The Angry Corrie 9: Sep-Oct 1992
New routes: Falkirk High St, West Ridge
Park the car in the carpark next to the library. Immediately S of the carpark the Allt-Coire Town By-pass must be crossed. If this is in spate, the crossing can be dangerous and time-consuming and it is best to make use of the islands halfway across. Having reached the S bank, follow the obvious path contouring SW around Fine Fare, looking N for some fine views of the Ochils. (It is possible to take a short cut directly through Fine Fare using the well-trodden 'Fine Fare Gap', but the entrance is difficult to locate in thick weather.)
After a gentle climb, Newmarket St is gained. Here walkers face the infamous 'Bad Step', which consists of stepping off an extremely high kerb and zigzagging through some highly mobile buses. The route is very committing at this point, with no escape routes. For those with no head for angry bus drivers, an avoiding path can be taken 400m further E to a light-controlled crossing.
A short scramble along the base of the Northern Rock (building society) leads up onto the broad back of High St ridge. Turn E and climb easy slopes. A line of ornamental lampposts are a useful guide in mist. Looming directly ahead is the stone formation known as 'The Steeple' (the summit cairn is in top of steeple). Permission to climb must be obtained from Falkirk Town Council. This is seldom granted, hence the Steeple's other nickname: 'The In. Pinn. 2'. However, the view from the base is rewarding enough, SE to John Menzies and Clydesdale, SW to Mark's and Woolworth's, NW to Halfords and Burton's, and due N to perhaps the most exciting sight of all, a Royal Bank Cashline!
Stalking information: Pretty Pollaidh Estates.
Editor adds: On my last visit there was a 'Policeman' situated halfway up the West Ridge, although he vanished in a hard frost the following winter. Also worthwhile is the view slightly N of E to the crazy, shattered pinnacles of Grange na h-mouth (well translated by Dr M.Marra as 'you old chemistry set'), while a descent in the direction of Stenhouse Muir is not advised during hours of darkness.