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Blowing the cobwebs away on Tillymorgan

Blowing the cobwebs away on Tillymorgan


Postby heatheronthehills » Tue Jan 01, 2013 4:56 pm

Sub 2000' hills included on this walk: Hill of Tillymorgan

Date walked: 01/01/2013

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Our original plan for New Years Day had been to climb Derry Cairngorm, but the MWIS forecast was saying blizzards, gusting winds up to 55mph and whiteouts...and that just wasn't too appealing, especially as the North East was forecast to have wall to wall sunshine!

However, after the excesses of the past week we needed to blow the festive cobwebs away, and decided that our local hill (Bennachie) would probably be really busy, so we opted for a little stroll up the Hill of Tillymorgan, near Colpy, about a 15 minute drive from where we live. The sun was bright and the wind chill as we set off.

I hadn't read the official WH route (oops!) so we started the walk a little further along the road, parking up in a nearby layby and walking up a wide forest track for the first part of the route.
Car parked in layby.jpg
Parking for a couple of cars in the layby

Wide o.jpg
Wide forest track


The low winter sun was providing a stunning backdrop of colours and textures and we could see right to the coast in the North and back to Bennachie to the South.

The ground was hard with the overnight frost creating crunchy conditions underfoot. It's a delightful walk which takes you up through young woodland, and then through much older larch forest, some of the trees draped in thick lichens, showing the clarity of the air in this area.
Lichen covered tree.jpg
Lichen covered tree


The track continued through the older forest, still a wide well made track. Bennachie dominated the horizon behind us.
Wide track bennachie behind.jpg
Wide track showing Bennachie to the South


A short walk further on and you go through an area of much younger woodland, providing views ahead to the slate clad slopes. There were once slate quarries on this hill, and more information on these and the slate crofters can be found in Robert Smiths book 'Land of the Lost'.
Younger forest.jpg
Younger forest

Remnants of slate quarry workings.jpg
Remnants of slate quarry workings

Shelter for quarry workers.jpg
Shelter for quarry workers


Past the quarries there is a low level fence, topped with barbed wire. We found a handy plastic bucket which was strategically placed to help us over!
A quick hop over the fence.jpg
A quick hop over the fence


A wonderful windswept golden landscape took us the last short walk to the summit, where we were almost blown over by the gusts! Views across the whole of the North East were our reward for this short walk, plus sadly the sight of ever increasing numbers of windfarms :(
Windblown landscape towards summit.jpg
Windblown landscape as we approached summit

Big North East skies.jpg
Big North East skies

North East landscape.jpg
North East Landscape

Windfarms.jpg
Windfarms


We had to hold onto the trig, the wind was so strong!
Summit trig.jpg
Holding onto the trig


We finally left this windy spot and headed back towards the slate quarries for a cuppa. A rain shower passed over Bennachie providing an atmospheric panorama for our descent.
Rainshower over Bennachie.jpg
Rainshower over Bennachie


The hill may not have been quite as impressive as Derry Cairngorm, but I think we probably made a good decision as we could see the Cairngorms were shrouded in low cloud. We'll hopefully head out to the munros again next week, weather permitting!
Last edited by heatheronthehills on Wed Jan 02, 2013 10:08 am, edited 1 time in total.
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heatheronthehills
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Re: Blowing the cobwebs away on Tillymorgan

Postby The Rodmiester » Tue Jan 01, 2013 5:34 pm

I have never heard of Tillymorgan or Colpy, I must brush up on my Geography :) It looks like a fine wee leg stretch, as you say the Cairngorms would have been a bit of a battle with the wind. It was pretty cold where I was as well, I had to keep moving. Congratulations on your first hill of the year, pity about the wind farms spoiling your views. Lets hope the dry weather continues for bit to allow for more adventures on the hills, and soon.
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Re: Blowing the cobwebs away on Tillymorgan

Postby Gordie12 » Tue Jan 01, 2013 5:42 pm

Family stuff stopped me getting out today, frustrating as probably the best weather we have had for some time.

Good to see some people were on the hills and this looks like a good little wander!!
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Re: Blowing the cobwebs away on Tillymorgan

Postby morag1 » Wed Jan 02, 2013 4:05 pm

A really nice start to the year Heather, must try to do this hill sometime I'm visiting family.

Happy new Year to you and your husband, hope he manages to compleat the Munros 8)
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Re: Blowing the cobwebs away on Tillymorgan

Postby Ian Johnston » Wed Jan 02, 2013 5:59 pm

Hi Heather,
Super images, and what a great looking hill. There are just so many hidden gems in this corner of the country!

Kind regards

Ian
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Re: Blowing the cobwebs away on Tillymorgan

Postby heatheronthehills » Wed Jan 02, 2013 6:20 pm

morag1 wrote:A really nice start to the year Heather, must try to do this hill sometime I'm visiting family.

Happy new Year to you and your husband, hope he manages to compleat the Munros 8)


Thanks Morag, Happy New Year to you too :) It's only taken him about 30 years to get to this point :wink:
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Re: Blowing the cobwebs away on Tillymorgan

Postby heatheronthehills » Wed Jan 02, 2013 6:22 pm

Ian Johnston wrote:Hi Heather,
Super images, and what a great looking hill. There are just so many hidden gems in this corner of the country!

Kind regards

Ian


Thanks Ian, it was a great wee hill. I know what you mean about the hidden gems. There is just so much to do around here and with the weather being kind on the East and bad on the West we're going to stay here rather than head for the 'big' hills

Happy New Year to you :)
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Re: Blowing the cobwebs away on Tillymorgan

Postby wilkiemurray » Wed Jan 02, 2013 6:59 pm

nice report and enjoyed the pictures - looks like you picked a nice quiet hill for your walk (unlike me!!)

I have also made a lot of last minute decisions on where to go this winter as the weather has been a bit fickle - good results whejn you get the decision correct though - good stuff :clap: :clap: :clap:
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Re: Blowing the cobwebs away on Tillymorgan

Postby RicKamila » Wed Jan 02, 2013 7:02 pm

Ooh, me likes. Think I might head there sooner rather than later. Never heard of this hill before
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