Friday, 12 November 2010

Rannoch Moor from Beinn an Dothaidh

Approaching the Rannoch Moor from the south, you can’t help but notice the steep pyramid shape of Beinn Dorian as you drive over the brow of the A82 road just north of Tyndrum. Both it and its neighbour Beinn an Dothaidh are munros and offer another great vantage point to see the moors from height.

The walk starts at the Bridge of Orchy railway station and heads for the Bealach at the top of Coire an Dothaidh. I did the walk on a beautiful October day and the autumn colours and clear atmosphere made for great photographs. The early morning mist still clung to the valley floors.

The path can be a bit muddy at times but once it starts gaining height in Coire an Dothaidh the going gets drier.

Once on the bealach the views open up to the east and you can see Loch Lyon between the surrounding hills..

The summit of Beinn an Dothaidh is on the left of the bealach and as you climb you can see the sharp peaks of Ben Cruachan over to the west.

To the south east, the mountains around Crianlarich dominate the horizon. Ben More and Stobinian being the highest and on the left hand side of this photograph.

Beinn an Dothaidh has several summit cairns and the views of Ben Cruachan are one of my favourite views.

To the north is the vast area of the Rannoch moor and a good view of Loch laidon

The mist was still clearing from the lochs on the moors in this photo.

There are great views of Loch Tulla from the path heading to Beinn Dorian.

I am heading for New Orleans tomorrow but will be back after a weeks break to continue with some walks in Glencoe. Thanks for looking at some of my views of the Rannoch Moor

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Rannoch Moor and the "classic" photographs

There are of course some classic views of the moor that everyone with a camera takes a photograph of. The compositions are all identical, its just the lighting conditions and the weather that separates the good photos from the bad ones. I have those views in my collection too and have included some of them below.

Buachaille Etive Mor and the moon in Glencoe

Approaching Glencoe on the A82 road across the Rannoch Moor

The Buachaille from the river Coupall

The Buachaille again from the River Coupall

A lone tree on the moor

A portrait shot of the lone tree

One tree Island in Loch Na h Achlaise

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Rannoch Moor and Buachaille Etive Mor

One of the best places to see a grandstand view of the Rannoch Moor must be from the summit of Buachaille Etive Mor. This impressive mountain guards the entrance to Glencoe and its eastern summit Stob Dearg is 1022 meters high. Its quite a demanding walk to get to the top although technically its not too difficult going via Coire na Tulaich. The coire has a steep headwall that can avalanche in winter conditions, but in summer its little more than a steep walk up a stone staircase.

Buachaille Etive Mor and the access route via Coire na Tulaich.

Ascending the path in the Coire ahead of the ground mist

Approaching the steep headwall in the Coire.

Near the top of the headwall I spotted a lone stag.

Looking back down Coire na Tulaich from the top of the headwall.

Looking across the top of the Coire (The path goes down to the right)

Heading for the summit cairn of Stob Dearg.

Looking over the edge of Stob Dearg to the start of the walk. The car is parked at the clump of trees.

Looking across the Rannoch Moor from the top of Stob Dearg. The main A82 road cuts diagonally across this photo. The road that branches off and disappears into the bottom right is the Glen Etive road. The road branching off and heading for the top left corner is the landrover track that I cycled to Loch Laidon.

Monday, 8 November 2010

Rannoch Moor and Loch Laidon

Deep in the heart of the Rannoch Moor lies Loch Laidon. It is best accessed from the east end at Rannoch Station but I noticed from the OS maps of the area that there was a land rover track going from the Kingshouse Hotel, past Black Corries Lodge and shown to end in the middle of nowhere. A footpath then goes all the way along Loch Laidon to Rannoch Station. I was keen to see if it was possible to cycle from the Kingshouse to Rannoch Station.

The first part of the track proved to be very good. It’s the access road to Black Corrie Lodge.

There are some great views of Buachaille Etive Mor from the Allt Chailleach river that runs beside the track.

The only living thing I saw all day was the highland coos near the Black Corrie Lodge. The mountains of Creise and Meall a Bhuirdh can be seen on the far side of the main A82 road.

I then cycled on the footpath which bypasses the Lodge then joins it again to head for a remote radio mast. The last of the autumn heather blooms added a splash of colour to the Buachaille in this shot.

Unfortunately the landrover track stops exactly as shown on the OS map and the footpath proved impossible to cycle on. I abandoned the bike and carried on by foot to the edge of Loch Laidon.

The loch looked very peaceful on such a lovely late autumn morning. A touch of frost helped firm the soft ground for walking.

It never ceases to amaze how some trees can grow out of small cracks in the rocks of the moor. I guess its not so wet in there so their roots don’t rot ?

Sadly..there is only one way back..and that is the way I came but I think its worth the effort just to see a different view of the moors.

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Rannoch Moor and Loch Ba

Looking east from the A82 over Loch Ba is just as picturesque as looking west towards the Blackmount Estate, especially at sunrise. I have often made my way down to the waters edge in the dark, hoping for one of those crimson sunrises but I have yet to photograph one at this location

However, I find there is something very satisfying, crouched in the heather at the edge of Loch Ba, on a cold dark morning with a flask of warm coffee, waiting for the first glimpse of the sun. The stags roaring and rutting like prehistoric animals. The mist slowly swirling as the sky starts to lighten and the hills start to reflect on the mirror surface of the loch

The last photograph inspired this watercolour painting

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Rannoch Moor, Mon and Meall Beag

Another favourite walk on the Rannoch Moor is climbing to the top of Mon, a small hill on the south of Loch Na h’ Achlaise, then crossing over to Meall Beag and onto the West Highland Way Walk, continue along to Ba Bridge then return via Ba River and the edge of the Loch Na h'Achlaise. It’s quite a strenuous walk as there is no path, the grass is very tussocky and difficult to walk on but it is reasonably dry underfoot. You can park in the small lay by on the A82 for the radio station on the side of Mon

Mon and Meall Beag reflected in Loch Na h Achlaise.

Cats Paws Clouds over Mon

Looking over Loch Na h’Achlaise and Loch Ba from the summit of Mon

A memorial cairn and Clach Leathad from the top of Mon

Stob a Choire Odhair from an un named lochan behind Meall Beag

Clach Leathad reflected in Lochan Mhic Pheadair Ruaidh

Beinn Achaladair, Beinn an Dothaidh and Beinn Dorain from an un named lochan behind Meall Beag

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Rannoch Moor and Blackrock Cottage

There are some views that I never get tired of photographing. Blackrock Cottage on the northern edge of the Rannoch Moor is one of those views. It is possibly the most photographed cottage in Scotland, but with the diverse weather on the moors, no two photographs will ever look the same. Here are the four seasons at Blackrock Cottage





The view also inspired this watercolour painting