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Culling the North East Subs

Culling the North East Subs


Postby weaselmaster » Sun Oct 11, 2020 9:42 pm

Sub 2000' hills included on this walk: Ben Aigan, Bin of Cullen, Fourman Hill, Hill of Foudland, Hill of Tillymorgan, Knock Hill, Knockan, Meikle Balloch Hill, Waughton Hill

Date walked: 11/10/2020

Distance: 47.1 km

Ascent: 1997m

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I've been approaching my 1000th Marilyn for some time - one of my goals for this year, and indeed, thanks to Covid, the only one I'm going to achieve now. I had hopes to celebrate the 1000th on An Sgurr, Eigg, but that relied too much on the vagaries of ferry timetables, so I decided that we'd just head up to the Northeast this weekend, where we had a dozen fairly easy little hills clustered around whisky country and get the big occasion over with. Actually, once upon a time I had hoped to combine my 1000th Marilyn with my 2000th Simm on Ladylea Hill which is both of these things - but my Simm bagging has been mediocre in recent times and i still have almost 300 of them to do to get to 2000. So I chose to take the path of least resistance.


2020-10-09_1139 Raw.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts



We headed up the A9 on a cold and rather dreich Friday morning, aiming to get 4 hills done this day. Ben Aigan, Knockan, Meikle Balloch and The Knock should be manageable in an afternoon. Ben Aigan was to be the first, the longest of the day at around 8km. It's a WalkHighlands route, as are several from our selection this weekend; most were also on track which I was sure would please Allison. There's forest parking for Ben Aigan; quite a number of cars already there as we pulled in about 11am. We set off along the shale track, one of many that we walked over the three days to the point where I can't really differentiate between them now. Near the top we happened to meet up with WalkHighlands' own Helen and Paul- haven't seen them for a while and it was good to catch up. One of the things we talked about was that there's a bottle of 12 year old Scotch at the top of one of the Cromdale Hills, near where they stay - as we'd passed distillery after distillery on the drive up, this gave me the idea of encouraging different distilleries to sponsor a hill, ensure that there's a bottle of their finest at the top, kept topped up. I suppose in these days of Covid there would have to be some antiseptic measures - maybe you'd need to bring your own glass. But a worthwhile idea, I hope you agree :lol:

Ben Aigan
Image87B527CD-2965-4345-94D3-36C4AEAC4658_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr


ImageCF77DD32-FA1B-44DC-B6F5-DF73A2E2C5B1_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

ImageA513C7D3-27A8-4A79-8E85-4B7BA87B6D0A_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

ImageD4F8389E-D8F5-4A16-8522-87E0D87E2DD4 by Al, on Flickr

We made the top of Ben Aigan, sadly not replete with a bottle of Glen Keith - or indeed anything else. We met a couple of ladies and their little whippet, dropped out of the wind to have some lunch and returned to the car by the outward route. Drove a little way up the road, past the Glentauchers Distillery and drove south on the little road to Towie Wind farm, to access Knockan. No prizes for guessing the preferred sponsor of this one - Knockan-do...Anyway, we parked by the start of the track and walked straight up to the summit, gaining a massive 81m of height as we did so. There's little sense that this is actually a hill, but it was at least dry if still cold. We returned to the car, having looked over at The Knock, which would be our last hill of the day and did seem somewhat more "hill-like". Although that really wouldn't be hard.


2020-10-09_1408 Raw.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts



ImageB8D9BAD8-4A73-4A55-89CF-D1C180A22D21_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

The summit. Apparently...
ImageE848F8AB-CEA0-483F-BE20-0AEF24092AB5_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

ImageE30AC4EA-95B9-4906-BFBE-DC673370CA33_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

ImageCDAD76FA-C494-482F-81CB-B0A7AEEC7C68 by Al, on Flickr


2020-10-09_1524 Raw.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts



Before that however, we had Meikle Balloch to conquer. This sits just to the east of Keith, up a farm road. There's ample parking by the water treatment works - again this has a proper WH entry. We decided to take the scenic, circular route rather than the straight up and down. This involves walking through the woods, losing some height in so doing, then turning more steeply up the north eastern side of the hill. We passed some fungi the size of dinner plates - doubt they'd have been that tasty though, and made the summit, with trig column. Still dry, though we could see showers coming in over the Moray Firth. The rain started just before we reached the car.

