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Galloway Hills - superb surprise

Galloway Hills - superb surprise


Postby Fife Flyer » Sat Feb 07, 2015 10:31 pm

Corbetts included on this walk: Corserine

Donalds included on this walk: Corserine, Meikle Millyea, Milldown

Date walked: 07/02/2015

Time taken: 6 hours

Distance: 17 km

Ascent: 905m

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After my exploits in the Borders earlier in the week I decided to make the most of the lingering high pressure and head south again. After studying the map I decided to go a bit further afield, thought about The Merrick but didn't want to travel all that way for a single Corbett. I noticed Corserine could be combined with a couple of Donalds so that was the plan.
Posted my intentions as usual and Jac (jac the lassie) popped up out of the woodwork and offered to keep me company. We arranged to meet at the car park intending to start walking by 9am, we were both early which is surprising because I had forgotten how bendy the A702 is once you leave the M74 and head SW, hardly got a chance to put my foot down :lol: The drive wasn't made any more enjoyable by extensive fog patches :(

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Large car park


The initial part of the walk is through the forest along forest tracks, care was needed as the were plenty of ice patches trying to entice you into a slip up :lol:
On reaching the edge of the forest you are confronted with a fence, not a problem for us humans, but Jac had to lift her 2 dogs over the fence, very carefully as barbed wire in situ to make it more challenging. The greyhound Bella wasn't too much of a problem for obvious reasons but Ben her Black Lab required a few more muscles.
Once across the fence the way ahead is fairly obvious and the way ahead was very spectacular, it reminded me of Corrie Fee :wink:

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The barbed wire fence

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Fantastic view of the way up

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Looking back down to the forest


The trudge up to the summit of Corserine was hard going, very similar to my tough day earlier in the week, every step was guess work, how far down would one's foot sink :lol: Even when the snow was crisp and firm you were still prepared to be caught out with that sinking feeling. The ascent wasn't steep it just seemed to take a while but as we gained height the views started to open up behind us, so we had to stop fairly frequently purely to take photo's :wink:

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Looking back, interesting patterns in the sky

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Carsphairn Hills

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Looking back again


After all the hard work we reached the large cairn on Corserine, however the Trig point was on the far side of the huge summit plateau which in clag could be a navigational challenge :lol: I got the map out to see what the cairn was to the north and discovered it was Carlin's Cairn, had we known it was a recognised Corbett we would probably have nipped across to say hello, especially as it didn't look too far away with not too much descent/ascent :(

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Corserine cairn

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Corserine trig with Bella muscling in on the photo

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Carlin's Cairn, doesn't look too far away

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Loch Enoch?


Jac and I were really surprised that we hadn't seen another human being yet, the weather was amazing, gloves weren't utilised all day and on the ascents fleeces were removed and the sun actually seemed to be generating some heat :lol: We set off from the large summit of Corserine along a wide ridge which offered great views, but we couldn't really admire the views as we had to keep an eye on every single footstep. Some of the walk was made slightly easier by old/previous footsteps in the snow, unfortunately they were a bit random.

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The ridge ahead

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The wonderfully named Loch Dungeon

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A bit chilly on the feet

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The Merrick peeking up through the cloud

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Summit cairn on Milldown

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Final summit cairn and trig on Meikle Millyea


On the final summit of Meikle Millyea (interesting name) because it was the most southerly part of the walk the view were outstanding, we could even see England :lol: :lol:

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The Solway Firth can just be seen


After reaching the final summit of the day we thought the descent would be straightforward, how wrong. Firstly the snow seemed to be even deeper and softer, both of us managed to find a hidden water hole :lol: The descent follows a stane dyke wall, when we reached the edge of the forest we were confronted with a high deer fence. Jac had read previous reports and was expecting the fence, which had a style somewhere, so it was a matter of scanning the length of the fence and Jac spotted it :clap: :clap:
After crossing the style, the next task was to try and reach the track, that involved tackling an obstacle course :lol:
Fallen trees had to be clambered over prior to reaching the track that would take us back through the forest to the car park. A word of warning the track back to car did seem to take quite a long time and care should be taken to make sure you head in the right direction.

