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, 26 April 2011

Knock of Braemoray, Moray.

Knock of Braemoray

Knock of Braemoray, Moray. Section 9A.
Height – 456 metres. Map – OS Landranger 27.
Climbed - 18 April 2011. Time taken – 1.5 hours.
Distance – 4 kilometres. Ascent – 180 metres.
Trip Report Details:

It was a sunny morning and I was heading home from a weekend based in Inverness. I decided to stop en-route and climb this Sub 2000 Marilyn which I approached from the south. Just after the Dava junction I thought I could see a track going uphill so parked beside another car at NJ007401. I never saw the occupant of this vehicle on the hill and the car was still there on my return.

I walked through what may have been an old sheep pen and into long heather. This led to a vehicle track which was shown on my map. However it was obviously old and no longer in use as it was in poor condition with sections of moss, pools of water and bog. I spent more time walking along the edge than on the track itself. What I thought was a vehicle track heading uphill was just different coloured vegetation.

Following the track was abandoned for the heather clad hillside. Although there were some deep patches of heather to walk through the ascent wasn’t unpleasant. I crossed an old fence line before making my way towards the summit which was an area of rough ground south-east of and a metre higher than the trig point. I wandered around the summit area for a few minutes to satisfy myself that I had reached the highest point as it was unmarked.

I then made my way over to the trig point with views south to the Cairngorms and north across the Moray Firth to Caithness. It was well worth the effort and I enjoyed a cup of coffee taking in the views.

The descent was more direct but lower down the underfoot conditions were a bit awkward with tussocky grass and a few wet areas.

Photos taken on walk.

Monday, 25 April 2011

Meall na h-Eilrig, Inverness-shire.

Meall na h-Eilrig

Meall na h-Eilrig, Inverness-shire. Section 12B.
Height – 465 metres. Map – OS Landranger – 26.
Climbed - 17 April 2011. Time taken – 2.25 hours.
Distance – 6.5 kilometres. Ascent – 250 metres.
Trip Report Details:

I had considered climbing this Sub 2000 Marilyn from near Drumnadrochit but as I had just completed an ascent of Carn a’Bhodaich from north of Abriachan I didn’t think it was worth the extra drive and expense. I therefore travelled the few miles to Abriachan Forest, just west of Abriachan and Loch Laide. The car park was busy as was the children’s play area within the forest.

It was sunny as I walked south following a forest vehicle track with piles of cut timber at the side. This route is part of the Great Glen Way and I passed several walkers on this stretch of track. Where the Great Glen Way commenced its descent towards Loch Ness I continued along the vehicle track, through a gate, to Achpopuli Farmhouse.

At the side of the farm building I crossed a gate and entered a field where there were traces of vehicle tracks but they soon disappeared. I descended to what looked like a gate but was in fact just some wood and fencing topped with barbed wire. Once across this obstacle the ground was wet as I followed several grassy rakes working my way through fir trees that seemed to have been planted haphazardly. I managed to avoid most of them and came out on top of a knoll with my first view of my destination.

A slight descent took me over boggy and tussocky grass until I reached some more trees where holes had been dug and were full of water. These holes were hidden by the heather so I was pleased when I was clear of this area and making my final climb to the summit trig point on Meall na h-Eilrig.

There were fine views from the summit and with the sun out it was a good location for lunch. Afterwards I returned roughly by the ascent route looking for easier terrain but to no avail.

Photos taken on walk.

Friday, 22 April 2011

Carn a'Bhodaich, Inverness-shire.

Carn a'Bhodaich

Carn a’Bhodaich, Inverness-shire. Section 12B.
Height – 501 metres. Map – OS Landranger 26.
Climbed - 17 April 2011. Time taken – 1.75 hours.
Distance – 4.5 kilometres. Ascent – 220 metres.
Trip Report Details:

The day’s plan was to climb a couple of the Sub 2000 Marilyns on the west side of Loch Ness. The first was Carn a’Bhodaich which I decided to approach from the west as the main A82 road along the shore of the loch isn’t the safest place to walk or park. It also had the advantage of starting from around the 300 metres mark rather than near sea level.

I drove north from Abriachan to Ladycairn and parked opposite the farm as the banking there had been levelled. I doubt if it was for the benefit of hill walkers but no one came to object. Once geared up I walked the few metres north to the vehicle track that headed east towards my destination.