ImageCD4BB209-0262-4927-873A-D6446C57024D_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

The Knock
ImageA71A9927-39C2-40D1-8AA7-AD6CD4B92994_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

Image1E42896D-6846-488E-8A09-196CA712FD4C_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

Image10677CAC-09C7-40F4-AD91-5013EDADC32C_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

ImageEFEC6BF7-D0FF-4EC7-B9E8-518343B0C4C7 by Al, on Flickr


2020-10-09_1702 Raw.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts



We drove along the A95 heading north and took the turn off for Swile Bog to climb The Knock. This hill has not one but two WH route options - this one is the most direct - 1.1km straight up from the small parking area. Someone had left an Xmas wreath on the little wooden gate to the hill - either long overdue in being removed, or very early for this year's festivities. There's a wet path up the hillside, slippy in places, but it does the job and we were at the summit in under 30 minutes. It was quite pleasant and sunny as we looked around at the top, enjoying the sea scape. Back the way we'd come and onwards to Buckie, where we were staying. As we neared the coast the ky darkened and a tremendous hail and rain shower hit us, leaving the road white with hail or sleet. Lovely.

ImageF00198CA-0D9D-45E5-820C-3DD56A6704B0_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

Image30CF9F6F-3104-4063-BF9B-10BDB083AFA3_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

Image4721DAF8-6D24-4713-9840-802E27939955_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

Image7BE6FA2B-E274-4A75-843D-B8DEC813D2C1_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

ImageFC9307DA-5A1B-4E0F-A62F-673C2350CD4A by Al, on Flickr


2020-10-10_0907 Raw.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts



Saturday began with a morning walk up the Bin of Cullen. There's forest parking to the south of the hill and once again track all the way to the summit. The woods were quite lovely in the morning sun, leaves beginning to change colour and fall. Birds darted in and out of the trees. We could see little showers all around us, coming in over the sea and deluging patches of land here and there. Fortunately we avoided another soaking, for the present.

Image04E10486-828E-4BD6-9569-6FE6BD840689_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

Image92220D1A-5E48-468C-A34B-C6D489A34D28_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

ImageC789A772-1FF9-4A4D-B99D-E80B8AA64234_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

Image4F868826-ACE6-4064-B7A5-7E384C339417 by Al, on Flickr


2020-10-10_1115 Raw.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts



Returning to the car we set off for the long drive to Strichen for Waughton Hill, which would be my 1000th. This part of the country new to Allison, though I've been various places up along the coast, from when I stayed in Aberdeen. Through Banff, on towards Strichen, the number of tractors on the road increasing the further east we drove. We could have driven nearer to the hill, but really, we were in no hurry, so parked in the Main Street, near a large church and ambled our way along. The hill is more commonly known as Mormond Hill, which is the eastern summit, having its own song (Mormond Braes) and also the only two hill-figures in Scotland - a horse on the west side and a stag on the east. The Horse, which we walked over, was cut out in around 1790 by a Captain Fraser in honour of his sergeant - it's been turned into a unicorn in recent times by the use of white fabric. Hilarious. The Stag, which we didn't go round to see, is the only true stag hill figure in Britain, but dates from 1870...I have to say I like my hill-figures to be steeped in antiquity. Anyway, the Horse could do with a good weed and clean up as it's a bit of a mess. It risks disappearing again in the near future (apparently it was covered over by locals during WW2 to prevent the Luftwaffe using it as a landmark). To reach it we walked up farm lanes, past a field of oxen.

Image4A3A5DD3-259F-44F9-B49F-D2533081D288_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

Image865E92C8-0692-43DE-A0F3-BC5E01EAC22E_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

ImageB449A9E0-DDE4-4D1F-9888-8D72B832446D_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

We continued on over the Horse and up towards Waughton Hill, passing by the ruined Hunter's Lodge, also built by the industrious Capt Fraser and once boasting a fireplace so large a whole deer could be roasted on it. Further away on the top of Mormond Hill is still decorated with various masts that the US Military used in the Cold War. But I wasn't after others' history today, just my own little bit of it. We found the small cairn for Waughton Hill in amid the rushes and that was it, 1000 Marilyns woo hoo :roll: It has taken 4 years to get from 600 to 1000 - although to be fair I have done a round of Munros and a round of Corbetts in that time too. Allison is lagging behind me by 37, so I'm hopeful we'll get to her 1000th before the end of the year too.

Image65AED06D-58B7-4526-B119-D791750D51E4_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

Image843AD5CB-CC28-48A6-999E-19048EA0BC2E_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

ImageEDECB098-8E16-44CF-90D6-7107DABDA911_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

1000 Marilyns :D
Image0B61198E-4365-4D1A-9090-970F43206F11_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

No song and dance, no wee snifter of malt, just lunch then a visit to the Eye Stone on the north side of the hill - I'd spotted the name on the map and was intrigued. However, it's just a fairly large erratic. Google told me it was used as a boundary stone and there were various other theories about it, none very convincing, including it might have specific healing properties for eyes. Well I touched it and no, reader, I was not able to dispense with my glasses :( Myopically, we returned to the car using the same route we'd taken up.

