Wednesday, February 28, 2007

When mountains crumble to the sea.

If the sun refused to shine, I would still be loving you.
When mountains crumble to the sea, there will still be you and me.
"Thank You" Led Zeppelin

Finding an erratic pink rhyolite pebble on the beach at Inchmarnock took my mind to its source. It came from the mountain of Buachaille Etive Mor which sits between Glen Etive and GlenCoe nearly 100km away to the NNE. Its Gaelic name means great shepherd of Etive. It is composed mainly of rhyolite, a pink volcanic rock, which gives excellent scrambling and rock climbing.

This is the Rannoch Wall which has many popular climbing routes.

My friend, John, completes a climb up the face of the Rannoch Wall,

This is an old B&W print I took in 1973. I used an orange filter to darken the blue in the sky. It shows the King's House Hotel, which is situated at the Buachaille's feet. It was one of the old staging inns at which horse drawn carriages would stop after a day's travel. The next inn on the road north is the Clachaig, at the west end of Glen Coe, some 14km away and the next to the south is the Inveroran Hotel, 15km to the south over the Rannoch Moor, near the shores of Loch Tulla. It took a long time to travel in those days.

I wonder how long this pebble took on its journey south to Inchmarnock?


  1. What a fun question to pose. I suppose it's one for which there will never be an answer, but thankfully the Scots invented a great drink over which to ponder its meaning with close friends!

  2. Hi Douglas,

    Interesting blog. I've climbed many times on the Rannoch wall and probably done most of the routes - I also kayak. I must look for that pebble when I'm out on the water this year. Keep the blogs coming.

  3. Greetings Douglas,
    You've got me musing again about very similar things, especially climbing...
    Enjoyed this post greatly.

  4. damn it douglas. it's february - okay march (cruel month of march) here. and you serve up delicious photos of scotland.

  5. Michael, a rare bottle of 25 year old Island of Jura malt whisky helps mull over the imponderable!

    Hello Phil, thanks for dropping by, unfortunately I have arthritis and bust knee ligaments. I recently dislocated my knee on the overhang at the start of Integrity on Skye and also on Sou'wester slabs on Arran. That's why I took up sea kayaking!

    The pebble looked so beautiful that I left it there where it belonged.

    Hi DSD, I am afraid musing is all I do about climbing these days. My last outing on a hill was the 4 tops of Sgurr a'Mhadaidh a scrambling route on Skye. That was nearly three years agao :o(

    Alison, sorry to keep doing this but this weekend does not look too good. windy and wet. I will just need to go windsurfing instead.