|Companion site to nearby Lang Cairn, albeit much smaller and not so well preserved, this is arguably even more remote and relatively difficult to reach. Both time and inclination resulted in me foregoing an approach from Lang Cairn yesterday, heavy, low cloud almost resulting in me deciding not to go for it today, upon awaking beside an ethereal Loch Lomond. Almost.......
Following Greywether's advice, I arrive at The Queen's View car park on the A809 and, after shaking my head at the so called 'Queen's View' itself (is that it?), look in trepidation at the swathes of mist sweeping across Stockie Muir and wonder if I'm simply truly committed, or ready to be committed, if you know what I mean? So low is the cloud that I stick to the low-level path across the northern shoulder of Auchineden Hill, against all Gladman instincts, and head for The Whangie. OK, to southern ears it's not the best of names, but there's nothing second rate at all about these soaring, rocky pinnacles, reminiscent of Skye itself, mist swirling around and - to be honest - putting further doubts in the mind.
However the forest line is where it should be, so I follow it steeply downwards to the left of a prominent (glacial?) hill, to eventally meet an intersecting wire fence line barring progress. This is of the 'barbed' variety, but passable [note there are the rusting remnants of a parallel fence]. Once across, look for a small stream-bearing gulley, with a (sort of) green path to its right. Follow this, the gulley becoming more and more substantial, until a green bridge, metal water pipe markers and a small brick structure on the opposite bank announce you are almost there. The long cairn lies a little further on to the right, not far from the forestry line.
Overgrown and sporting a typically spunky little tree, two facade orthostats, one significantly leaning, form the major structural highlight of the cairn. It is more than enough... the cairn is pretty substantial and, so it would appear, more or less aligned upon The Whangie? If so, the latter is perhaps not so surprising, bearing in mind my recent experiences there. A protruding orthostat maybe hints at a former lateral chamber to the north, then again maybe not. To be honest that is that in terms of visual experience. But, hey, we've other senses too, right? And it's the stimulation of these where Stockie Muir long cairn excels. Superb vibe.
The mist lifts, allowing a 'high level' return along the summit ridge of Auchineden Hill, with the tenament blocks of Glasgow to my right, Loch and Ben Lomond to my left. This is not your usual place, it has to be said.
Posted by GLADMAN
7th June 2010ce
Edited 8th June 2010ce