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A Fleeting visit to the Cairnsmore

A Fleeting visit to the Cairnsmore

Postby Craiging619 » Wed May 15, 2013 12:22 am

Grahams included on this walk: Cairnsmore of Fleet

Donalds included on this walk: Cairnsmore of Fleet

Date walked: 28/04/2013

Time taken: 4 hours

Distance: 12.5 km

Ascent: 700m

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Finally made it to the most Southerly mountain in Scotland last month. Despite not starting until 2:30 thanks to the long-ish drive from Prestwick (although mercifully shorter than coming from Glasgow!), the excellent quality path ensured that my two friends and I were back down well before sunset. Not that there was much sun to set on this day. The only two wayfinding problems were actually finding the car park to start with (which is now the thin lane to the right a short while after crossing the bridge) and crossing the diagonal field just before the forest, where the path seems to peter out before the gate. Thankfully it's a small field, and by contuining up diagonally to the top right corner we found the gate, with a great path leading from there until the last steps to the summit cairn, trig point and airplane memorial. The weather was gloomy all afternoon but the views out over the Cree Estuary were still superb. Only surprise was that we didn't meet a single soul, on an easy hill with a great path, on a Sunday in April. Maybe the threat of the all-too-familiar drizzle put others off!

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The memorial above Straiton provided a fine view on the drive down.

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The loneliest Christmas tree in the world, beyond Stinchar Bridge and Shalloch on Minnoch.

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The farm track behind the walled garden leads to the large field with the diagonal path.

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It's a piece of cake from then on, although the odd patch of snow nearby reminded us how exposed the hill would be in winter.

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At 200m the path crosses a forest track and memorial seat.

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Just after the halfway mark, the path breaks out of the trees and onto the open hillside, crossing fence then past an old wall.

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Please keep...what?

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The Cree Estuary.

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The incline became even easier as the finish line neared.

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The other two at the summit.

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The large dome of a summit can get windy. So windy, in fact, that my map cover ripped off from the map and scuttled off the hill. I followed in pursuit, but gave up as I approached the steep East face of the hill. No map case is worth that risk!

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The Range of the Awful Hand, looking typically wild and Highland-ish.

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Me on the rather gigantic cairn.

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Squally showers came in as I made my traditional slow descent behind the others, but luckily never came to much.

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Back at the start of the hill path beside the walled garden.

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Another one done. Back to the Kirkmichael Arms for a cracking dinner!
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Posts: 130
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Grahams:26   Donalds:13
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