Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Cademuir Hill and Black Meldon

18 April 2017
 
Participants: Neil and Ben (for Cademuir only; there were sheep on Black Meldon)
 
Where: Cademuir Hill, 416m/1,365', Sub-2k Marilyn, OS 73, NT 230367 and Black Meldon, 407m/1,335', Hump, OS 73, NT 206425
 
The forecast was for a good start to the day but with cloud coming in from the west in the afternoon, so we headed east. When I climbed Cademuir Hill at Peebles in 2012, it was a tree covered monstrosity and we had to search in the conifers for the cairn.....
 
 
I had heard that the trees on much of the hill had been felled last year so it was time for another visit to see the views that were obscured last time. I parked in the main forestry car park on the east side of the hill. First impression was that there were many more paths- the FC is turning this hill into a playground for dog walkers, hill walkers, horse riders and mountain bikers. The lower slopes were still tree covered but it was very pleasant woodland.....
 
 

A combination of paths led to the upper slopes where there was a brand new track- still being bedded in according to a sign- which led through the usual post logging debris to the top. Not only was the cairn now in full view, there was also a bench and a table (the background view is to Peebles).....
 
 
And it was indeed a fine viewpoint. This is looking to the distant Pentland Hills (top left).....


West up the valley of the Tweed.....
 
 
and south to the Dun Rig hills.....
 
 
A very pleasant spot, if you can ignore the forestry mess. It will no doubt be nice when it's finished.
 
The only other hill that I had not done in the immediate neighbourhood was Black Meldon. I had climbed White Meldon, the slightly higher of the two, on a number of occasions but had not ventured on to its twin. Here are the two of them from the approach road- Black Meldon on the left.....
 
 
By now the cloud was that bit thicker although the distant views remained excellent. This is looking south-west....
 
and east in the general direction of Minchmoor.....


Both Meldons are old hill forts although the one on White Meldon is much the more impressive. There is very little remaining on the Black hill although it looks as though a few of the boulders have been used to make the cairn.....
  
 
 
 
 

Monday, 10 April 2017

Creag Choinnich (Braemar) and Mount Blair (Glenshee)

8 April 2017

Participants: Just me
Where: Creag Choinnich, 538m/1,765', Tump, OS 43, NO 161 919: Mount Blair, 744m/2,441', Graham, OS 43, NO 167 630
 
I wasn't sure whether I'd climbed Creag Choinnich at Braemar years' ago so on a beautiful Saturday, I decided that I'd better go and make sure that I'd earned the tick against its name in the Tump list. It is easily accessed from the main car park and there is a good path all of the way up through an old pine forest. I love walking in the Deeside pine forests.....
 
 
The top is clear of most of the trees but there is new growth so views might be a bit restricted in a few years time. There is a big stone circle to shelter in if it is a windy day but that most certainly wasn't necessary today- there was hardly a breath of wind.....
 
 
The hill is perched right above Braemar and although not particularly high, provides fine views of the surrounding countryside. Well worth the little effort required to get up. Here are samples of the view.
 
Looking across to Morrone, a fine Corbett on the other side of the village.....
 
 
Over Braemar to the more distant high Cairngorms.....
 
 
To two of the Cairngorm giants, Beinn a'Bhuiridh and Ben Avon.....
 
 
To the Corbett, Culardoch.....
 
 
Looking along the Dee valley with Braemar castle on the left.....
 
 
The sun was warm so I wandered about for a while lapping it up and admiring the views. This is one hill definitely worth doing if you have an hour to spare in Braemar on a good weather day. And it leaves plenty of time to do something else. I did contemplate doing one of the smaller hills towards the Linn of Dee but eventually settled on driving 15 or so miles down the road and stopping off at Mount Blair, which I hadn't visited for a number of years. This is the view of it from the Glenshee road.....
 
There is a parking area at the edge of the forest to the west of the start point for the hill (on the B951) with space for half a dozen cars. There were a number of cars there but I guess that their occupants must have been climbing Mealna Letter, the Graham to the north, as I saw no one on Mount Blair. From here, Mount Blair is one long, even angled slope.....
 
 
but there is a track all the way and it was just a case of plodding on trying not to look at what lay ahead. I stopped from time to time to look back at Mealna Letter; there was a herd of what must have been a couple of hundred deer grazing on its slopes. You might just be able to make them out in this picture- they are straight down from the left hand top.....
 
 
Higher up, I went through a gate in a fence and the terrain changed from grass to heather; however, the path continued. Looking back, I could now see a number of the hills towards Braemar with some of the Cairngorms just visible on the horizon.....
 
 
Approaching the summit- very cluttered with the telecommunications mast dominating.....
 
 
There was also a cairn, a trig, a number of buildings, and a topograph.....
 
 
 
Last time I was here, the topograph was in a bit of a state of disrepair but it had had some work done on it since then and is a really magnificent guide to the many, many hills that you can see from here.....
 
