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Tough round in tough conditions

Tough round in tough conditions


Postby Fife Flyer » Mon Dec 06, 2021 10:50 pm

Grahams included on this walk: Lamachan Hill, Millfore

Donalds included on this walk: Curleywee, Lamachan Hill, Larg Hill, Millfore

Date walked: 05/12/2021

Time taken: 6.95 hours

Distance: 21.8 km

Ascent: 1241m

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Another weekend, more Donald's on the menu. This time it was a planned outing that we were intending to tackle a couple of weeks until Parminder became unavailable due to Covid. He hasn't contracted Covid but had been in the company of someone who tested positive - so as a safety measure he took the usual tests and stayed indoors.
The route I suggested was to tackle the 4 hills from the south, last time I was here about 5 years ago I approached the last 3 from Loch Trool.
We arranged to meet Parminder at Straiton park and ride and then head SW down the A702.
I had chatted to Tommy on Whatsapp and told him we would be at Auchinleck at about 8am, as it turned out we didn't arrive until shortly after 9am. We were all equipped with head torches as I knew the walk be about 7hours and as we near the shortest day, daylight is becoming a problem. As it turned out we arrived back at the cars about 15 mins before it started to get dark.


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The car park at Auchinleck, enough room for 4 vehicles

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The way ahead, a couple of Km's on a good road/track

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Hills looming on the horizon

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The way ahead

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Looking back, the blurry dog is Tommy's - Max who was obviously pleased to be out on the hills, he must have covered 3 times the distance we did

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Still a track but not quite the same quality

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We are about to leave the track and head into the undergrowth on the left as the track was going to be heading in the wrong direction

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The undergrowth, one of the easier off piste experiences

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Next obstacles a burn then a wall and on the other side of the wall a barbed wire fence

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Action shot

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George opting for a different part of the wall

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Now the 'real' walking begins

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We are heading up to the fence, then turning left following an ATV track

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We were initially heading for the slight dip on the horizon

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Welcome to the smaller hills terrain, the wind was right in our faces

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George sheltering behind Tommy, almost getting a piggy back

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Looking back - south

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Tommy leading the way and plodding uphill we would stay slightly to the right of the highest point

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Black Cairn not far from the summit of Drigmorn Hill

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A video I took at just over 500m, it will give you an idea of how brutal the wind was. Apologies for the end of the video pointing at the ground, I thought I was about to lose my hat

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Our first view of Curleywee, with Lamachan to the left

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Panning a bit further left, the one thing we can't see from here is the drop between the hills

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Looking SW, Drigmorn Hill and the Solway Firth in the distance

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George and Parminder taking a breather. One thing I should point out, George very rarely wears any headgear and he would have his beanie on soon as well

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Solway Firth glimmering

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Parminder enjoying the sun

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Curleywee on the right just peeking out, the other 2 hills along the ridge

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The way ahead to Millfore

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Looking north, Merrick on the left with a slight dusting, the hills on the right are Corserine and the Rhinns of Kell also with a dusting

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Not far from Millfore, looking across to Curleywee and the rest of our route

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Parminder a happy bunny now as there is a trig on Millfore

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Parminder leaving the trig disappointed - it is the first one we have come across without a plate

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On our way to Curleywee, what we can't see is the drop that lies in wait

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White lochan of Drigmorn

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The same lochan close up

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Easy part of the walk a flat bit which is quite rare

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Not sure what this used to be, certainly not very big

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More descending, after a huddle we opted to head left to try and retain a bit of the height we had struggled to gain. the height of the terrain at the foot of Curleywee is about 350m so that means losing well over 300m

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Curleywee, we are heading left and would ascend it up the easier shoulder to the left

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Curleywee looking very impressive

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Traversing trying to keep the height

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Having reached the wall, we found a faint path uphill, we would be heading uphill to the right

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Plodding uphill you can see how undulating the terrain is in the background

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Our approach up Curleywee

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Looking down on George and Parminder

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Looking back downhill

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Angle of ascent looking across to Larg Hill

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Loch Dee to the NE from Curleywee

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The way ahead to Lamachan Hill

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Lamachan Hill cairn

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Looking back to Curleywee

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Looking back to Curleywee and the undulations

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Nice broad ridge, with a path

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Looking back to Curleywee and Millfore on the right

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Lamachan Hill shelter

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Looking west, zoom in and you will see Ailsa Craig on the right

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Lamachan Hill still

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Solway Firth

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On our way to Larg Hill now looking back to where we were earlier

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Larg Hill cairn

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West again with Ailsa Craig in the middle on the horizon

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Descending off Larg Hill and following a wall down one of the shoulders

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Marching downhill, our start point is behind Parminder

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Looking back uphill, path is fairly obvious

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Once at the foot of the descent we crossed a forestry track and headed downhill utilising a firebreak. The underfoot conditions were rather soggy

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Still heading down in the fire break

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Looking back

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We reached the track that would take us back to the car park and came across a victim of Storm Arwen, as well as 4 trail bikers that we saw earlier. They were struggling to get there bikes round the fallen tree

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You can see why it was a struggle the bikes, Tommy saved them by using his dog lead to pull up the bikes from the front having put the lead round the front forks

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An action shot plenty of brute force required

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Another action shot. We had to laugh as the guys were local and asked what the hills were called that we had been up and also asked where the track would take them - we were more than happy to assist

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Parminder leading the way for Max

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It looks as if Parminder is lifting the tree up for Max

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The track back to the car park

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Another obstacle

This turned out to be a really tough shift, we were very surprised when we looked at the scores on the doors when we got back to the cars. The ascent figures seemed to be far less than we felt, George had an extra 400m on his GPS but we have been doubting that for quite a while. Tommy had very similar stats as me, having said that we are both using Viewranger. The obvious standout hill has to be Curleywee which looks quite impressive from all directions.
Next week I will be flying solo as both my colleagues are unavailable, so I will probably tackle a local hill to keep the legs moving.
User avatar
Fife Flyer
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 2476
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Re: Tough round in tough conditions

Postby matt_outandabout » Tue Dec 07, 2021 12:28 pm

A great report, thanks for sharing.
I did this round 25 years ago, and they are lovely hills.
matt_outandabout
Wanderer
 
Posts: 273
Munros:63   Corbetts:23
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Joined: Nov 3, 2013

Re: Tough round in tough conditions

Postby parminder » Wed Dec 08, 2021 12:08 am

Tough Gig..BRAW Script, BRAW day out Thanks Guys...
parminder
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 72
Munros:256   Corbetts:12
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Sub 2000:35   Hewitts:2
Joined: Nov 16, 2013

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