a very long glen in the direction of the car.
The walk out was another slog made more difficult by the fact that I was very tired, having climbed 3 Munros in about 5 hours + exit time. The very long glen took ages to walk but I eventually arrived back at the car to enjoy a 15 minute rest with some food and drink before heading back to base in Helensburgh.
Re: Favourite Climbs. by Ken Dunn on 27 April 2017 11:39pm
Next, Ben Nevis. I've done this one three and a half times.
See detail in topic already written and near to this post in the Travel Section.
Re: Favourite Climbs. by Ken Dunn on 27 April 2017 11:40pm
Dumbarton Rock is in Dunbartonshire, about 20 miles from Glasgow on the north side of the river Clyde estuary. I shouldn't really include this as a favourite climb but it is worth noting because I went to it with a few friends who were rock climbers. When I looked at the route they were going to do I said that I wasn't going to try to climb it so took the easy way to the top where I got some good photographs of them climbing near the top of the pitch.
Re: Favourite Climbs. by Ken Dunn on 28 April 2017 12:01am
Ben Dorain, as far as I can remember is by Bridge of Orchy near Rannochmoor. There is/was a rail halt nearby and a lonely hotel at the start point. From the start point you climb east up a fairly easy? gully and after an hour or two you will arrive at a saddle between two mountains. A right turn takes you to the top of Ben Dorain's neighbour and from there you can walk back across the saddle to the top of Ben Dorain, the higher of the two. I remember seeing a Ptarmigam bird near the top of this climb. It just stood there quietly and I didn't go too clse to scare it off. Descend by the saddle and if the hotel is still there a good meal is possible. I remember being asked if I was from Ordnance Survey and pitching the tent by a stream that runs by the hotel.
Re: Favourite Climbs. by Ken Dunn on 28 April 2017 12:06am
Ben More

Ben Vorlich

An Caisteal

Kilrie - done see page 2.

Schiehallion - done.

Ben Lawers

Bidean Nam Bian - see Stuck on a mountain in neighbouring topic in Travel Section.

The Cobbler

An Stuck

Ben Bowie (winter, summer, running)

Arthur's Seat

Allermuir Hill - started: see page 2.

East Kip and West Kip

Caurantouhill - not yet found. Search done back to p19 10 Jan 2005 in Travel Section. Note to self - search Blathering On. See note later about search progress.


Ben Cleuch
Re: Favourite Climbs. by Ken Dunn on 29 April 2017 3:33am
Caurantouhill climb not found in Travel Section. Search done in Blathering On section complete. I've either missed thr topic or it is elsewhere.
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