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In and out of the cloud in the Correen Hills

In and out of the cloud in the Correen Hills

Postby denfinella » Wed Dec 11, 2013 12:15 pm

Route description: Correen Hills circuit, near Alford

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

Date walked: 26/10/2013

Time taken: 4 hours

Distance: 15 km

Ascent: 365m

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The Correen Hills are scarcely more than half an hour's drive from Aberdeen but we'd never walked here before. It was a beautiful, crisp autumnal morning as we parked near the friendly-sounding hamlet of Tullynessle. The sun was out but there were a few (unexpected) patches of low cloud covering the hills.

A few tracks meandered through varied scenery - farmland, forestry and open moor - before the more sustained ascent at Fouchie Shank reminded us that this was a hill walk. There were good views back down the valley of the Esset Burn.


At about the 400m contour the cloud came down to meet us, sweeping silently across the hillside from left to right, and the temperature dropped a few degrees. No summit views from Lord Arthur's Seat today then. Fog adorns a lot of the walk reports on walkhighlands - however, this was only the second time we'd ever experienced in Scotland! The first was Goatfell on Arran.

Just beyond the summit we came across these two birds - snow buntings?




Just as the track swung right to head due west, the cloud began to clear again, and we were rewarded with a rapidly expanding view over Donside - always a nice sensation when you haven't been able to see anything before.


We had lunch on Edinbanchory Hill before heading northeast along the broad ridge towards Badingair Hill. The track here was a bit wet underfoot - not a good walk after wet weather - but boots thankfully stayed dry. The going improved on the descent towards Blacklatch Burn and, apart from a few puddles later on, stayed dry as the sun came out again. The cloud finally lifted off Lord Arthur's Seat completely - if we'd done the walk in reverse today, maybe we'd have had a fog-free day. Correen Quarry was worth a short diversion for a poke around the little bothy there.

Before rejoining the outward route, there was a lovely view back down the Esset Burn again. A bit of a misty wander today, but at least it started and ended with some blue skies.

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