Looking SE from Stob Breac
Drove up early to Balquhidder and along the side of Loch Voil, car said 1C and the single track road was icy with run offs from the fields. There is a purpose build car park at Inverlochlarig, put there by Stirling Council as you are amongst a lot of very popular hills.
The book says something about the Stob Breac being surrounded by forests, to right, but should find firebreaks giving access to the hill. Finding a fire break was a challenge and so were the 3 deer fences you had to climb, one quite high on the hill. Have to say fences were not doing a lot of good as I saw plenty of deer, both roe and red in amongst the trees.
It is a steep climb up with a small covering of snow which made it slippy and the rocks were icy, I thought small hills would be easier!!!
Once up onto the ridge with its ups and down the snow was much deeper but made for faster progress, except when I went down a hole :-) Lots of swearing at that point. It was a real bright winter sun, low lying and shining on the snow, beautiful. Marvellous views of the big hills covered in snow as far as the eye could see.
Always conscious of the short light hours, so ate lunch and headed back down the steep slopes. Tried to go down the same way as I came up to avoid the crags but slipped on the snow and slid down quite a bit - even more swearing ;-) Climbed over first fence then found a track that I thought looked as it would take me back down to the car. It was a bit of a longer walk but a good path, till I came to a lovely rotten wooden deer fence gate... Ugh! I had to climb it and to add insult to injury broke a nail on the flipping thing.
I had opened the car and had left the tailgate and driver's door open when changing out of my boots. I decided to sit on the drivers seat to change, to find a little robin sitting on the seat. I do not know who got the bigger fright, me or the robin. Opened the passenger's door to chase it out but it was quiet happy sitting back on the driver's seat. Had to shoo him out, and noticed he did not go far and was waiting for me to open my piece box and give him some bread. He must have been a hungry little bird.
I always had a feeling when I walked this hill I had been here before, no my booked is not marked. Checked my list of hills and yes I had walked this in 2003 but cannot remember any details. I had such a super bright and clear day it was well worth doing again.