Tuesday, 26 June 2018

A Bing, an (ex)golf course and a view of a modern marvel

22 June 2018
 
Participants: Neil and Ben
Where: Tarbrax Bing, 327m/1,073', P 47m, TuMP, OS 65, NT 021559, Warklaw Hill, 278m/912', P44, TuMP, OS 65, NT 199 674 and Castland Hill, 85m/279', P52, TuMP, OS 65, NT 118 827
 
The hot sunshine had returned. Family business in Edinburgh called, I had not yet travelled across the new Queensferry Crossing so I decided on a round trip taking in Tarbrax Bing, a minor Pentlands hill and a viewpoint on the north side of the Forth, coming back over the Kincardine Bridge.
 
No, this is not Ayres Rock, it's Tarbrax Bing......
 

The approach.....
 
These former spoil heaps usually stand in flat country so provide excellent view points and this one was no exception. There have been attempts at landscaping round about but it doesn't seem to have got very far. Still, when the vegetation fully grows in it will provide a very pleasant walk. The view north to Cobbinshaw reservoir.....
 
 
The Pentland Hills.....
 
 
Tinto in the distance.....
 
 
The flat lands to the west.....
 
 
I then drove into Edinburgh and made my way the top of  Torphin Road where there is space to park cars. I occasionally used to play golf at Torphin when I stayed in Edinburgh but the course has now gone. I recall it as being very hilly but a great course for views of the City. Today, we followed a Right of Way along the north face of a former quarry before striking up the hill. After the summit, we carried on down part of the old golf course before re-joining Torphin Road and the walk back to the car.
 
A couple of views over the City.....



Ben at the summit.....


Edinburgh and the Lomond Hills in Fife from the summit.....
 
 
I had been meaning to drive over the new Forth Crossing for a while and it didn't disappoint. What a magnificent piece of engineering! Only thing is that the higher side barriers mean that you don't get a view when actually on it. However the engineers say that the barriers mean that the bridge will not have to be shut in very strong winds. We shall see! I must say that the extra crossing hasn't had much effect on the traffic; even at 3.30 in the afternoon I still had to crawl the last mile to get on to the bridge.
 
Castland Hill in Rosyth looked as though it would provide a good viewpoint for the bridge and it did.....



The summit itself seemed to be in a fenced off Water Board enclosure although the ground inside did look as though it was all man made. The outside of the enclosure was fine by me and that's where I got the best pictures. This is a shot of the crowded summit area.....

 

Sunday, 24 June 2018

North Birkhill, Burghmuir, Broadfield Hill, The Drum, Floak Hill, Peathill, Holehead

4 May 2018
Participants: Just me
Where: North Birkhill, 88m/289', P30m, TuMP, NS 934 936

Not much to commend this one- a bit of forest on the north side of the A977 not far from the bridges at Kincardine.....

It wasn't as bad going as it might have been although it will probably be a different story in high summer. I started at a gap in the wall from where there was a trace of a path through the trees initially. Where it ended I headed west to arrive at a clump of trees surrounded by a fence which I had read was the summit area. It's somewhere here.....


15 May 2018
Participants: Neil and Ben
Where: Burghmuir, 101m/331', P32m, OS 52, NO 091 234

In Perth, completely built up, the recognised highest point appears to be here, although it is higher inside the gate but looks man-made. Slight diversion to visit when on my way north.....



23 May 2018.
Participants: Just me
Where: Broadfield Hill, 236m/774', P54m, TuMP, OS 64, NS 409 592

A short drive to Howwood on another glorious sunny day to climb Broadfield Law, which is located to the east of the town. I parked in Hill Street and followed a good track up into Skiff wood, which was a mix of broadleaf and conifer. Although the lower slopes above Howwood are wooded, the upper slopes are largely free of trees, although someone has been planting a few conifers at the very top. There were some cows in the top field but they showed no interest in me. When I got to the trig, after climbing a barbed wire fence, I found a path which crossed the summit area and descended via a stile to join the track that I had come up. A pleasant hour and a half walk. The view to Paisley from a local viewpoint.....


Approaching the trig.....



View towards Whitelee.....



28 May 2018
Participants: Just me
Where: The Drum, 125m/410', P37m, TuMP, OS 57, NN 743 032

The Drum is a north-south wooded ridge just to the east of Doune. It was a very hot day so I was glad of the shade from the trees. I approached by the road to Argaty and track to Glenwhilk Farm, turning left on to another track at the high point before reaching the farm. The high point seems to be in an area previously used for rearing pheasants. There were Buzzards and Red Kite overhead and bird song in the woods making it a pleasant walk.




