Driesh and Mayar in wintery October
by shish » Tue Oct 30, 2012 12:22 am
Route description: Mayar and Driesh, Glen Clova
Date walked: 27/10/2012
Time taken: 4.75 hours
Distance: 14.5 km3 people think this report is great. Register or Login free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).
We had planned to do the Ring of Steall, but daylight hours and other things made us opt for a shorter walk and since none of us knew this area we went for the beautiful Glen Clova and beyond.
Then the weather forecast was terrible, high winds and freezing temperatures, and we nearly put the whole thing off and walked more locally in the Borders. Then the weather forecast updated on Friday and we decided we had to give it a go or our chance would be gone.
So we left the Borders and got on our way.
There were a few flurries of snow as we got further north on the M90, but we kept positive, then as we passed Kirriemuir, the snow began to cover the road and the car thermometer went to 0. We then met some cones in the middle of the road, in the middle distance a tractor, and just beyond that a breakdown lorry with a tow out to a car just round the corner, actually just a bit too far round the corner. It had gone way too far round the corner and right off the road. A moment further on along the road and it would have been through a bridge parapet and into the river below.
We were getting a bit worried about our walk but soldiered on through the (drifting) snow up Glen Clova at a maximum speed of about 20mph.
After a deep sleep at the very comfy bunkhouse at the Glen Clova Hotel we were greeted in the morning by clear skies and crispy snow on the ground. Thermaled up, we set off early (for us) and left the car park by about 9.45am. Walking through forests can be a bit dull, but this one has well mixed areas beside the tracks and the larch trees and deciduous trees were shedding, letting us see up to the hills, and the colours, they are amazing this autumn! All those russets and yellows contrasting with the heavy bluey green of the evergreens and all covered with a dusting of snow. We walked beside the White Water and passed the start of Jock's Road (that looks interesting) before crossing a wooden bridge and heading up the Fee Burn towards Corrie Fee.
We were looking forward to seeing Corrie Fee, but photos do not prepare you for the majesty of this place. As you climb up the steps and come out of the trees at the edge of Corrie Fee it opens up in front of you and it is stunning.
Thank you Mrs Johnson and Mr Nash for enthusing me about glacial features. (My geography teachers nearly 30 years ago.)They're on show all over this place!
Throughout the corrie, the grasses were ablaze. and every burn was decorated with ice.
We'd been told to look out for eagles but no luck in the corrie.
The path climbed steeply out of the corrie and parts were covered in a thick layer of ice, but it was easily skirted around. Then gradually, as the steepness eased off the view opened up to the north towards Lochnagar, looking very wintery and distant in a cloak of snow. . The frost was welcome as it had been very churned up with mud here but it didn't bother us because it was pretty firm with ice.
The summit of Mayar is marked by a small cairn but we stopped only long enough to take a couple of photos then continued to the east towards Driesh. We had thought that if the going was too slippery or the wind too cold on the top we would have the option of going down off the top of the hill at Corrie Kilbo, but we were enjoying ourselves far too much to cop out at this stage. It was pretty perishing at the top but we walked fast and did a lot of armwork to keep warm and before long we were on top of Driesh where we met the happy plumbers of Arbroath in the very welcome shelter. We snuggled in beside them in the shelter and the flask of coffee came out. The hardy Arbroath plumbers had camped the freezing night before in Glen Prosen (is that right?) and shortly headed away to the Southeast via the Hill of Strone and Cairn Inks to come off the hill directly opposite the Glen Clova Hotel.
Our party headed back the way we had come, to the head of Corrie Kilbo and set off diagonally across the side down towards the beautiful forests again.
It was here, near the end of the walk, when two Golden Eagles appeared and hung in the air above us for what seemed like ages. The best birdy moments are the ones when you think you've missed your chance and then it happens and it was one of those moments. I had even remembered to put my binoculars in my bag, and so had my friend, so we had a pair each! Unbelievable!
We'd been led to believe that this walk was going to be a bit dull, but it couldn't have been a better day. It was just a shame we had to get back to the Borders that afternoon and not sit in the Glen Clova Hotel bar for a wee while longer!
by iainwatson » Tue Oct 30, 2012 12:40 am
Corrie Fee is stunning and i agree its difficult to prepare yourself for the moment you step out of the forest and see what is there-gorgeous!
looks really nice with a dusting of snow,,would love to see it in 2-3ft of snow
by shish » Tue Oct 30, 2012 10:56 am
p.s. Glen Prosen is just West of Glen Cova
by Rudolph » Tue Oct 30, 2012 8:17 pm
How did you find weather like that???
by shish » Tue Oct 30, 2012 8:45 pm
by Paula Hubens » Tue Oct 30, 2012 10:19 pm
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- Joined: May 23, 2011
by mrssanta » Tue Oct 30, 2012 10:47 pm
I'm very pleased you got your walk after all.
I hope Mrs Johnson and Mr Nash realise how well they tought us!