The web site, Caledonia Hilltreks details my ascents of the Munros, Corbetts, Grahams and New Donalds all of which are above 2000 feet. This blog will contain an account of my ascents of the hills below this height as and when they are climbed.

Thursday, 21 January 2010

Cairn William, Aberdeenshire - Section 21B

Cairn William

Cairn William, Aberdeenshire.
Height - 448 metres, Map - OS Landranger 38.
Climbed - 17 January 2010, Time taken - 3 hours.
Distance – 6.5 kilometres, Height climbed – 425 metres.
Trip Report Details:

A study of the internet led me to believe access to Cairn William was possible from near Pitfichie Castle using a downhill mountain bike trail. This Castle is situated north-west of the village of Monymusk, which is just off the B993 Tillyfourie to Kemnay Road. There is limited verge parking between the Castle and Pitfichie Cottage. Before parking here I did drive as far as the end of the public road near Rorandle but there didn’t appear to be any other suitable starting point.

On leaving my vehicle I walked up the ice and snow covered private road, to the east of Pitfichie Cottage, which led to Royhall. At the bend in the road I followed a path through the forest which crossed a vehicle track, ran alongside it for short distance before climbing steeply through the trees. This was part of the downhill mountain bike trail which would be pretty hazardous in the ice.

The forest ended and it was a short walk, still following the MB trail which was covered in ice and snow, to the summit of Pitfichie Hill marked by a large boulder. Here I had views of the Don Valley, Bennachie and my target hill, Cairn William. I made a direct descent to the col with Cairn William which was a mistake as lower down the area, as well as being covered in snow, had gorse bushes which I found difficult to get through. I should have followed the MB trail which was slightly to the south.

Once through the gorse and onto a vehicle track I noted from a sign that the MB trail over Cairn William was closed due to a landslide. This wasn’t obvious due to the snow cover so I followed the trail and worked my way onto Cairn William. Higher up the trail was completely covered by snow which I crossed to reach the summit cairn where I took a coffee break looking out over the Don Valley.

On the descent of Cairn William I continued over the snowfield and only joined up with the MB trail lower down. On returning to the col I headed south down a forest vehicle track which led to a ‘T’ junction where I took a left. I was now back in the forest and the track eventually came to the downhill MB trail which I had accessed earlier. It was then a short walk back to my car.

A few mountain bikers were now en-route to test the conditions so for walkers care would be required on the MB sections some of which are narrow and steep in places, as this MB trail is only recommended for the experienced bikers.

I would expect that in normal conditions the time taken could possibly be reduced by an hour or so.

Photos taken on walk.

Monday, 18 January 2010

Beinn Dearg, Trossachs - Section 1C

Beinn Dearg

Beinn Dearg, Trossachs.
427 metres, OS Map Landranger 57.
Climbed - 10 January 2010, Time taken - 3 hours,
Distance - 6 kilometres, Height climbed 420 metres.
Trip Report Details:

The start of this walk was the unclassified Invertrossachs Road reached from the A81 within the town centre of Callander. A free car park is located 50 metres south-west of East Lodge from where I headed up through the snow covered forest tracks keeping left at any junction. Initially the going was relatively easy as a vehicle had been along part of the track a day or so beforehand. After the point where the vehicle had turned the walk through the deep soft snow was slow and tiring.

I came to the end of the vehicle track but hadn’t noticed any suitable fire break to gain access to the open hillside so I continued along a break in the trees, which may be a path, and crossed a stream. I considered using the side of this stream to get out of the forest but decided to continue further along the gap in the trees. After a while I came to a fire break and climbed it onto the open hillside and into an area of drifting snow.

Once through the drifts I reached a fence and followed it over some rough ground before a steep snow covered climb took me to the summit of Beinn Dearg, marked by a fence post. I then followed the fence line to Ben Gullipen, before descending north-west through the snow avoiding a few rocks before crossing a couple of fences and back into the forest. The going was quite difficult here as I worked my way through the trees following deer tracks. This descent took me to the vehicle track I had used earlier which I followed back to the car park.

Photos taken on walk.