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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.

Cairnsmore of Views

Cairnsmore of Views


Postby Fife Flyer » Thu Nov 24, 2016 8:22 pm

Grahams included on this walk: Cairnsmore of Fleet

Donalds included on this walk: Cairnsmore of Fleet

Date walked: 23/11/2016

Time taken: 2.75 hours

Distance: 12.2 km

Ascent: 700m

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Continuing my journey in visiting Donalds I came up with a plan to kill a couple of birds with one stone.
I had to head down to Cheshire to escort my mother for a hospital appointment, so as the forecast continued to be favourable I thought why not head north a wee bit earlier than usual and go for a 'brisk' walk 8)
I had a few options on the table but as I wouldn't be walking until about midday it would have to be a single hill and ideally I wanted to try and avoid the traffic heading home from work in Edinburgh.
So after studying the remaining Donalds I decided Cairnsmore of Fleet would be the target. So just after crossing the Border it was then a matter of following the A75 which is a good road for quite a bit further than I expected :o Having said it is a good road it also is the main link road that takes HGV's to Stranraer and the ferry crossing to Northern Ireland. I had never driven along the A75 as I have always headed SW either from the north or via Abington so it was a journey of adventure :lol:

I won't bother drawing the route as it was a straight up & down, following the WH guide 8)

I arrived at the designated parking area and was off on my way just after 11.30, there wasn't a cloud in the sky and the ground was nice and firm and crisp 8)

Image Plenty of cars there before me and the parking area is well sign posted :lol:

Image Looks quite a long way away

Image Follow the road initially

Image Makes navigating easy

Image Through natural undergrowth

Image Hmmm which way now :lol:

Image Long shadows

Image Obstacle course

Image Looking back

Image Pretty good path up through the forest

The initial part of the walk is very straight forward and as the photo's suggest, there are signs to keep you right :lol:
The path up through the forest is a mixture of mud, stones and grass and has a nice steady incline. Parts of the path were covered in icy patches and I made a mental note to take care when descending :lol:

Image Looking back again

Image Nearly out of the forest

Image Path and snow line pretty obvious

Image Looking back

Image Looking across to the bigger hills

Image A few new gates

Image Galloway hills looking attractive

After last weeks exploits in the Cheviots I was wondering how deep the snow was going to be higher up, as it turned out the numerous fellow walkers had compacted the snow quite well. There were a couple of patches of squidgyness and they were very noticeable by brown boot prints, so a few detours solved that little problem.

Image Quite a busy hill

Image Looking back, rather impressive

Image Sun was making photo's of the Solway Firth difficult, it's not very often the sun makes an appearance so musn't complain :lol:

Image Not far now, snow much firmer

Image Cairnsmore's bigger brothers

Image North

The summit area of Cairnsmore is quite large and offers great all round views, the only fly in the ointment was the sun :lol: Had I been a couple of hours earlier I probably would have been able to take some great shots across the Solway Firth. I am not complaining as the sun made the walk really enjoyable and I didn't need my extra fleece or even my gloves on and it's not very often we could say that towards the end of November 8)

Image Trig, cairn and shelter

Image Galloway hills zoomed a bit

Image Trig and shelter

Image West towards Stranraer, pretty flat

I wasn't aware of the aircraft crashes until I did my usual research and being ex Military it is always sad to hear of any crashes. The memorial stone and plaque is quite impressive and a fitting tribute to all those airmen who lost their lives :clap: :clap:

Image Memorial to "8" aircraft that have crashed

Image Memorial zoomed

After taking my usual quantity of photo's I set off back downhill. The softish snow made descending very easy and I was able to make good progress.

Image Heading down

Once I entered the forest I was keeping my eyes peeled for any ice that was lurking but the sun and the slightly rising temperature had got rid of that problem. The ice also reminded me to make sure I get my spikes and crampons out for my next outing - which I have done 8)
I arrived back at the car in under 3 hours and the satnav told me it was 134 miles to get home, which surprised me, another minor problem was fuel. My car an Ibiza Cupra only has a 45l tank and the display told me I had enough fuel for 135 miles, you don't have to have a degree in Maths to work out that I would either have to stop somewhere and top up or drive like 'Miss Daisy'. I started off by driving in the latter option mainly due to the traffic and the lack of overtaking options. Then about 20 miles from Dumfries I was stuck in a long queue of cars and lorries all stuck behind a gritter that was averaging about 40mph. The good news was that I was saving fuel and I actually made it home with enough fuel for 25 miles 8)
A great day in fabulous conditions which now leaves me with less than 20 Donalds to tackle, that sounds easy but the majority are down in the SW :lol:
Hopefully I will be able to venture SW again next week, so let's hope for a nice little weather window :wink:
User avatar
Fife Flyer
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 2345
Munros:171   Corbetts:46
Grahams:35   Donalds:89
Sub 2000:116   Hewitts:2
Islands:5
Joined: May 15, 2013
Location: Guess?

Re: Cairnsmore of Views

Postby Phil the Hill » Fri Nov 25, 2016 2:21 pm

Good to see a report on this hill, as I have it earmarked for early May after my brother gets married at Gretna Green :D If I get weather like that I'll be well-satisfied, though I suppose it's unlikely there will still be any snow.
User avatar
Phil the Hill
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 335
Munros:261   Corbetts:26
Grahams:5   Donalds:6
Sub 2000:9   Hewitts:137
Wainwrights:58   Islands:8
Joined: Sep 22, 2010
Location: Wallington, Surrey

Re: Cairnsmore of Views

Postby Jaywizz » Fri Nov 25, 2016 4:13 pm

Agree - superb weather. I could have waved to you from the top of Millfore! (Report not posted yet)
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Jaywizz
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 225
Munros:237   Corbetts:32
Grahams:70   Donalds:89
Sub 2000:123   Hewitts:9
Wainwrights:4   
Joined: Sep 16, 2012

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