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Two Separate Donald Completions

Two Separate Donald Completions


Postby Sgurr » Mon Mar 27, 2023 5:54 pm

Corbetts included on this walk: Corserine

Donalds included on this walk: Corserine, Innerdownie, Tarmangie Hill

Date walked: 07/05/2018

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R'S COMPLETION

When?Friday April 27th 2018
Who? Sgurr and R.
Weather?Sunshine and high clouds
Distance? 9 miles Ascent?3257 feet
Map? 77
It was the usual depressing run up to the day itself as we watched the forecast for the 27th following our hotel booking descend from sunshine and cloud via high cloud to showers. But then, we woke up and they had re-jigged the forecast to what it had been when we booked. Something that seldom happens: a good omen?
We had climbed Corserine before in 2005 but had walked the other way from the summit . Equally we had climbed the hills further along the ridge but had been too tired to go further to Carlin’s Cairn after spending half the day wandering in clag. Besides, R. had read somewhere that the best views from any Donald could be had from Carlin’s Cairn so we wanted good weather, not just a tick on the list.
R. got out his old account and looked at the timing. “Two hours, ten minutes. Well THAT won’t be happening!” Not only had he still the dodgy knee, but I had somehow acquired a matching one which had just got worse by trying to walk it off ascending the East Lomond from the village and back via Maspie Den. Ibuprofen was required.
On the way to the Forest Lodge car park we saw a building with what looked like 60 or so cars parked outside: not hill walkers but clay pigeon shooters.
We parked and took the standard SMC Corbett book route along tracks to a fence in the forest.
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It was well sign-posted
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If this is a deer fence as the notices say, they must have pretty small deer around here.
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The only wild life we saw the entire day were a lizard, some pipits and a small speedy grey bird that could have been a Merlin (unless you count frogspawn.)
There was still some snow lingering, and at first we thought we could see people against it, but it turned out to be cracks in the snow itself.(zoomed)
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Looking back
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Later we followed the path up Polmaddy Gairy and thence to the summit.
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As Realsquiz said, we had slowed down considerably. It took us two hours fifty minutes to get to the summit. Naismith, who had panted behind us on our previous trip refused to acknowledge us, only turning when he was perched on Carlin’s Cairn a few minutes later to make rude gestures in our direction. By the time we got over there he and his plus fours had vanished.

Walking across to Corserine summit
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Summit (Corserine).
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It looked quite a task from here to drop down and then climb up again, but it was easier than it looked.
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Once up on Carlin’s Cairn, we could agree that the views were at least up to the best from a Donald. What a great day we had picked.
Pano from Corserine ImageP1160165

Presumably Carlin’s Cairn
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R approaching from Corserine
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South West
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Merrick et al
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The Merrick et al again
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Pano from near Carlin’s Cairn Summit
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North
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R reaches the summit
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We had a reasonable lunch on the summit, given that I had only left the sandwiches in the boot and all the bars, fruit, and Cup-a Soup in the hotel. R had put some coffees and biscuits into the car for our return, so we just took them. I found I had left a pack of blue-berries to keep cool in with the sandwiches, so we didn’t really miss out.

Looking across at the shelter we had passed on the way up, we saw what looked like a person arriving from below, and zooming proved it was. He hung around the shelter for a while. We couldn’t work out why he didn’t go further on. “Perhaps he’s climbed it previously and just wants a view?” said R “But surely, if he’s climbed it already, he must know the better views are further on?” Eventually we decided he was either a forestry worker who had come to view the condition of the trees from above, or someone whose other half had said “Be sure to get back in four hours.”
Zoomed to the greatest extent
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Summit views from Carlin’s Cairn
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We returned the same way,
Corserine from Carlin’s Cairn
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Merrick direction from Corserine
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Found a tiny pond with some frogspawn. Looking across to Carlin’s Cairn
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I had been so busy taking pics in the Merrick direction I had forgotten the north east


The shelter where we had seen the solitary walker
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Back to the snow
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Further down
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Rain was building up over near-by hills, but never came our way.
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Thank goodness we had the path, imaging stumbling through this choice set of Galloway tussocks without it
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I galloped back to the car hoping to get there before the ibuprofen wore off, and ten minutes later R strolled up.
We had noted that we needed to be back by eight, but couldn’t really believe anyone would contemplate telling the police unless we were far more overdue. They would just say “People bite off more than they can chew round here, tell me if it’s still here in the morning.”

