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.

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Moncreiffe Hill, Perth.

Moncreiffe Hill

Moncreiff Hill, Perth. – Section 26.
Height – 223 metres. Map – OS Landranger 58.
Climbed – 21 May 2010. Time taken – 1.25 hours.
Distance – 4.5 kilometres. Height climbed – 180 metres.
Trip Report Details:

I was heading south so this short hike fitted into my plans. I drove out of the City of Perth on the A912 and took the road signposted to Rhynd. At Tarsappie I looked for a suitable parking area but found none so returned to the houses to the west of West Tarsappie where the street was wide enough to permit parking.

It was fairly warm and sunny when I set off along the Rynd road and beyond Tarsappie Cottages I walked up the vehicle track to Upper Tarsappie where there was a dead cow, probably awaiting uplifting by the knackers yard. I went through a wicket gate and along the edge of a field where some of the cattle were interested in my presence, but stayed far enough away.

At the top end of the field I passed through another wicket gate and entered the forest where there was an information board. The walk through the forest was warm and humid and I ignored the first vehicle track to my left, the surface of which was been upgraded. At the junction with a second track I followed it as it wound its way towards Moredun Top, the summit of Moncreiff Hill. The final climb was a steep grassy bank to a large cairn.

I sat at the top for a while enjoying the refreshing breeze looking down on the motorway heading for Edinburgh and the village of Bridge of Earn.

The return involved a slight detour as I had seen a new path on my ascent and a sign advising visitors that the Woodland Trust, who owned the forest, had acquired some ground to the north for a new car park, so access will be easier from the Perth side of the hill.

I descended by this new path but unfortunately it wasn’t complete and I had to clamper over some barbed wire fencing, east of Tarsappie Cottage, and walk back along the road to my car.

Photos taken on walk.

Friday, 14 May 2010

Creigh Hill, Angus.

Creigh Hill

Creigh Hill, Angus. – Section 7.
Height – 498 metres. Map – OS Landranger 53.
Climbed – 8 May 2010. Time taken – 1.75 hours.
Distance – 4.5 kilometres. Height climbed – 235 metres.
Trip Report Details:

Earlier in the day I climbed the nearby Sub 2000 Marilyn, Mile Hill so it was just a short drive to my planned starting point for Creigh Hill, the car park on the east side of Backwater Reservoir. This dam was reached from the B951 Kirriemuir to Kirkton of Glenisla Road at the crossroads beside Dykend.

Just south of the car park there was a gate that led to a vehicle track which headed towards Macritch Hill but the track soon disappeared so I followed animal tracks through the long heather as I walked round the head of Putaichie Burn towards the col at Clashindall. There was quite a few sheep and lambs in the area and I surprised a couple of roe deer, who ran off across the heather.

On reaching the col there was a fence which I followed onto Creigh Hill along with a swath of cut heather. I can only surmise that the heather was cut in this fashion to permit access to grouse butts. At the highest point there was a small cairn and a large pile of rocks shown on the map as Cairn Motherie, which appears to be an ancient monument.

My map shows that both the North and South Tops of Creigh Hill are the same height. However other records show the North Top as being one metre higher. In anycase I had planned to take in the South Top as well so I followed the fence line and cut heather to another col and onto a small knoll where the swath of cut heather ceased. I crossed a couple of gates to reach the South Top, which consisted of a small cairn and a large pile of boulders. Again this appears to be an ancient monument with the name Cairn Plew.

With all this stone around it was quite easy to find shelter from the cool breeze for my lunch looking across to Mile Hill and towards the East Coast. Afterwards I returned to the small knoll and descended in a north-westerly direction, initially over heather, but lower down the vegetation was quite varied and rough with some wet sections. Crossing the fence topped with barbed wire was awkward as there were a couple of drainage ditches on the other side containing polluted water. It was then a short walk back along the public road to the car park.

On the descent I met a chap, whom I thought was foreign, making his way onto the South Top. He asked me if there were any views from the top, so I presume he was just out for a stroll, although not the easiest of routes to take.

Photos taken on walk.

Mile Hill, Angus.

Mile Hill

Mile Hill, Angus. – Section 7.
Height – 410 metres. Map – OS Landranger 53.
Climbed - 8 May 2010. Time taken – 1.75 hours.
Distance – 3.5 kilometres. Height climbed – 245 metres.
Trip Report Details:

The Sub 2000 Scottish Marilyn, Mile Hill, is in Angus, south of the Graham, Cat Law. I drove from Kirriemuir, along the Glen Prosen Road and onto the single track road that led to Balintore. My plan was to climb Mile Hill from Auldallan following paths shown on my map. However on arrival at this location I found parking impossible so drove to Knowhead of Auldallan where there would be some parking if permission could be obtained but there was no one around. I therefore drove back along the road and found a section of verge where I could get my car completely off the road.

