Fife Out and About Walking Group was invited to send guests to a reception at Holyrood on Tuesday 28th January. The reception was organised by Scottish Mountain Rescue with assistance from Mountaineering Scotland and was titled "Delivering World Class Mountain Safety and Rescue". It was hosted by Liz Smith MSP.
Four of our members were able to attend, although some of us were representing other organisations. We were entertained with a number of speeches including one by the Chair of Scottish Mountain Rescue on what could only be described as an unusual rescue! After the speeches was the all important networking time and Dave T did us proud distributing our advertising cards to MSPs and other guests.
Members of the group were invited to review a copy of this new publication "Scotland's Mountain Landscapes : A Geomorphological Perspective" by Collin K Ballantyne, published by Dunedin Academic Press November 2019.
Chapters of the book then focus on
The book makes understanding the shaping of the landscape accessible to the non-geologist with good explanations of concepts and processes. It is illustrated throughout with diagrams and a multitude of colour photographs. Frequent references are made to real life features and areas that will be familiar to the regular hill-goer thus bringing the subject to life.
For more information and ordering see the Dunedin website.
The group's Spring getaway was to the Isle of Harris this year (having been to the Uists and Barra over the past two years). What a trip it was!!!! It worked out cheaper to take a self catering property for a full week than to stay in a bunkhouse for a long weekend, so that's what we did. Our accommodation was the wonderful Bayhead property near Rodel. Although there were 8 of us staying in it, it was very spacious for us all (a big improvement on club huts!!).
We had a full week of walks which went something like this:
Saturday - short walk at the Fairy Glen, Uig on Skye whilst waiting for the ferry
Sunday - Part of the Hebridean Way at Scarista. The return was meant to be on a path marked on the core path map but the path didn't actually exist!
Monday - Isle of Scalpay for moorland and coastal walking out to the Eilean Glas Lighthouse
Tuesday - Fantastic day weather-wise so it was off to the sea-side at Luskentyre Beach for a walk out on the sands.
Wednesday - A bit wet with low cloud so we opted to head up An Cliseam the highest hill in the Outer Hebrides. You expect a hill to be wet and cold with no views, so it was a good use of the day!!!
Thursday - 4 of us had a day trip out to St Kilda with Sea Harris. Absolutely amazing experience! Bit of a rough crossing though.
Friday - Short walk to the Eagle Observatory but didn't spot any eagles. Some of the group had to leave on the afternoon ferry.
Saturday - ferry home for the remainder of the group
Isle of Lewis next year?
Well it was 3rd time lucky with the Pentlands Two Cairns walk. We turned back on our 1st attempt due to high winds and our 2nd attempt never even saw us cross to the south of the Forth (we ended up at Blairadam the weather was so bad). Fortunately this time we were blessed with a cold, dry, breezy day, though recent snow melt meant that the underfoot conditions were soggy to say the least.
We started from Harperrigg Reservoir and headed round the reservoir and then up the Thief's Road (now called the Cross Borders Drove Route) to East Cairn the highest summit in Edinburgh. At 567m its is also one of the highest of the Pentland tops. Amazing cairn structure at the "not quite the summit" which gave us some shelter from the cold north wind. The actual summit of East Cairn was exceptionally unremarkable with not so much as a pile of stones! We then headed across to West Cairn, the highest summit in West Lothian. It's summit was crowned with a cairn and a trig point. Off path descent off the hill and across tussocky moorland back to Harperrigg.