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Mayar and Driesh at last

Mayar and Driesh at last

Postby Philwalker » Sat Oct 06, 2012 12:37 am

Date walked: 02/09/2012

Time taken: 5 hours

Distance: 13 km

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I had driven out to Glen Clova three times before, and the weather was always awful. I don't see the point of walking up a mountain if I am not going to see the views, and today, the clouds hung on the tops again. I decided to set off up Glen Doll anyway. If it lifted I would go up, if not, I would explore the forest tracks in the glen.
I followed the track that led up to the Corrie Fee Nature Reserve, and as I went up, so did the cloud.
Glen Doll ascent.jpg
The forest track to Corrie Fee

I reached the edge of the forest on a knoll with a stunning view of the corrie. The scent from the flowering heather enhanced the purple carpet beneath the towering cliffs of the corrie wall.
Corrie Fee.jpg
Corrie Fee

The path dropped to the river-side and followed it to the back wall where it then zig-zagged up past waterfalls to the top rim and onto some boggy ground where the cloud still hung.
Corrie Fee path.jpg
The path into Corrie Fee

Down to Corrie Fee.jpg
Corrie Fee from the top

I carried on, somewhat disappointed that I would not get those views I craved, and the cold and damp wind wasn't helping!
Mayar summit.jpg
Mayar summit

It was a relatively easy walk to the summit, but in these conditions I was reluctant to hang around, so took a bearing and headed off to the east and followed a path down to a grassy plain below that cloud. As I walked on, the sky began to brighten and Driesh came into view some distance ahead. Mayar still held the cloud, but I now had some views to enjoy, especially when I reached the path that came up the wonderfully named Shank of Drumfollow, where the Kilbo Glen stretched away to Glen Doll.
Shank Drumfollow path.jpg
The path up the Shank of Drumfollow

Looking back from here, I could now see that Mayar had finally lost its cloud cap.
Back to Mayar.jpg
Looking back to Mayar

I continued down to the narrowing col to start the ascent of Driesh - a bit of a slog at first, but the gradient soon eased as I made my way to the left of the hill to avoid the worst of the wind. I sat in the lee of some rocks to have a choc bar and enjoy that view before tackling the final ascent.
Kilbo Glen.jpg
The Kilbo Glen

The summit shelter was soon reached, and the sun came out for a fleeting moment as I gazed out at the distant views all the way to the North Sea and the Moray Firth. I could just pick out the summits of Mount Keen and the Lochnagar group in the northern quarter, but the western hills were still shrouded in cloud.
The normal descent route is to return to that Shank of Drumfollow path, but I decided to follow the northern spur and find a way down from there, thinking it would keep me high for longer and provide some good views of the glens on each side. That it did, but it took me a while to find a reasonable descent route through small outcrops and some amazingly boggy slopes - how can water sit on a 45 degree slope?
Glen Clova.jpg
Glen Clova from the northern spur descent

As I descended, a path began to appear to prove that others had also come this way. What's more, the sun was now shining and the wind had died.
Glen Doll.jpg
Glen Doll

I was soon dropping to the forest edge to join the track back to the car. Maybe not the best day I have had in the mountains, but a lot better than I had expected at the start.
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Re: Mayar and Driesh at last

Postby simon-b » Sat Oct 06, 2012 12:04 pm

A nice little round that one, Phil, I enjoyed your photos. I think a lot of people are pleasantly surprised when they climb these two, especailly if Corrie of Fee is included.
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