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Donalds Trumped

Donalds Trumped


Postby weaselmaster » Sun Apr 17, 2016 10:16 pm

Donalds included on this walk: Larg Hill

Date walked: 17/04/2016

Time taken: 6.25 hours

Distance: 19.5 km

Ascent: 1020m

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Some unexpected symmetry for today... my boy asked if he could come along with us today for my last Donald - seemed fitting as he'd been with me back in 2011 for my first Donald, long before I was interested in hillwalking or indeed knew what a Doanld was when we climbed The Merrick together. Many hills have been covered in the intervening years and it was satisfying to see the seed of interest sown recently on Skye where he came along for a jaunt up a delectable couple of Grahams has been germinating.

The way it was - me with more hair...
http://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=38448

Anyway back to the matter in hand. I was on call on Saturday, which rather got in the way of my usual weekend practices. We did manage a walk along from Largs to Fairlie and saw the Arran hills topped with snow and looking immense from Fairlie harbour, then spent some useful time in the garden - but it wasn't like being up a hill. So Sunday had been tagged as the opportunity to finish my Donalds/New Donalds. Larg Hill down in Glen Trool had been left as the unlikely candidate to receive accolade of last Donald - unlikely as it forms part of a group with Lamachan Hill and Curleywee and is, I suspect, usually visited as part of a bigger day. When Allison and I had done the other hills it was in pre-Donald mode, doing the Corbetts and having an "easy day" away from bigger things - although Curleywee sticks in my mind as a steep and stubborn wee bugger. Anyway - on that occasion back in late 2014, I had no particular interest in whether we came off the hill after Lamachan Hill or carried on to get another "insignificant" summit, namely Larg Hill - it mattered not a jot. At the time :wink: So Larg Hill stood alone whilst the other Donalds/New Donalds were visited - I had decided some time ago to make it my finishing point.

Larg Hill is usually reached by a steep and rough climb up from Loch Trool. I had another problem now - as Allison was keen to accompany me to Compleat, I needed to consider another, less steep, route to allow her a chance of making it up with her recovering back injury. So I had a look at the map and decided we could head up from the lovely Woods of Cree - providing the fire-breaks in the forest permitted access to the hill. Googlemaps suggested it would be ok, so the plan was made. Then Ally indicated his interest in coming along - always keen to foster new hill-lovers I gladly agreed.

I picked him up on our drive through Glasgow on the M77 and we arrived at Woods of Cree a little after 11am. Weather had been mixed on the drive down, and as we got kitted out the rain threatened heavily, then dried up. We set off up the nature trail into Cree Woods and passed the house then onto a forestry track that warned "no unauthorised access" which we disregarded. We took a good road up through the trees, with many areas having been harvested, then cut up a firebreak across some very boggy ground to emerge from the treeline on Black Giary Hill. We promptly stopped for food and enjoyed the views over the sea. To the south, Cairnsmore of Fleet appeared and we argued about the other hills we could see off to the west - was it Ireland, or Jura or Mull of Kintyre.

Ally and ...Ally
ImageP1120863 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1120864 by Al, on Flickr

Punch Well Brae
ImageP1120867 by Al, on Flickr

Fire break - lichen bedecked trees
ImageP1120868 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1120869 by Al, on Flickr

Packing up or kit we continued up Punch Well Brae, following a stone wall which took us up over a 660m knoll then onto the summit of Larg Hill. My final Donald/New Donald. I had come to enjoy the smoother grassy lie of the land down in these southern parts over recent times. Although, as I mentioned above, my first Donald was 5 years ago, the majority have been climbed since the start of this year (92 New Donalds of which 68 Donalds) so I feel I have come to know these far flung southern parts a little better over that time. We stopped for a photo - I was glad that Allison had managed it up despite her injury, hoping that this wouldn't cause a set back for her, and aware that - under other conditions - this would have been a Donald Compleation Day for her too... We had a small libation (three throats into one minature of whisky) and stood in the wind glad the day had remained dry if chilly.

