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Some Sub 2000 updates and my epic fail on Crock

Some Sub 2000 updates and my epic fail on Crock

Postby Katrina89 » Sat Jan 01, 2022 7:40 pm

Sub 2000' hills included on this walk: Crock, Fourman Hill, Hare Cairn, Hill of Garvock, Hill of the Wangie, Turin Hill, Waughton Hill

Date walked: 11/08/2020

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Last year I challenged myself to do 100 hills within 11 months. This might seem little to some of you but since started a new job, moving house and dealing with knee trouble it has been more than enough for me! I managed my goal of 100 hills so I am well chuffed!

Most of the hills I have done this year have been fab! I have of course encountered the occasional rude stalker, farmer or fellow walker but most people have been absolutely wonderful and I have met some truly remarkable people!

I have been on of those people who have these last years kept a low profile on here, whilst reaping the benefits (thanks fellow subbers!) but thought that I would give a few updates on some of the less visited Subs so that others can benefit as well as admitting my epic fail on Crock and an update on the Turin Hill farmer. Please note I have not walked all these hill on the same day, but all were walked between August and December 2021.

a95 Selfie on Ben Gulabin.jpg
A top Ben Gulabin with Splash

THE STORY OF CROCK (HILL) AND HOW IT CAN GO HORRIBLY WRONG. Was in Glen Isla and fancied a short hill walk, looked around for a close by hill and decided on Crock. With not too much height to gain albeit some through forestry/clearfell it wasn't going to be too hard, I thought. I had heard Crock is a bastard to get to, a hill encircled in forestry/clearfell and very seldom visited for this very reason. I had in my defence come prepared. I have taken a recent liking to OS maps so had downloaded someone else's route on my phone, had looked at other people's walk reports on Walkhighlands as well as having the paper map in my bag. WHAT COULD GO WRONG?!? The going up over/round clearfell took ages with lots of weaving, careful stepping and occasional crawling. Was very happy to reach the forest border and only have heather to deal with! Here starts my first mistake! I forgot to mark where I had come up, I was half planning on taking a different route down through a longer forestry track but wanted to see how I got along. Reached the top, did the photo thingvy thing and realised I didn't have as much water as I thought I had. No worries I thought and decided to take a suggested route over the hill and to the south to save a lot of time. This route must have been plotted before GPS's where in operation as it took me to some damned dense Larch plantation which was impenetrable so back to the cairn I went with the view of going straight down east from the cairn as I had had enough of all this woodland bashing shite so decided to take the direct route down. Which took the straight line down which led me to steep ground, with 3 feet high clearfell drops due to the site topography and brash laid in a fine defence line the army would be proud of!, at this point Splash managed to stumble on some logs and gave a mighty yelp, decided that this was daft as if she can't get through, there is next to no chance I can! Traversed back up only to get my foot stuck! Wriggled and cursed and wriggled some more before doing some complicated leg move to free my leg. Got the hell out of there and climbed back up (again) to the bloody cairn! only to realise I had lost my phone!! went back towards the clearfell and did a small search but quickly realised that searching for a phone in clearfell would be akin to searching for a needle in a haystack. Decided to take the longer but safer route via the forestry track and down as I could remember this route in my head (yes I'm really sad, I know) so traversed to the other side of the hill to find there was no forestry track!! only 40 year old bloody tight knit conifers, walked back and forwards a bit to try and find the way I had gone down, traversed up and down some more but no chance in hell due to the terrain, no worries though, I had a paper map and compass! NOT! took map out to realise I had wrong map with me!! Was now nearing 8:30 pm and I had been on this bloody hill for nearly 5 hours (should have been a 3 hour max walk), I must admit that at this point I was getting a bit stressed, I have been in fog and snow storms before with no worries but having no map, no phone and most importantly no more water was stressful. I knew I had to be careful in making my way down as this is a rarely walked hill and I had not phone, and no one was due to check in with me in the next two days. After three attempts to get through the clearfell I managed to get myself down by following some newlyish planted conifers through tall grass and discarded tree trunks, the feeling of reaching the forestry track was a joy! a bit of a walk from there but couldn't have cared less! At this point Splash was catatonic with hunger (5 hours late!! how dare you mum!) and I had a headache from starting dehydration, sun burn, sore feet and was getting pretty hungry. Back home at 10pm and fell asleep nearly instantly (after picking 22 ticks of Splash and myself). Not a hill I will return to in a hurry!
b21 View to Crock.jpg
Crock hill from Hare cairn

Turin Hill Decided to walk up from West Mains of Turin Farm as I didn't fancy the electric fences. Parked away from the farm at a small parking area near a pond/small loch, then had to walk along the windy road for some time, which was an interesting challenge! For those who are not aware, The farmer at Turin hill is a bit of a GOML (get of my land) and has not been overly nice to people before.

