Corserine - and Rhinns of Kells apparently
by old danensian » Fri Jan 11, 2013 4:32 pm
Route description: Corserine and the Rhinns of Kells, Forrest Lodge
Corbetts included on this walk: Corserine
Donalds included on this walk: Corserine
Date walked: 09/01/2013
Time taken: 5 hours
Distance: 17.5 km
Ascent: 980m3 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).
MWIS suggested that the Galloway hills ought to be promising for Wednesday: as the grey streaks gradually dissolved from the morning sky I thought they could be right. The car temperature gauge said it was dropping below zero and a few wisps of cloud still clung to the trees as I approached the Forrest Estate with Corserine in my sights. I’ve just got to get to grips with these Corbetts.
With the recent weather I hoped that the lengthy forest track would spit me out high on the hillside above, missing out most of the inevitable quagmire that I assumed would be lurking somewhere.
Following the “hillwalkers and stile” signs I wasn’t disappointed. Height and distance had been gained, and the path spat me out with dry feet.
The choice then was between heading north west to Craigrine or south west to the ridge of North Gairy Top. Both held the prospect of boggy patches before any potentially drier walking as the hillsides steepened. The latter option won as, having summated The Merrick in thick mist last November, I wanted to enjoy the wider views as soon as possible.
Skeins of mist kept drifting past as I gained height, adding character to the atmosphere and scene. However, as they became more frequent and the glimpses of blue sky above more infrequent, I suspected that I was going to be denied again.
Of more immediate concern was the need to find the trig point on the summit plateau: a bank of mist seemed to be stationary across the plateau. By following a track on the rim of the steep slope to my right I expected to find a track heading west that would lead directly to the top. When ground began to fall away ahead I knew that I should have been a touch more involved in the process of navigation than simply following my nose.
When the even steeper drop of Polmaddy Gairy appeared, route finding to the top became more straightforward: but still with no view.
So, having looked forward to views across to The Merrick, over the Solway Firth and to the Lakeland tops beyond, I just made do with the briefest of stops. With no clearly defined track visible toward the Rhinns of Kells, there was a bit of navigation to be done before the reassurance of a path that emerged from the mist.
As the track progressed and began to gain height again I kept being reminded to steer a course further to the left by the spectre of advancing conifers emerging from the mist like Birnam Wood marching on Dunsinane. In no time at all cairns dotted along Millfire and Milldown came and went with occasional windows down to Loch Dungeon below, before a steeper drop to the shores of the Lochans of Auchniebut: no doubt a picturesque spot at the best of times, more spooky and haunting today.
The cairn and trig point of Meikle Millyea offered nothing in terms of a view but a little in terms of a sheltered spot for lunch before the wall was followed down to Meikle Lump.
And of course within a couple of hundred feet you wondered what all the fuss had been about. Clearly the trails and forests of Galloway below had been basking in sunshine all the time.
Views back through the forest and up towards Corserine and Meikle Millyea still showed them with their cloudy caps on, so at least it wasn’t going to be one of those frustrating days when the rear view mirror is filled with a sun-bathed panorama of what has been the object of your misty attention. Over to the north east it looked like Cairnsmore of Carsphairn had suffered the same fate.
After being out for just on five hours I got back to the car feeling that this was one I would come back to enjoy – maybe even with a companion and another car to stretch the walk by starting further north and finishing further south.
Third time lucky, I hope so.
by Scotjamie » Fri Jan 11, 2013 4:50 pm
Enjoyable report of these hills - temptingly described - makes me want to get to know them better.
The Borders area seems to me to be overlooked on this website but I've always thought these rolling hills are beautiful.
Is it just me or does the Rhinns of Kell sound as though it should be somewhere in Ireland
by robertphillips » Fri Jan 11, 2013 5:28 pm
by Graeme D » Fri Jan 11, 2013 11:36 pm
by The Rodmiester » Sat Jan 12, 2013 12:32 pm
by Tinto63 » Sat Jan 12, 2013 6:41 pm