At a gate I followed a farm track downhill to the Quharity Burn where on either side it was a bit wet and covered in rushes. The next problem was electric and barbed wire fences that needed to be negotiated. Once across these barriers I climbed over the shoulder of a small hill and reached the derelict buildings at Gairlaw. Here I passed through a couple of gates, again with electric fences on both sides, and a field. Lapwings were flying around making loud noises so I was concerned that there was a nest nearby and carefully crossed the field spotting the nest, well a few bits of straw, containing two eggs, which I photographed.

I passed through a gate at the top end of the field, again with the standard electric fence, and onto the open hillside with many rabbits scurrying around and disappearing into burrows. A short steady climb took me to the summit of Mile Hill, marked by a couple of stones. I found some shelter from a keen wind for a cup of coffee looking across to Loch of Lintrathen and the Carse of Gowrie.

On my return I descended slightly east of the ascent route but this was a bit more complicated due to the layout of electric fences, a field of cattle, and the Quharity Burn with its electric barrier. Once beyond the burn a new fence was followed up to the public road and a short walk to my car.

Photos taken on walk.

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Carn Daimh, Glenlivet, Moray.

Summit Sign - Carn Daimh

Carn Daimh, Glelivet, Moray. – Section 21A.
Height – 570 metres. Map – OS Landranger 36.
Climbed - 3 May 2010. Time taken – 2.75 hours.
Distance – 8.5 kilometres. Height climbed – 340 metres.
Trip Report Details:

I was en-route to Aberdeen from Inverness and the plan was to stop and climb this Sub 2000 Scottish Marilyn, Carn Daimh. I drove along the B9009 Tomintoul to Dufftown Road and on the northern outskirts of Tomnavulin took the unclassified Gallowhill Road and parked in a signposted car park. This car parking area was just the bellmouth of the access road into the forest and was a bit muddy but I suppose that could be put down to the harsh winter we have encountered.

Once booted up I set off into the forest and soon came across the sign posts for the Carn Daimh Circular Walk. This route took me through the forest, where sheep were grazing, and along the edge of a field. A sheep was in the process of giving birth, although it looked as if it was having problems.

The path joined a vehicle track which by-passed Eastertown Farm and headed towards Westertown Farm with several sheep and their lambs loose on the track. One of the fields looked just like a mud bath with sheep feeding from feeders. With a cold wind blowing it wasn’t the ideal weather for lambing and in fact I spotted a few dead lambs.

Beyond Westertown Farm the signposted route took me across fields and into a forested area where it started to snow. The track through the forest was blocked by fallen trees and I made an attempt to go round a couple but soon gave up and returned to the forest edge. I crossed a fence, topped with barbed wire, and climbed up the edge of the forest, through some deep heather. Here I met a couple who had abandoned the walk due to the falling snow. They had in fact done better than me as they had negotiated all the fallen trees on the track.

After a short climb through the heather I came to a gate and the route of the Speyside Way, which was duly marked. The snow shower had ceased but the path at this point was concealed by lying snow. I followed the line of the Speyside Way and once beyond the tree line the path was clear and I followed it to the summit of Carn Diamh. The winter weather had obviously caused a lot of damage to trees, fences and gates. I managed to find some shelter for lunch behind the viewpoint indicator, the face of which was missing. While there I could see the weather fronts passing over Ben Rinnes, the Lecht Hills and the Cairngorms.

Once fed, I descended the north ridge of Carn Diamh where I met a couple on their ascent. Lower down I followed the signposted route for the Smugglers Trail which took me across a heathery hillside, through some trees, and to the track at Westertown Farm. I then returned by the outward route. The sheep I thought was having problems had given birth to her lamb which was making its first few faltering steps.

Photos taken on walk.

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Torr Achilty, Easter Ross.

Torr Achilty

Torr Achilty, Easter Ross. – Section 12A.
Height – 256 metres. OS Landranger 26.
Climbed - 1 May 2010. Time taken – 1.5 hours.
Distance – 2 kilometres. Height limbed – 240 metres.
Trip Report Details:

I had read on Scottish Hills that access to Torr Achilty, from Loch Achonachie, wouldn’t be possible after June this year as they were sealing off the dam from public use. Having been on the nearby, Sub 2000 Marilyn, Carn Faire nan Con, I thought this would be an opportunity to climb Torr Achilty before this route was barred.

