Monday, 28 November 2011

The Trossachs, Loch Katrine and Meall na Boineide

I have always been attracted by this view of the steep rocky slopes of Meall na Boineide from the sheep sheds at Portnellan on Loch Katrine. I often wondered what it would be like trying to scramble my way to the top.

If Im not inspired to paint a view, I will often explore it to find all its possibilities. Eventually, one day I stopped and studied the hillside and decided to see if I could get to the top. The deep ravine between the rocky flanks looked like the best line of attack.

I parked the bicycle out of view behind the sheds and started up a rough track to find the best approach to the hill. The track took me round the back of Meall na Boineide which looked just as steep and rocky as the side seen from the sheds. My mind was made up, it was onwards and upwards through the ravine.

The grass was steep and I am glad the bracken had long died back. Im not sure how easy it would be fighting through it in summer time or how slippery the grass would be if it was wet. However it is certainly possible on a good day. At one point I had to scramble up a little waterfall , but it was no more than two hand holds in height then I was past the crux.

Looking back down the ravine, I was a little disappointed with the lazy haze. Im sure the views over the loch would be great on a clear day.

At the top, I now had clear views over an un named valley I had never seen before and then onto the south face of Stob a Choin. This was Rob Roy country and I imagine he knew every inch of these hillsides. He was born at Glengyle which is only a mile from here.

My curiosity of Meall na Boineide was satisfied, now everytime I pass the sheep sheds, I know its possible to get to the top via the ravine and Im happy to continue on my way without stopping.

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