Eye stone
Image1DA03D3F-77DA-4F00-A70C-B9F2A4A37473_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

Image57518108-D3E6-4EAB-B161-0A25E9918774 by Al, on Flickr


2020-10-10_1423 Raw.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts



What would we do now? If I was being ambitious, we'd have driven down towards Huntly and done the two down there (Hill of Foudland and Tillymorgan Hill). But the rain was coming and that would take a few hours, so I opted for Fourman Hill instead and an earlier return to Buckie. I had planned a route from the north, although it is quite possible to drive to the abandoned Fourman cottage from the east. Anyhow, we parked at Rose View Cottage, which looked empty, maybe a holiday let, and walked a little back up the road to a farm track through the woods which ended at a cow field. Across this, past the aforementioned Fourman Cottage and into the trees, again on track, right up to the trig column. By this time the weather had turned and it was rainy and miserable. We took an alternate route back, cutting down through heather to join a lower track that brought us out at...Fourman Cottage. On the drive back we stopped off for a walk along Cullen Beach in the rain. It's a quaint wee village, with houses rammed higgledy piggledy before the sea wall, lovely golden sands and the memorable Three Kings stacks on the beach itself - mythically the grave monuments of three Viking kings who died in the Battle of Bauds in 962 CE... I asked Allison if she was going to climb them - "yes, no bother if it hadn't been so windy" says she... Stopped off at the Tesco in Buckie to buy some local Speyside product for a mini celebration of my entering the Marilyn Hall of Fame (upper division) :roll: Some 10 yr old Glenrothes and Glen Keith. Mmmm.

ImageD06DB8FF-1B7D-4817-A1BE-5BA3D63961A4_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

Image8915490F-A524-40C0-8AA6-FA248CB1B551_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

ImageAABD6E17-8166-4862-8153-45A5C3A3E95C_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

Image88E654B2-9239-4709-96D8-7A0AEB681FEC by Al, on Flickr

Cullen Beach
ImageB331B0C4-7DF4-4313-8290-EDC521174141_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

Image2B9A2A4B-D362-4B26-A1DA-55553B0233B3_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

Image606D940A-FD2B-445D-951A-B946E0C70EBB_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

Image817FBF8F-F1DA-4BB1-827A-99440212B8F6_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr


2020-10-11_1007 Raw.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts



Sunday was supposed to be dry and overcast, but turned out to be wet and overcast instead. We drove along to Huntly and thence to Jericho where we parked on a verge at the end of the public road (although as Gordon Ballantyne notes in his report,
you could drive into the start of the woods where there's more space to park). More cows to pass, who really didn't like my singing to them :lol: Then into the woods and onto forestry track, through a couple of gates and up to the top of the hill, past various transmitter masts. Mist was down, so no views from here. Back the same way.

Image36B11048-F299-4D2D-AC58-FBAF4FE1E710_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

ImageA957D137-1CE3-4A85-8626-F00E57EB8EC6_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

ImageB31DCE79-4339-4FEA-AACB-976D2B163C5F_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

Image5598E9AE-FD4A-4F4F-AAB2-D84D70B3565F_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

Image65BB6FCE-05B9-48CE-93A3-F1A4EE883599_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

ImageC7A55FDF-0177-4F73-99F8-80C9432AFB8C by Al, on Flickr


2020-10-11_1154 Raw.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts



A short drive past Kirkton of Culsalmond for Hill of Tillymorgan. We squeezed the car in at the start of the track - although if you drive up the track for a couple of hundred metres you come to a large forest clearing that would take half a dozen cars. Muddy under foot after that until a section of wind farm track is reached, then past an old slate quarry to reach the trig anointed summit. Weather alternating between sun and showers, we returned to the car for the drive home.