Managed to get past the farm and out past farm building with nothing but some swallows for company. Got to nearly the foot of the ridge when I heard the sound, the sound of a quad bike piercing the buzzards flight calls. This is it! I thought! I am literally 100 m as the crow flies from the bloody trig point and now this bastard is going to shout at me to 'Get Of His Land'. Even worse I had brought Splash with me too albeit she was on a lead (for a change) to appease anyone and anybody. Stepped of the track to give him room to pass, and prayed he would leave me alone. I had several scenarios in my head of how to deal with him, all from speaking Norwegian to him and sounding like an unknowing foreigner, to boring him to death about hill forts and trig points in a manic fascination sort of way to simply being polite. He slowed down I gave him a half wave as a greeting which he returned with an icy cold state, BEFORE CONTINUING ON HIS WAY! I did it! I survived the grumpy farmer of Turin Hill!! Continued up to the top, alas the last 30 m was without Splash as there was an electric fence to negotiate and although I know she is forgiving I don't want to test it! Celebrated our success with a take away and a trip to the pet shop for Splash.

b18 Top of Turin Hill.jpg
Turin Hill

Hare Cairn After my incident on Crock, doing Hare Cairn (Crocks smaller sister) was the last thing I wanted to do! Owing to it's similarish topography and with the knowledge that the OS maps are not correct However, as I was on a challenge and also knew that if I want to do as many Subs as I can manage in a lifetime then Hare Cairn would need to be included, so I womanned up and put the boots up. Decided to follow a very old route from Backwater reservoir and was actually half anticipating having to use my walk as a reccie walk for this as I had little faith it would be possible to get up this way.
Walked along the west side of Backwater reservoir until I got to the north end of the reservoir where there was a path through the dense forest signed for Glenhead, this took me to sheep pasture and I was able to follow the deer fence to the ridge of the hill. Dithered around the deer fence trying to figure how to cross it with a 25kg Labrador in tow. Found a little dip in the fence but was seriously concerned my arse would get stuck and someone having to come look for me and having to encounter a hungry banshee with a swollen arse! Walked to the end of the deer fence where a sizeable hole can be found, ripped my waterproofs in the process but at least I got through. The walk to the trig point was then a dawdle, with a very old atv track to follow all the way to the tried. Great views too! Apart from to the west where that f****g Crock lies! In honesty a walk I would recommend to do for anyone in the area.

b20 Hole in fence towards Hare Cairn.jpg
Hole in fence Hare Cairn

b24 Top of Hare Cairn.jpg
Trigpoint Hare cairn

b23 View from Hare Cairn.jpg
View from Hare Cairn

b25 View down for Hare Cairn.jpg
Way down from Hare Cairn

Hill of Garvock walk done

I had visited the viewpoint at Laurencekirk this summer but due to cows in the fields (with calves) I wasn't able to bring Splash with me, she is great for waiting in the car but the weather was way to hot for having her in the car, decided to postpone this walk until the winter when the cows would (hopefully) be locked up or I could leave Splash safely in the car.

After several days of hill walking Splash was not for walking at all, and owing to a high locked gate I opted to leave her in the car.
c2 Splash tired in the car.jpg
Splash tired

The weather was fair but freezing and all the gates had ice on them, something which at some point would come back to haunt me!
Fairly enjoyed the VERY gradual ascent whilst keeping an eye out for rough cows (they were keeping to east side of the field) I got to my second gate climb, which were two gates within a meter of each other. The first gate was slightly angled but this worked in my favour and I got over quickly, managed the second one with no big hassle although I noticed it was quite slippery due to the frost.

The last gate was open so no big hassle there. got to the monument and the trig point within less than 10 minutes where I was looking forward to having a look inside the monument but alas the metal chain and hook to it had frozen solid and I was too short to reach it, so alas no chance of looking inside.

Started on the "way down" where I got over the first gate with no issues, then it was the slightly angled one.... Unfortunately now it was angled in a way which was not beneficial to me! I would have managed fine in different weather but the frozen surface of the gate was making it difficult, so in the end I had to climb over the barbed wire fence. Got back to the car without being mauled by cows, This hill is probably best done between November and February though to avoid the cows with calves.

c5 monument on Hill of Garvock.jpg
Monument on Hill of Garvock

Fourman Hill One of my last hills of the year, so done after storm Arwen, I opted for Fourman hill as opposed to Bennachie and Millstone Hill due to knowing about the storm damage at Storm Arwen.

