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Driesh and Mayar in wintery October

Driesh and Mayar in wintery October


Postby shish » Tue Oct 30, 2012 12:22 am

Route description: Mayar and Driesh, Glen Clova

Munros included on this walk: Driesh, Mayar

Date walked: 27/10/2012

Time taken: 4.75 hours

Distance: 14.5 km

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Hooray, a day in the hills! It's been a while since me and my pals have found a weekend to get away from family and stuff to get away for a walk.
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.
Enough blethering.
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.
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White Water and lovely woods
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.
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Corrie Fee

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!
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Moraine on the floor of Corrie Fee

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cliffs on the north side of Corrie Fee

Throughout the corrie, the grasses were ablaze.
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Grasses on fire with autumn colour
and every burn was decorated with ice.
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snow and ice
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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.
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looking back into Corrie Fee
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.
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North towards Lochnagar
. 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.
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The summit of Mayar
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.
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The shelter at the summit of Driesh
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.
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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!
shish
Walker
 
Posts: 27
Munros:43   Corbetts:2
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Sub 2000:4   Hewitts:9
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Re: Driesh and Mayar in wintery October

Postby iainwatson » Tue Oct 30, 2012 12:40 am

that sounds like a great walk!

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 :D
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iainwatson
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Re: Driesh and Mayar in wintery October

Postby shish » Tue Oct 30, 2012 10:56 am

I'd like to go back when I can see what's growing in Corrie Fee, but there are so many other places to go too!
shish
Walker
 
Posts: 27
Munros:43   Corbetts:2
Grahams:1   
Sub 2000:4   Hewitts:9
Wainwrights:7   
Joined: Sep 19, 2012

Re: Driesh and Mayar in wintery October

Postby monty » Tue Oct 30, 2012 11:10 am

Nice report shish. Never tire of seeing Corrie Fee. Love the snow and ice all around. Fantastic photos. :D

p.s. Glen Prosen is just West of Glen Cova
monty
 

Re: Driesh and Mayar in wintery October

Postby Rudolph » Tue Oct 30, 2012 8:17 pm

I'm very envious!

How did you find weather like that???
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Rudolph
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Re: Driesh and Mayar in wintery October

Postby shish » Tue Oct 30, 2012 8:45 pm

I told mrssanta I was going. Maybe she did it!
shish
Walker
 
Posts: 27
Munros:43   Corbetts:2
Grahams:1   
Sub 2000:4   Hewitts:9
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Joined: Sep 19, 2012

Re: Driesh and Mayar in wintery October

Postby Paula Hubens » Tue Oct 30, 2012 10:19 pm

Nice walk you had shish! Love your pictures. :D
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Re: Driesh and Mayar in wintery October

Postby mrssanta » Tue Oct 30, 2012 10:47 pm

wowee pure dead brilliant! me and rudolph are proper jealous.
I'm very pleased you got your walk after all.
I hope Mrs Johnson and Mr Nash realise how well they tought us! :D
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mrssanta
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