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Mostly downhill on the Correen Hills

Mostly downhill on the Correen Hills


Postby Ian Johnston » Mon Feb 11, 2013 7:19 pm

Sub 2000' hills included on this walk: Lord Arthur's Hill

Date walked: 06/02/2013

Time taken: 4.5 hours

Distance: 14 km

Ascent: 200m

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On a day when a bitter cold northerly wind was bringing heavy snow showers, a day out on the hills close to home seemed a better bet than travelling. I was dropped off at the summit of the Suie Road at NJ 547230 where a forest track leads west towards the high ground of the Correen Hills. There's good parking at the start of the track, and more spaces at the Gordon Way car park a hundred metres or so to the north east. This one-way walk also had the bonus of being almost all downhill :wink:

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The snow on the forest tracks wasn't quite consolidated enough to bear my weight, and made for heavy going. I'd considered bringing XC skis for this section, but I'm not sure that they'd have been any better on this particular day.


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The track breaks out at the top corner of the forest, immediately next to Mire of Midgates. The going was much better here as the wind had scoured most of the snow.



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There are good views from Peter Prop, though I didn't hang around for long; the wind was searingly cold. The northerly direction meant that this ridge is the first high ground the wind had encountered since crossing the pack ice of the Arctic - and it felt like it too!



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An ominous looking band of black cloud over Tap o'Noth looked like the next band of snow was on its way. Soon after, an intense snow shower hammered through for about twenty minutes - really hostile conditions for a short while.



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It soon passed though and the views reappeared. The view here is looking south; Lord Arthur's Hill to the left with Coilochbhar Hill beyond; the Don valley is between the two.



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The wind had stripped nearly all the snow from the top of the broad ridge formed by Badingair, Brux and Edinbanchory Hills and also much of it from Lord Arthur's Hill. The sun was bright but with little warmth.



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Furtther snow showers came and went, but by now they were at my back as I headed for Lord Arthur's Hill. This long dead pine spaling seemed to have been outlined perfectly. I actually skirted a few metres below the summit of Lord Arthur's Hill to find the line to the descent route of the Fouchie Shank in another heavy shower.



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At the top of the Fouchie Shank, looking down towards Tullynessle. Several Roe deer were feeding in the shelter of the Larch woods on the way down, almost the only wildlife I saw all day apart from a few hardy Grouse.

If you have two cars in a party, or can arrange a lift to the top of the Suie Road, this is a good short walk for an afternoon with great views, easy going underfoot and very little ascent.


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Ian Johnston
 
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Location: Aberdeenshire

Re: Mostly downhill on the Correen Hills

Postby denfinella » Mon Feb 11, 2013 8:30 pm

Lovely photos, although I have a feeling they don't fully communicate the wind and cold to the viewer! (I've never had the luxury of a hill walk being mostly downhill!!!)

Was up there a couple of weeks ago with a sledge and knee deep-powder, although we went east rather than west from the car park. The whole ridge seems underrated - hardly ever any reports from here, so thanks for posting!
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Re: Mostly downhill on the Correen Hills

Postby gmr82 » Mon Feb 11, 2013 8:52 pm

Ian are these hills ok for dogs ie. any sheep/cattle etc? Always liked the looks of them for a more family orientated walk when up in Aberdeen but usually have the mutt around to cause trouble so its always nice to find dog friendly hills! And this slyly allows me to try and bag more hills by saying its just a dog-walk :lol:
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Re: Mostly downhill on the Correen Hills

Postby Ian Johnston » Mon Feb 11, 2013 9:31 pm

Hi denfinella,

Thanks - it was pretty nippy! I tried to capture a couple of the snow devils on camera, but they didn't really show up in the images. You're right that this ridge 9and indeed some of the other hills hereabouts) are underrated - but I would say that as I'm fortunate enough to live at the base of them! :wink:

Hi gmr,

Yes, these should be OK for dogs if you take a common-sense approach. If you do the circuit from the usual starting point of Terpersie/Dubston, you go past the side of a farm, then up a track. The first part of the ridge, whether up the Fouchie Shank or by the quarry is used as rough sheep grazing, except in winter when they're on the lower ground. Higher up, the only issue would be ground nesting birds in Spring/early Summer. Doing a walk from the Suie Hill road might make work well with a dog as you could get him on the lead on the descent when he'd already be well walked?

Kind Regards

Ian
Ian Johnston
 
Posts: 104
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Re: Mostly downhill on the Correen Hills

Postby gmr82 » Tue Feb 12, 2013 10:55 pm

Thanks very much for the info Ian. Forgot to say on my first reply - cracking photos and report. I was hoping to be up in Aberdeen for a whole week of hill walking in April but looks like its fallen through so for now I'll console myself with the weekend trips every 2/3 months
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Re: Mostly downhill on the Correen Hills

Postby RicKamila » Wed Feb 13, 2013 10:44 am

I was wondering what the Tap looks like in this weather. Suppose its changed now though. Nice walk out that way Ian.
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