Oct 23rd, 2016
MWIS (the mountain weather service) had today down as clear and cold with an 80% chance of clear Munro tops… On that basis we set out to climb Ben Vane. R and I have hypothesised in the past that at the end of each calendar year we could make MWIS a donation of £5 for each day when their weather forecast was correct and either we had an enjoyable day on the hills as a result, or conversely avoided a miserable soaking. But if their weather was wrong, we would subtract the £5. On this basis they got £5 into the hole today (and I’m not actually sure that they are in credit this year..).
Suffice it to say that when we got onto the foothills, it started to rain and the wind was up. R had not brought his waterproof trousers and was already looking thoroughly miserable. So rather unwillingly on my part, we gave up on the mountain and walked to Loch Sloy instead.
Since the 1930s this is essentially a hydro system with a large and sinister looking dam across it. There was an access tunnel with “strictly no access – danger of spalling”. As the gates were open, the area had obviously extensively been used by sheep, and we didn’t know what spalling was, we took our chances on it, and walked through to look at the loch. It was all rather dreich and looked like the sort of place Deep Ones might hang out so we didn’t linger and went back through the spalling tunnel again.
R took this very creepy looking panorama of me on the dam “To the dark castle then she came…”
Now I am home I looked up spalling and apparently it is flakes of rock breaking off – as far as danger signs go “falling rocks” might just be more effective.