Sunday, 29 January 2012

The Ochils and Lossburn Reservoir

Saturday promised to be a great day in the hills. Dry, sunny spells and no wind was the forecast. I was in two minds to do the Ben Cleuch circuit which takes in the highest summit of the Ochils at 721m, but it was still very cold and there was a fair bit of snow on the tops. I wasn't sure how Holly would get on in such cold conditions for her longest walk yet, so decided on another low level circuit.

I also wanted to see how she would fair on the steeper slopes so decided to go back to Menstrie Glen but this time approach it by going over Dumyat from south to north.

I parked in the carpark at Blairlogie but instead of heading directly up Warloch Glen, I first headed west then took an airy sheep path to the right that weaves diagonally across the steep front of Castle Law.

The beauty of climbing any of the Ochils from the south is that you dont have far to go before the views open up.

The path can give a feeling of exposure at places as it twists and turns its way across the deep gullys that scar the front of Castle Law. You can make out the path on the other side of this gully.

I could see Ben Lomond and the Arrochar Alps in the distance looking lovely in their winter coats.

It was refreshing to see familiar sights from a different viewpoint on the front face of Castle Law. Holly wasn't bothered by the heights at all, in fact she wanted to head down a very steep drop to have a look at some sheep that disappeared over the edge as we approached. I keep her on an extending lead now so she cant get into trouble when we go walking.

The path passes some flat spots above the crags which would be great places to rest and watch the world go by of a warm summers day. Only one or two people climb Dumyat by this way.

This is a panorama from one such flat spot and is made from three photos joined together. Its worth clicking to see it in more detail at a bigger size.

It gets very airy just before the summit cairns of Castle Law. There was a pictish fort at the top at one time, but it was long gone before I got there. The Picts would have seen their enemy approach across the plains of the central belt from miles away.

Moments later we where at the top of Dumyat and Holly looked across the plains to her new home. Heights and scrambling on slopes dont bother her.

She does feel the cold though so we didn't hang around on the summit. We dropped off the north side heading for Jerah again. Since I first visited it only a week has quickly becoming my favourite place in the Ochil hills.

But first we stopped off at Lossburn Reservoir. There was not a ripple on its surface in the cold still air.

Colsnaur still had a sprinkling of snow on its summit.

I stopped for a quick sandwich beside the outfall of the reservoir and watched in amusement as the water tumbled down the steps in spurts. Im not sure why as it was still flat calm above on the loch ?

I then walked round the loch to get a photo of Colsnaur from the far end. I couldn't help notice the rubbish and empty beer tins scattered around its banks. Dumyat is a very popular hill and there is no rubbish on it. Why is it that the few people who use the loch cant tidy after themselves ?

It was a beautiful day for a walk and it could have been spring in the Menstrie Glen. The good weather certainly put a spring in my step.


I visited Jerah again to get another photograph or three then headed back by the track to Menstrie, Dumyat Farm and then the carpark. It was Hollys longest walk to date at 6.5 miles. She wanted to go further too :-D

My recent walks around Dumyat have inspire a painting or two watch out for them shortly :-D

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