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Mullwhaurchur Circuit

Mullwhaurchur Circuit

Postby weaselmaster » Sun Dec 27, 2015 10:46 pm

Corbetts included on this walk: Merrick

Grahams included on this walk: Craignaw, Mullwharchar

Donalds included on this walk: Craignaw, Dungeon Hill, Merrick, Mullwharchar

Date walked: 27/12/2015

Time taken: 7.5 hours

Distance: 20.8 km

Ascent: 1379m

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For the Xmas season we managed to find one full hill day. Allison was working til 3ish on Saturday, so I arranged to collect her and head off to the Galloway hills after work. It had rained all day and continued to do so, heavily, as we drove the miles down to Glen Trool. I was encouraged however by the positive forecast for Sunday which promised dryness, even sunshine :shock: I wasn't sure where we should pitch - assuming the campsites to be closed for the festivities, so we ended up pitching in the car park at the Glen Trool Visitor Centre - perfectly serviceable and not a car passed us by all evening. So much for the "Dark Sky Park" as it calls itself - the moon blazed down white light all night. That didn't stop me from having semi-hallucinatory dreams of carsfull of yobs driving up in the middle of the night, music blaring etc etc.

Early morning, moon still shining bright
ImageP1110705 by Al, on Flickr

Up at 7ish to a dry but cool morning - some frost on the tent. The moon was still in evidence, as were a few stars as we drove the 3 miles to The Bruce's Stone and prepared to set off - another car joined us with a guy who headed off in the same direction, but a good deal quicker. i wanted to get the 3 Donalds - Craignaw, Dungeon Hill and Mullwharchar - but couldn't decide whether to return around Loch Enoch or head up The Merrick, taking advantage of the better track back to the car park from there. It would also allow Allison to get the New Donald of Benyellary which I had claimed on an earlier walk. We'd see how it went.

The start of the walk heads down hill, never a good feeling at the outset of a walk. We set out along the signed path, boggy in places, that eventually runs alongside the Gairland Burn and up to Loch Valley. The weather was lovely, after all the recent rain, the view back to Loch Trool with Luce Bay beyond pretty, with areas of low cloud on the water. I rapidly shed a couple of layers of clothing in the sunshine. We skirted round Loch Valley and crossed over Mid Burn to gain the lower slopes of Craignaw. A hill full of knobbles and crags, but easy enough to navigate in today's visibility. Up to the summit - some nice views over our onward route, Merrick topped with cloud.

Towards Curlywee
ImageP1110710 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1110711 by Al, on Flickr

View back along Loch Trool
ImageP1110712 by Al, on Flickr

Craignaw ahead
ImageP1110717 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1110724 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1110727 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1110730 by Al, on Flickr

Crossing Mid Burn
ImageP1110731 by Al, on Flickr

Over to Merrick/Kirriereoch
ImageP1110732 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1110734 by Al, on Flickr

Summit Craignaw, Mullwharchar ahead
ImageP1110736 by Al, on Flickr

Some snow on Corserine
ImageP1110737 by Al, on Flickr

We descended steeply, through the crags and made for our next target, Dungeon Hill. There's quite a loss of height if you stray into Nick of the Dungeon, so we contoured round the north side of Craignaw and picked up a faint path which led to the summit of Dungeon. We paused for some lunch - although the sun was still out it was chilly when we stopped. Refreshed we set off again for Mullwharchar - apparently one of the more remote Donalds, so good to get it undertaken without a thick covering of snow to wade through. At the summit it was time to decide which route we were taking back - Allison didn't put up too much resistance to the idea of The Merrick. In fact it was an easy amble, 350m maybe, but not much to it. Clag was around us from about halfway up - my third time up The Merrick, my third time with no view :(

Dungeon Hill
ImageP1110740 by Al, on Flickr

Coming off Craignaw
ImageP1110741 by Al, on Flickr

Craignaw from the north
ImageP1110743 by Al, on Flickr

Dungeon summit
ImageP1110745 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1110746 by Al, on Flickr

Tentacles of Loch Enoch from Mullwharchar
ImageP1110749 by Al, on Flickr

Summit Mullwharchar
ImageP1110751 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1110752 by Al, on Flickr

Up Redstone Rig
ImageP1110754 by Al, on Flickr

Merrick summit
ImageP1110755 by Al, on Flickr

Once we reached to trig point it was simply a matter of following the path along the Neive of the Spit to Benyallary, then down the hillside. We dropped below the clagline, views over to Lamachan Hill, down into the treeline and past the Forestry Commission bothy at Culsharg - we peeked inside - it's bare but serviceable. The path from there back to the car park is in a state of some disrepair - lots more erosion than I remember from a few years back. However, we made it back in seven and a half hours, a really good stretch of the legs after the festive overindulging.

Heading down from Benyellary
ImageP1110758 by Al, on Flickr

Lamachan Hill
ImageP1110760 by Al, on Flickr

Culsharg Bothy
ImageP1110761 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1110763 by Al, on Flickr

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Munros:249   Corbetts:88
Grahams:82   Donalds:89
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Re: Mullwhaurchur Circuit

Postby kevsbald » Mon Dec 28, 2015 12:32 pm

Nice trip. A wee camp in that area appeals beside the loch.
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