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When we got back, I found I had an Editor’s Pick, from Weather Watchers…but then had to do some emailing, as I had forgotten to change my location, so I had imported the lovely Ken bridge, together with the equally lovely weather into my home town. Whoops.
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It was R last Donald, and I had forgotten to make him a cake, but we celebrated with PUDDING and a pint.

SGURR'S COMPLETION

What? Innerdownie Hill, White Wisp Hill, Tarmangie Hill, Scad Hill, Martha’s Knowe and Ben Shee.
When?May 7th 2018
Who? Sgurr and R.
Weather?Sunshine and light cloud, little wind, warm
Distance? 8 miles Ascent? 2280 feet(approx.)
Map? 58

We parked in the Forestry Commission car park in Glen Devon. Here the SMC guide tells you to “follow the signed track”…but there are two. We took this one (below), but it turned out that it wouldn’t have mattered, as the other led the same way
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Walked up through the pines

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We could just catch sight of the reservoir below
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As we walked up the broad track, we were overtaken by a very speedy woman who told us that she was new to hill-walking “People tell me I walk too fast.” She had just joined a walking club and was thinking of doing her first Munro “ Not Ben Lomond, not Ben Chonzie, “Ben Vorlich?” “Yes that’s the one.” I couldn’t believe she was old enough to have a 21 year old daughter, and then it transpired that she had an even older son. She had copied out instructions from Walkhighlands, but although she had a Username “Dancing Queen”, she hadn’t yet posted anything. She sped off ahead.
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Plod, plod, plod.
We found the path up through the pines, looking back
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Ahead, the fire break, though the pines have grown so much it looks as if a fire could leap from one side to the other quite easily.
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At the top, we emerged onto the hillside near the wall,

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We followed the wall upwards.
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After a while, we overtook someone walking on the rough side of the wall and fence. Dancing Queen had been misled by her instructions and had climbed a stile too soon, into the forest. But with skills that bode well for her hill walking future had realised she had gone wrong and extricated herself. With a second good-bye, she was off. Like me, she had waited until the kids had left home to start walking, and like me, got lost on her first solo walk. Good luck to her.

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Looking back, R climbing up
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We had climbed Innerdownie on an afternoon two years before, so this was the second time we had sat at the cairn for a drink and a cereal bar.
Amazingly enough we had equalled Naismith’s formula up to here. What a difference not wandering on trackless Marilyns makes.

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It was still very hazy.
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We started towards White Wisp Hill. “You know that Stevenson quote?” said R “ ‘To travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive’ . Well, I don’t agree. I LIKE arriving. I think, as far as I’m concerned anyway, he’s got it all wrong. Getting to the summit is GOOD! And now we can afford the occasional hotel, arriving at hotels is good too. That hot bath yesterday was just lovely, and isn’t it great to have someone cook dinner for you and clear up after? It would have been horrible just carrying on.”
I tried to make a case for arrival sometimes being a disappointment, that while you were travelling you didn’t know that the inn would be rat infested and the food off, but R was having none of it. We didn’t go into the deeper meaning .

Set off for White Wisp hill on the left, Tarmangie is on the right.
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We walked along a wall and then up beside a deer fence
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A runner overtook us, and then paused for breath at the stile before White Wisp. He was a local from Rumbling Bridge and often ran these hills in one or other combination. Rumbling Bridge, we had heard of someone from there? Who? Rummaging in the backs of our memories we realised it was the formidable solo Marilyn Bagger, Dorothy Wilson, whom we had briefly met on her final or penultimate Graham while we were still Munro bagging. Yes, he knew her, at least by repute. Later, I realised I had cleared books from the house of Prof. Jefferes, the Yeats expert, before he had moved to Fife.
I wasn’t entirely sure that the summit of White Wisp was at the cairn, and took out the GPS to check. (On the cairn…which, incidentally is the summit)

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The visibility was improving tremendously, and the sun seemed to have decided to stay out.

