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The Awful Hand

The Awful Hand

Postby stewartinnes3 » Sun Sep 04, 2011 7:52 pm

Route description: The Merrick, from Loch Trool

Corbetts included on this walk: Merrick, Shalloch on Minnoch

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

Date walked: 06/02/2010

Time taken: 7 hours

Distance: 18 km

Ascent: 1057m

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Started this walk on a foul February morning, driving sleet and visilbility close to 0.
The walk necessitated the use of 2 cars due to it's linear nature which meant a pint or three at the end was not an option well earned though it would have been. :(

The climb from the Straiton road up the northern shoulder of Shalloch on Minnoch is best described as a slog with no path to speak of and deep heather mixed with boggy pools. Height is gained quickly and conditions underfoot improve once over 500m as is normal for the hills in this part of the world.

Unfortunately given conditions there were no views to speak of although the cloud cleared at the top and we could see down to Loch Doon and Dalmellington. This walk would be lovely on a nice day with views across to Kintyre, Ireland and all of Southwestern Scotland.

You follow the ridge form here across Tarfessock, then onwards past a small lochan to ascend the northern shoulder of Kirriereoch hill - avoiding the rocky parts that were covered in snow and ice. Visibility at this point was close to zero, and my brother informed me this was the first time he has tried to navigate with map & compass in these conditions :crazy:

From then onwards to the Merrick the days second Corbett, by the little spear - a rocky arete which was not wise :shock: considering no ice axe or crampons and the verglass on the rocks beneath our feet :lol: :lol:

Once at the top of the Merrick simply follow the legions of footprints left in the snow back over Benyellary down the tourist path to the car.

Here is a link to an excellent site for walking in the Galloway Hills for those who wish to explore this uninhabited corner of Scotland further. http://www.walkscotland.plus.com/intro/indexpages/gallo_index2.htm

All in all a good walk made harder by the conditions and one to save for a clear day

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Re: The Awful Hand

Postby Crib Goch » Wed Jul 27, 2016 9:19 pm

Very belated reply, but found your report very useful. Did this walk today, following your route. Very wet underfoot, intermittent views. Met nobody until Merrick summit, then lost count! Had wife as taxi, to enable linear walk. Six hours on the hill.
Crib Goch
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Location: Hexham

Re: The Awful Hand

Postby m3doc » Mon Jul 08, 2019 10:02 pm

Did this traverse in reverse but dropped directly down steep grass/boulder slope north of Kirriereoch summit to col.It is easier to follow boggy path off Cairnadloch to meet road after crossing burn at a passing place beside a solitary conifer. I had left my bike at the forestry track, now a log loading area for harvested southern end of the plantation, south of Stinchar Bridge. It is almost all downhill back 14 miles to Bruce's Stone car park in Glen Trool. 8 hours for traverse and 1 hour bike run
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