The track was obviously little used these days and consisted of several wet and boggy areas. After a few minutes of walking the track entered the forest and its condition deteriorated even further. Concentration was necessary so as not to loose the track as it wound its way through the trees. Despite these conditions it was an interesting stroll listening to all the bird noises.

I soon emerged from the forest and the track continued on a slight gradient up the side of the trees and narrowed. At an obvious bend in the track I left it and climbed through deep heather onto the Carn a’Bhodaich’s West Top where I had some good views on this sunny morning. I walked north-east descending slightly before climbing to Carn a’Bhodaich’s trig point. Here I sheltered from a slight breeze looking out over the Black Isle while I partook of a cuppa.

The return was more direct through some deep heather. I rejoined the track but decided to bypass the section through the forest but found the going rough in places as well as being waterlogged.

Photos taken on walk.

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Meall Innis an Loichel, Glen Strathfarrar.

Meall Innis an Loichel

Meall Innis an Loichel, Glen Strathfarrar, Wester Ross. Section 12B.
Height – 390 metres. Map – OS Landranger 25.
Climbed - 16 April 2011. Time taken – 35 minutes.
Distance – 1 kilometre. Ascent – 125 metres.
Trip Report Details:

Earlier in the day I climbed the Sub 2000 Marilyns, Meallan Odhar Doire nan Gillean and Beinn Dubh an Iaruinn from the Uisge Misgeach Power Station in Gleann Innis an Lochiel. The Sub 2000 Marilyn, Meall Innis an Loichel was on my return route and would involve less than an hour’s walking and wouldn’t justify a separate journey up Glen Strathfarrar.

I parked at the highest point on the road between Loichel Dam and Monar Dam where there was space for a couple of vehicles. From this point I had good views of Loch Monar and Gleann Innis an Loichel so I was looking forward to the views from the summit.

I set off up the west ridge of Meall Innis an Loichel over some wet ground and under a power line. Higher up I took a slight diversion to avoid crags and not long after that I arrived at the summit cairn. As predicted I had good views of the surrounding mountains although I had to walk further east to get a reasonable photograph of Glen Strathfarrar.

The return was by the ascent route and I was back at the car within thirty five minutes.

Photos taken on walk.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Gleann Innis an Loichel, Wester Ross.

Meallan Odhar Doire nan Gillean

Meallan Odhar Doire nan Gillean and Beinn Dubh an Iaruinn, Gleann Innis an Loichel, Wester Ross. Section 12B.
Height - 601 metres/591 metres. Map – OS Landranger 25.
Climbed - 16 April 2011. Time taken – 4.5 hours.
Distance – 11 kilometres. Ascent – 750 metres.
Trip Report Details:

It was just after 9am when I arrived at the locked gate at Inchmore and on gaining access I had a pleasant drive up Glen Strathfarrar to Loch Monar. I crossed the Monar Dam and the narrower Loichel Dam before entering Gleann Innis an Loichel where I got the feeling of remoteness. At the end of this tarred road, beside the Uisge Misgeach Power Station, there was a large area of waste ground where I left my car. Nearby, water was being forced from a pipe causing an extensive area of spray.

I walked west up the glen following a vehicle track and after a kilometre came to a small dam and inlet where wooden slats aided the crossing of pools of water. I continued up the track on the north side of the Allt Doire nan Gillean passing a waterfall. When the track began to level out I commenced the ascent of Meallan Odhar Doire nan Gillean.

It was a steady but reasonable climb initially over some wet vegetation. Higher up a few rocks had to be avoided before I reached the east ridge where it was cold and windy. It was then an easy walk to the summit rock on Meallan Odhar Doire nan Gillean where I took a break sheltering behind the rock The hills to the north were cloud covered while those to the south just had a topping of cloud.

Afterwards I walked north to Meallan Odhar but had to stop to put on more gear due to the cold wind. On reaching this summit I descended its north-east ridge and thankfully out of the wind. Here some deer were sheltering but they quickly ran off. The descent was fairly steep with some rough walking and at the col with Beinn Dubh it was wet and boggy. Once across this area an easy climb took me to the top of Beinn Dubh. The mountains on the other side of Loch Monar were now more visible as the cloud base had lifted slightly.

From Beinn Dubh I followed the undulating ridge to the Weat Top of Beinn Dubh an Iaruinn where I was able to look down into Gleann Innis an Loichel and my starting point. The undulations continued as I walked north-east to the summit of Beinn Dubh an Iaruinn which is 3 metres higher than its West Top. Here I found some shelter for my lunch with views of the Monar Dam and Meall Innis an Loichel which I was to climb later that day.

