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, 19 July 2011

Tap O'Noth, Rhynie.

Tap O'Noth

Tap O’Noth, Rhynie. Section 21A.
Height – 563 metres. Map – OS Landranger 37.
Climbed - 14 July 2011. Time taken – 1.5 hours.
Distance – 5 kilometres. Ascent – 300 metres.
Trip Report Details:

Earlier in the day I was in Duftown climbing The Convals with a plan to return via Rynie to add the Sub 2000 Marilyn, Tap O’Noth, to my day’s tally.
As I approached Rhynie, on the A941 Dufftown Road, an obvious sign indicated the route to the car park, which was up a narrow road. On leaving my vehicle I continued along this track which soon came to an end just beyond a stile. A short section of grassy path, which was a bit overgrown, was followed before I reached a new deer fence with appropriate gates. Beyond, the hillside was a bit of a mess as the gorse had been cut down but I later realised the reason for this was that tree planting was in progress and this accounted for the new fencing and gates.
I walked along the hard packed muddy vehicle track, which ran alongside this new fence, until I came to a second set of gates where I changed direction and followed another vehicle track uphill, still within the confines of the fenced off area. This led to a further set of gates and beyond the open hillside.
The ground steepened but a vehicle track, which had been improved in sections, led up the hillside then round the south side of the hill, just below the summit. From here I could see Rhynie and across the Aberdeenshire farmland to Bennachie. As the track swung round to the east side of Tap O’Noth I had views of the Hill of Noth and the town of Huntly. It was at this point that I entered the summit area, an old fort. I followed a path to the trig point and onto the actual summit, located beside a concrete plinth.
I returned to the trig point to eat my lunch. While seated there, looking out over the surrounding countryside, I was contemplating what an ideal location it was for a fort with its extensive views in all directions.
After my contemplations and lunch I returned to my car by the ascent route.

Photos taken on walk.

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Little and Meikle Conval, Dufftown.

Meikle Conval

Little Conval and Meikle Conval, Dufftown. Section 21A.
Height – 552 and 571 metres. Map – OS Landranger 28.
Climbed - 14 July 2011. Time taken – 2.75 hours.
Distance – 9.5 kilometres. Ascent – 515 metres.
Trip Report Details:

The plan had been to go out at the weekend, but with a forecast of wind and rain, this was abandoned for better midweek conditions. It was a sunny morning when I set off for Dufftown and on arrival parked in their Golf Club car park on the B9009 Tomintoul road. Parking here may not always be possible, especially in the evenings and at weekends, but on my arrival the car park was almost empty.
I walked south along the B9009 for around 300 metres before following a vehicle track up the side of the forest and a field, passing a game bird enclosure. The track improved when it joined the one coming in from Home Farm, that section of track not showing on my map. Work had obviously been carried out in the area with new fencing, gates and an upgrading of the track which left a bit of a scar but once the vegetation grows some of the disturbance should be concealed.
The improvement in the track came to a halt at the bealach beside Glach-en-ronack, where I had intended climbing Little Conval from. A path led up the south side of this hill on a direct route crossing a vehicle track several times as it took on an easier gradient. The path skirted the summit so I climbed to the top, marked by a few stones. Thereafter I returned to the path and followed it to the trig point on the north side of the hill where I sat in the sun taking in the views towards Rothes, Ben Aigan and below me to the village of Dufftown.
After my break I returned to the bealach and commenced the ascent of Meikle Conval. The path, and in places vehicle track, were a bit wet and churned up compared to the dry conditions on its little brother. However the ascent was similar with a slightly steeper section before the gradient eased. The summit area was reached and it was a pleasant stroll to the cairn, located at its south end. Ben Rinnes was now very close being just across Glack Harnes, with its fellow Corbett, Corryhabbie Hill, on the opposite side of Glen Rinnes. In the distance the Cairngorms were visible.
Once again I returned to Glach-en-ronack before following the vehicle track back to the main road.
Photos taken on walk.

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Beinn Uamha, Trossachs.

Beinn Uamha

Beinn Uamha, Trossachs. Section 1C.
Height – 598 metres. Map – OS Landranger 56.
Climbed - 3 July 2011. Time taken – 4.75 hours.
Distance – 12 kilometres. Ascent – 610 metres.
Trip Report Details:

Beinn Uamha is located to the west of Loch Ard Forest in the Trossachs and Loch Lomond National Park with the only road access being through the village of Aberfoyle. On studying the map I thought the best route would be from the north end of Loch Chon as there was a track and a path that would afford me access through part of the forest.

I managed to park on the verge opposite the milepost just north of the forest track and walked the few metres back to the start of this hike. A new path was being constructed here heading north and set back from the public road. The forest track descended to near the farm at Frenich and to the path up the side of a stream.

The path was overgrown with a ditch to cross so I decided to walk further south along the forest track to ascertain if there was a better route through the forest to the foot of Beinn Uamha. The only evidence of any paths were those leading to some old aqueducts so after around a kilometre I gave up and returned to the path beside the stream. This added around forty minutes to my walk, which is included in the above time.

On returning to the stream I crossed the ditch and followed an old vehicle track up the north side of the burn. Initially this was along the edge of a deer fence but it soon came to an end. Further on there was evidence that water had been extracted from the burn although it appeared to me that this practice had ceased. Beyond the water extraction equipment there was little evidence of any path. The conditions underfoot were pretty awful with tussocky ground, bracken, bog and fallen timber to contend with. I did cross the stream a couple of times looking for a better route but here new tress had been planted and lots of old timber lay around, some hidden by the vegetation.

At grid reference NN402064 I reached another vehicle track but it was of no benefit as it headed in the wrong direction. I therefore continued up the side of the stream where several mature trees blocked my way. This meant wandering into the forest as I worked my way round them. I then came to an area where the trees had been forested so there was lots of old cut timber and branches to contend with.

I was pleased to see and reach the fence at the top end of the forest as once across it I was onto the open hillside, with Beinn Uamha ahead of me. The underfoot conditions were slightly improved as there was no cut or fallen timber to contend with but the ground was tussoky with some long heather. Pylons supporting electric cable crossed the hillside and I passed below them before reaching the foot of the hill.

The hillside was quite steep with several crags but they were easily avoided as I climbed through bracken and heather. As height was gained the walking became easier although the flies were a nuisance. I eventually reached the summit cairn with some good views including Ben Lomond and Loch Katrine. I was in the need of rest and some food so sat at the cairn eating my lunch and contemplating the return route which I wasn’t looking forward to.

There was another Sub 2000 Marilyn to the south-east but I had had enough of the underfoot conditions so I returned by the ascent route, missing out the extra section along the forest track.

Photos taken on walk.