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.

Friday, 11 February 2011

Kerloch, Kincardineshire.


Kerloch, Kincardineshire. Section 7.
Height – 534 metres. Map – OS Landranger 45.
Climbed - 6 February 2011. Time taken – 2.5 hours.
Distance – 10 kilometres. Ascent – 415 metres.
Trip Report Details:

This was my third and final Sub 2000 Marilyn for the day having already climbed Ben Newe in Glenbuckat and Craiglich near Tarland. The drive to the start took me along the South Deeside Road to Strachan and the signed unclassified road towards Stonehaven. Around four kilometres from Strachan I came to the start of my walk the ‘Right of Way’ to Auchenblae, called the Stock Mounth, also known as Foggy Road.

There were a few cars parked in the area so I had to drive slightly further east to get my car off the road before returning to the start of the ‘Right of Way’ where I took note of several signs. One warned of cattle but there weren’t any around when I set of but they were nearby on my return.

The vehicle track, which was in good condition headed south, passed a small quarry, and after around two kilometres reached the forest where there was another warning sign, this time regarding stalking. However this wasn’t a problem as it was Sunday, although the end of the hind stalking season was only a few days away.

The route through the trees continued to follow the vehicle track but the surface was a bit eroded as the gradient increased. I passed a but and ben before reaching the east edge of the forest where muirburning was in progress. Not far beyond this point I came to a junction of tracks with further ‘Right of Way’ signs. Here my route left the ‘Right of Way’ and headed west where the vehicle track became steeper and more eroded. Looking back through the trees I could see Banchory and the Hill of Fare.

The track eventually emerged from the forest and I continued to near the summit of Kerloch. Just before it levelled out a worn path headed to the summit cairn and trig point. It was now brighter than it had been all day and I had views of Glen Dye, Clachnaben and Mount Keen. However the smoke from the burning heather made the views of the Durris TV mast and Cairn-mon-earn less clear.

After several minutes at the top taking a few photographs I returned to the start by the upward route.

Photos taken on walk.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Craiglich, Aberdeenshire.


Craiglich, Aberdeenshire. Section 21B.
Height – 476 metres. Map – OS Landranger 37.
Date climbed - 6 February 2011. Time taken – 1.25 hours.
Distance – 4.5 kilometres. Ascent – 190 metres.
Trip Report Details:

I drove from Glenbuckat, where I had climbed Ben Newe, to Tarland and onto the B9119 where east of the Coull junction I located a large parking area on the north side of the road. Here there was a picnic area but my sights were set on the opposite side of the road where a track headed south towards the forest.

The main road and the locked gate were crossed before I walked along the track, which swung west before reaching another gate, this time with a stile. Once over the stile I was into the forest where recently trees and bushes at the side of the track had been cut down. It was a bit unsightly with the track covered in small cuttings. However it gave me clearer views westwards to Pressendye, Morven and Lochnagar.

Despite the cuttings and small areas of ice it was an easy walk through the forest gradually gaining some height. At the second junction on my left, marked by a cairn, I took a left turn and followed the track through the forest onto the open hillside. The track continued over the heather to the summit trig point and a partially collapsed beehive cairn.

In addition to the hills already mentioned I could now see Bennachie, Benaquhallie, Hill of Fare, Kerloch, which I planned to climb later that day, Clachnaben and Mount Battock. I found some shelter behind the cairn from a cool breeze for lunch before returning by the ascent route.

Photos taken on walk.

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Ben Newe, Aberdeenshire.

Ben Newe

Ben Newe, Aberdeenshire. Section 21A.
Height – 565 metres. Map – OS Landranger 37.
Climbed - 6 February 2011. Time taken – 2 hours.
Distance – 5.5 kilometres. Ascent – 365 metres.
Trip Report Details:

I parked in the car park at Buchaam, just off the A944, south of Mains of Glenbuchat, and followed the ‘yellow route’ through the trees. There were several marker posts to assist in route finding and the track eventually emerged from the trees on the north side of the forest. A couple of roe deer were spotted crossing the track.

The summit of Ben Newe was now in view above the end of the track which had a light covering of frozen snow. The ‘yellow route’ soon re-entered the forest and as the path through the fir trees was snow free I followed it, which turned out to be a mistake. Beyond the fir trees there was no obvious route to Ben Newe so I left the ‘yellow trail’ and followed a track through an area of cut timber.

This route was still taking me away from the summit so I left the track and climbed through the well spaced trees where there was some fallen timber. I eventually came to a ‘blue route’ which took me between some fir trees, onto the heather hillside. The path continued to the summit cairn and trig point where I found some shelter for a coffee break looking down on Glenbuchat and across the Ladder Hills to the top of the snow covered cliffs of Beinn a’Bhuird.

On my descent I planned to follow the fence east to join the track on the north side of the forest. This involved walking through the heather but I soon came to an area of hard packed snow. I attempted to avoid it by heading north but eventually fitted my microspikes, although not a fan of them on gradients, crossed the snow and cut back to the track. I rejoined the route used earlier in the day and followed it back to the start.

Photos taken on walk.

Monday, 7 February 2011

Stronend, Fintry Hills.


Stronend, Fintry Hills. Section 26.
Height – 511 metres. Map – OS Landranger 57.
Climbed - 30 January 2011. Time taken – 2.75 hours.
Distance – 9.5 kilometres. Ascent – 490 metres.
Trip Report Details:

With a poor forecast for later in the day I decided to climb this Sub 2000 Scottish Marilyn. My map indicated a track part of the way up the west side of Stronend and beyond that some broken contours between the cliffs.

I parked in the village of Fintry, crossed the bridge over the Endrick Water, and walked along the icy tarred private road to Culcreuch Castle Hotel. On reaching the Hotel I followed the signposted vehicle track to the farm. There was no movement here other than a few dogs in their kennels. At the rear of the property I located the track that would give me access to the hill.

Beyond the farm I came across an open gate with a polite sign requesting no dogs due to grazing cattle and sheep. Not a problem for me as I was on my own. The track zig zagged uphill until it came to second gate which this time was closed. At the side was a stile constructed from a ladder.

The track now levelled out but as I considered leaving it I came across another track, not shown on my map, that headed uphill and led to a third gate, again with a stile. The field beyond had loads of sheep and I followed various paths, some probably animal trails, as I aimed for a fourth gate I had observed at the top of the field.

This gate required clambering over as there was no stile. The ground here had a light covering of snow and became quite steep but there were paths to follow which took me onto the summit plateau without any difficulty. It was now cold and windy so I put on my down jacket before following the path, for over a kilometre, to the large summit cairn and trig point.

I was still below the cloud base but the views weren’t good although I could make out the Lake of Menteith and to the east some wind turbines. After a coffee break in the shelter of the cairn I returned to the village of Fintry by the upward route.

Photos taken on walk.