At Marybank on the A832, I drove along the road towards Strathconon and at the Torr Achilty dam parked amongst some works equipment. I walked the short stretch to the new gates, which were unlocked, and read the notices. Some were in relation to health and safety as there were works taking place on the dam itself but fortunately not at the weekends. One note stated that the dam would be closed, due to security and safety, from June 2010.

I passed through the substantial side gate and noted that the metal spiked fencing was extensive, stretching partially across the dam, making access when the gates are locked pretty impossible to walkers. I commenced the crossing of the dam with views up Loch Achonachie and down the River Conon. On the opposite side of the dam I encountered the same extensive fencing and gates.

A tarred road was followed for a few metres before I left it and commenced the ascent of Torr Achilty. It wasn’t an enjoyable experience as I encountered dead bracken, a few trees, rocks, long heather, gorse and broom. Higher up the gradient eased and I reached the summit marked by a few boulders.

I ate my lunch here looking down to Contin and across to the Beauly Firth. From here I also had a view up Strathconon and to the hill I had climbed earlier in the day.

On the descent I tried to find an easier route but without success and in fact had to avoid several steep rocky areas. At least I had added another Sub 2000 Marilyn to my list, which will soon be impossible by this route.

Photos taken on walk.

Monday, 10 May 2010

Carn Faire nan Con, Easter Ross.

Carn Faire nan Con

Carn Faire nan Con, Easter Ross. - Section 12A.
Height 370 metres. Map – OS Landranger 26.
Climbed – 1 May 2010. Time taken – 1.75 hours.
Distance – 5.5 kilometres. Height climbed – 320 metres.
Trip Report Details:

On studying the map it appeared possible to climb this hill from the north using a path accessed from the A835 south of Garve.

I parked in a lay-by on the west side of the main road immediately before the 40 miles per hour speed limit sign as I entered Garve. I walked back along the road to an open gate that led to a vehicle track. The track, which was eroded in places, climbed through some trees with views back to Loch Garve. The only downside of this route was the pylons and electricity poles that followed the line of the track.

At the highest point in the track I followed the line of the electricity poles, one of which had lost its stanchion support. After around 200 metres I left these poles behind and climbed the heathery hillside. Amongst the heather, and sheltered from a breeze, were lots of midges, so the harsh winter hadn’t killed them off. Fortunately they weren’t biting and I soon arrived on the summit and back into the breeze.

The summit has two cairns, a short distance apart, but I had no way of telling which was the highest point. I took a short break here with views of Little Wyvis, Loch Luichart, and the Sub 2000 Marilyns, Sgurr Marcasaidh and Creag Loch nan Dearcag, which I had climbed back in March this year.

The return was by the ascent route.

Photos taken on walk.

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Druim na Cluain-airighe, Knoydart

Druim na Cluain-airighe

Druim na Cluain-airighe, Knoydart. – Section 10B
Height – 518 metres. Map – OS Landranger 33.

Climbed - 28 April 2010. Time taken – 4.5 hours.
Distance – 13 kilometres. Height climbed – 590 metres.
Trip Report Details:

While staying at the Old Byre, Inverie on the Knoydart peninsula we were going to climb Ben Aden by taking a boat up Loch Nevis but due to the forecast of wet and windy weather this plan was abandoned. My alternative hill was the Sub 2000 foot Marilyn, Druim na Cluain-airighe. I was joined by Fraser, Shona, Janice, Edith and Sue.

We left our accommodation and walked through the hamlet of Inverie where quite a few different building projects were ongoing. Beyond the Old Forge pub we took the track through the forest and out onto Mam Uidhe. It was dry at this time and the cloud was lifting slightly. We were geared up for the rain so it felt rather warm.

The track leading to Folach, shown on the map as Folach Gate although there is no such obstruction, was reached. Just beyond this point we left the track and climbed westwards, over some wet ground, to the north side of the twin stream, Allt nan Imireachan. The streams later split but we remained on the north bank and this took us into a corrie from where we climbed onto the rocky south ridge of Druim na Cluain-airighe. From here we had views across the Sound of Sleet to the Island of Skye.

I wandered round some knolls while others went over the tops and was surprised to find a large cairn marking the summit. Just below the summit a found an antler with six or seven points and positioned it on top of the cairn. It was rather windy here and the tops of the higher Knoydart hills were covered in cloud.

We found some shelter for a snack while the cloud came and went several times so after consultation we decided to return by the upwards route.

Photos taken on walk.