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Maw Craigs recce

Maw Craigs recce


Postby Gordon Ballantyne » Fri Jul 16, 2021 4:12 pm

Date walked: 15/07/2021

Time taken: 8 hours

Distance: 13.5 km

Ascent: 280m

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I was browsing the Hillbagging maps when I spotted a couple of Tumps on the coast which I'd not noticed before, so decided to investigate a little more. We decided to do the recce of these two stacks along with a few Tumps near the coast.
Harvey was out of quarantine, so we picked him up and headed north towards Macduff with GordonC humming "oh I do like to be beside the seaside " - for the first of the Tumps - Hill of Foulzie in glorious weather - sunny, blue sky and a cooling sea breeze, what more could you ask for ?



Hill of Foulzie

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Parked up just past a new house ( unmarked on map ) at the end of the track to White Cottage..

Parkup for Foulzie.jpg
Parkup for Foulzie


Hopped over a gate into a field peppered with these little protective fences round a 20mm pipe sticking out of the ground.
Didn't look like the field had previously been a landfill or where gas may be seeping up - strange......

The fenced off pipes on Foulzie.JPG
The fenced odd pipes on Foulzie



At the top of the field we hopped over a BWF into the edge of a field of barley to gain access to the trig.

Up the barley field to the Foulzie Trig.jpg
Up the edge of the barley field to Foulzie



GordonC and H at the Foulzie Trig.jpg
GordonC and H at the Foulzie trig



Returned the same way.





Hill of Draidland


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Parked up in a generous space by a copse of trees on either side of the road.

Parkup for Draidland.jpg
Parkup for Draidland


GordonB and H on the way to Draidland.JPG
GordonB and H on the way round the field to Draidland


I'd noticed on GE that a track ran round the border of the field. Also a fairly recent comms mast was in situ at the top, ( unmarked on the map ) so we deemed an ancient railway sleeper fencepost at the back of the mast as the spot ht.

The auld wizend sleeper at the Draidland spot ( no  not Gordon C ).jpg
The auld wizen'd railway sleeper at Draidland spot ( No - not GordonC ! )


Retreated to the car.





Hill of Troup


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GordonC, whose local knowledge of the back roads of Aberdeenshire is legendary from his days of working with BT. guided us to Hill of Troup, near a new NATS station.

The gate into Troup.JPG
Parkup at the gate into Troup



Wandered through a gate into a field of deep grass ready for forage harvesting and described a loop in the area of the top of Troup, through a soggy bit in a micro-depression then back to the car.
I'm sure we walked round the highest point as there's a large area encompassed by the 210m contour.

Traipsing round Troup.JPG
Traipsing around Troup in the long grass








Maw Craigs ( Crovie )


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Parked up above Crovie and took the track to half way up Law hill then cut off round the top of the cliff following a track used by the fermer, who'd dumped his field debris at the end of it.


Parkup at Crovie.JPG
Parkup at Crovie


A young hielander on the way up Law Hill.jpg
A young hielander on the way up Law hill



Someone had taken a vehicle a little further through the gorse which was helpful. After that we followed an overgrown footpath near the edge of the fence.
Soon we spotted what we assume is Maw Craigs with a few gulls and a group of cormorants perched on it's ridge.

First glimpse of Maw Craigs - Crovie.jpg
First glimpse of Crovie Maw Craigs


The top bit was white with guano, but the possible route up the crest of the ridge. to the top looked nae bad.
It also looked like access to the stac could be gained from the shore on some "stepping stones". It was near low tide while we were there and the stones looked above water level.

stepping stones to Maw Craigs.jpg
The base of Crovie Maw Craig


We found a possible route down to sea level round the corner to the W of Maw where previously burned gorse had been grown through by yellow non-prickly weeds. We descended to a ledge and could visually plot a way to the bottom that looked reasonable.

