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Overnighter in Galloway hills.

Overnighter in Galloway hills.


Postby FMCKIE » Tue Oct 20, 2009 3:46 pm

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

Date walked: 15/10/2009

Time taken: 13 hours

Distance: 13 km

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HILL : Craiglee, 531m.(Marilyn)

DATE : 16/17th October 2009.

WEATHER : Perfect.




The forecast was way too good to miss but I was at work till 3.30pm on Friday and it was my sons 1st birthday on the Saturday. The plan was to get to Galloway as fast as possible and catch the sunset then stay on the tops till dawn. I then had to make it home in time to cook a pastichio as my contribution to the party at 1pm.

The journey over was done as fast as possible and I arrived at the gate on the track to loch Dee where the van was parked and the mountain bike used to cycle the 6 km to Craiglee. The track was not as fast as I had hoped and undulated up and down all the way to White lagan bothy. A place I was last at several years ago and I noticed no smoke from chimney so guess no residents tonight.

Craigencalk carpark
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The plan was to cycle to the col between Glen Trool and Dargall lane and head up Craiglee but this is a 2km detour from a direct ascent at the end of loch Dee. With time lost on the cycle and the sunset already started I ditched the bike and headed straight over Dargall lane. Now I am no novice to the joys of Galloways off path terrain but this was as bad as anything I have had to endure before. Tussucks, waist high! I stumbled, fell, sunk, wrecked Leckis to the far side swearing I would never come here again. A race up the hillside to Craiglees SW ridge and I was there to witness some of the sunset. Made it.

Craiglee across loch Dee
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Dargall lane below.
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A couple of pics and I made the way up the hill past sound clint crag, a crag that has rock routes on but was not impressed (about 5m high) The summit was reached just as the light was going and a look about didn’t give a good camp spot. The tent I had with me was my North face expedition tent and has a door at each end. This allows me to pitch it in a east/west direction therefore able to watch the sunset out one door and the sunrise out the other in the morning . It sits up without guylines so a platform of flat granite under the trigpoint gave a good spot.

On the ridge with the last of the sunset.
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Trigpoint reached.
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Tent up and unpacked I made a brew and sat back to enjoy the view. Now Craiglee was a hill I left especially for a night like this, it sits on a fantastic spot and the trig point is a fantastic viewpoint looking off a crag down Glen Trool. To the East its the edge of the hills so a sunrise should be fully in view early in the morning. I had the job of collecting booze for the adults at the party next day so I pinched a couple of miller bottles as a treat on the hill.

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Brew on.
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It was soon becoming apparent this was going to be some night the stars were fantastic (Galloway forrest is trying to be Britains first dark park) and every so often a shooting star zipped across the sky. So many times this happened that I can recall only once previous seeing so many in one evening. I watched planes over in the east travelling back and forward and overhead small dots of satilites passed over. Across on Curleywee I thought someone was flashing their torch before realising it was a lighthouse just visable over the ridge. Down below in the upper reaches of glen trool there were lights probably someone camping and everywhere else was in darkness. Not a breath of wind was felt and the silence was a bit odd given the position. I had planned to take a picture of one of my candles on the trigpoint but got side tracked and forgot to.

Plough above the trgpoint.
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Now being out on your own at night in the middle of nowhere can make your mind run a bit it riot at times and here was one for me. I had just made another brew and sat back up at the trig admiring the view. Above I noticed Another satilite crossing but hello there was another just behind it. I hadn’t seen that before but hang on theres another the same distance on the opposite side. What the **** is that I said out loud. It formed a perfect triangle but was way big for its elevation. Now I would love to see a UFO but not here. Not on my tod in the middle of nowhere at night with only a tent on top of a hill. I actually got so concerned at its nearing that I went to the tent and put the light out! It then did a big wide turn before heading East to my relief but what the hell was it. Given a bit of thought it was probably 3 jets flying in formation at high altitude but at the time it did freak me out.

I had enough for one night and turned in as I would be up early for the sunrise. One thing I noticed was how bright the stars were that I could see them through the fabric in the tent once the lights went out.

The alarm went off at 5.30am and I opened the door to see the start of the sunrise and put a brew on. There was still no wind and it was surprisingly very mild considering such a clear night. There was no frost and it was a pleasant morning on top to hang about.

Breakfast on the go with a view.
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Its nice up here.
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Time stands still sometimes.
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Soon time to get moving or maybe another cuppa.
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It was time to head down the ridge and I noticed the mist in the glen would probably mean a big temperature difference down there. I was surprised how noticeable it was on hitting the cloud, like stepping into a walk in freezer. The ridge down to the col was by far more pleasant than the ascent route and soon I was on the bike back out to the van. What a night!

