A crisp Friday morn, to pick up Harvey and head up to Huntly behind a big draft malt carrier. Sun shining like a searchlight in my rear view mirror.
After a wee overshoot, we parked up at the end of the track into the fields up to Aswanley. We were just tooling up when the farmer drove down the road and very nicely asked us to park at the track entrance at the other end of the wood, as a digger was due to arrive any minute. Nae bother - reversed down to the other track and tucked in so that the track wasn't obstructed. The farmer had also just moved his kye out of the field that we planned to walk up, into an adjacent field - which accounted for all the distant moo-ing as we arrived.
Splashed up the soggy track into the field and up to the gate at the top side. Had a choice of fields to gain access to the wee wooded top beyond a BWF. Took the one with the shortest grass.......naturally !
At the top of the field, H decided to hop over the wooden fence into the next field - nearly knocking GC off the fence in mid hurdle, instead of the fence I was enticing him to jump by pulling the wire down to make it easier for him. Silly boy.....
3 jumps instead of 1 and a bad landing. Dawdled up through the wood to the wee plook top.
Returned the same way - getting back before the digger had arrived and cleared out along the road to Straitinnan
Spotted this track on GE continuing from the Drumduan Farm track.
Parking on the road was tight, especially if a low-loader with a digger on board was to be passing, so we drove up the track to parkup just beyond where some felling operations had been taking place - out of everyone's way.
Walked up the track, noting an even better parking place, where the track changes direction near the 325m top of Drumuan Moor. Trundled along the track to where we cut off across some ancient clearfell, through whispy grass and over a fence to find the mega wind vane near the top.
Speculated as to why it was there....thought the big hoose below had a telescope trained on it to ascertain which way the wind was blowing up here. Would've been easier to look up BBC, MWIS or Met office weather forecasts ! A great muckle heavy steel structure to hump up to the top o the hill !
Super views all around. Sun still shining, though the breeze chilled our wizened bodies.
On the way back we found an animal path that descended through the mature unfelled trees back to the track, then down to the car - where, as we approached it, we saw a 4x4 across the track beyond our parking place, blocking our exit route. We prepared ourselves for a bolloking for parking on a private track, but just as we arrived at our car, the farmer's 4x4 tailgate was being secured to retain the sheep inside that he'd just picked up from the flock in the field. Slowly the 4x4 disappeared down the track and we breathed a sigh of relief - having avoided an agricultural dressing down !
Quickly scuttled off to Brown Hill ( SW )
Brown Hill ( SW )
A choice of routes up this hill. Others had mentioned how tussocky it was up the Craigs of Succoth, so we chose the western approach..
Parked up at the entrance to an overgrown grassy track up to the track circumavigating the hill at about half height.
Gained this track without much effort, but puzzled by the mighty padlock & chain on the gate into the forest. Especially as the fence at the side wouldn't've kept any animal out - or Harvey for that matter!
Sauntered up the track until level with the 4th firebreak. Negotiated some thick heather to gain access to the no-too - distinct firebreak.
The trees had overgrown it mostly, which meant ease of ascent on an animal track free from vegetation.
Once exiting from the forest we encountered deep heather which required fairly vigorous and energy sapping moose-stepping to get to the wee cairn at the top. Fortunately, it wasn't very far........
We lounged on the top behind the cairn out of the "bracing" breeze - admiring the magnificent views.
Soon we raised our stiffened bodies and re-traced our steps back to the car.
A generous parking area beside two gates near the main A920.
Once more we were faced with a decision - Left or right tracks. We chose the left one because it had recently been upgraded and had no gate to negotiate. Coudn't figure out why it had been upgraded as it post-dated the trees by a significant amount compared to the sharp vehicle tracks on the ground. About half way along the track there was a very overgrown way up beside a fence, giving a possible shortcut to the top, but the young trees at the top looked ferocious above a thrutch through the long grass, so we declined the challenge and continued on the easier long route round the end of the hill and up on to the top.
Ploughed off the track on a subsidiary path through some broom to what we thought was the highest point.
Retreated back to the main track to complete our circumavigation of Market hill via some fields, a couple of fences and gates to get back to the car. Noted an isolated broom flower and wondered why it had chosen to sprout at this time.
Returned via Rhynie and Alford for a coffee at our favourite Bistro.
After the lashing rain of yesterday, a very pleasant, if cool day in the autumn sunshine.
GordonC took most of the photo's as my phone wouldn't speak to me for some reason and 2 out if 3 batteries for my backup camera were flat, after residing in my rucksack for about a year, so I conserved energy.......
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Warning Please note that hillwalking when there is snow lying requires an ice-axe, crampons and the knowledge, experience and skill to use them correctly. Summer routes may not be viable or appropriate in winter. See winter information on our skills and safety pages for more information.