The shallo gully down to Maw Craigs.jpg
Top of the shallow gully leading down to sea level


Bottom of the shallow gully down to the sea.jpg
Bottom of the shallow gully leading down to sea level


Peering over the edge at Crovie Maw.JPG
GordonB and H peering over the cliffs above Crovie Maw Craigs


An easier access would be by boat, but at £250/hr, ( Seacat from Macduff ) the cost looks prohibitive unless a full boat of 12 climbers was used. This would ameliorate the cost to £21/hr/p or approx £170 for the day per person. Should be able to do the two Maws together in a day. A few lobster boats were active while we recce'd. ( a possible less expensive option )

The Seacat viewing Crovie Maw.jpg
The Seacat doing its own recce from the sea ( top LH corner )



On the way back we did the tourist bit and walked around Crovie, including to the end of the pier. This gave H the opportunity for a cooling swim in the sea.
Noted the shutters firmly in place on the windows of the houses facing the sea.
Obviously a good precaution against a big sea from the Northern quarters, as the houses were only a few metres from the breakwater. Walked up the road, spurning the steep steps to the lower car park ( reserved for residents ) You can get access to the sea by car to launch a boat from the pebbly beach.( Steep braes though )

Looking towards Maw Craigs from Crovie.jpg
Looking along the coast to the east from Crovie


Aye theres still a few of these phone boxes around   Crovie.jpg
Ancient BT phone box at Crovie


Picturesque Crovie.JPG
Bonny wee neuk in Crovie


Strolling the pier at Crovie.jpg
Strolling the pier in Crovie


Crovie seafront.JPG
Crovie seafront






Maw Craig ( Pennan )


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Drove along to just past Pennan and up the track to East Mains where it became a walking path. We managed to park up at the end of the path ( which was in fact a grassy track ) and walked the rest, until we gained access to the field with the wind turbine beside Clinterty farm, through a gate.

Parkup for Pennan Maw Craig.jpg
Parkup for Pennan Maw Craig



The gate was locked with a chain mit shackle, which I unsuccessfully wrestled with for a few seconds, then climbed the gate while H squirmed under it. When I turned round, master locksmith GordonC had lifted the chain which was draped over a steel post, pushed the gate open and walked through with consummate ease ! "Simples".
A wee grassy floored gorge with gorse on its sides ran up behind Clinterty Farm barring our way, which we bypassed to the W, at its shallowest point, then through a couple of gates into the fields beyond.
Managed to cross to the trig avoiding the kye who were at the other end of the field and didn't see us until we were at the trig. Looked over the edge and saw 2 stacks - one attached to the shore and another detached by a small channel of water.

The Clinterty Trig above Maw Craig.JPG
The "Clinterty" trig above Pennan Maw Craig


First glimpse of   Pennan Maw Craig.jpg
First glimpse of the Pennan Maw Craig


Looking down on the Pennan Maw Craig.jpg
A view down to the Pennan Maw Craig


The highest one - attached to the shore - looked a tricky climbing problem, with loose rubbly rock all the way to the top of it's bonnet. Took a few pics from different angles to study the problem later.

Cliffs to the E of Pennan Maw Craig.jpg
Cliffs with a possible steep descent gully to the E of Pennan Maw Craig



Some really steep grassy gullys could give possible access ( Ice axe and crampons jobbie with a couple of stakes for belays ), but easier from the sea by boat.
Couldn't figure out which side of the bealach was easiest for access to the last bit.
Quite a few puffins were nesting on the grassy bits of the cliffs.






Northfield Law


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GordonC had left his walking pole at the Crovie car park, so we headed back to retrieve it.
Nae luck - gone - however his name and address is on the pole, so my faith in the human race says it will arrive in the post in a couple o weeks ! Could I be wrong ?
Nipped round to attack the Tump at Northfield on the way to the RSPB centre. Parked up at the farm, but could've continued to the RSPB car park about 100m further on.

Parkup  for Northfield at the farm..jpg
Parkup at Northfield farm


Went through the gate marked " Beware of the Bull" and called the fermer's bluff, but hugged the fence, just in case. Only saw some sheep. Hopped over an E+BWF into a field of barley then walked up tracks made by the crop-spraying tractor to the top. Retreated before the farmer or the bull appeared....

GordonC coming back down  from Northfield.jpg
GordonC coming back down the tractor track from Northfield







Hill of Fishrie

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This one was on the way home and a "drive by".

