Stob Ban

Stob Ban
June 2015

Sunday, 18 September 2016

Saturday, 17 September 2016

Thursday 15 September - Deeside Physiotherapists

This holiday and the July one in the Lake District have both been marred slightly by a nagging shoulder/back muscle problem. In the Lakes it got so bad I went to a GP in Keswick who was utterly useless. He could barely drag himself out of his chair to examine me - Co-codamol tablets was his solution.

Here in Braemar I decided to visit the excellent Dr Cruickshank, although I'd already decided that physiotherapy would likely be the best course of action. He agreed, so on Wednesday I saw Richard in Aboyne and ... On Thursday we visited two old favourites, Glas Maol and Creag Leacach. I didn't really expect any great improvement after one treatment but I was wrong and whereas prior to physiotherapy I would have been stopping every fifteen minutes or so to remove my sack and massage my shoulder, on today's walk I felt no pain at all.

Early morning sunshine didn't last and we shared the misty summit of Glas Maol with a couple out for the Munros. With that all behind us we felt no pressure to push on but eventually decided to go out to Creag Leacach. The sun shone.

On Friday we walked out to White Bridge and up Glen Dee - very little pain - and today another old favourite Carn a' Gheoidh. Perfect day. Shoulder likewise.

Thumbs up for Richard and Deeside Physiotherapists.

I don't suppose the photo will appear. Don't know who to blame Google or the site wi- fi.

Sent from my iPhone

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Derry Lodge

Note: photos at end of post. What problems getting this post to go!

As we drove the beautiful six miles from Braemar to Linn of Dee we wondered if we'd made a mistake. All the signs of a cycling event were present suggesting that the car park might be full. 

Fortunately it wasn't and we found a slot for the 'van. The way through the dense Scots pines soon joined up with the familiar estate road to Derry Lodge, a road cycled countless times when out for the Munros, or tramped, foot-sore sometimes, returning from day trips. It always seemed to be hot and the shade offered by the pines near the Lodge was a relief; today we sheltered from the wind.  The boarded-up Lodge is now a sad sight but I'm in two minds as to whether the plan to turn it into a hostel for walkers is an improvement or not. I fear it will turn into a base for groups, pre-booked and of little use to lone stravaigers or couples looking for a bed.

We passed quietly by and came across Aberdeen MRT vehicles. Down by the temporary bridge over the Derry Burn the team, on a training weekend, had earlier established and were now dismantling a Tyrolean rope traverse between two Scots pines. The previous day they had been practising stretcher lowering on Stob Coire Etchachan. Grateful thanks to all MRTs. We spoke for a while with one of the team who told us that many of them joined having been involved in 'incidents' themselves or knew people who had. 

We had just settled under a Scots pine by the burn for a late snack when a lone backpacker arrived. At first glance, with beard and sandals, I thought it was Chris Townsend but no, he was a New Zealander who'd camped in Glen Derry overnight having come in from the Linn of Quoich the previous day. An interesting half hour was spent covering the Land Reform Act, walking in New Zealand, his love of art and the time he'd spent in Paris before flying to Scotland and our own exploits in the Cairngorms. We were also happy to offer some information on Glen Affric, his  next destination and, given this was his first visit to Scotland and the weather forecast was for a stormy night, we tentatively suggested he seek a sheltered camp rather than a high one, although I'm sure he was well able to look after himself in the hills. I'm always reluctant to offer unsolicited advice (as opposed to information) to people in the hills - it seems presumptuous and patronising to me, so I rarely do it. 

We watched him shrink in the vastness as he set off for the Lairig Ghru and Aviemore. I envied him his passage through the Lairig, particularly since a current shoulder and neck problem is making carrying a day sack difficult and painful for me so lugging one full of gear for a few overnight camps is impossible at present.  

Hopefully next year we can have some days like the one in the last two photographs. 

Photos:  Derry Lodge; looking towards Glen Derry; Aberdeen MRT by the Derry Burn; A backpacking trip from Linn of Dee in May 1982 - Lynne on Carn a' Mhaim and Loch Etchachan*

*The route was: Carn a' Mhaim, Ben Macdui, down to Loch Etchachan, on to Beinn Mheadhoin and camp near the Lairig an Laoigh. The following day we climbed our 100th Munro, Beinn a' Chaorainn and walked out. What happened to May weather like this?