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Meikle Balloch & Bin o Cullen

Meikle Balloch & Bin o Cullen

Postby Gordon Ballantyne » Wed Mar 22, 2017 11:54 am

Sub 2000' hills included on this walk: Bin of Cullen, Meikle Balloch Hill

Date walked: 21/03/2017

Time taken: 2 hours

Distance: 9 km

Ascent: 430m

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The weather looked pretty ferocious from the west, but I noticed that the Moray coast and the tip of the Aberdeenshire "empty quarter" wasn't due to receive any of the arctic stuff. Arriving to pick up Harvey, I found my son suffering from Iranian bird flu ! ( really man-flu) ) Beat a hasty retreat with H & GordonC up the A96 to Keith.

Meikle Balloch Hill
Followed the wriggly road up to the water works and parked up alongside a couple of early risers.

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Checked the Forestry route board and decided on the Blue route to the top of Meikle Balloch.

Harvey waiting for us again on the forestry path up Meikle Balloch.JPG
Harvey waiting for us on the path up Meikle Balloch

A fine track took us to the top of the trees and a muddy path across the top to the trig & cairn.

The muddy path along the top of Meikle Balloch.jpg
The muddy path along the top of Meiklr Balloch

GordonC above the treeline on Meikle Balloch.jpg
GordonC above the treeline on Meikle Balloch

There was a muckle heap of topdressing for the paths by the trig point, ready to be spread out over the summit tracks.

New path top dressing on Meikle Balloch.jpg
New top dressing on the path at the top of Meickle Balloch

At the top we had fine views to Knock Hill - our outing last week.
Ben Rinnes was also visible, although to the west we could see the snow-laden clouds dropping their load on the higher hills.

Knock Hill from Meikle Balloch.jpg
Knock Hill from Meikle Balloch

Just next to the trig was a wee shrine - a bit weatherbeaten - with a wee whisky miniature cooried doon among the stanes obviously in memory to someone. Nice touch.

The dram shrine on Meikle Balloch.jpg
A dram shrine by thr Meikle Balloch Trig

We didn't tarry in the chill breeze and headed down to the sanctuary of the car.

Bin of Cullen
Back into Keith and up the B9018, turning off at Nether Blairock to park up just before Braidbog at the the start of the track up Bin o Cullen.

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Had a piece and coffee for lunch, but I'd forgotten to bring Harvey's pigs lug, so he had to make do with some doggy nibbles supplemented by a bit o GordonC's apple. ( the hazards of being walked by auld fowk ! )
The track up through the Scots pine forest was really uplifting, but without the usual atmspheric scent, as I guess the sap isn't quite running freely yet. The trees were spaced out so that there was growth beneath the trees, unlike the commercial monoculture forestry.
About half way up the Bin , a hail shower spattered down, forcing GordonC to donn his hat. He still has hair, so the wee hailstones nestle into it and then melt causing ice-cold trickles down the face & neck ! No such problems for me as they just ricochete off the baldy heid..........put ma hat on anyway.

On the zig-zags just below the top of Bin o Cullen.JPG
On the Zig Zags just below the top of the Bin o Cullen

We only caught the edge of the shower, as when we reached the top we could see a fairly active squall just to the east that had obviously passed this way a wee while ago.
The last bit up the zig -zaggy path eases the ascent and curls round the top where a wee shortcut took us on to the top.

Approaching the top o the Bin.JPG
Approaching the top o the Bin

There was a granite indicator plaque on top of the summit cairn gifted by the local Rotary Club that had unfortunately been vandalised and was in about 4 pieces - really sad after the effort to put it there for everyone's use. We stayed as long as we could to absorb the views along the south Moray Firth coast of Lossie, Buckie, Portknockie and of course Cullen below us.

Looking out across the Moray Firth from the Bin o Cullen.JPG
Looking out over the Moray Firth from the Bin

Cullen from the Bin.JPG
Cullen from the Bin o Cullen

Broken indicator plaque on the Bin cairn.JPG
Broken Rotary indicater plaque on the Bin o Cullen cairn

Gazing at the views from this hill of the Moray coast got me into a reflective mood, recalling the time spent at Kinloss in the '60's and playing golf with my Schlumberger colleages all around this area over the 70's, 80's and 90's. Ah well -happy days !
We took the dirrettissima path down that cut out the zig-zags into that beguiling Scots pine forest and back to the car.
Another fantastic day out with GordonC & Harvey !
We had to rely on GordonC's wee Olympus as I left my phone back at the car at the bottom o the Bin !
Us auld billys make our walks interesting by congratulating ourselves for remembering to bring all the gear, then leaving half of it in the car !
Gordon Ballantyne
Munro compleatist
Posts: 281
Munros:282   Corbetts:89
Grahams:20   Donalds:7
Sub 2000:59   
Joined: Jan 30, 2011
Location: Westhill, Aberdeenshire

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