The Long Way to the VETS

18 Dec

We made a sorry sight as we struggled our way up the relentless north approach to The Brack.  Cap’n Jack was suffering from a lack of hill time and was finding the upward grind hard going.  I was battling a reoccurrence of my back problem which meant the return of the concrete legs and The Fatdog was out of sorts with a flare up of her perennial ear infection.  As I said…a sorry sight.

FD and I hadn’t been on this craggy Corbett (2500’ – 3000’) at the southern end of the Arrocher Alps for some two and a half years and it was a first visit for the Cap’n.  This was likely to be our last adventure for 2009 and we were racing against the clock.  The Fatdog had an appointment at the dreaded VET for 4.30pm so this was to be a 6 hour (maximum) walk.  I had the vague notion to do both the Brack and the Graham, Cnoc Coinnich (2000’ – 2500’), to the south.  I knew it was a non starter as soon as we reached The Brack’s east ridge.  The knobbly intervening terrain suggested that a separate visit would be required while my legs suggested that I ought to “bugger off “.

The Fatdog watches traffic head up the "Rest and be Thankful"

"Wonder what's taking him so long?" thought The Fatdog

"A hip flask of Lagavullin" was the obvious answer

It was remarkably warm considering it was mid December.  Cap’n Jack had done most of the ascent in his base layer and only pulled on his “hoody” as the chill north wind began to whip up near the ridgeline.  Mind you the next layer went on fairly quickly as the breeze began to bite, so in short order our Rab Generator smocks and hats and gloves were pulled on.

Minutes later the whole reason for this trip came into view.  Here it is…and worth every slogging step up the hill.

The wee lochan near the top of The Brack


The knoll of Chruach Fhiafach with Ben Lomond behind

We had lunch at the top and then dropped down the craggy south ridge towards Cnoc Coinnich, joining the Cowal Way at the bealach between the two hills.  There was no way we could tackle the two hills within today’s timescale so we turned east and followed the “Way” down the forestry road towards Loch Long, arriving back at the car 5 hours after starting.

Another Corbett for Cap'n Jack - the cloud has now moved in.

Skirting the crags as we head for the bealach - Cnoc Coinnich in the distance

The Giant's Foot

Looking up Loch Long on the walk back to the car

With impeccable timing I dropped off Cap’n Jack at his house and arrived at the VETS 5 minutes before our appointment – not bad planning huh?  The Fatdog enjoyed her visit as much as she ever does – not at all – but is now happier that her ears are feeling a bit better.


Posted by on December 18, 2009 in Corbetts


6 responses to “The Long Way to the VETS

  1. Mike Knipe

    December 18, 2009 at 10:31 pm

    My experience of the Brack was fairly similar- heavy legs due to a cold AND beta blockers – plus very sweaty weather with black flies.
    Its a great hill, though, despite the slog.

  2. annienz

    December 19, 2009 at 4:41 am

    Beautiful photos! Shall try finding the area on GE. Glad you got a patch of good weather. Give Maisie a pat and my sympathy on the sore ears.


  3. scott

    December 19, 2009 at 8:26 pm

    That does look like a really good walk. It’s about time I went back to that neck of the woods anyway, so maybe that’s just the incentive I was waiting for!

    Good to see that Maisie’s feeling a wee bit better.

  4. fatdogwalks

    December 21, 2009 at 10:22 pm

    You’ll all be pleased to know that Maisie’s ears have settled down…at least for a wee while. Fortunately the new ear drops work a treat with almost instant results 😀 .

    The blog’s on a bit of a Christmas wind down just now. I expect I’ll get bored between Christmas and New Year and start to write a bit more then. With the snow this week I can’t say I’m particularly inclined to venture out the door much.

    The Brack is a great hill – it was a pity there was just a bit too much cloud around (just like my first visit) to get clear views to the south. Looks like we’ll have to go up…yet again. I think I’ll leave it for a couple of years though.

  5. Tessa Park

    December 22, 2009 at 11:41 pm

    That’s a really pretty lochan. The giant’s foot pic was interesting – where’s the rest of him though?

    Glad the ears are getting better.

  6. fatdogwalks

    December 27, 2009 at 11:41 pm

    Sorry Tessa – with all the Christmas stuff I had missed your comment. Maisie’s ears continue to improve so at least we now have a successful treatment for when they flare up again – as they no doubt will.

    If you want to go searching for the rest of the giant I’ll email you the rough coords – good luck! 😉


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