walkhighlands

Share your personal walking route experiences in Scotland, and comment on other peoples' reports.
Warning Please note that hillwalking when there is snow lying requires an ice-axe, crampons and the knowledge, experience and skill to use them correctly. Summer routes may not be viable or appropriate in winter. See winter information on our skills and safety pages for more information.

Merrick - The Tourist Route

Merrick - The Tourist Route


Postby Gordie12 » Sun Sep 18, 2016 2:04 pm

Route description: The Merrick, from Loch Trool

Corbetts included on this walk: Merrick

Donalds included on this walk: Merrick

Date walked: 17/09/2016

Time taken: 4.2 hours

Distance: 14 km

Ascent: 871m

3 people think this report is great.
Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).

Having decided on the top of Shalloch on Minnoch not to walk the complete ridge from north to south it was just a short drive from the Bell Memorial car park down to Loch Trool. I didn't see a soul on SoM, this place is different.

1.jpg
Busy place


There was a race on and I learned later that there were 127 runners which probably explains the overflowing car parks.

Walked up the road for 100 yards to another car park and the walk for The Merrick is clearly signed. A good track follows the burn before taking the high route and leaving the burn behind. It feels like somebody has flicked a switch, the sun is out and with no breeze to speak of, it 's very warm.

2.jpg


3.jpg


After the climb away from the burn the path undulates before reaching Kilsharg bothy.

4.jpg
Approaching Kilsharg bothy


The path climbs away from the bothy and meets a forestry track and it was here I met a marshall who was telling me about the race. A quick right on to the forestry track and left off it, through a gate - the climb starts.

5.jpg
The view before entering the trees


It's quite a steep climb through the forest to reach the open hillside and quite a few people around, most are on their way back to the car park as my starting time was just after 1pm and there is only one other person I can see who is climbing the hill.

Once out in the open there is still a good path which would normally give me a good surface to make decent time but Shalloch on Minnoch has tested the legs and it is more of a slow plod with a number of "photo opportunities" thrown in.

7.jpg
Looking up to the top of Benyellary


8.jpg
Bennan


9.jpg
Looking out to Ailsa Craig


Eventually the good path becomes a grassy path but with the number of people that seem to do this hill it's short grass and a bit eroded in places. Arriving at the top of Benyellary I get my first view of Merrick.

11.jpg
Merrick from the top of Benyellary


12.jpg
View East


13.jpg
And again


The steepest part of the climb is now behind me and it's just a short drop down on the Neive of the Spit before the gradual easy ascent to the summit of Merrick.

14.jpg


15.jpg
Kirriereoch Hill


16.jpg


17.jpg
A zoomed Ailsa Craig


18.jpg


Had a seat on a rock for about 15 minutes, it was a great afternoon to take in the views. There was still a bit of distant mist out to sea so I could make out the Arran tops but not a day to see Northern Ireland.

A little refreshed it was time to get the legs going again and retrace my steps back. At the top of Benyellary I stopped again for a few minutes to get my last look at the view before losing height - great viewpoint.

19.jpg
View east from the Neive of the Spit


20.jpg
Looking up to the top of Benyellary


21.jpg
View East


22.jpg
Back to Merrick


On the way down off Benyellary I passed a could of groups who had settled for this hill rather than going on to Merrick.

Once down beyond the bothy the walk down to the car park was really enjoyable, it was after 5pm and the lowering sun gave the glen a great light.

23.jpg
View before heading back in to the forest


24.jpg
Kilsharg bothy


25.jpg


26.jpg
View down to Loch Trool


27.jpg
Loch Trool again


At the car park there was just a motor home, a van and my car so a bit of a different feel to it.

Slightly frustrating that I just did this hill in isolation but it's a good hill with some great view from both Benyellary and Merrick.
User avatar
Gordie12
Mountaineer
 
Posts: 1877
Munros:112   Corbetts:62
Grahams:18   Donalds:21
Sub 2000:35   Hewitts:24
Wainwrights:24   
Joined: Sep 6, 2012
Location: Nr Forfar

Re: Merrick - The Tourist Route

Postby The Rodmiester » Sun Sep 18, 2016 6:37 pm

Hi Gordie, hope you cheered on my daughter in the hill race. I've not done this or anything else down there, and it looks pretty good tourist route or not. Hopefully later this year.
User avatar
The Rodmiester
Walker
 
Posts: 3390
Munros:107   Corbetts:196
Grahams:45   Donalds:13
Sub 2000:76   Hewitts:3
Wainwrights:1   Islands:16
Joined: Aug 15, 2012
Location: Carnoustie

Re: Merrick - The Tourist Route

Postby Gordie12 » Mon Sep 19, 2016 8:08 pm

The Rodmiester wrote:Hi Gordie, hope you cheered on my daughter in the hill race. I've not done this or anything else down there, and it looks pretty good tourist route or not. Hopefully later this year.


Shalloch on Minnoch may be more to your taste Rod (as close to Crock as anything I can remember).

Hope your daughter did well, a bit hot for hill running on Saturday afternoon I would have thought - no breeze to be had anywhere.
User avatar
Gordie12
Mountaineer
 
Posts: 1877
Munros:112   Corbetts:62
Grahams:18   Donalds:21
Sub 2000:35   Hewitts:24
Wainwrights:24   
Joined: Sep 6, 2012
Location: Nr Forfar

Re: Merrick - The Tourist Route

Postby SecretSquirrel » Tue Oct 11, 2016 9:48 am

That's a very busy car park! Great set of photographs of a cracking hill. Looks like you had a good day for it.

Merrick is one of my favorites down that way. I remember when we did this route, the section through the forestry was closed due to downed trees and we had do divert around to the left, following the fenceline and adding a little extra effort. Also, in hindsight I wish I had gone onto Kirrieroch Hill too but I guess I will be back for that sometime.

:thumbup:
User avatar
SecretSquirrel
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 420
Munros:124   Corbetts:26
Grahams:24   Donalds:76
Sub 2000:10   
Joined: Jul 2, 2012
Location: Hamilton

Re: Merrick - The Tourist Route

Postby Gordie12 » Tue Oct 11, 2016 8:52 pm

SecretSquirrel wrote:That's a very busy car park! Great set of photographs of a cracking hill. Looks like you had a good day for it.

Merrick is one of my favorites down that way. I remember when we did this route, the section through the forestry was closed due to downed trees and we had do divert around to the left, following the fenceline and adding a little extra effort. Also, in hindsight I wish I had gone onto Kirrieroch Hill too but I guess I will be back for that sometime.

:thumbup:


After Shalloch on Minnoch earlier in the day (a tough little hill) I was quite happy with a tourist trail for this one - fantastic views in all directions, I can see why this is one of your favourites.
User avatar
Gordie12
Mountaineer
 
Posts: 1877
Munros:112   Corbetts:62
Grahams:18   Donalds:21
Sub 2000:35   Hewitts:24
Wainwrights:24   
Joined: Sep 6, 2012
Location: Nr Forfar

3 people think this report is great.
Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).



Walkhighlands community forum is advert free

We need help to keep the site online.
Can you help support Walkhighlands and the online community by setting up a monthly donation by direct debit?



Return to Walk reports - Scotland

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: alexanderj, BekaKennedy, euang, Jaxter, Moirac2, PeteR, revalation and 57 guests