Drove up the track towards the comms mast, but it deteriorated markedly when the central reservation started to sprout gorse bushes and the grass cleaning of the underside of the car became a little to vigorous, so we stopped and walked the last 100m or so to the trig at the side of the track......

The underbrushing track to Fishrie.JPG
The "underbrushing "track to Fisherie



Walking back to our abandoned car on Fishrie.jpg
Walking back to our abandoned car on the track to Fisherie


GordonC at the trig of Fisherie.jpg
GordonC at the trig of Fisherie



Last one of the day.JPG
Last one of the day - Fisherie Trig



When we reversed back to the last farmhouuse, to turn around, I stopped to put my shoes on and give Harvey a drink before driving back. This lady appeared from the farmhouse to confirm that we were hillwalkers - which we confessed to.....
She explained that her hubby was concerned about the appearace of a strange car at the end of their drive.
Brave man sent his wife !
Lots of junk surrounding the farms in this area - an old Scammell truck was rotting near the track, laden with a load of heavy duty tyres.
The route home was shorter via Turrif on better roads than those we'd traversed on our way up in the morning.
Kept the windows open most of the way to give Harvey fresh cooling air, as the sun was still high.
Gordon Ballantyne
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 285
Munros:282   Corbetts:89
Grahams:20   Donalds:7
Sub 2000:59   
Joined: Jan 30, 2011
Location: Westhill, Aberdeenshire

Re: Maw Craigs recce

Postby Dave McG » Fri Jul 16, 2021 4:47 pm

interesting Gordon, have a tentative plan to try those two later next month when the birds should have gone. Your route for Maw Craigs is more or less what i'd decided on trying after looking at maps and aerial shots, good to have it confirmed by your photos. Maw Craig looks trickier but interested to see those tidal platforms which would shorten the swim.

A few of us were over on Lewis couple of weeks ago doing similiar stacs which required swimming across to, worked well with wetsuits and drybags. Having invested in the gear not so keen on shelling out for the boat trip!
Dave McG
 
Posts: 9
Munros:271   Corbetts:209
Grahams:193   Donalds:89
Sub 2000:196   Hewitts:70
Wainwrights:107   Islands:17
Joined: Aug 14, 2015

Re: Maw Craigs recce

Postby Gordon Ballantyne » Fri Jul 16, 2021 10:32 pm

Hi Dave,
Think you can get to Crovie Maw Craigs without swimming, but take a couple of wheelie bin liners just in case.
The Pennan one you'd would need get over the intervening ridge of Green Kaims which is between the poss descent gully to the E and Maw. ( its grassy where joined to land.)

Green Kaims to E of Maw.jpg
Green Kaims between Maw and poss descent gully to E


Poss route to Maw Craig.jpg


Cheers Gordon

PS. On second thoughts, Dave, it may be simpler to abseil down the grassy rib to the bealach behind Pennan Maw.
You've probably spotted that already.......

Cheers Gordon

Thanksfor putting me straight on that Dave - the triange appeared to be on the landed one. Need to get one of McNeish's Pack rafts......


Cheers Gordon.
Last edited by Gordon Ballantyne on Mon Jul 19, 2021 9:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Gordon Ballantyne
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 285
Munros:282   Corbetts:89
Grahams:20   Donalds:7
Sub 2000:59   
Joined: Jan 30, 2011
Location: Westhill, Aberdeenshire

Re: Maw Craigs recce

Postby Dave McG » Sat Jul 17, 2021 9:52 pm

Great photos Gordon, interesting bit of coastline. The tump at Pennan is the island, not the higher attached peak so if it's possible to get down to the east of the Green Kaims ridge (some photos I've seen elsewhere on the web suggest it should be) that would be the preferred way, then cross the ridge and approach from the beach at low tide. I'll just need to go and see I guess, cheers Dave
Dave McG
 
Posts: 9
Munros:271   Corbetts:209
Grahams:193   Donalds:89
Sub 2000:196   Hewitts:70
Wainwrights:107   Islands:17
Joined: Aug 14, 2015

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