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Brown Cow Hill On A Sunny Night

Brown Cow Hill On A Sunny Night


Postby Gordie12 » Tue Jun 28, 2016 12:56 pm

Route description: Brown Cow Hill circuit, Cock Bridge

Corbetts included on this walk: Brown Cow Hill

Date walked: 27/06/2016

Time taken: 3 hours

Distance: 12.7 km

Ascent: 628m

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It was a late decision to head for the hills today and as a consequence, I didn't leave the house till just before 2pm. It's a holiday week this week and the late decision was based on checking the BBC website and seeing black clouds for most of the country later in the week so best to make the most of what was left of the day.

All was going well till I turned off the A93 just after Ballater and noticed the "Road Closed at Corgarff" sign with a recommendation I head for Huntly, Tomintoul etc. This won't work, it's too late in the day and if the road is closed at Corgarff can I get to the castle car park bearing in mind I need to reach Cock Bridge?? I've driven this far, I might as well keep going.

At the hump back bridge near Gairnshiel Lodge a bus driver stopped and allowed all the passengers out to take photos of the bridge while traffic built up in both directions. Nobody (on the bus) seemed bothered with people wandering all over the place with cameras etc before eventually they were all rounded up and the bus moved on at 20mph for about a mile before I got fed up and moved past a couple of cars and the bus.

On reaching the A939/A944 I could see there was access to Corgarff and to Corgarff Hall (which I hadn't heard off and couldn't find on the map) but no mention of the castle so I decided to head off up the road and see what happened. Stopping at a craft shop a chap told me that the road was due to open at 4pm any way so I should just head up the road and see how far I could get so taking his advice I drove to the car park without seeing any workmen.

The castle has been closed for a fortnight due to the road closure so parking wasn't an issue.

1.jpg
Easiest parking in ages


2.jpg
Grassy track up to the castle


I was using the WH notes so headed up the grassy track before using the gate on my right and walking along the side of a field to pass close to the castle where I could then see a gate I needed to head for.

3.jpg
Corgarff Castle


Once through the gate I followed a narrow path that descended to pick up a track from the farm than runs up into the glen.

4.jpg
Looking back to the castle


5.jpg
The track leading me through the glen


The gradient was easy as I walked past a plantation, having cleared the wood it steepened but was still easy going.

6.jpg
View back to the castle


7.jpg
View down the glen


I was looking for a point where the track turned right to head up Carn Oighreag and on seeing a grassy track heading left I decided I had reached that point (and, as is often the case, I was wrong).

8.jpg
View from the point where I left the main track


I was following what looked more like a sheep trail than a path as it went through heather then disappeared in the wet grass before appearing again in the heather. This carried on till I reached some peat hags to the north of the 748m top shown on the 1:50 000 map. At this point I could see a new fence which headed towards the foot of the 748m point so I decided to follow this line.

9.jpg
748m point ahead


10.jpg
New fence to follow through the peat hags


The route following the fence was straight forward with just a couple of minor detours and jumps before crossing the fence and climbing up the hill in front of me.

11.jpg
Looking down on the hags - looks worse than it was


From the 748m point there is a small drop down to a gate and then an easy climb to the top of Brown Cow Hill.

12.jpg
The final climb to the top of Brown Cow Hill


While the final climb is easy it takes longer than I expected as there is more ground to cover than I thought when looking from a distance. I arrived at the top in 5 minutes shy of 2hrs.

Brown Cow Hill is not a dramatic hill but on a night with good visibility the views over to Lochnagar, Ben Avon and Morven make it well worth the effort.

13.jpg
Lochnagar


14.jpg
Ben Avon


I spent a few minutes at the 823m top before heading to the 829m top. My route back to the main track would be different as I decided to keep to the high ground and aim to come out higher up on Carn Oighreag.

Initially there is a clear path off the top but it is quickly lost in the first peat hags but the route is obvious so I just try to keep to the higher ground where I can look down on my route in.