29 May 2018
Participants: Just me
Where: Floak Hill, 257/843', P33, OS 64, NS 495 504

I had to take the car into Glasgow and it was only a few miles further on to this TuMP. Wouldn't have been worth a separate journey. I was able to drive up to Floak farm and the summit was only a few minutes walk from there. Track to summit.....


Summit hump with sheep.....


Nice view over west Renfrewshire.....



8 June 2018
Participants: Neil and Ben
Where: Peathill, 103m/338' P57m. TuMP, OS 58, NS 951 900
 
I hadn't intended to go out today but the forecast was suggesting that the long, dry period was coming to an end in the next few days so instead of taking Ben on his usual canal or reservoir walk, I decided to drive to Devilla Forrest at Kincardine where the highest point was a TuMP. There is an excellent network of forest roads here and we followed them all the way to the top and back, a distance of about 5 miles. There has been some forestry activity at the top of the forest and the highest point was clear. Approaching the top.....
 
 
Looking to Saline Hill in Fife.....
 
 
Ben at the top with the Ochils in the background.....
 
 
There are a number of lochs in the forest and a walk around them would make a good further visit.

20 June 2018
Participants: Just me
Where: Holehead (Campsie Fells), 552m/1,811', P96, TuMP, OS 64, NS 618 828

This is the Fell with the radar dish at its summit.....


Parking at the start of the track to the dish is difficult so I parked at the county boundary and followed a rough path alongside the boundary wall and fence. The trig is west of the dish and I reckon that neither is the true summit; I think that that is alongside the wall some 20 yards north of the dish. Whatever, it is all pretty flat up there. The trig hosts a plaque by the Strathkelvin Ramblers and there is a fine view north to the hills of the Southern Uplands.....


and a reasonable view down towards Glasgow and the central lowlands.....


Holehead stands across the Craw Road from Lecket Hill which I have still to do.....


and there was a good view of Meikle Bin on the way down.....


A pleasant wander.

 

 
 
 

Thursday, 7 June 2018

At the top of the Devil's Staircase: Bheinn Bheag and Stob Mhic Mhartain

5 June 2018

Participants: Just me
Where: Bheinn Bheag, 616m/2021', P68m, TuMP, OS 41, NN 221580 and Stob Mhic Mhartain, 707m/2,320', P36m, NN 208 576

It was a bit cloudier than I had hoped but it was lifting off the higher summits as I pulled into the car park near to the start of the route over the Devil's Staircase at the mouth of Glencoe. The Staircase itself was new to me, as usual when I was younger, I had concentrated all my activities on the Munros and Corbetts. Both of today's hills were in view almost as soon as I started to ascend the Staircase. Bheinn Bheag.....


and Stob Mhic Mhartain.....


Although they are classed as TuMPS, they are in a different class altogether from the small hills that I have been climbing for most of the year so far. The Staircase is of course part of the West Highland Way and there were a few people trudging up with overloaded rucksacks, not for me! My two hills obviously receive a fair number of visitors as rough paths led off to them from the cairn at the highest point of the Staircase. Approaching Bheinn Bheag with the Blackwater Reservoir in the background.....
 
 
Although it was cloudy it was also hot and the humidity was high. So I was glad to have a rest at the cairn and admire the view.....
 
 
The eastern Mamores, Am Bodach to Sgurr Eilde Mor with the eastern end of the Grey Corries and Sgurr Innse beyond......
 
 
Beinn a'Chrulaiste looking dark (I hadn't realised till I saw it from this angle just how big a hill it is).....
 
 
On the way back to the Staircase, I took a couple of photos of the next objective, Stob Mhic Mhartain.....
 
 
 
It is the better hill of two and could in fact be held to be the start of a Greater Aonach Eagach traverse, although that is not something that I would be able to attempt nowadays. It's summit is much closer to the big mountains on the south side of Glencoe and by moving 30 yards or so to the edge of the south face also provides a great view down to the glen and onward to Rannoch Moor.
 
The rather unsightly summit cairn.....
 
 
Bidean nam Bian.....
 
 
Buachaille Etive Mor and Creise.....
 
 
The Buachaille again this time from the better viewpoint.....
 
 
My phone camera which has a mind of its own occasionally decides to offer me a panorama based on a photo that I have taken but with extra content. I don't have a clue how it does this but I was sure glad that it chose this one showing Beinn a'Chrulaiste, Rannoch Moor, Buachaille Etive Mor and Buachaille Etive Beag.....
 
 
 I hung about the summit for a good half hour before making my way back. It was almost too hot to be out in the open! A view to Bheinn Bheag and the Blackwater Reservoir taken on the descent.....