Towards Tarmangie
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We walked across towards Tarmangie. Bank Holiday Monday must have been responsible for populating these hills, as we usually see nobody, or like R’s completion, just a mystery man in silhouette. (Below, the view from Carlin’s Cairn last week)
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Here another woman was walking towards us. When we met, she said “Goodness, you ARE doing well!” There was a slight tone of “Whoever let YOU out,” about it, though I could be mistaken. But it encouraged me into full bragging mode “We’re only 79, and we’ve been hill walking for years, so I don’t see why we should stop.” “Jings!” she said, “Seventy nine!” I then felt guilty, because I lied, I’m not seventy nine for another few days. It turned out that she was training for a Three Peaks fund raiser in July. A friend, one of three sisters is the wife of Doddy Weir, who has been diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease.

Each sister is bringing along two friends and they will make the attempt to do Snowdon, Scafell Pike and Ben Nevis in 48 hours. She was invited partly because she has the experience of having done it before, in her twenties with a team of medics in 24 hours. Their training regime is leading to massive weight loss between them, 10 stone so far they reckon.
We parted company and set off again for Tarmangie Hill.

Transferred through a gate to the more direct path
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Is this the summit?
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R arriving at “not the summit”

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There was another cairn further on, but even this didn’t really look as if it was.
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I needed to get my GPS out and see if it was the higher ground near the wall. From here we could see a rather hazy Forth
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Disaster! I turned out my rucksack, and the GPS wasn’t there. I could visualise it quite clearly sitting on the cairn of White Wisp Hill. Would we be forced to go back the same way? Maybe I could go across and fetch it and then we could continue the way that we meant? Then we saw someone coming across to Tarmangie. Maybe they had brought the GPS? “Why would you bring it?” said R. “You wouldn’t know who had left it there, you’d leave it so they could find it themselves.” Then we recognised who it was …the fundraiser. She was waving at us with something in her hand: the GPS! I rushed over and hugged her. R took a photo of me at the summit of my last Donald.

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She took a picture of us both. (Wind is blowing R’s sunhat off)
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How did she know the GPS was ours? “I just thought ‘They’re old, they’ll have gadgets’. ” She took out her own gadget, her smart phone and took a selfie of the three of us together.

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Now she has emailed it to us, I know her name is Michele. R took out his wallet and made the first donation (we hope of very many) to the fundraiser. It will eventually emerge on Just Giving. There goes Michele, back towards White Wisp Hill again.
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View north west from summit
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We lolled around on the summit and for once I didn’t nag R to get up and get going again. What was all the hurry? A guy strolled over from the cairn, and we told him the story of the GPS, but he had heard it already from Michele.
I asked him if he was a bagger or a wanderer “I’m a flaneur,”* he said. He doesn’t bother with maps and compasses but just downloads routes from Walkhighlands. “There’s a red route, and I’m a blue dot on it.”
You may be able to see him on the photo below, a tiny blue dot following a red route.
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Another group had arrived and were having a picnic the other side of the wall. We had to tell them too how kind Michele had been. “Good to know there’s still some honest people in the world…not like in our line of work.”
“Are you policemen?” “Naw.” “Bankers then?” “NAW.” “Are you politicians?” “Naw, we’re in the prison service,” then gesturing to a young lad with them with great guffaws, “And he’s on day release.” From the look on his face I guessed that was a joke that had been told once too often.