15.jpg


A couple of times in the heather I nearly stood on young grouse that had to scamper off. Both of them were close to being able to fly and the threat of my size 12 was nearly enough for them to take flight but in the end they just took off as quickly as they could. After various experiences over the last couple of years I was looking round to see if there were any angry parents heading my way but thankfully the young birds seemed to be on their own so I quickly headed off.

I picked up the main track exactly where I think I should have left it and it looked like I was about 200 yards early in starting my heather bashing.

The walk back down the glen was good, warm sun on my back and a nice breeze pushing me on.

16.jpg
I can't walk past a lone Scots pine


17.jpg
Same tree


18.jpg
Corgarff Castle


19.jpg
And again


20.jpg
And again


At 3hrs I was back at the car quicker than expected and considered taking on Carn Ealasaid but decided against it as I didn't want to rush it. Hopefully I can get back soon for the other Corbett but I'll need to check online for more info about the A939 closure.

As I mentioned earlier, the hill itself is nothing special but the views are good and it was an enjoyable night. The drive home was uneventful and I was home in time to catch the last 20 minutes of Poundland v Iceland...........
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Gordie12
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Re: Brown Cow Hill On A Sunny Night

Postby BlackPanther » Tue Jun 28, 2016 5:53 pm

That's a fine 3 hrs outing before the Poundland experience :lol: :lol:

We did this one in winter - good hill for deep snow trudging :D The top was in cloud so we struggled to find the right cairn...

Ealasaid is a stroll to be honest, if you start from the castle car park, on a good track all the way to the summit. Another one to do in winter, just to make it more interesting.
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Re: Brown Cow Hill On A Sunny Night

Postby The Rodmiester » Thu Jun 30, 2016 8:33 pm

Thanks for posting Gordie, I'm heading up there tomorrow, very timely :D
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Re: Brown Cow Hill On A Sunny Night

Postby Gordie12 » Thu Jun 30, 2016 8:43 pm

BlackPanther wrote:That's a fine 3 hrs outing before the Poundland experience :lol: :lol:

We did this one in winter - good hill for deep snow trudging :D The top was in cloud so we struggled to find the right cairn...

Ealasaid is a stroll to be honest, if you start from the castle car park, on a good track all the way to the summit. Another one to do in winter, just to make it more interesting.


Couldn't wait till winter BP - went back today and did Ealasaid (and Carn Mor).
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Re: Brown Cow Hill On A Sunny Night

Postby Gordie12 » Thu Jun 30, 2016 8:52 pm

The Rodmiester wrote:Thanks for posting Gordie, I'm heading up there tomorrow, very timely :D


Hi Rod - I was back up in this area today.

The Cairn o Mount road was shut (finished up going up to Stonehaven then over to Banchory) but the Cock Bridge to Tomintoul road is now open again.

I did Carn Mor first then went down to Cock Bridge and did Carn Ealasaid (from Corgarff Castle car park). I was after your time of 2hrs but had to settle for 2hrs 10mins :( :( :(
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Re: Brown Cow Hill On A Sunny Night

Postby The Rodmiester » Thu Jun 30, 2016 9:00 pm

Gordie12 wrote:
The Rodmiester wrote:Thanks for posting Gordie, I'm heading up there tomorrow, very timely :D


Hi Rod - I was back up in this area today.

The Cairn o Mount road was shut (finished up going up to Stonehaven then over to Banchory) but the Cock Bridge to Tomintoul road is now open again.

I did Carn Mor first then went down to Cock Bridge and did Carn Ealasaid (from Corgarff Castle car park). I was after your time of 2hrs but had to settle for 2hrs 10mins :( :( :(


Thanks for info re roadworks I was going yo head up to Braemar first, that should be ok?
Remember I started from the Hotel rather than the castle carpark which would account for the ten minutes.
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Re: Brown Cow Hill On A Sunny Night

Postby Gordie12 » Thu Jun 30, 2016 9:11 pm

The Rodmiester wrote:
Gordie12 wrote:
The Rodmiester wrote:Thanks for posting Gordie, I'm heading up there tomorrow, very timely :D


Hi Rod - I was back up in this area today.