Nearing the temperature inversion.
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Curlywee.
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Leaving the glen fog.
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Back up to the col.
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Craiglee across loch Dee.
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Re: Overnighter in Galloway hills.

Postby kevsbald » Tue Oct 20, 2009 4:03 pm

All these overnight accounts make me want to get out there and do the same.
I'm going to practice for the bothy meet at end November and Tinto could be a good wee hill to practice on with all my gear as an overnighter. Splendid photos my man and isn't it funny how the mind plays tricks on you - the truth is out there!
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Re: Overnighter in Galloway hills.

Postby Gable Gable End » Tue Oct 20, 2009 4:16 pm

absolutely stunning.

what gear were you using for sleeping?
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Re: Overnighter in Galloway hills.

Postby FMCKIE » Tue Oct 20, 2009 5:26 pm

mon the mo wrote:absolutely stunning.

what gear were you using for sleeping?


Tesco lightweight down sleeping bag, 30 something quid. Did ok as it was pretty mild on top with the temperature inversion(No frost). I do have a heavier sleeping bag for the winter but I was going light for speed to make the sunset.
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Re: Overnighter in Galloway hills.

Postby Paul Webster » Tue Oct 20, 2009 7:54 pm

Fab report - love the shots with the glowing tent and lighting up the trig as well was a nice touch :D

I'm still ploughing away on the Marilyns - ETA later next month!


EDIT: I should say, getting them on the site for the filing of reports / map etc. - not expecting to climb them all by later next month :lol:
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Re: Overnighter in Galloway hills.

Postby robertian » Tue Oct 20, 2009 8:46 pm

Enjoyed reading the report and also the photos.

cheers
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Re: Overnighter in Galloway hills.

Postby MacAoidh » Tue Oct 20, 2009 10:59 pm

Another excellent report and pictures. Anyone seeing the glow from your tent from down below would think an alien spacecraft had landed on Craiglee. Well done Fraser for getting back home in time to prepare for wee Ruairidh’s birthday party.
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Re: Overnighter in Galloway hills.

Postby FMCKIE » Wed Oct 21, 2009 1:24 pm

Paul Webster wrote:Fab report - love the shots with the glowing tent and lighting up the trig as well was a nice touch :D

I'm still ploughing away on the Marilyns - ETA later next month!


EDIT: I should say, getting them on the site for the filing of reports / map etc. - not expecting to climb them all by later next month :lol:


Look forward to this. This site seems to go strength to strength.
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Re: Overnighter in Galloway hills.

Postby John Burgess » Wed Oct 21, 2009 9:52 pm

The Galloway Hills were where we went to get away from the Lakeland crowds. Blackburn of Bush was my first bothy :)
We had a fire going all evening - it wasn't until we opened the door to head upstairs that we found out that all the smoke ended up in the 'bedroom'. That night we were 'smoked kippers' if ever there were some :lol:

Thanks so much for bringing the memories back :)

Beautiful photos.

All the best,

John
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Re: Overnighter in Galloway hills.

Postby mountain coward » Thu Oct 22, 2009 5:11 am

Wow! I'm absolutely amazed at what people will do to get a night away from the missus!! :lol:
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Re: Overnighter in Galloway hills.

Postby Caberfeidh » Thu Oct 22, 2009 2:20 pm

John Burgess wrote:Blackburn of Bush


Backhill O'Bush ? I knew a man who had the deer shooting rights there, he had known the couple who lived in the house when it was a shepherd's cottage. The shepherd was not married so his sister came to keep house for him. In the mornings when he went out to the hill, she would go outside and shake the crumbs off the tablecloth for the hens. The shepherd who worked the hill behind Backhill O'Bush was often passing up on the hillside at the time, and he would wave his handkerchief back at her. In due course he had business with her brother the shepherd, and came to the cottage. When they met he introduced himself as the man who waved his hanky at her in the mornings, and eventually they were married. Who'd have thought you could meet your spouse in such an out of the way place? There used to be a song about the ceileidh which was thrown when they raised the roof-tree over Backhill O' Bush, about a hundred years ago.
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Re: Overnighter in Galloway hills.

Postby John Burgess » Thu Oct 22, 2009 4:33 pm

Caberfeidh wrote:
Backhill O'Bush ?


Indeed - silly me. Getting the name confused with Blackburn of Pattack :(
Thanks for the tale - it's a shame when you think how many anecdotes like that must have been lost down the years.
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