Summit Strathfinella Hill
Strathfinella Hill, Kincardineshire. Section 7.
Height – 414 metres. Map – OS Landranger 45.
Climbed - 20 March 2011. Time taken – 2 hours.
Distance – 7.5 kilometres. Ascent – 310 metres.
Trip Report Details:
On looking at the map for this Sub 2000 Marilyn I discovered that the hill was covered in trees and getting to the summit wasn’t going to be easy despite various tracks. From experience of forest tracks they don’t always exist or new ones have been added. A GPS, well my one, will not work in forested areas.
I decided to start from Glen of Drumtochty, which runs between the Clattering Brig and Auchenblae. I managed to get my car off the road at the beginning of an old track on the south side of the road. I set off up this track which soon narrowed before it joined a wide forest track that I could have used if I had parked further east.
The track passed under an electricity transmission line and at a junction of tracks I took the left fork. On this stretch of track it was one the few occasions I had a view as the track ran close to some fields. Unfortunately it was misty but I could identify the village of Auchenblae.
At the next junction I took a right turn and soon afterwards came to a third junction where I headed left. (I later discovered this was where I went wrong. I should have gone right and after a few metres taken a left up a path not marked on my map but shown on a 1:25000 map.) I continued along this left hand track looking for the path marked on my map which would take me close to the summit of Black Hill. However I never found it.
I came to a wide new track that headed right and climbed steadily through the forest for well over a kilometre. Despite the mist I was aware that I was on the wrong side of Black Hill. The track came to an end but the forest was impossible to penetrate. I therefore retraced my steps for a hundred metres or so until I found a way through the mature fir trees and over some fallen timber.
This took me onto the path I had planned to use so I followed it west. There were some patches of snow and visibility was impaired by mist although that made little difference as I couldn’t see very far anyway for the trees. I found a small path that went off to my right and walked along it searching for the trig point. I was pleased to locate it off to my left and hidden under a fir tree.
I returned initially by the ascent route but where I emerged from the fir trees I continued down the path, which was wet and boggy in places and blocked by a fallen tree. As this path wasn’t on my map I was interested to discover where it led. It emerged as indicated above and I followed the outward route back to my car.
Photos taken on walk.