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Kintyre Marilyns 1 - Cnoc a'Bhaile-shios

PostPosted: Sun Aug 28, 2016 7:09 pm
by wjshaw2

2016-08-23-150702.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts

On Tuesday 30th August, I'm due to start a new post in charge of a couple of churches in Grangemouth and Bo'ness, so I had a few days to take as a retreat. I'm not that keen on sitting down and being quiet, I'm more than a bit fidgety. Besides, if the idea is spend time with God getting ready for a new calling, what better way could there be than spending it tramping around in the hills?

To stop it being so much of a physical challenge that I only concentrate on the achievement of the tops, I decided the hills I should do shouldn't be too big. And it should be a place I haven't been before with achievable aims. So the plan formed to climb all the wee tops in Kintyre south of Tarbert over the four days & three nights that I could take for the retreat. And the first of these hills I'd come to was Cnoc a'Bhaile-shios.

And it was wet. And my waterproofs didn't work very well. And I couldn't see anything. And the apparently easiest route along the track most of the way was inaccessible due to diggers making big noises that I didn't want to get very close to. And the vegetation was deep (between knee and thigh deep wet heather, grass, and tussock (and I'm 6'4")) so it was hard going. And I got so fed up with heather bashing that I switched off and followed a track I hoped was going the right way - and found it wasn't, so had to relocate, rather than head back directly. And the digger was still going on the way home, so it took a second diversion, partly through forestry not marked on my map, to get back. So not an easy start to the trip. I only managed to take one photo due to the rain and it didn't come out very well so all you'll get in this report is words.

I started at the junction of two tracks with the road near Lonlia and Redesdale House on the road to the Claonaig ferry - there's plenty of room for a carefully parked car here - and headed off the well made track that should take me all the way to the open moorland about a km from the top. As I headed along, the noise of the digger grew louder and I didn't want to take the chance of not being spotted by a heavy lifter in the mist and getting squashed, so diverted off to the east along an unmarked forestry track and followed the line of the Whitehouse Burn until it reached the end of the forestry. I cut up from there to the top. It was hard going - deep, soggy vegetation of the kind I hadn't encountered since Tighvein on the south of Arran, the sort that penetrates straight through waterproof trousers. In the other report on this hill, the heather looks a lot lower - so maybe it is best climbed earlier or later in the year. And then, in wetness and hope I followed the 4x4 track on the way down to try to make things easier. Except it didn't and got me a bit disorientated in the mist. Still, a South bearing brought me back to the forestry which would provide the handrail through the mist. And apart from having to divert again around the noisy, crashing digger noises through more wet, unmarked forestry, the rest was straightforward. The whole thing took about twice as long as I expected it to (no wonder, since I walked about twice as far as I'd hoped).

Anyway, one down, six more to go, if I could ever face getting back into my wet walking things.

Re: Kintyre Marilyns 1 - Cnoc a'Bhaile-shios

PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2016 10:58 pm
by JimboJim
I sense you near enjoyed this one as much as I did :lol: Never again ... unless for love, or money, maybe?