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Down with the kids on Screel Hill

Down with the kids on Screel Hill


Postby denfinella » Tue Nov 03, 2015 4:18 pm

Route description: Screel Hill, near Palnackie

Date walked: 29/10/2015

Time taken: 2 hours

Distance: 5 km

Ascent: 330m

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Sunshine seemed to be peeking through the clouds as we set off from the car park for Screel Hill - one of the rocky knolls guarding Dalbeattie.


screel-hill.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts



A track led up the lower slopes of the hill, with views of the summit ahead.

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At a T-junction of tracks, a path leads straight ahead through shrubs and low trees - this is incorrectly marked as a track on OS 1:25000 maps. Rough and slippery after overnight rain, it led steadily uphill to cross another track and continue into a deforested area beyond (still wrongly marked on the map as a track). The felled area is a bit moonlike but allows better views over Rough Firth. England is somewhere beyond but it was a bit hazy.

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The following wooded section was the highlight of the walk today - an interesting path, steep in places but with lots to see. Leaves were glistening with raindrops and little birds hopped amongst the fungi on the forest floor.

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After quite a long time in the forest we finally burst clear at the top into welcome sunshine, the attractive and rocky summit ridge visible in front.

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Rough Firth again:

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The path steepened to gain the ridge proper, getting a bit wet on the way thanks to a stream running down the middle, but with more great views.

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Theoretically the ridge should have provided drier going, but in fact the path follows a little dip for most of the remaining distance to the summit, staying soggy. Nothing serious, but we ended up trampling the heather on either side quite a lot of the time.

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A large group of primary school children were at the summit ahead (what a great school trip!), but they were just leaving as we arrived so we soon got the panoramic views to ourselves. It was still a bit hazy but Castle Douglas was easy visible below to the northwest, plus the whole of Screel Hill's summit ridge.

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Heading down we soon caught up with the stragglers from the school group, and then reached a very steep section which the children were being instructed to make their way down one at a time. It was a bit slippery today (hands were used) - quite ambitious for a whole class of eight-year olds or so! Beyond, the gradient was much gentler, heading left between the ridge to the left and Screel Burn to the right.

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The path descended to a track, but not before a long section that had been surfaced with very slippery logs. From here it was easy going, until the outward route was rejoined at the track junction below the deforested section.

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On the final track section before the car park, a path branched off over a ditch to the left, providing a more direct descent back to the car. A decent, rocky hill with plenty of character.

Morning: Balcary Bay: http://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=57803
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denfinella
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