The Cairn o Mount road was shut (finished up going up to Stonehaven then over to Banchory) but the Cock Bridge to Tomintoul road is now open again.

I did Carn Mor first then went down to Cock Bridge and did Carn Ealasaid (from Corgarff Castle car park). I was after your time of 2hrs but had to settle for 2hrs 10mins :( :( :(


Thanks for info re roadworks I was going yo head up to Braemar first, that should be ok?
Remember I started from the Hotel rather than the castle carpark which would account for the ten minutes.


Yip, Braemar is fine, came back that way.
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Re: Brown Cow Hill On A Sunny Night

Postby wilkiemurray » Sat Jul 02, 2016 9:13 am

nice report :clap: I remember thinking this wouldn't be too exciting a walk but was really impressed with the views over to the Cairngorms from the summit. A nice surprise :)

ATB

WM
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Re: Brown Cow Hill On A Sunny Night

Postby Gordie12 » Sat Jul 02, 2016 7:04 pm

wilkiemurray wrote:nice report :clap: I remember thinking this wouldn't be too exciting a walk but was really impressed with the views over to the Cairngorms from the summit. A nice surprise :)

ATB

WM


Hi WM

Seeing the castle close up (can't imagine how many times I've driven past it on the A939) and the views from the top of BCH make the walk well worth the drive up.
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Re: Brown Cow Hill On A Sunny Night

Postby dogplodder » Sat Jul 02, 2016 7:36 pm

Looks a good evening walk, with great light on the castle. Will keep this in mind for the next time we're driving home that way. :wink:
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Re: Brown Cow Hill On A Sunny Night

Postby The Rodmiester » Sun Jul 03, 2016 4:54 pm

It was my time to try and beat your 3hour time. I made the same mistake as you and took the same track as you even saw your size 12 foot prints in the peat hags :lol: made summit cairn 1h 50m but made another error on the way back trying to be smart and cut corners but missed the track and enter too Far East, so just made the 3hour mark. Report to follow.
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Re: Brown Cow Hill On A Sunny Night

Postby Silverhill » Sun Jul 03, 2016 7:33 pm

I like hills that give surprising views and only take 3 hours! Thanks for posting! :D
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Re: Brown Cow Hill On A Sunny Night

Postby Gordie12 » Sun Jul 03, 2016 8:32 pm

dogplodder wrote:Looks a good evening walk, with great light on the castle. Will keep this in mind for the next time we're driving home that way. :wink:


Hi dogplodder

It's one of the easiest Corbetts you could find and if time is limited it's a good one to do - the castle looks good, may head back when on holiday and pay the entry fee to see the inside.
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Re: Brown Cow Hill On A Sunny Night

Postby Gordie12 » Sun Jul 03, 2016 8:35 pm

The Rodmiester wrote:It was my time to try and beat your 3hour time. I made the same mistake as you and took the same track as you even saw your size 12 foot prints in the peat hags :lol: made summit cairn 1h 50m but made another error on the way back trying to be smart and cut corners but missed the track and enter too Far East, so just made the 3hour mark. Report to follow.


It's not a race Rod, but I note you were at the top 5 minutes ahead of me :( :( :(

Sounds like you ended up with the same route, the peat hags looked worse than they were but my size 12 prints would be in there somewhere!!

While as I say, it's not a race, I'm glad you didn't take half an hour off my time :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Brown Cow Hill On A Sunny Night

Postby Gordie12 » Sun Jul 03, 2016 8:36 pm

Silverhill wrote:I like hills that give surprising views and only take 3 hours! Thanks for posting! :D


After your recent report Siverhill I don't think you would bother getting out the car for something as short as this :lol: :lol:
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