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Craiglee, an erratic day out.

Craiglee, an erratic day out.


Postby trekpete » Wed Sep 14, 2011 11:36 pm

Sub 2000' hills included on this walk: Craiglee (Galloway)

Date walked: 11/06/2011

Time taken: 8 hours

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Date: 11/6/11
Hills: Craiglee
Present: Just Me
Weather: Beautiful sunny day. Cool wind on summit.
Distance: 10mls approx
Height Ascended: 2014ft approx
Time taken: 8 1/2hrs. 5hrs walking, the rest loafing and exploring.


On my last outing on a couple of small local hills, I somehow managed to crock my knee and required a visit to the Doc’s. Soft tissue damage was the verdict and some anti inflammatory tablets for a couple of weeks :x . They seemed to do the trick and the knee was soon feeling ok again, so it was time to hit the hill. Not wanting to risk aggravating it, I thought a nice little hill in the Galloway Hills would be just the job for a easy day out.

Forecast was good for the morning but warned of some heavy, possibly thundery showers by the afternoon. Craiglee, standing at a mere 531m seemed ideal and should give a quickish trip and back to the car before the rain arrived. That was the plan anyway :lol: .

Left Irvine just after 6.15am and was a pleasant morning with little to no wind and sunshine as promised. A nice quiet drive up through Stration and over the hill road to Glentrool Village, I was getting booted up at Bruce’s Stone by 7.30am. A quick wander over to the Stone for a few photo’s as usuall, and a very warm welcome by the local midge clan. It was a perfect morning for them and they were out in force. Fleeing from the swarm, I was soon heading down the familiar track past Buchan.

Bruce’s Stone
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Bridge over the Buchan Burn.
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It’s always a nice walk along this track on a morning like this, listing to bird song and the burbling of waterfalls coming through the woodland :D .

Bridge over the Gairland Burn.
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Once you get to Glenhead and cross over the bridge the track starts to rise at an easy angle.
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This was a joy to be walking here today. No wind now and warm sunshine and as long as you kept moving, no midge’s.

Looking back West to Glen Trool.
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As you reach the top of the track you come across one of The 7 Stanes, The Giant Axe Head which overlooks Loch Dee. Info here http://www.7stanes.com/what-are-the-7stanes-c205.html

Axe Head and Craiglee.
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View towards Loch Dee.
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A short rest here, before backtracking about 150m to cross over a stile at NX449786 and head up NE towards Craiglee.

The Stile. Part of the Southern Upland Way.
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Once over the stile the SUW heads downhill, but I am heading NE over some pathless ground. It has been badly poached by the herd of cattle which inhabits the landscape here. Wet and boggy in places but easy to bypass the worst of it.

View back towards Curlwee and Lamachan Hill, my last walk down here.
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Glacial Erratic and The Merrick in the background.
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The way ahead and the ground is getting drier, thankfully.
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More erratic’s make a good viewing platform.
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You make your way up through a series of granite terraces and as height is achieved you get a great view across Loch Dee.

Loch Dee with Cairngarroch and Millfore behind.
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Looking back along one of the terraces to Curlywee and Lamachan Hill.
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The wind was picking up a bit now and it had a cool edge to it, so I had to put my Paramo shirt on to stay comfortable. Reached the summit about 10.30am thinking to myself I will be back at the car in no time now. Well, as you will see that was not the case.

Summit pose 8) .
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I found a nice big rock to hide behind for lunch. Well sheltered and warm in the sunshine, I spent longer than intended soaking up the rays :D .
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Taking in the views North. The Merrick, The Dungeons and The Rhinns of Kells.
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Zoom to Craignaw.
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Zoom to White Laggan Bothy.
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Zoom to Loch Trool.
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From the summit I could see that there was no sign of any imminent showers coming in from the west, though a couple could be seen developing further inland, but away to the S/E. Plans for a quick return were now pushed aside as I set out to explore the rather interesting terrain laid out in front of me :lol: . Headed N first before veering NW where a fine little Lochan is to be found.

Lochan.
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Just S of the lochan at NX458805 is a nicely balanced erratic.
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Gave it my best shot. Heck of a job to replace if it had rolled :lol: .
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What a place, the hillside is littered with erratic’s and small lochans which I spent far to long exploring, but what the heck, the sun was shining :D .

Another Lochan.
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Slowly making my way through the many nooks and crannies I reached Dow Loch.
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Zoom to Round Loch of Glenhead. The 2 spots at the island are fishermen, the only people I saw all day.
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Zoom to Long Loch of Glenhead and Loch Trool.
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Making my way round the Clints of the Buss and heading for Rig of the Jarkness(you have got to love the names around here) you start to pick up a faint path.

Looking W along Loch Narroch and Loch Valley to The Merrick.
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View over Round Loch of Glenhead & Long Loch of Glenhead to Curlywee & Lamachan Hill.
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I now made my way along the Rig of the Jarkness which was made easier by the path which now follows the broad ridge. Tee shirt was back on now as the temperature was on the way up.

Locking back over Loch Valley to The Dungeons and over to Craiglee.
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Zoom to Benyellary and The Merrick.
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A look back at Craiglee.
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From spot height 395 at NX437815 I descended N to the outfall of Loch Valley to pick up the path that leads down to Buchan.

Loch Valley.
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Rig of the Jarkness from Loch Valley.
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By now it was really warm so the shorts were on for the remainder of the walk out, which was a right boggy affair in places. I never realized how boggy it was as the only time I had been up this path was on a beautiful frosty morning some years back.

The Gairland Burn and path on the way down.
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The path dries out for a section as the burn drops down below.
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Last view of Lamachan hill.
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Loch Trool.
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Back down on the main path after coming through this gate.
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It’s just a 5min walk from here back to the car park and I met the first other people of the day, walkers coming down from The Merrick. Well, so much for my short walk to test the knee out. The day panned out much better than forecast and the walking was as good as anything anywhere as was the scenery. Craiglee is an amazing little hill to linger on and explore and wonder at what it looked like as the glaciers retreated. Go on, get yourself here and you will not be disappointed :D :D :D .

The knee was fine by the way and I ran into heavy rain showers on the way home.
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trekpete
 
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Re: Craiglee, an erratic day out.

Postby ChrisW » Thu Sep 15, 2011 1:44 am

Absolutely brilliant report TP, fantastic photo's as always - loved so many of them I can't pick a favourite. Taking the time to wander around there really paid off, glad to hear the knee hasn't suffered any adverse effects (though climbing on all those rocks is a bit dicey :lol: )

If I find myself in this area, I'm heading up here for sure :D
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Re: Craiglee, an erratic day out.

Postby malky_c » Thu Sep 15, 2011 9:16 am

Had to check back as I had a sense of Deja vu there :wink:

All the more pleasing to read as I'm hoping to get a day down here in November.
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Re: Craiglee, an erratic day out.

Postby kevsbald » Thu Sep 15, 2011 9:59 am

Nice walk.
I have yet to get down here but the circuit of Merrick, Mullwharchar and Craignaw look a very nice walk.

Excellent stuff.
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Re: Craiglee, an erratic day out.

Postby dogplodder » Thu Sep 15, 2011 1:13 pm

Enjoyed reading this and excellent photographs!
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