Monday, 29 August 2016

Lendrick Hill

29 August 2016
 
Participants: Neil and Ben
Where: Lendrick Hill, a sub-2k Marilyn in the Ochils.
 
Up to now, I've always treated this hill as one to do in the winter months. So today I thought that I'd see what it looked like in the summer. Answer, a magnificent viewpoint. Mind you, the weather was something special, it would be a bit dreich if it was raining! I'll let the photos speak for themselves; they were all taken at the summit cairn.
 
Lendrick Hill over Castlehill Reservoir from Glen Devon Woodlands (see below).....


Looking towards Innerdownie.....
 
 
Zoom of Ben Vorlich and Stuc a'Chroin.....


Ben looking at the wind turbines on Steels's Knowe.....


North to another Innerdouny (the one covered in trees).....


Loch Leven and the Lomond hills.....
 
 
Ben enjoying himself.....


It was only a short walk so after the hill I drove round to Glen Devon and had a wander in the Woodland Trust area. What a difference they have made to this area since they took it over in 2,000. What were bleak hillsides are now alive with new growth and as the Trust land is fenced, they will stay that way, free from the ravages of sheep and deer. The woodland includes a number of hills including Seamab Hill, Innerdownie and Ben Shee and from the information leaflet that I collected, there look to be a good number of paths to explore with marked routes up to 14km in length. Lots of dog walks coming up in this area I think.

Thursday, 4 August 2016

Meikle Bin

4 August, 2016

Where: Meikle Bin

A morning trip with Ben to Meikle Bin in the Campsie Fells, my nearest sub-2k Marilyn.



Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Blackwood Hill

1 August 2016

Participants: Just me
Where: Blackwood Hill, 447m/1467', Sub-2k Marilyn, OS Map 79, NY 531962

It was a long drive almost to Newcastleton in order to climb this hill. I was actually in two minds about whether to bother with it at all, as the map showed extensive forestry on its south-east side. I was glad that I did go, however, as it turned out to be a fine walk in very pleasant country. I had read about a route that involved almost all walking on the forestry roads but didn't fancy that. So I parked less than a mile from Steelroad-end at roughly 532938 where the forest had been cut down. The route that I had in mind went through some rough pasture and then alongside the forest edge to emerge on the ridge a couple of hundred yards east of the trig which is not the top. Looking back from part way up there was a good view of another sub-2k, Larriston Fells.....
 
 
and further round to the south-east, Peel Fell, just over the border into England......
 
 
There were a lot of electric fences about but fortunately there were also gates where I needed them. A further bonus was that the cows which obviously use these fields were grazing well down the other side of the hill.
 
This is the ridge that I now followed, again following a fence just outside the trees.....
 
 
Getting closer......
 
 
There were fine views to the west and the north from all the way along the ridge. Roan Fell was directly across the valley and I could easily make out the imposing bulk of Hermitage Castle, now a ruin but at one time an imposing border stronghold (towards the middle right in the picture).....
 
 
And here is a zoom of the castle.....
 
 
To the north of that were Caldcleuch Head and Greatmoor Hill, the former climbed many years ago from its north side and the latter still to do.....
 
 
There was a rough 4WD track along the ridge and I was soon at the highest point, marked by a tiny cairn right at the edge of the trees.....
 
 
I did think about descending one of the fire breaks but decided that I wanted more of the views so returned by my outward route. Just as well that I did, there was forestry felling taking place and a huge truck load of timber drove along the main forest road just as I arrived back at the car. However, the route that I took was 100% outwith forestry land and that is the way that I would recommend.

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Meall nan Eagan

12 July 2016

Participants: Just me.
Where: Meall nan Eagan, 658m/2,159', Graham, Map 42, NN 597875
 
The forecast didn't look promising for the foreseeable future so as today was half decent, I decided to get out and climb this Graham which was my only unclimbed Marilyn in the area. I left the house reasonably early so managed a hassle free drive to Dalwhinnie. I parked at the entrance to an old quarry immediately opposite the track that is marked as an old drove route to Feagour which was also my route to the hill.....
 
 
There are a lot of new tracks in this area; this is a particularly unsightly one heading up the Fara.....
 
 
There was a diversion route past the keepers house and then it was back on to the track which now wound its way through a beautiful wee glen. My hill appeared in front of me for the first time.....
 
 
 
The track crossed the river a couple of times but as there were no bridges and it looked to be deep enough to get wet feet, I stayed on the north bank, where there were traces of a path. The track ended in a flat area that was a bit wet underfoot but not too bad going.....
 
 
I headed for the east ridge, a mix of heather, grass and rock outcrops but which provided not too bad going.....
 
 
From about half way up there was a good view east to the conspicuous Creag Dubh at Newtonmore and along Speyside.....
 
 
The sun had made a fleeting appearance as I approached the hill but by the time I reached the cairn I could see rain approaching from the west. The highest point was a few stones laid against an old fence post; this picture has the Fara in the background.....
 
 
Another view east to Strathspey.....
 
 
and the big Munros to the west, here, the Beinn Eibhinn group and Geal Charn south of Loch Laggan.....
 
 
There was also a good view into the deep gashes of the Dirc Mhor and Dirc Bheag to the north of the Fara but as the weather now didn't look very promising I didn't bother going down to have a look but simply headed back to the track. I got caught in a heavy shower as I walked back along the track. All in all however, it wasn't a bad day to make a visit to a bit of country that felt quite remote.

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Little Conval

4 July 2016

Participants: Just me
Where: Little Conval, 552m/1,811', Sub-2k Marilyn, Map 28, NJ 294393
 
I had omitted climbing Little Conval when I climbed its twin, Meikle Conval, a few years ago and ever since had been wondering how I could fit it in without having to make a 200 mile plus round trip for it alone. Now was my opportunity.....
 
