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, 30 August 2011

An Socach, Cape Wrath Peninsula.

An Socach

An Socach, Cape Wrath Peninsula. Section 16A.
Height – 362 metres. Map – OS Landranger 9.
Climbed - 7 August 2011. Time taken – 4 hours.
Distance – 9.5 kilometres. Ascent – 410 metres.
Trip Report Details: 

The forecast wasn’t great so my plan to access some of the remoter Sub 2000 Marilyns on the Cape Wrath peninsula was put on hold. Instead I headed for one of its easier hills, An Socach. I left my vehicle in a parking area on the B801 at Badcall, east of Kinlochbervie, and walked east to the vehicle track that headed north from this hamlet.
The vehicle track was initially in reasonable condition and I passed a few abandoned and rusting implements lying at the side. The track appeared little used and soon deteriorated but it was still suitable for walking along and went as far as the Allt nan Lub Bana, further than my map showed. There was no problem crossing this stream but beyond I was confronted by some marshy ground, which I was expecting as here the contours on the map were wide apart.
I worked my way round some pools of water as I made for higher ground east of Poll Buidhe. This took me onto An Socach’s south-west ridge where the going was a bit rough with more areas of water to avoid. A slight dip in the ridge was followed by a steep and rocky ascent of An Socach’s South-West Top arriving at its large cairn just as the cloud lowered and engulfed the hill.  I took a couple of bearings and headed for the 358 metre Top before doing a dogleg to reach the true summit further north-west, which was marked by a small cairn.
Earlier I had some views, including Sandwood Bay and Loch, but I was hoping that the cloud would lift so that I could get more views of the area. I had a snack at the summit during some light rain and waited for around forty minutes for the cloud to lift which it did. Once I had taken a few more photographs I returned by the ascent route. The cloud continued to lift and I even managed a view east to Arkle.

Photos taken on walk.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Beinn Sgeireach, Sutherland.

Beinn Sgeireach
Beinn Sgeireach, Glen Sgeireach, Sutherland. Section 16E.
Height – 476 metres. Map – OS Landranger 16.
Climbed – 5 August 2011. Time taken – 2.25 hours.
Distance – 6.5 kilometres. Ascent – 410 metres.
Trip Report Details: 

My second Sub 2000 Marilyn of the day, before heading for a weekend in the North-West, was Beinn Sgeireach, which is located between Glen Cassley and Loch Shin. The Glen Cassley road, the nearest public road to this hill, was reached from Rosehall on the A837. It was a pleasant drive up the single track road which ran along the east side of the River Cassley. At Badintagairt Farm I parked directly opposite the farm house, which appeared to be unoccupied.
To the north of the farm I located the vehicle track shown on my map which headed east to a small forested area and apparently up the side of the Allt Bad na t-Sagairt to Coire Buidhe. However the track was in poor condition being rutted in places, difficult to walk on and even find. A more direct route, slightly to the north, appeared easier so I abandoned my initial plan to follow the track and made a more direct ascent towards Beinn Sgeireach, which I couldn’t actually see at this time.
 The ground was a bit stonier and the vegetation shorter but as I gained some height the grasses became longer and the walking more awkward, although climbing these less popular hills I’m quite used  to pathless terrain. The summit area of Beinn Sgeireach became visible while underfoot it was a bit wet with lots of bog pools to avoid so there was a some meandering required to keep my feet dry.
A slight dip, which was wet and boggy, was crossed before the gradient increased with a few rocks to walk round as I climbed to the summit trig point. Here I had good views towards Bens Hope, Loyal and Klibreck as well as several other smaller hills.
After a late lunch I returned to my car slightly to the south of the ascent route to avoid the wetter areas of the hillside but I’m not sure I gained much benefit.

Photos taken on walk.

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Meall Dola, Lairg.

Meall Dola

Meall Dola, Lairg. Section 16D.
Height - 323 metres. Map – OS Landranger 16.
Climbed - 5 August 2011. Time taken – 1.5 hours.
Distance – 5 kilometres. Ascent – 160 metres. 

I was headed for a weekend in the North-West Highlands of Scotland with a plan to climb a couple of Sub 2000 Marilyn en-route.  Meall Dola fitted into this plan as it wasn’t far off my route to some of the best landscapes in Scotland.
The slight diversion took me to the village of Lairg where I drove along the A839 towards Rogart. Just beyond Lairg I located the road to Balcharn and after an uphill section of single carriageway road parked on the verge north-east of the farm.
Once geared up I passed through a gate and followed a vehicle track which headed east. Beyond a second gate and a field of sheep that seemed attracted by my presence, the track swung right but my plan was to follow the path shown on the map, if it existed. I located the path which passed close to a small copse of fir trees. Sections were overgrown, wet and occasionally difficult to locate although the line of the path was fairly obvious.
Just beyond the col between Cnoc Moine na Cailinn and Meall Dola the path became difficult to locate but I continued to near the edge of the forest which was surrounded by a deer fence. I crossed a standard fence followed by a short section of boggy ground, before making my way over heather to the summit of Meall Dola, which was marked by a few stones.
I took a short break here with views of the East Sutherland Hills and in the distance the tops of the Caithness Hills were visible. I noted the proliferation of wind farms which have now spread to this area spoiling its natural beauty. The return was by a more direct route to the col then the path back to the starting point.

Photos taken on walk.