Winter Walking – Geological Exploration

With wind speeds of 80 -100nph predicted for the summits we opted for a low level walk in Glen Roy, which has many notable features but perhaps the two most well known are listed below.

a)  Battle of Mulroy
A stone cairn reminds us of the Battle of Mulroy where the MacDonells of Keppoch defeated the Mackintoshes in the last inter-clan battle fought in Scotland on 4 August 1688.

b) Parallel Roads

Glen Roy -information board

These are perfectly parallel “tracks” that run along both sides of the glen at heights of 260m, 325m and 350m. Local legend has it that these were hunting paths used by the Celtic warrior Fingal or that they were created by fairies. In modern times, they could equally be mistaken for forestry tracks.

Parallel roads of Glen Roy

However, they are actually lines left by the shoreline of a vast loch that filled Glen Roy some 10,000 years ago, held in place by a dam of ice formed by the head of a glacier that advanced from the south west. As the glacier advanced, so the water it trapped in the glen deepened in stages, cutting shoreline ledges through wave action at each stage. When the glacier eventually retreated the water drained away, leaving the landscape you see today.

Simon and Richard enjoying the view

Today was our last day in Scotland and we arrived in Glen Roy to be greeted with horizontal rain so opted to spend a little time in the car telling jokes and stories while we waited for the wind and rain to ease. Eventually, the rain stopped and encouraged by Simon we left the car and proceeded to walk along the southern slopes of Beinn a Mhonicag (567m) using one of the parallel roads. Once at Meall Dubh (374m) we began the short walk up the the summit ridge of Beinn a Mhonicag. By this time it was time for lunch Once at the summit, we found a a little hollow to have lunch and we were kept amused by some great jokes from Richard . From the summit, we proceeded northwards to make our way down to the road in Glen Roy. As we lost height from the summit we were treated with some great views of the parallel roads further up the Glen and Bob dazzled us with not one but two impressive slips in quick succession on the wet grass.

As we strolled back on along the Glen, there was much laughter and amusement as we reflected on the weeks adventures, great jokes, good company, the crampon incident, forgotten boots and our achievements over the week.

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2 Responses to Winter Walking – Geological Exploration

  1. simon says:

    A fine blog of our most interesting and varied week in Scotland, thanks for your excellent company, good quality banter and understanding that as one becomes folically challenged boots are often not in the front of one’s mind. Perhaps we had better not talk about that though!

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