 
I drove round to Dufftown and parked in the Golf Club car park. There was no-one around to ask permission from and the course was almost deserted so I guessed that no-one would bother- I was right. The hill track started a hundred yards west of the car park, went through a field and meandered gently up to the col between the two Convals before continuing up the one that I was aiming for. This is a view of the slightly bigger Meikle Conval from the track.....
 
 
A little early sunshine soon gave way to cloud and there were a few showers about. However, all the tops were clear so it wasn't a bad day to be out. These are views of Meikle Conval and Ben Rinnes from high up the track.....
 
 
 
Although it seemed to be a fairly popular local walk, there wasn't much in the way of a cairn. This is it looking south to the Buck.....
 
 
and west to Ben Rinnes where a shower was passing over.....
 
 
There were lots of distilleries to the north.....
 
 
It was back the same way with the whole walk plus stops taking just 2 hours 15 minutes. Then it was down to Tomintoul for a plate of soup before the drive over the Lecht to Braemar and eventually home. It was raining from Stirling home, so I had had the best of the day.

Carn na Loine

3 July 2016

Participants: Just me
Where: Carn na Loine, 549m/1,800', Sub-2k Marilyn, Map 27, NJ 070361

The MBA Trustees meeting was being held at Laggan and although the forecast wasn't great, I decided that as I was in the north-east, I might as well take the opportunity to add a couple of new Marilyns. Carn na Loine is an unremarkable moorland hill to the north-east of Grantown on Spey. It is reached by a minor road off the B9102. This road was very quiet so I wasn't worried about parking in one of the grassy lay-bys near to the start point, the houses at Auchnagallin. This is the hill seen from the road.....


The initial walk was along the track with the hill showing up in front (centre).....


It was a pleasant enough walk and, although cloudy overhead, the Cairngorms were clear behind me.....

I left the track just before its high point and where it swung round to the east. Then it was a case of head down and bash through a mix of grass and heather. As this is I guess a rarely visited hill, there was no trace of a path.

There was a trig, this is looking past it to Ben Rinnes.....


and to the Cairngorms.....


but basically it was just moorland in all directions, to the west and north.....


and to the east.....


Not much more to say about this one!

Saturday, 18 June 2016

Mor Bheinn

18 June 2016

Participants: Just me
Where: Mor Bheinn, 640m/2100', Graham/Marilyn, Map 52/57, NN 716212
 
Ben Halton and Mor Bheinn from the Comrie to Braco road.....
 
 
I had seen reports on the Hill Bagging website that suggested that there was a good route from the north, now that some of the forestry had been cut down. So I parked up in a layby just east of Tynreoch and was soon past the farm buildings and on the forestry track that wound uphill gradually on the west side of the hill. It wasn't long before Mor Bheinn came into view.....
 
 
Getting closer.....
 
 
Some reports recommended leaving the track at a burn just after leaving the main forest but that looked steep and not very pleasant underfoot so I carried on up the track which now rose quite steeply. It certainly goes a lot further than my map indicated. I followed it to its end and from there could see what looked like a good route slanting up and across the hillside towards the col between Mor Bheinn and Ben Halton.....
 
 
There were plenty of grass strips to follow which avoided most of the heather. This is looking back from part way up the hillside with the Carn Mairg hills in the distance.....
 
 
I arrived on Mor Bheinn's south ridge just above the col and picked up a developing path which went all the way to the summit. There were none of the crags which the map indicates are prevalent on this hill, at least, not on this route. Unfortunately, the weather was a bit cloudy, especially to the west; this is looking towards Ben Vorlich.....
 
 
North to Ben Chonzie....
 
 
And down to Loch Earn.....
 
 
It was virtually windless so I hadn't been at the trig long when the midges found me. Time to bail out! I returned by the same route, one which avoided all the steepness, most of the heather, all the bracken and all the deer fences. So a thank you to the Hill Bagging site! It took me 2 hours 20 up and the same down, when the sun came out and I stopped a few times for water and photos. This is looking across Strathearn to Ben Each.....
 
 

Thursday, 2 June 2016

A'Chruach (Arran)

1 June 2016

Participants: Just me
Where: A'Chruach (Arran), 514m/1,685', Sub-2k Marilyn, Map 69, NR 969335
 
A'Chruach is the least exciting of the Arran Marilyns, unless, of course, you like tramping across lots of upland moorland. Nevertheless, it has a fine remote feel to it and an unsurpassed view to most of the higher peaks.
 
I parked at the high point of the String road. From there, it was straight up -steeply- following a fence line up grassy tongues and then thick heather to the top of Cnoc Dubh. The consolation was the fine view that opened up behind.....the main peaks from Ben Nuis to Goatfell......
 
 


There was a substantial cairn on top and when I arrived, I was surprised to see another walker approaching from the direction of the Marilyn. Had to be another Marilyn bagger- it was. A chap who had just bagged his 900th Marilyn on A'Chruach. After chatting to him for a bit, I took a few photos. The cairn and the main hills.....
 
 
A zoom shot into Glen Rosa.....
 
 
And then it was Marilyn time for me. The initial climb up Cnoc Dubh had accounted for most of the day's height gain and it was now just a slog across the moorland (A'Chruach is on the right).....
 
 
There was a lot of moss underfoot which led to some tedious going. Fortunately, it had been dry for a few weeks now; it must be awful going in the wet. I guess that the cairn says something about the popularity of this hill.....
 
 
but the view was still good. The main hills again.....
 
 
Mullach Buidhe, a Graham that I have still to do.....
 
 
Then it was back the same way, 3 hours 30 car to car. As usual when I visit Arran, I drove round a bit before getting the evening ferry back. A last view from the ferry.....