Parked up at Fourman Cottage (end of the road) where there is parking for two or three cars. Started walking up the track but was quickly pushed back due to the extensive wind fall over the path to the top of Fourman Hill, courtesy of Storm Arwen. At this point I was 4 hills away from my target and I didn't want to back down due to some trees. Took the lower path until I reached a fence which according to my maps went directly to the top, kept walking alongside it on tussocky grass until I was thwarted by fallen trees again! At this point I was determined to reach the point so simply chucked Splash over the fence and heaved myself over, the heather was nearly knee height (for me at least) but we got there at last! re-joined the path and from there it was a short stroll to the trig point! Even managed to get a view of the beginning sunset before heading down.

c12 Sunset from Fourman hill.jpg
Sunset from Fourman Hill

c11 view from hillside of Fourman Hill.jpg
View from Fourman Hill

c13 trigpoint of Fourman Hill.jpg
Trig point Fourman Hill

Hill of the Wangie I had opted away this hill quite a few times due to the clearfell at the top, as I didn't fancy another Crock experience! However, being 3 hills short of my 100 hill goal and Hill of the Wangie being one of the few in the area I had not done I decided to simply go for it!

Found the forest track with no problem, where there was space to leave the car, without obstructing access etc. The walk up on the forest track was ok and easy. Got to the clearfell area which I was dreading due to weary knees and bad experiences, decided to take a chance on an old extraction track which took me to an old rusty fence which has seen better days. I couldn't spot the trig point in the clear fell due to the low lying sun so decided to walk towards it blindly, sacrificed the dogs coat on the fence to mark where I had come in from which was in this case not really needed as within two minutes I was at the trig point and goal reached! Retrieved the dogs coat and toddled back down to the car to warm up.

c20 trig point on Hill of the Wangie.jpg
Trig point Hill of the Wangie

c21 clearfell on Hill of the Wangie.jpg
Hill of the Wangie clearfell

Waughton Hill Was joined by the folks for this hill which was great! We drove up to what we though was an abandoned farm, parked up behind the barn and followed the path up to the White Horse of Mormond which although fascinating is in desperate need of some TLC, kept walking up the path until we reached the gravel track, went towards Hunters lodge before stomping up to the "top" managed to find the small pile of stones, whereupon my mother (who is not a regular hill walker) promptly comments "is THIS it?" Yes mum sadly no trig point on Waughton hill, but we did have a picnic to compensate it with!

After our picnic, we traversed back down again (folks prefer a short walk) only to find that the abandoned farm isn't abandoned after all! Oops :oops: :oops:

c33 White horse on Waughton hill.jpg
White horse of Mormond

c32 Waughton Hill picnic.jpg
Picnic Whaughton Hill

c30 Waughton hill selfie with people.jpg
Selfie Waughton Hill

I haven't decided on a challenge for 2022 yet, but if I do more obscure hills I will endavour to share more walk reports! I have gained so much from others posting on the site, that I want to give a bit back!
c5 monument on Hill of Garvock.jpg
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Re: Some Sub 2000 updates and my epic fail on Crock

Postby Sgurr » Sat Jan 01, 2022 8:23 pm

Ah Crock!!!! I thought it had got easier since we crawled up the drainage ditch through conifers, but obviously NOT. It has got harder. However, an excuse to post my picture of it YET AGAIN. Did you try FIND MY PHONE later?

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Re: Some Sub 2000 updates and my epic fail on Crock

Postby Robertgee » Sun Jan 02, 2022 1:00 am

Happy new year.
Brilliant trip reports there, glad you got back off Crock okay...a scary experience. :(
Good luck with the 100 subs.
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Re: Some Sub 2000 updates and my epic fail on Crock

Postby Katrina89 » Sun Jan 02, 2022 8:50 pm

Sgurr wrote:Ah Crock!!!! I thought it had got easier since we crawled up the drainage ditch through conifers, but obviously NOT. It has got harder. However, an excuse to post my picture of it YET AGAIN. Did you try FIND MY PHONE later?


Judging by your photo, Crock has not changed a bit! Although there is now some clearfell and new plant to add to the adventure!

Don’t have find my phone on my phone activated (not the most technically minded :lol: ) although that would have meant I would have had to go back up Crock! Which is not on the repeat list for the next decade! Funny enough I was due a free upgrade anyway, so managed to get a new phone the day after, although have lost all my photos :(
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Re: Some Sub 2000 updates and my epic fail on Crock

Postby Graeme D » Mon Jan 03, 2022 7:04 pm

Now that's not something you see on here every day - a single report featuring the dual delights of the bastard that is Crock and a walk through the farmyard at West Mains of Turin for a meeting with the ironically named Mr Jolly! :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: Hats off tae you for that one!!!!! :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:
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