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High over Galloway

High over Galloway


Postby Jaywizz » Sat Nov 26, 2016 1:38 pm

Grahams included on this walk: Lamachan Hill, Millfore

Donalds included on this walk: Lamachan Hill, Millfore

Sub 2000' hills included on this walk: Cairn Pat, Knockdolian

Date walked: 22/11/2016

Distance: 30.55 km

Ascent: 1369m

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Six weeks since I'd been up a hill! So with high pressure forecast for Wednesday onwards, I headed south-west.

Tuesday 22nd November
[url]Cairn Pat[/url] 2.24km, 74m ascent
A nice little hill just to see if the legs still worked! I parked at the end of the track leading to the radio mast - and was misled by the clean dry concrete road leading uphill so didn't change my footwear (big mistake). The concrete stops at the water tank, and after that the track is muddy, churned up by cattle. Quite windy at the summit - a couple of photos then on to the next hill.
cairn Pat mast 2.jpg
Relieved I'm not up there in the strong wind!

WH 1.jpg
To the north, Ailsa Craig in sunshine

[url]Knockdolian[/url] 3.19km, 213m ascent
Limited parking off-road on the B7044, and, with all the fallen leaves, not easy to see where there was solid ground or ditches. I met oncoming traffic just about the 51m spot height, missed the regular parking space, and so parked a little further on (the sign for the hill route only reads if you approach from the north).
Through a farm gate then SW up the ridge, still quite a wind. I came back down by the 'official' route, and then walked a couple of hundred metres back to the car.
WH 3.jpg
Ailsa Craig again, even closer from the top of Knockdolian

Wednesday 23rd November
[url]Lamachan Hill[/url] 13.3km, 566m ascent
The plan had been to walk over Larg Hill and then Lamachan Hill, but the tussocks won the day.
A glorious day. From the Merrick carpark by Loch Trool, it was a lovely walk through the oakwoods (interesting to see white sheets spread below the trees to catch the acorns - reminded me of olive harvests, although the air temperature at -3.5 degrees C was a little cooler that Mediterranean). I followed the forest track to the Sheil Burn and then turned uphill. The going was extremely rough, some of the worst tussocks that Galloway has to offer, and when I eventually reached the slopes of Cambrick Hill, soft snow also slowed my progress.
Aware of the limited daylight, I decided just to enjoy Lamachan, and leave Larg Hill for another day. And what a day to enjoy - clear blue skies, no wind, and once higher up on the hill, no more tussocks.
WH 4 snow sculptures.jpg
Near the summit shelter - so pleased I was there on a calm day

Leaving the summit, I strode out across the snow - only to go full length as I 'found' a hole below the snow cover. After that a more cautious descent, largely by my route up.
WH 5 View of the Merrick.jpg
The Merrick, just looking magnificent

The views were still spectacular. Descending towards the Nick of the Lochans, I stopped on quite steep ground to get out my camera, and as I took the photos, in slow motion, my backpack rolled down the snow-covered slope, disgorging all the top pocket contents - fortunately in a straight line so easy to collect as I continued down. Won't make that mistake again!

Thursday 24th November
[url]Millfore[/url] 12.9km, 516m ascent.
The weather continued superb as forecast - another cold, bright, still day.
Good carpark at the Black Loch just off the A712.
I followed the route as described on this website, by Kirkloch, and again, brilliant views from the summit. Not a soul in sight, although here, unlike Lamachan, there were some footsteps and an ATV track in the snow.
WH 6 Millfore trig.jpg
Still spectacular views all round, what a privilege to be there

WH 7 looking back.jpg
A last look back to the summit

From the summit, the ridge leading SW was so attractive I walked that way and then turned SE to keep to the higher ground east of the Grey Mare's Tail Burn. Conditions underfoot were fine - until I arrived at the felled area just north of the track. Not a recommended route of descent, but overall the three days of walking had been so great that even a few more metres of stumbling about in tussocks and bog couldn't dampen my spirits.

All in all, three great days. I do realise that doing the middle hill in a group of three (Larg Hill, Lamachan Hill and Curleywee) is not ideal, but for me part of the enjoyment of hillwalking is reading maps, planning routes. Curleywee I think I would do from the cycle route to the north, and maybe Larg Hill by forest tracks to the south? Whichever way has the least tussocks!!!!
Alternatively wait for longer daylight and do the three in one walk as often described - but the tussocks by the Sheil Burn will still be waiting .........................
User avatar
Jaywizz
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 228
Munros:237   Corbetts:32
Grahams:70   Donalds:89
Sub 2000:129   Hewitts:9
Wainwrights:4   Islands:25
Joined: Sep 16, 2012

Re: High over Galloway

Postby Fife Flyer » Sat Nov 26, 2016 8:32 pm

Enjoyed reading that, when I saw the initial introduction 30km etc I initially thought it was all done in a single day - in November :shock: :o :lol:
Love the shots of Ailsa Craig :clap:
I plan to make a few trips down that way with the intention of grouping as many hills as I can in one visit, sounds easy, watch this space :lol: :lol:
User avatar
Fife Flyer
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 2381
Munros:195   Corbetts:41
Grahams:21   Donalds:33
Sub 2000:120   Hewitts:2
Islands:5
Joined: May 15, 2013
Location: Guess?

Re: High over Galloway

Postby Jaywizz » Sun Nov 27, 2016 10:24 am

Thank you, Fife Flyer - I look forward to reading your reports!
If you are planning to stay in Newton Stewart, then I recommend you book accommodation in advance - there are many wind farm construction workers staying in the inns and B&Bs.
User avatar
Jaywizz
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 228
Munros:237   Corbetts:32
Grahams:70   Donalds:89
Sub 2000:129   Hewitts:9
Wainwrights:4   Islands:25
Joined: Sep 16, 2012

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