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The Merrick and Shalloch on Minnoch

The Merrick and Shalloch on Minnoch

Postby bootsandpaddles » Tue Mar 29, 2011 4:29 pm

Corbetts included on this walk: Merrick, Shalloch on Minnoch

Donalds included on this walk: Kirriereoch Hill, Merrick, Shalloch on Minnoch, Tarfessock

Date walked: 26/03/2011

Time taken: 8 hours

Distance: 25 km

Ascent: 1600m

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The weather forecast looked best for the Southern Uplands so Saturday morning saw me having an early start to pick Katie up in Glasgow. It was a great run down to Galloway especially along the coast with views of Ailsa Craig. Lots of lambs in the fields (aaaaah!). We parked at Bruce’s Stone in Glen Trool and set off up the well-signposted track to the Merrick.
01 Walk to the Merrick.JPG
This goes quite steeply up beside a burn and through the edge of a wood before reaching the bothy at Culsharg, alas now without doors and windows. There was a lot of forestry work going on but the way up the Merrick avoiding falling trees was clearly signposted. After a short section in the woods we were out on the open hill and working our way up Benyellary Hill. We were soon down to short sleeves – it was just like summer except that it wasn’t raining. :lol:
04 View of the Merrick.JPG

We then followed the rim of a huge corrie round to the top of the Merrick and stopped for a spot of lunch. Spectacular views out to sea
06 Ailsa Craig.JPG
and inland, with the lochs to the east a dazzling blue in the sun.
08 View from the Merrick.JPG
As it was still quite early we decided to continue to Shalloch on Minnoch although it did look a long way away.
The terrain changes quite dramatically and the going gets a lot rougher and rockier after the Merrick. Descending north down the Little Spear we dropped about 200m and then plodded up to the top of Kirriereoch Hill. The way down from there is steep and rocky but then it is a flattish walk amongst little lochans to Tarfessock Hill. At this point I suggested a contouring round the hill on its eastern side. Not a good idea. So we ended up scrambling up and over the top anyway with Katie muttering about “short cuts”! :evil: Then the last down and up before reaching the summit of Shalloch.
11 Shalloch.JPG

We (I?) didn’t fancy all the ups and downs back along the ridge so we descended at the first bealach and made our way across to Loch Enoch. I imagine this stretch could get rather boggy but it was OK if a little tussocky. After stating several times “We’ll be able to see the loch from the next rise” :roll: it finally came into view and we stopped for our tea break.
12 At last the Loch.JPG
The Merrick looks much more dramatic from the east so we felt it was well worth our low level trek. From the SW corner of Loch Enoch we went between rocky outcrops and then followed a burn down to the edge of a plantation. There seemed to be a bit of a path and we went along a firebreak til we reached another burn. We crossed and headed along another firebreak, initially in a westerly direction. Unfortunately this brought us out into the tree felling zone but by this time all the lumberjacks had packed it in for the day. We were soon retracing our steps past the bothy and down to the car park.

It wasn’t long before we had the tent up and the soup on. There was some excitement in the night when I heard an animal clearly trying to gain access to the carrier bag containing Katie’s lunch for the following day: she had left it out in the porch of the tent. :problem: At least in Scotland you can be sure it isn’t too large an animal but there were definite claw marks in the bag when we looked at it the following morning.

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Re: The Merrick and Shalloch on Minnoch

Postby ChrisW » Tue Mar 29, 2011 7:01 pm

WOW, looks a great walk and what fantastic weather you had for it, some stunning views :D
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Re: The Merrick and Shalloch on Minnoch

Postby LeithySuburbs » Wed Mar 30, 2011 8:20 pm

An area I am yet to properly explore but on my list :). Although not far as the crow flies, Glen Trool is a bit of a pain to get to from Edinburgh :? .

Anyway, looks like you had a cracking day and a good route - cheers :D .
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