Share your personal walking route experiences in Scotland, and comment on other peoples' reports.
Warning Please note that hillwalking when there is snow lying requires an ice-axe, crampons and the knowledge, experience and skill to use them correctly. Summer routes may not be viable or appropriate in winter. See winter information on our skills and safety pages for more information.

Corserine - and Rhinns of Kells apparently

Corserine - and Rhinns of Kells apparently

Postby 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: 980m

3 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).

I feel like a late starter getting back to the hills in 2013. Three trips to the gym and a handful of spin classes have done little to shift the inertia spawned by over 1500 miles of Christmas driving and the damage done by Thorntons. But, I needed to give an outing to all that new gear that emerged from the wrapping paper.

A promising start - approaching Fore Bush and the forest tracks

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.

Well signposted route through to the exit - not many forests I've seen with street names

Glimpse of North Gairy Top from forest tracks

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.

North Gairy Top from where Folk Burn and path emerges from forest

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.

Views east from slopes of North Gairy Top

An omen of things to come - it looks nice now, but ...

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.

Normal service is resumed - it's up there somewhere

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.

Summit cairn and trig point on Corserine

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.

Like Birnam Woods approaching ... just forests encroaching

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.

Lochans of Auchniebut - waiting for a better day to get the towel and sun lounger out

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.

Yet another additio to the "Cairns in the Clag" folder - Meikle Millyea

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.

Down to Meikle Lump - basking in sun

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.

Cairnsmore of Carsphairn capped with mists

Still under wraps - or like a teenager reluctant to leave their blanket - it's far too early

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.
User avatar
old danensian
Posts: 418
Munros:282   Corbetts:64
Joined: Jul 6, 2009
Location: Ayrshire

Re: Corserine - and Rhinns of Kells apparently

Postby Scotjamie » Fri Jan 11, 2013 4:50 pm

Nice one Nigel
Enjoyable report of these hills - temptingly described - makes me want to get to know them better.
User avatar
Posts: 1168
Joined: Jul 27, 2009
Location: north berwick

Re: Corserine - and Rhinns of Kells apparently

Postby morag1 » Fri Jan 11, 2013 5:25 pm

This looks a great walk, well done on getting out and starting your new year resolutions :clap:

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 :?

Re: Corserine - and Rhinns of Kells apparently

Postby robertphillips » Fri Jan 11, 2013 5:28 pm

Well done good walk this one. 8)
User avatar
Mountain Walker
Posts: 298
Munros:282   Corbetts:222
Grahams:219   Donalds:89
Sub 2000:405   Hewitts:143
Wainwrights:214   Islands:25
Joined: Dec 28, 2010
Location: Kilbirnie North Ayrshire

Re: Corserine - and Rhinns of Kells apparently

Postby Graeme D » Fri Jan 11, 2013 11:36 pm

Some lovely, atmospheric photos there Nigel! :clap:
User avatar
Graeme D
Posts: 3603
Munros:225   Corbetts:107
Grahams:65   Donalds:22
Sub 2000:56   Hewitts:36
Wainwrights:27   Islands:6
Joined: Oct 17, 2008
Location: Perth

Re: Corserine - and Rhinns of Kells apparently

Postby The Rodmiester » Sat Jan 12, 2013 12:32 pm

Pity about the low cloud Nigel, CORBETTS! bet you cannot wait till you start adding Marilyns to your list. :lol:
User avatar
The Rodmiester
Posts: 3390
Munros:107   Corbetts:196
Grahams:45   Donalds:13
Sub 2000:76   Hewitts:3
Wainwrights:1   Islands:16
Joined: Aug 15, 2012
Location: Carnoustie

Re: Corserine - and Rhinns of Kells apparently

Postby Tinto63 » Sat Jan 12, 2013 6:41 pm

I agree this is a good walk, I also did it in the clag in September 2011. But did you know that the highest point on Meikle Millyea lies about 400m south-west of the trig point?
User avatar
Posts: 929
Munros:129   Corbetts:46
Grahams:38   Donalds:89
Sub 2000:30   
Joined: Jul 20, 2011
Location: West Lothian

3 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).

Walkhighlands community forum is advert free

We need help to keep the site online.
Can you help support Walkhighlands and the online community by setting up a monthly donation by direct debit?

Return to Walk reports - Scotland

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Alteknacker, angusnclark, Bungellington, CJDE, craigmcilravey, denfinella, Leannemirrey and 95 guests