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, 31 May 2011

Meall Glac Tigh fail, Wester Ross.

Meall Glac Tigh-fail

Meall Glac Tigh-fail, Inverbroom, Wester Ross. Section 14A.
Height – 521 metres. Map – OS Landranger 20.
Climbed - 28 May 2011. Time taken – 2.75 hours.
Distance – 7 kilometres. Ascent – 520 metres.
Trip Report Details:

I was staying at Forest Way Bunkhouse, Braemore, (near Ullapool) so it was only a short drive to Inverbroom, at the south end of Loch Broom. I obtained permission to park beside the houses at Croftown before walking south along the tarred road to Auchlunachan.

At this house I walked passed the north side of the property and its outbuildings onto an overgrown track which led to a rather fancy gate. Beyond this gate the now mainly stony track climbed steadily above the Alltan Odhar. The track split higher up and I guess the higher route led to Sron Sgaile. However I followed the track that continued above the stream until it reached and crossed this burn.

After the crossing I was expecting to locate a path heading north but there was no trace of it so I’m presuming it no longer exists. I therefore headed towards Meall Glac Tigh-fail crossing a couple of streams en-route. The ground was a bit wet with some pools of water, which wasn’t unexpected after the recent rainfall.

In the dip between the east top, Carn Lon nan Gobhar and Meall Glac Tigh-fail I disturbed a herd of deer who were probably sheltering there from the strong winds. Beyond this dip a short steeper climb took me to the summit cairn of Meall Glac Tigh-fail. I had some reasonable views despite the cloud floating around the higher summits with some fresh snow visible on An Tellach.

After a cup of coffee sheltering behind a rock I returned to my car by the upward route.

Photos taken on walk.

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Hill of Tillymorgan, Aberdeenshire

Hill of Tillymorgan

Hill of Tillymorgan, Aberdeenshire. Section 21B.
Height – 381 metres. Map – OS Landranger 29.
Climbed - 22 May 2011. Time taken – 1.25 hours.
Distance – 4.5 kilometres. Ascent – 195 metres.
Trip Report Details:

Earlier that morning I climbed the Sub 2000 Marilyn, Hill of Foudland, north of Colpy, so it was only a short drive across the A96 to Kirkton of Culsalmond.

I got permission to park beside the old church and kirkyard before heading north along the track that ran between fields of sheep and lambs. This route led to and through a forest where at the north end it changed direction and headed east. My map didn’t show this as it had the track continuing north. That is no longer the case as that part of the track was overgrown with heather.

It soon became obvious that this easterly track wasn’t going to take me towards the Hill of Tillymorgan. I therefore left this track and crossed some rough ground, where timber had been forested, to a double fence. One was easily crossed as it was old, rusty and partially collapsed while the newer barbed wire fence was a bit more difficult.

Once beyond the fences there appeared to be a trail that led along the edge of the forest and I followed it until the old quarry workings came into view. On reaching the stone, which was used for roofing slate, I walked over it to the summit trig point. The weather had brightened up and I had good views of the Aberdeenshire countryside.

On my descent, which was by the upward route, a small bird flew out of the grass and I spotted its nest which contained four eggs. I took a photograph and think it was a Wheatear’s nest.

Photos taken on walk.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Hill of Foudland, Aberdeenshire.

Hill of Foudland

Hill of Foudland, Colpy, Aberdeenshire. Section 21B.
Height – 467 metres. Map – OS Landranger 29.
Climbed - 22 May 2011. Time taken – 1.25 hours.
Distance – 5 kilometres. Ascent – 215 metres.
Trip Report Details:

It was a sunny morning when I set off from Aberdeen but as I headed north towards Colpy it began to cloud over, although the base was well above the summits. From Colpy I drove along the tarred road to Jericho then a further kilometre on a rough track which deteriorated the further I went.

Just before an unlocked gate at NJ624336 I parked my car and continued on foot. The track skirted a field containing cows and calves but thankfully the animals kept their distance. It was an easy climb towards another gate where a ‘welcoming’ sign said ‘Foudland Hill Private.’ Beyond this second gate the track followed the edge of a small plantation onto open ground and a couple of telecommunication towers.

Beyond these towers the track was rougher as it continued west across the heather moorland. There was a slight dip before it regained the lost height and passed the summit trig point just to the north. From the summit I had views of Bennachie, Tap o’North, Ben Rinnes and Knock Hill. I also had a look at the nearby old quarry workings where the stone was used for roofing slate.

On my return, which was by the upward route, there were a few spots of rain and some of the cattle were now close to the track but they moved away as I approached.

Photos taken on walk.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Meall an Fhuarain, Cromalt Hills.

Meall an Fhuarain

Meall an Fhuarain, Cromalt Hills, Sutherland. Section 15A.
Height – 578 metres. Map - OS Landranger 15.
Date climbed - 2 May 2011. Time taken – 5 hours.
Distance – 16 kilometres. Ascent – 570 metres.
Trip Report Details:

Earlier this year I made my first visit to the Cromalt Hills to climb the Sub 2000 Marilyn, Meall Coire an Lochain. Ignoring the snow cover it was fairly hard work with lots of bog and peat hags. I therefore wasn’t looking forward to my return to bag the other Marilyn, Meall an Fhuarain. However after a recent period of dry weather I thought this was my opportunity to avoid some of these problems.

On studying the map the shortest approach appeared to be from Lubcroy on the A837 Ledmore Junction to Oykel Bridge road so I decided this would be my starting point. There was no suitable parking at Lubcroy so I left my vehicle on the verge north of the road bridge where fortunately the single track road was wider.

