Walking on a compass bearing uses your compass to direct you in a straight line to your desired location. You walk relative to magnetic north and can use either your map or the ground around you to determine the correct direction. You must take care to account for obstacles between you and your objective, as a bearing will not take these into account.Continue reading How To Walk On A Compass Bearing
A compass is used to find magnetic north orientate yourself and you your map to the ground, and navigate on a bearing in your desired direction of travel. It is an invaluable tool for anyone travelling in the wilderness, hiking in the mountains or anywhere that you cannot use a GPS. So, how do you use a compass?Continue reading How To Use A Compass
I’ll start this walk report with another apology, no photos this time. The weather was too bad and to be honest, once we got to the snow line, there were no views to speak of anyway. So, you will have to make do with my boring words, rather than a ream of photographs instead.
We met at the large car park at Luss, near the village shop. Note that this is a pay and display car park, I paid about £3.50 for the day, so its not too bad, but just so you know. We were meeting a couple of friends from my time at university, that due to local restrictions and busy lives, we hadn’t seen for nearly 2 years. So it was a joyful reunion in the car park, and introduction for Max, at which point, he made firm friends with them and was ready to tackle the day.
The plan was a circumnavigation of Glen Striddle, to the west of Loch Lomond. On a good day, the route promised incredible views of Scotland’s largest loch.
After leaving the car park, heading south along the main road, crossing over to the start of the footpath, we entered the fields on the lower slopes of Beinn Dubh, rising above the village of Luss. Winding our way up through the trees, Max was in his element, chasing down the smells of the woodland.
Once we broke onto the open hillside, the views of Loch Lomond were absolutely outstanding. The cold air seemingly clearer, offered extensive views up and down the loch. The dark clouds above broken in places, with the sunlight streaming through. Looking ahead, we knew we were in for some rough weather as the clouds were gathering, making us linger here a little longer before entering the rapidly dropping cloud.
Starting to tackle the hill proper, it is a relatively featureless, continual grade slope. Flattening out slightly at about the 300m mark before steepening agin shortly after. Max got his first up close encounter with some sheep, where he was very well behaved and before we knew it, we had created the first lower summit of Beinn Dubh.
We were now in full view of the northerly wind, brining with it a stinging wind chill and frozen ground. A little care was needed across some more exposed parts as it was a little slippy under the snow. There was no exposure to speak of, so no danger of a long fall, but care needed to be taken nonetheless.
As the ridge line curves to the west, it narrows and we dropped out of the cloud for a time and we’re treated to some under the cloud views north towards Inverbeg. The surprisingly steep slopes down from our ridge sharpened our need for good navigation in the mainly white world we had been walking in. Err too far from our course and the ground got quite unforgiving. Max didn’t care of course and thought it was great to run up and down the steep slopes.
Climbing from the final saddle and several false summits, the final 400m stretched ahead of us. Settling in for a long slog in the snow, we were buoyed when the cloud started to lift. There was now the possibility of a view, so we began chasing it down, setting our fastest 400m time of the day! The weather offered tantalising glimpses of the summit as the clouds blew through, keeping us going as the legs started to burn with the pace. As with hillwalking in Scotland generally, we didn’t quite get the views, but we saw enough to warrant a few slaps on the back and a high five or two on the top.
Beinn Dubh 657m a Graham in classification, was now in the bag. There was however the small matter of continuing our horseshoe round the head of the Glen returning safely to the car park in Luss. What followed was a relatively uneventful trudge back down towards the loch, with views finally showing themselves as we reached the lower slopes. The terrain felt a little more exposed on the decent, I suppose as we were facing away from the slope as opposed to into it, but I think if I come back again, I shall try this route in reverse.
We hit the tarmac road that winds it way up the Glen at Glenmollochan, and followed it back to the main road and on to the car park without too much fanfare. It was a thankful group of hikers and one tired pup that settled in the hotel for some well earned refreshment.
Overall I had a cracking day out, reconnected with some good friends and managed to tire Max out for once. Success!
Orientating your map is a key skill that many hikers rely on. It allows you to line up what is on your map, using north and visual topographical features, to the ground around you and the landscape in which you are travelling. Doing it correctly will allow you to navigate effectively over the course of your hike.Continue reading How to Orientate a Map
Overall this jacket scored well across the board. It’s now been tested in low level dog walks in the park and high mountain walks in the Highland of Scotland and it has coped really well in all areas.Continue reading Karrimor Softshell Jacket Review
After a successful couple of Munros bagged the previous weekend near Crianlarich, I headed north again, this time to meet up with a friend and tackle the highest point of the Ochills, Ben Cleuch. Having studied at the University of Stirling, and also having climbed Dumyat (a neighbouring peak) many times during my time there, Ben Cleuch was always one that eluded me.Continue reading The Law, Ben Cleuch, Ben Buck, Ben Ever – WALK REPORT – Aug 2021
In exciting news, hiking-Scotland now has a Facebook Group. We’ll be sharing our content, posting links to our favourite kit, beautiful mountain imagery and highlighting other information from other groups and individuals to give you your outdoor fix.
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You can join the group here so you don’t miss out on anything on the channel.
Choosing a pair of boots is perhaps the most personal choice a hill walker can make. There are hundreds of brands and potentially thousands of different options to choose from. Each option offers differing levels of support and comfort catering to a different gait and preference, not to discount the cosmetic look of the boots, which is important for some people too.Continue reading How To Choose the Best Walking Boots for You
With one thing and another, it had been a few weeks since our last family outing. We made plans to visit Dalkeith Country Park last weekend with our extended family.Continue reading Dalkeith Country Park – Walk Report – July 2021
How to use a route card
The best way to plan a hiking route is to use a route card. This is a short summary of your planned walk, key points and times that allows you to plan effectively and easily share your route with others. In this post, we will look at what a route card is, how to complete one and why creating and sharing a route card is important.Continue reading How to Plan a Hiking Route in the UK