ImageP1120874 by Al, on Flickr

Towards Larg Summit
ImageP1120875 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1120876 by Al, on Flickr

Summit cairn
ImageP1120878 by Al, on Flickr

Donalds Done :D
ImageP1120879 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1120880 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1120881 by Al, on Flickr



We now had a choice - either to return the way we'd come or to head down over Craignaw and find the forest track further along its course. We all opted for the latter course and got the boy to do a bit of compass & map practice as we enjoyed a steep descent via Strife Land onto the flat back of Craignaw. From the summit there was a good view over to The Merrick. We cut down the western side of Criagnaw and found an area of tree-clearance which allowed us to rejoin the track with little difficulty. Then it was just a matter of trotting along the trail (which did rise again before it rejoined our outward route) then trace our steps back to the car.

Towards Craignaw
ImageP1120883 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1120884 by Al, on Flickr

Larg Hill in backdrop
ImageP1120887 by Al, on Flickr

The Merrick
ImageP1120888 by Al, on Flickr

Larg Hill
ImageP1120889 by Al, on Flickr

Descent off Craignaw
ImageP1120893 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1120895 by Al, on Flickr
So another list compleated - have to say I'm excited at the thought of getting back up north (especially north-west) for some Grahams now, although care is required to select routes and hills that are Allison-compatible at the present time. I will be back down to this part of the world in the winter to help Sick Kid get her Donalds in the bag.


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weaselmaster
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Posts: 1873
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Location: Greenock

Re: Donalds Trumped

Postby Mal Grey » Sun Apr 17, 2016 10:25 pm

Looks like a pleasant way to end a project, good to have good friends & family with you on such a day.

Congratulations Al (and Ally and Ally, must be confusing!).
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Re: Donalds Trumped

Postby RiverSong » Sun Apr 17, 2016 10:52 pm

Congratulations on completing the Donalds. I read your reports every week, and although I always enjoy them I must admit they leave me feeling exhausted and in need of a large reddie to help me recover!!

Always good to see the young ones out and about, well done to your boy.

Er..... is there anything left for you to do????? All the best anyway :D
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Re: Donalds Trumped

Postby weaselmaster » Sun Apr 17, 2016 11:26 pm

RiverSong wrote:Congratulations on completing the Donalds. I read your reports every week, and although I always enjoy them I must admit they leave me feeling exhausted and in need of a large reddie to help me recover!!

Always good to see the young ones out and about, well done to your boy.

Er..... is there anything left for you to do????? All the best anyway :D


Thanks. Yes - Grahams come into full focus now...
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weaselmaster
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Re: Donalds Trumped

Postby Tinto63 » Sun Apr 17, 2016 11:52 pm

From one Wanderer to another, well done on completing the Donalds. I look forward to reading your next instalments on the Grahams.
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Re: Donalds Trumped

Postby Alteknacker » Mon Apr 18, 2016 12:33 am

Nice one. Well done!

It's great when the next generation get interested, isn't it? Just a week and a half before my young 'un (close on 40 :( ) and I tackle the Mullardoch Round again....
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Re: Donalds Trumped

Postby robertphillips » Mon Apr 18, 2016 11:20 am

well done al :clap: :clap: :clap: :D

Another great completion.

Larg hill was also my final donald. 8)
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Re: Donalds Trumped

Postby weaselmaster » Mon Apr 18, 2016 11:34 am

robertphillips wrote:well done al :clap: :clap: :clap: :D

Another great completion.

Larg hill was also my final donald. 8)



Cheers, Robert. Bang goes my theory about Larg Hill as a solo completion being unusual then :lol: I do remember seeing your report at the time, so it obviously nestled in my subconscious.
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Re: Donalds Trumped

Postby rockhopper » Mon Apr 18, 2016 12:40 pm

congratulations on finishing :clap: nice to have the two "allies" with you as well :wink:
haven't got to this one yet , might be some time before I do - so, it's the DGs next for you, bet you're looking forward to getting back up north - cheers :)
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Re: Donalds Trumped

Postby Dave Hewitt » Mon Apr 18, 2016 1:04 pm

weaselmaster wrote:Cheers, Robert. Bang goes my theory about Larg Hill as a solo completion being unusual then :lol: I do remember seeing your report at the time, so it obviously nestled in my subconscious.