There was a gate on the west side of the road so I passed through it and followed the north side of the Garbh Allt where there were some animal tracks. I reached an unstable deer fence and spotted a gate higher up. However on reaching this gate I saw that it had collapsed and the gap covered in wire fencing. It took me a while to locate a suitable crossing point but once over the fence I found an old path above the Garbh Allt, which took me through Coire a’Chonachair. A section of this path had collapsed into the stream.

The Garbh Allt and later the Allt Tarsuinn were easily crossed before following deer paths to the south-east corner of a small plantation. The deer obviously gather here as there was lots of exposed peat, which would normally be wet and gooey but today was mainly dry. As I climbed to and over the knoll, Ruith-chnoc, deer ran off but were back in the same area on my return.

On the west side of Ruith-chnoc the ground was tussocky and a bit wet but drier as I made my way onto the south-east ridge of Meall an Fhuarain. Here there were lots of peat hags but walking between them was easy in these dry conditions. There were traces of an ATV track, its route marked by the odd stone, which I occasionally used. As well as peat hags the summit area consisted of some stony areas.

The summit trig point was reached where I had some good views but those to the west were improved when I walked over to a cairn. I saw that the north side of Cul Mor was on fire. This raged for around three days. After lunch at the cairn the return was by the ascent route.

I was pleased to have climbed this Marilyn in these dry conditions as I suspect normally it would be rather wet and boggy.

Photos taken on walk  also include some taken later that day on Meall Mor (Ullapool Hill) around sunset.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Meall Liath Choire, Wester Ross.

Meall Liath Choire

Meall Liath Choire, Rhidorroch, Wester Ross. Section 15A.
Height – 549 metres. Map – OS Landranger – 19 & 20.
Climbed - 1 May 2011. Time taken – 6.5 hours.
Distance – 22.5 kilometres. Ascent – 685 metres.
Trip Report Details:

Firstly I should say that the approach to this hill is probably best done by bike as a large section of the route was on tarred road. It would then be possible to combine Meall Liath Choire with an ascent of the nearby Marilyn, Cnoc Damh. However I’m looking forward to climbing this hill from Duag Bridge.

The start was on the easterly outskirts of Ullapool on the south side of the Ullapool River on the road leading to Morefield Quarry. I parked beside a cattle grid, where a sign warned of authorised vehicles only beyond that point. Permission to park there was granted although I don’t think it was required. With my bike at home, I set off on foot along a dusty track that led to and round quarry workings. The track continued for around a mile to where stone was being extracted and it was near here that a female cyclist passed me going in the opposite direction. A car also passed me headed east but there was no offer of a lift.

Beyond the quarry the track became a tarred road and was in good condition. It crossed the Ullapool River via a bridge before passing below Glastullich, which is a holiday rent, before reaching Loch Achall. The loch stretched for around three kilometres but it was a pleasant walk in the sun with the birds singing. Around half way along the north side of the loch I passed Rhidorroch House, although it couldn’t be seen from the track. The tarred road ended here and from now on it was hardcore with a warning sign of potholes, but most of them had been filled.

After passing the east end of the loch a shepherd and his dog emerged from a Land Rover and went to inspect his sheep and lambs while his female companion drove passed me heading east. Shortly there afterwards a car with four occupants passed going in the opposite direction. They had either come from Cadubh or East Rhidorroch, which are both holiday rentals. The female driving the Land Rover had obviously only gone as far as Cadubh as she soon returned.

On reaching Cadubh I walked passed the west side of the cottage and began the ascent of Meall Liath Choire following the Allt Dail a’Bhraid. Initially there were some ATV tracks but they soon disappeared. Two unnamed lochans and an area of rock were passed where a grouse rose. The summit cairn of Meall Liath Choire was reached with good views in all directions. Away to the south-west the moorland was on fire.

I had my lunch at the summit before descending the west ridge. Here I disturbed some deer before heading towards the Eas a’Chraosain. To the north-east of this waterfall the ground was very soft but I would expect in normal conditions this area to be boggy. I then descended steeply to the east of the waterfall, which was completely dry as a result of the recent fine weather.

I strolled down to the track before making the long walk back to Ullapool.

Photos taken on walk.

Sunday, 8 May 2011

An Cabar, Wester Ross.

An Cabar

An Cabar, Wester Ross. Section 14B.
Height – 558 metres. Map – OS Landranger 20.
Climbed - 30 April 2011. Time taken – 4.5 hours.
Distance – 9 kilometres. Ascent – 485 metres.
Trip Report Details:

I parked in the lay-by, on the A832, Garve to Achnasheen Road around 300 metres west of Strathbran Lodge, and walked back towards the Lodge. The gate in the deer fence, just prior to the grounds of this property was padlocked as was the high westerly gate leading to the Lodge. The alternative was to continue along to the east gate and walk passed the front of the house which I didn’t consider appropriate. I therefore clambered over the wall, crossed a stream and found the track I was interested in.

The track climbed steadily through the forest and beyond a fire break the ground was more open. On leaving the forest the gradient eased and the track wound its way up the west side of the Allt Daraich. It was a pleasant stroll in the sun and a fox, which had been close to the burn, spotted me and ran off across the hillside.

I reached the south end of Loch na Curra, where there was a small boat shed, with views across the loch to the Fannaichs. I crossed the Allt Daraich and made my way onto the west ridge of An Cabar with ever improving views of Loch Fannich, Fionn Bheinn and Beinn nan Raimh as well as the Fannaichs. The undulating ridge was followed and on the final climb to the summit trig point a deer ran across the hill.

The summit trig point was reached although a nearby rock is apparently slightly higher than the base of the man made structure. I found shelter from a strong wind for a bite to eat and lay in the sun for around seventy five minutes. I may even have nodded off for a while.

The return was by the ascent route. There was no trace of the fox but once back in the forest roe deer saw me and continued their barking as they disappeared into the trees.

Photos taken on walk.