Image5601D8C1-0927-4200-97D7-D5860FAC4A66_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

ImageFA68D277-37AC-4A12-944D-FF787280ADE8_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

.ImageD313FC28-0ACC-40CE-8ACD-CCE8571CF7EE_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

Image5DCB3BA1-541C-42B5-84B7-BE14F8552620_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

Image5D4BE178-56B4-4894-97F1-9A39E4A5F66E by Al, on Flickr
User avatar
weaselmaster
Hill Bagger
 
Posts: 1974
Munros:245   Corbetts:73
Grahams:81   Donalds:89
Sub 2000:383   Hewitts:31
Wainwrights:15   Islands:28
Joined: Aug 22, 2012
Location: Greenock

Re: Culling the North East Subs

Postby iangpark » Sun Oct 11, 2020 10:08 pm

Enormous congrats on the Upper Hall WM! Watching that sub-2k tally on your account in the past few months has been eye-watering :lol: Most easterly mainland Scottish marilyn a decent title for 1000 in my book - not a part of the country I'm frequented with whatsoever!
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iangpark
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Re: Culling the North East Subs

Postby rockhopper » Sun Oct 11, 2020 11:19 pm

Well done - congratulations on your thousandth :clap: - cheers :)
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Re: Culling the North East Subs

Postby vuirich » Mon Oct 12, 2020 9:21 am

Congratulations on reaching the 1000 Marilyn landmark. :clap: :clap:
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vuirich
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Re: Culling the North East Subs

Postby macpee » Mon Oct 12, 2020 10:41 am

Congratulations! :clap: I always enjoy your trip reports, find them very useful!
macpee
Munro compleatist
 
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Re: Culling the North East Subs

Postby BlackPanther » Mon Oct 12, 2020 5:47 pm

Well done!! :clap: :clap: :clap:

Out of curiosity, I checked my Marylin progress: 587... I might get to 700 if lucky :lol:

Having done most of the north-east subs, I think my favourites are Lord Arthur's Hill and Bennachie. The most pointless - Knockan. Bennachie is on the repeat list - two plane crash sites to visit.
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Re: Culling the North East Subs

Postby Owen b » Mon Oct 12, 2020 6:25 pm

Congratulations :clap: . I keep a look out for your posts as they're always an entertaining and informative read and get me looking into Marilyns of I hope future hill bagging excursions.
Owen b
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Posts: 32
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Re: Culling the North East Subs

Postby gammy leg walker » Mon Oct 12, 2020 8:34 pm

Congratulations on your 1000th Marilyn.
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gammy leg walker
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Re: Culling the North East Subs

Postby weaselmaster » Mon Oct 12, 2020 10:01 pm

BlackPanther wrote:Well done!! :clap: :clap: :clap:

Out of curiosity, I checked my Marylin progress: 587... I might get to 700 if lucky :lol:

Having done most of the north-east subs, I think my favourites are Lord Arthur's Hill and Bennachie. The most pointless - Knockan. Bennachie is on the repeat list - two plane crash sites to visit.


Ah, only 13 away from the Hall of Fame 😁
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weaselmaster
Hill Bagger
 
Posts: 1974
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Location: Greenock

Re: Culling the North East Subs

Postby weaselmaster » Mon Oct 12, 2020 10:06 pm

iangpark wrote:Enormous congrats on the Upper Hall WM! Watching that sub-2k tally on your account in the past few months has been eye-watering :lol: Most easterly mainland Scottish marilyn a decent title for 1000 in my book - not a part of the country I'm frequented with whatsoever!


Cheers Ian, going to be bit slower now, I think. Eigg booked for later this month, also bit more freedom when the stag stalking winds down. Quite tempted by island Subs at present but mostly they’ll have to wait for next summer (pandemic permitting). Ardnamurchan and Mull look to be a real challenge 😂
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weaselmaster
Hill Bagger
 
Posts: 1974
Munros:245   Corbetts:73
Grahams:81   Donalds:89
Sub 2000:383   Hewitts:31
Wainwrights:15   Islands:28
Joined: Aug 22, 2012
Location: Greenock

Re: Culling the North East Subs

Postby Collaciotach » Thu Oct 15, 2020 10:31 pm

'S math a rinn sibh .... Well done on the 1000 :clap:
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Collaciotach
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Re: Culling the North East Subs

Postby malky_c » Tue Oct 20, 2020 12:09 pm

Congratulations on doing 1000 Marilyns 8) . I’m sure Allison is ecstatic at the idea of joining you before too long :wink: :lol:.
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Re: Culling the North East Subs

Postby weaselmaster » Tue Oct 20, 2020 12:21 pm

malky_c wrote:Congratulations on doing 1000 Marilyns 8) . I’m sure Allison is ecstatic at the idea of joining you before too long :wink: :lol:.

Oh she absolutely can’t wait :wink:
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weaselmaster
Hill Bagger
 
Posts: 1974
Munros:245   Corbetts:73
Grahams:81   Donalds:89
Sub 2000:383   Hewitts:31
Wainwrights:15   Islands:28
Joined: Aug 22, 2012
Location: Greenock

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