 
 I returned to the car by the same route.
 
By the way, all of my photos this year have been taken on my phone. It seems to take better- or at least as good- photos than my DSLR and of course is much easier to carry. The camera might be better in poorer weather though.
 
 
 

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Abbey Craig

5 April 2017

Participants: Neil and Ben
Where: Abbey Craig, 111m/364', Tump, OS 57 NS 809 957
 
It was quite a pleasant day and I had a few hours to spare so decided to go and have a look at Abbey Craig, not nearly as well known as the Wallace Monument which sits on top of it and overlooks Stirling and the Forth valley. The sun threatened to come out but never did so it was a bit grey and the views were not as striking as they might have been. Hordes of tourists about around the car park and at the monument itself but off the main trail we virtually had the hill to ourselves. We stopped off at a viewpoint for the Ochil Hills but the only one visible through the trees was Dumyat.....
 
 
The monument itself was very impressive but I am going to go back on a really clear day when the visibility is pin sharp to climb it.....
 
 
The high point of the hill seems to be a spot just a few yards north-east of the building (the green bank behind Ben)......
 
 
I could make out Ben Ledi, Stuc a'Chroin and Ben Vorlich to the west but it was hazy.....
 
 
So this is one to put on the list for a revisit next winter.

Sunday, 2 April 2017

Beinn Chaorach (Luss Hills) via Beinn Tharsuinn

2 April 2017

Participants: Just me
Where: Beinn Chaorach, 713m/2,339', Graham, OS 56, NS 287 924, and Beinn Tharsuinn, Tump, 656m/2,152', OS 56, NS 291 916
 
All of the new sub-2k Marilyns that I am interested in climbing are too far away for a day trip so I am visiting some smaller hills locally and re-visiting other hills that I enjoyed on previous occasions. I hadn't been to the Luss hills since 2008- how time flies- so I decided to take advantage of a good forecast and revisit what I think is probably my favourite hill in the group- Beinn Chaorach. I started from the small parking area that I used on all previous visits- at the entrance to Ballevoulin farm. This is it with the ridge of Auchengaich Hill rising behind.....
 
 
There was a small herd of cows in the field but I managed to slink past them without fully attracting their attention. Then it was a steady and fairly steep plod up the 1,000' or so to the top of Auchengaich Hill. There is a good path. From near the top I got my first view of the day's objective- Beinn Chaorach on the left, Beinn Tharsuinn, centre and Balcnock which I did not intend to climb on the right....
 
 
Some more pictures of Beinn Chaorach and Beinn Tharsuinn from the way up.....
 
 
 
 

The views were also starting to open out, this is looking over the south ridge of Beinn a'Mhanaich, another of the Luss Grahams, to Loch Goil with the Corbett of Beinn Bheula beyond.....

 
After Auchengaich Hill, the angle of ascent decreased considerably before it steepened again on the climb up Beinn Tharsuinn. There was a small cairn (Ben Lomond distant).....
 
 
and Beinn Chaorach ahead.....
 
 
Balcnock from Beinn Tharsuinn- for grassy rounded hills, some of the slopes are surprisingly steep).....
 
 
You can see most of the Luss hills from Beinn Tharsuinn, the one nearest in this picture as Beinn Eich.....
 
 
After a short stop, it was on down to the col between my two hills and another fairly steep ascent to the highest point of the day.....
 
 
As I was climbing the slopes of Beinn Chaorach, the weather suddenly changed and within a few minutes the cloud came down. So no view at the trig but no matter, I had been there before; contrast the weather today with the next picture taken in February 2008 with the Arrochar Alps beyond.....
 
 
 
By the time I was back down at the col, the cloud had gone, the wind had got a bit stronger and the sun was out again. I did consider going on to Balcnock but decide that I had had enough so just returned the same way. Took a few pictures looking south. The Clyde estuary....
 
 
By the time I got back to the lower field, there was no sign of the cows so I was able to head straight for the gate and the car park. A fine walk.
 
 

Monday, 27 March 2017

Dunglass

26 March 2017

Participants: Just me
Where: Dunglass, 153m/502', Tump, OS 64, NS 574 788
 
I have passed this lump of volcanic rock just outside Strathblane on many occasions and wondered what the view would be like from the top. It was a beautiful day yesterday and I had nothing planned so I decided to go and have a look.....
 


 I left the car in the church car park at Strathblane and walked along the cycle track passed the hill until I could enter the fields by a gate. The ground between the track and the crag was very muddy in places and there was a ditch which I was careful to avoid. Then it was across a field and round to the less steep south slopes. This is the view; looking over Strathblane with the Luss hills on the horizon.....
 
the low hills to the west.....
 
 
and east down the valley to Cort ma Law.....
 
 

It was the warmest day of the year and it was really pleasant loafing about on top of the crag. To complete the round, I descended by the west slopes and made my way back through the fields to another gate that let me back on to the cycle path. A good way of spending an hour!