After lunch I returned along the south west ridge before descending steeply, avoiding some crags, to my car.

Photos taken on walk.

Friday, 15 April 2011

Meikle Bin, Stirlingshire.

Meikle Bin

Meikle Bin, Stirlingshire. Section 26.
Height – 570 metres. Map – OS Landranger 57.
Climbed - 9 April 2011. Time taken – 2.5 hours.
Distance – 10 kilometres. Ascent – 420 metres.
Trip Report Details:

I was looking for a short walk as later that day the plan was to spend the night under the stars in the Southern Highlands. This Sub 2000 Marilyn appeared to fit my criteria.

I arrived at the car park on the B818 Fintry to Denny Road opposite Todholes Farm to find several vehicles already parked there. It wasn’t something I expected as on most Sub 2000 hills I never meet or see anyone.

Once geared up I set off south along the vehicle track which took me to the west end of the Carron Water Reservoir. The track then headed through the forest before returning towards the reservoir and continuing to the bridge over the River Carron. Here I met the first group of walkers.

Beyond the river I came to a ‘T’ junction and followed the right track which took me away from the reservoir and I gradually gained some height. A staggered crossroads junction was next. It was cairned so I took the second right and commenced a steeper but easy climb through the forest. Here I passed more walkers and a couple who were on their descent.

I was on the lookout for a grassy firebreak and came to a muddy path, obviously mistakenly used by walkers, which quickly came to an end amongst the trees. I returned to the track and a short distance south found the firebreak. A muddy path led through the trees and the ground became rather wet and boggy as it emerged onto the open hillside. Here I passed another couple.

It was a steady climb up the grassy north-west ridge which led to Meikle Bin’s summit trig point. Some of the earlier low cloud had lifted from the north although the views were hazy. Unfortunately there were no distant views to the south.

After a cup of coffee I returned by the ascent route with a slight diversion at the summit to look at the remains of a crashed aircraft.

Photos taken on walk.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Carleatheran, Gargunnock Hills.


Carleatheran, Gargunnock Hills. Section 26.
Height - 485 metres. Map – OS Landranger 57.
Climbed - 3 April 2011. Time taken – 3 hours.
Distance – 8.5 kilometres. Ascent – 470 metres.
Trip Report Details:

The Sub 2000 Marilyn, Carleatheran, is part of the Gargunnock Hills, so for this ascent I parked in the village of Gargunnock, just south of the A811 Stirling to Drymen Road. Thereafter I walked to the east end of the village and followed a tarred road south to a gate, the first of several. Beyond this gate I passed a house with two male and several female peacocks wandering through the garden.

After passing through a further two gates I came to a water treatment works and beyond that a short area of forest. At the south edge of this forest and a fourth gate (if I have counted correctly) a ‘T’ junction was reached where I took a right turn. This led to the crossing of a burn below a small waterfall.

Beyond the burn I headed uphill following marker posts which led through a gap in a stone dyke and some gorse bushes. The path appeared to continue west but I left it to visit the waterfall, Downie’s Leap. Here a St Andrew’s cross flag had been tied to a nearby tree.

I took a couple of photographs then walked along the north side of a barbed wire fence until I saw a break in the crags. The fence was awkward to cross not just because of the barbed wire but the wooden fence posts weren’t very stable. Once over this fence and through a gap in an old stone dyke, I followed animal tracks as I worked my way through these crags.

I now had views north across the Carse of Stirling to Callander and east to the Wallace Monument. More animal tracks were followed over some wet ground until I reached a fence which led south to a gate. However vehicles had made the area around the gate a quagmire so I crossed the fence instead. Once clear of the bog an All Terrain Vehicle track, occasionally wet and boggy, was followed to the summit cairn and trig point of Carleatheran. As well as the views mentioned above I could see Stronend, which I climbed earlier in the year, and Earlsburn Reservoirs with its nearby wind turbines.

Once I had a coffee break I returned roughly by the same route. The occasional showers became more frequent some of hail.

Photos taken on walk.

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Turin Hill, Angus.

Turin Hill

Turin Hill, Angus. Section 26.
Height – 252 metres. Map – OS Landranger – 54.
Climbed - 27 March 2011. Time taken – 1 hour.
Distance – 4 kilometres. Ascent – 105 metres.
Trip Report Details:

I took a slight diversion on my return home from climbing the Sub 2000 Marilyns, Crock and Meall Mor to enable me to pop up Turin Hill. Instead of returning north on the A90 I drove through Forfar and took the B9134 towards Brechin before turning into the access road for Fordmouth Farm. The only parking I could find, on what appeared to be a public road, was on the verge.