It's actually one of the most common last Donalds - I know of three other rounds that have finished there, by Bob Robertson 15/8/03, Leon Firth 13/9/09 and Madeleine Younger 27/9/09, so that's at least five in all.

Congrats on the recent finish, anyway. Good timing in terms of the list of known finishers as this is about to reappear online after a spell of a few years when it's just been a standalone thing on my computer. Known first rounds of Donalds stand at 213 but as ever there'll be a good few more than that - it's almost certainly 300+, quite possibly a fair bit higher. If you can let me know your first Donald and date that would be handy as I'll add it to the data - you mention Merrick but was it actually (as with a lot of people) Benyellary? That's one of those en passant summits, a bit like how people sometimes think their first Munro was Ben Lawers when it was actually Beinn Ghlas.
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Re: Donalds Trumped

Postby weaselmaster » Mon Apr 18, 2016 1:18 pm

Dave Hewitt wrote:It's actually one of the most common last Donalds - I know of three other rounds that have finished there, by Bob Robertson 15/8/03, Leon Firth 13/9/09 and Madeleine Younger 27/9/09, so that's at least five in all.

Congrats on the recent finish, anyway. Good timing in terms of the list of known finishers as this is about to reappear online after a spell of a few years when it's just been a standalone thing on my computer. Known first rounds of Donalds stand at 213 but as ever there'll be a good few more than that - it's almost certainly 300+, quite possibly a fair bit higher. If you can let me know your first Donald and date that would be handy as I'll add it to the data - you mention Merrick but was it actually (as with a lot of people) Benyellary? That's one of those en passant summits, a bit like how people sometimes think their first Munro was Ben Lawers when it was actually Beinn Ghlas.


Cheers Dave. Glad the online list is making an appearance.
I'm pretty certain that I did get to the top of The Merrick back in 2011, but that was in another lifetime (before hills).
Looking at the start of this round, my first Donald would have been Swatte Fell on the way to Hart Fell on 21/12/13.
I'd like to go with that one as my first. I do plan to get back and finish off the remaining Donald Tops at some point. :roll:
Al
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weaselmaster
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Re: Donalds Trumped

Postby weaselmaster » Mon Apr 18, 2016 1:19 pm

Alteknacker wrote:Nice one. Well done!

It's great when the next generation get interested, isn't it? Just a week and a half before my young 'un (close on 40 :( ) and I tackle the Mullardoch Round again....


Thanks. I will keep fingers crossed that you get the weather suitable for the Mullardochs round - a great pleasure doing that lot.
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weaselmaster
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Location: Greenock

Re: Donalds Trumped

Postby nigheandonn » Mon Apr 18, 2016 2:18 pm

Are names rationed in your family or something? ;)

Congratulations - I've been enjoying your Donald reports :)
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Re: Donalds Trumped

Postby weaselmaster » Mon Apr 18, 2016 2:28 pm

nigheandonn wrote:Are names rationed in your family or something? ;)



easier to remember that way :D
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Re: Donalds Trumped

Postby Dave Hewitt » Mon Apr 18, 2016 2:30 pm

weaselmaster wrote:I'm pretty certain that I did get to the top of The Merrick back in 2011, but that was in another lifetime (before hills). Looking at the start of this round, my first Donald would have been Swatte Fell on the way to Hart Fell on 21/12/13.

Ta. Generally the first hill slot in the list is for the actual first hill, ie Merrick or Benyellary here, but with situations of a first hill in a deliberate round rather than first hill ever I tend to put the name in brackets, so will do that with Swatte Fell in this instance and make a note about the earlier outing.

I'd like to go with that one as my first. I do plan to get back and finish off the remaining Donald Tops at some point.

Keep me posted as/when. You can't have many to do - the gap between the original list and the New Donalds version is only 22, I think, and you'll likely have been up a few of them in the course of what you've already done. The Law is a definite omission, though - for all that rounds of New Donalds qualify for the completion list no problem, it's a bit odd not having been over one of the most familiar summits (and possibly the one that's steepest by its standard route).
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