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Obstacle course

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The track back to the car park


A big thanks to Jac for her company, hope I didn't slow you down too much :wink:
If anyone hasn't been down this way you really should make an effort, you won't be disappointed :wink:
It would be interesting to see what these hills are like when all the white stuff has disappeared.
Next.
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Re: Galloway Hills - superb surprise

Postby kev_russ » Sat Feb 07, 2015 10:51 pm

Braw pics Martin. You sure do get about :wink:
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Re: Galloway Hills - superb surprise

Postby malky_c » Sat Feb 07, 2015 11:37 pm

That's a fine day out 8)

This lot and the Craignaw/Merrick/Shalloch on Minnoch area are much more fun than some of the flat boggy summits to the east. Some of them are very tough going too - the dreaded Galloway tussock will eventually have you screaming for mercy and wishing you were on something easier like Knoydart :lol:
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Re: Galloway Hills - superb surprise

Postby martin.h » Sat Feb 07, 2015 11:56 pm

Hi Martin, that looked a good day out, great weather and fantastic views, its a great part of Scotland and should be held in high regard by us all.
We have a weekend booked in Dumfries 7th and 8th of March and are hoping to do Hart Fell etc on the Saturday and something on the Sunday (don't know what yet), give m a shout If you fancy meeting up one of the days, it would be nice to have some company.
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Re: Galloway Hills - superb surprise

Postby litljortindan » Sun Feb 08, 2015 11:31 am

Well done on battling the soft snow. Great pictures -I can imagine being there. Any idea which hills those are above the cloud in your fifth and seventh pictures?
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Re: Galloway Hills - superb surprise

Postby jac the lassie » Sun Feb 08, 2015 1:39 pm

Great report martin :clap:
thank for letting us give u a chum. Was a good day out, those hills were a really pleasant surprise. Lovely photos!
Jac :D
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Re: Galloway Hills - superb surprise

Postby ridgerunner » Sun Feb 08, 2015 6:39 pm

Great report and photos.
Shame about having to lift the dogs over the fence but there is a stile there.
It's easier to find both stiles by doing the walk clockwise and when descending from Corserine the stile can be seen about 100metres left of the burn.
I think the hills seen over the sea of cloud/fog in photos 5 and 7 are the hills of Dalbeattie forest as I had the same view last month when the sea of fog was more extensive and they cought my eye too.
We too struggled through the tree obstacle course where it is very easy to get a wet foot.
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Re: Galloway Hills - superb surprise

Postby litljortindan » Sun Feb 08, 2015 7:22 pm

ridgerunner wrote:Great report and photos.
Shame about having to lift the dogs over the fence but there is a stile there.
It's easier to find both stiles by doing the walk clockwise and when descending from Corserine the stile can be seen about 100metres left of the burn.
I think the hills seen over the sea of cloud/fog in photos 5 and 7 are the hills of Dalbeattie forest as I had the same view last month when the sea of fog was more extensive and they cought my eye too.
We too struggled through the tree obstacle course where it is very easy to get a wet foot.


Yes, I was thinking Criffel and Screel.
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Re: Galloway Hills - superb surprise

Postby PeteR » Sun Feb 08, 2015 8:28 pm

You really did some great shots there Martin :clap:

In keeping with malky_c's comments all I have to say is "Shalloch on Minnoch!" :lol: :lol:
(I still have to summon up the courage to return to bag the other two Donalds on that circuit :shock: )
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Re: Galloway Hills - superb surprise

Postby Collaciotach » Sun Feb 08, 2015 9:32 pm

Nice one :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:
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Re: Galloway Hills - superb surprise

Postby rockhopper » Sun Feb 08, 2015 11:10 pm

Lovely - a good walk at most times but looks even better in the snow.
Know what you mean about the obstacle course at the end :roll: - cheers :)
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Re: Galloway Hills - superb surprise

Postby jmarkb » Mon Feb 09, 2015 10:21 am

litljortindan wrote:Yes, I was thinking Criffel and Screel.


Yes, and the Lakes in the far distance, too.
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Re: Galloway Hills - superb surprise

Postby Sarah86 » Mon Feb 09, 2015 2:55 pm

We always seem to by pass the Galloway hills, after reading your report I may need to stop off for a visit, looks a very picturesque walk.
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Re: Galloway Hills - superb surprise

Postby Fife Flyer » Mon Feb 09, 2015 7:52 pm

Thanks for all the kind comments :wink: I won't thank you individually :lol:

Suffice to say, if you have never been to SW Scotland try & make an effort you won't be disappointed 8)
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