After that we were overtaken by two ex hill runners. “Had to stop, got more than forty injuries between us,” as they disappeared over the wall.
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We dipped down towards the glen in the footsteps of the flaneur,
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Walked along the ridge: there were wind turbines behind us, and turbines ahead.
The large rock on Scad Hill 586 m. Neither of us felt like scrambling up today
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Mountain bikes seem to cause much deeper erosion than pedestrians
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Glensherup reservoir. Seems a long way away, and we have yet to cross the end
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Glen Devon reservoir
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We climbed Ben Shee (516 m)
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Pano south from the summit
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Pano north from the summit> I don’t know what has happened on the left…too much sun, I suspect
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Looking over to Ben Vorlich and Stuc a Chroin…next stop for Dancing Queen.
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All along the ridge the map indicates forest, but here there are nothing more than sickly looking young deciduous trees poking out of plastic tubes in the ground, but they are healthy enough, and lower down even bursting into leaf. It will be a great improvement when they all grow
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Down towards the glen.
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Turbines zoomed: an attempt at a Weather Watcher picture
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Towards the glen floor R began to suffer from de hydration, and had to have the last of the water with some rehydrating salts to restore his balance. Much like this poor cockerel, who was either drunk, or whose feet hurt so much he could barely bear to let them touch the ground.
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We crossed the dam,
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Then climbed back to the track homewards.
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At last, back to the sign post we had passed on the way out
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Here we met a gentleman with a lively dog, with whom we compared memories of Glen Etive. His school used to have a bothy near it where they would suspend canoes from the rafters. We told him about our stay in a shared cottage where his hero, John Buchan had signed the visitors’ book as it belonged to his publishers, the Nelsons. Before knowing about Munros, R and T had climbed Taynuilt peak. It was the year of the first men on the moon and , as the cottage had no TV, scientist T had hung around to waylay the landlord and discuss it on all possible occasions, until they cracked and invited us to watch it. The gentleman remembered climbing Ben Starav with his school, a hill I had climbed for my 60th birthday.
We walked in with a couple whose male half at least could be classed more as mountaineer than hill walker. He was sad to see the snows go since he would make for the north and climb with ice axe and ropes on the Ben with his two fire fighter friends “They’re good at all the rope work and such.”
Needless to say, we did not finish the walk in Naismith time, something I blamed on R’s taking so long over lunch, and he blamed on me yattering with everyone we met.
At the end of the walk, my knee wasn’t so bad, and I was cheered by a new theory I developed. This winter has been so miserable that I have been wearing my black walking trousers inside, with matching black shoes. I entirely forgot to transfer my orthopaedic insoles to them, so my trouble may just be a recurrence of what I had before the podiatrist solved it. The boots have their own insoles and aren’t as painful. Hooray. I have found a messed up, but still legible copy of the knee exercises she gave me then at the back of my sock drawer.

Below, a few of the arrivals. However, journeying hopefully isn’t off the cards.

NB the weather on the day was much better than forecast.
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Below, 2003 on Beinn Chaolais should read 2013

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* A man who saunters around observing society. OED
Last edited by Sgurr on Tue Mar 28, 2023 6:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
Sgurr
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 5693
Munros:282   Corbetts:222
Fionas:219   Donalds:89+52
Sub 2000:569   Hewitts:172
Wainwrights:214   Islands:58
Joined: Nov 15, 2010
Location: Fife

Re: Two Separate Donald Completions

Postby rockhopper » Mon Mar 27, 2023 9:48 pm

Well done both of you :clap:
....and just to show that I do read them, think you said that "R's Beinn a' Chaolais in his completion montage should read 2013 not 2003" :wink:
User avatar
rockhopper
 
Posts: 7478
Munros:282   Corbetts:222
Fionas:139   Donalds:89+20
Sub 2000:16   Hewitts:2
Wainwrights:3   Islands:20
Joined: Jun 1, 2009
Location: Glasgow

Re: Two Separate Donald Completions

Postby Sgurr » Tue Mar 28, 2023 10:59 am

rockhopper wrote:Well done both of you :clap:
....and just to show that I do read them, think you said that "R's Beinn a' Chaolais in his completion montage should read 2013 not 2003" :wink:

Absolutely correct Rockhopper.Will put a note yo that effect.
User avatar
Sgurr
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 5693
Munros:282   Corbetts:222
Fionas:219   Donalds:89+52
Sub 2000:569   Hewitts:172
Wainwrights:214   Islands:58
Joined: Nov 15, 2010
Location: Fife

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