Rain greeted us as we started off to pick up Harvey. However it was short-lived, as we drove west towards Alford and a land illuminated by the September sun.
Craig Watch and Craig Dorney
Parked up on the grass verge at the Brig o Ardgallie as advertised by Dave McG.
Took the track through an unlocked gate alongside a fairly deep ravine to where the the overgrown track cut off left.
It was a bit soggy too but the tree planting drills above us ran vertically up the hill and had been used by animals in a few places to gain access to the summit area. One was marked by a white stick, but we continued a little further along the overgrown track before striking up through the trees to emerge not far from the top. A bit of moose-stepping through the heather got us to the fence running over the summit.
We followed the fence along to the spot.
GordonC spotted a solar powered comms mast in Glenmarkie to the north. Speculated it was a repeater for the grouse shooters.
Returned the same route to the trees - more or less - to where we cut off the main track before it crossed the burn to follow a path skirting the trees on the E side of the Linn Burn to a fence and on the way, noted the parlous state if the footbridge across the burn marked on the map.
Followed the fence on the forest side until another fence forced us into the field on the S side. Followed the fence to the craggy top of Craig Dorney.
Took a shortcut from the top to the south, down through the field with the kye, who were huddled beside a feeder away to the W. Exited the field through a gate on to the road and walked along to the car.
Drove along to a generous track exit to park up.
Wandered up the track to where another track branched round the back of the wood. GordonC walked up the edge of the wood while I discovered a harvester track through the woods up to the crest of the ridge. The farmer had recently driven up the mapped track to gain access to another field. We "discovered" this track near the top which alleviated our trudge through the long grass.
Arrived at the top marked by a big dockey, a cairn and a wee outlying rise.
Topped off all three before descending. Decided to take another adventurous "short-cut" down and struck through the wood, over a BWF and down the lush grassy field to the gate on the path. On the way down we tracked towards a flag flying at the rear of of the buildings of Backside. On the way past, we noticed that the flag looked a bit like the royal standard, although the Fleur de lis looked out of place !
Queen might've been in residence wi Macron !
Hill of Dumeath
Drove along the road to park at the end of the track beside Chapel Burn at Dumeath,not far from Beldorney Castle.
Followed the track alongside the burn until we reached the track branching off to the NE. Followed this to a gate then Nw skirting the trees through a young broadleaf plantation, following a faint track prob created by the planters, to reach the fence running over the top.
A bit of short, but vigorous moose-stepping ensued until we reached the sanctury of some mown paths around the summit area.
Thought about another "adventure" straight down to meet the track further down, but resisted the moment and returned the way we'd come up.
Back at the car, we unfrocked and headed for the Alford Bistro for a welcome coffee - nectar !.
A sunny day but a wee breeze to keep the flies and midgies away.
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