I set off south along a track passed the farm and the property at Back of Turin Hill. After passing through a couple of gates I entered a field of cattle. As well as the usual barbed wire fences there were electric fences, some with twin wires and others set back making any crossing difficult.

A gate at the top of the field led to the west side of the March Wood, which also had an electric fence surrounding it. At the top end of this strip of tress I crossed a couple of gates and made my final ascent of Turin Hill. There was lots of evidence on the ground that cattle frequent this area.

I crossed a stone dyke via a wooden stile to reach the summit cairn where I had views of Forfar, Rescobie Loch and the Angus Hills. I re-crossed the dyke by another stile and visited the trig point before returning by the ascent route. I did consider a more direct descent but a barbed wire topped fence with electric wires on either side changed my mind.

Photos taken on walk.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Meall Mor, Perthshire.

Meall Mor

Meall Mor, Perthshire.
Height – 551 metres. Map – OS Landranger 43.
Climbed - 27 March 2011. Time taken – 1 hour.
Distance – 3 kilometres. Ascent – 185 metres.
Trip Report Details:

Earlier in the day I was on the nearby Sub 2000 Marilyn, Crock, so it was only a short drive west to the single track Brewlands Bridge to Blacklunans Road. I parked at the high point on this road, the boundary between Angus and Perthshire, where a vehicle track headed south.

I set off along the track on a steady gradient but after around five minutes I was surprised to find a wide clearance between two areas of forest as this wasn't shown on my map. I didn't have a plan for escaping from the forest so I decided to use this heather covered clearance. Initially there were traces of animal tracks but higher up they were fainter as the ground steepened.

A couple of stone dykes and fences were crossed before the ground became a bit rocky. Beyond these rocks I crossed the county boundary marked by a stone dyke and followed it south-east round a few snow patches to the summit cairn. Here I had extensive views of the Perthshire and Angus countryside.

There was now a cool breeze so I sheltered behind the stone dyke for lunch before returning by the upward route.

The summit of Meall Mor is on the county boundary but I have shown it as in Perthshire as the majority of the walk was in this county.

That completes Region 7 (Braemar to Montrose) of The Relative Hills of Britain.

Photos taken on walk.

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Crock, Angus.


Crock, Angus. Section 7.
Height – 554 metres. Map – OS Landranger 44.
Climbed - 27 March 2011. Time taken – 2.75 hours.
Distance – 11.5 kilometres. Ascent – 335 metres.
Trip Report Details:

Looking at the map for this Sub 2000 Marilyn I noted that it was surrounded by forest and that none of the tracks shown led to the clearance above the tree line, where the summit was located. I observed Crock's east side when I climbed the nearby Hare Cairn but the felled timber would have made for some difficult walking. I decided to make a westerly approach but beforehand I checked out the 'Scottish Hills' forum where I found some valuable information.

I parked in the car park beside Freuchies, which is located just off the B951 east of Kirkton of Glenisla. It was a lovely sunny morning when I set off along the forest track which rose above the outflow from Loch Shandra. This track is part of the 'Right of Way' to Glens Prosen and Clova via the Kilbo Path. On reaching the loch the track opened out to the west with a view of Mount Blair and its surrounding hills. It then climbed steadily to the house at Tulloch where the occupants have grand westerly views. Just beyond this dwelling the main track re-entered the forest and after around a kilometre I reached an area where the trees had been harvested.

My map showed a path heading off east and I located a grassy track at the north end of the clearing. The track obviously wasn't in regular use but it made for an easy stroll to the col between Crock and Craigie Law where I had views of the Angus Munros, Driesh and Mayar.

It was here I expected to encounter problems getting through the forest but as mentioned on the Scottish Hills thread there were no difficulties. A track entered a dark tunnel of trees with a layer of pine needles covering the route. A fallen tree had been cleared and the shell from my first bird's egg of the year was lying on the track. The gradient increased slightly as I progressed through this tunnel. Daylight could be seen in the distance as the track became wet and marshy with some lying snow.

On emerging from the forest it was an easy walk over short heathery ground to the summit cairn where I had extensive views of the surrounding hills and countryside. Once I had a coffee break I returned to the start by the outward route.

Photos taken on walk.