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A BAD(andun) (Mealna) LETTER to (Mount) BLAIR

A BAD(andun) (Mealna) LETTER to (Mount) BLAIR

Postby Fife Flyer » Mon May 15, 2017 7:16 pm

Grahams included on this walk: Badandun Hill, Mealna Letter or Duchray Hill, Mount Blair

Date walked: 14/05/2017

Time taken: 4.6 hours

Distance: 15.3 km

Ascent: 1225m

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I hope we all appreciate the effort that went into dreaming up the title of this walk report, I thought it was rather original. When you are huffing and puffing uphill you have plenty of time to mull over walk report titles :lol: :lol: By the way I haven't written any letters to Mr Blair :wink:
Having missed out on the majority of the recent dry spell, I had a spare slot to escape the doggy sitting and family commitments and the forecast was OK 8) I am still bumping off some of the nearer hills and after studying the map I came up with a plan to kill 3 birds with one stone or in one outing.
My plan involved tackling all 3 hills in what I would describe as the most direct approach, this would involve driving from the parking area for Badandun to the small parking area that would enable me to tackle the other 2 from the same spot.

Badandun Hill - 1hr 30mins, 425m, 4.10km

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Badandun Hill

Mealna Letter - 1hr 50mins, 400m, 6.70km.

Mount Blair - 1hr 20mins, 400m, 4.5km

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Mealna Letter & Mount Blair in a oner

I left Fife just before 8am and the Satnav told me it will take just over an hour to get to the parking area and it was correct as usual :lol:

Image Parking area right at the start of the track 8) Love the purple coloured bins :wink:

Image The way ahead with Badanum Hill straight ahead

Image Random pile of straw

Image River Isla would be challenging to cross without the bridge

I was on my way towards Badandun at 9.15am. There is a good track and a bridge over the River Isla and then into the farm area of Fergus. Once past the farm the track rises fairly steeply through a small wooded area, my plan was to leave the track once out of the wooded area and basically just go for it :lol: After crossing Fergus Burn it is then just a matter of trudging uphill through the heather and some soft grassy areas.

Image Looking back after leaving the track

Image Similar shot from slightly higher up

Image Next hill Mealna Letter zoomed

Image And the final hill Mount Blair zoomed

Image Looking north and you can see the track continuing

Image A few shooting spots on the other side of the track

Image Looking back down to the start

Image Summit trig


Image A bit like a motorway going past the summit

Image There aren't many summits where you don't have the pleasure of admiring these machines

A few stops for photo's and to catch my breath and in less than an hour the summit trig came into view 8)

After a few more photo's, especially the next two hills which could be seen clearly, I headed down. Descending on heather is, in my opinion the best and easiest way to descend, nice and soft underfoot.

Image Came across this wee skull on the descent, any suggestions?

Image Nice location for a chalet, presume it is available to rent/hire. Love the straps holding the roof on :lol: :lol:

Once back at the car I kept my boots on chucked all my gear in the boot and drove the 8 miles to the small parking area that would double up as the start point for the next two hills.

My plan was to tackle Mealna Letter or Duchray Hill first and the initial part is a bit of a bog trot, luckily it wasn't too bad but I can imagine after a spell of wet weather it would not be fun :( Once on the higher ground the underfoot conditions improve. The ascent up Mealna Letter is fairly easy albeit longer than the other 2 hills, I only stopped a couple of times for photo's and to put on my jacket as it started raining :(

Image One of the few photo's before the camera was bagged on the ascent, showing the way ahead.

Image Looking back down, it is just a matter of following the fence, then the wall uphill

Image Looking south and back down from a bit higher up

Image Looking across to Mount Blair and it looked along way away :(

Image Looking south

Image Nearly at the summit

Image Summit/high point of Mealna Letter, in my opinion

Image Downhill path to the cairn

Image Looking up to the wall

Image Looking north and over Loch Beanie

Image Heading down towards the road

Image A few uprooted trees

Image Small parking area for Letter & Blair

Image Last look up to Mealna Letter

Once back at the car, I ate my lunch quickly and then walked along the road for about 400m before reaching the gate that is easier to climb over than open - I did open it on the way but it wasn't easy, so I elegantly climbed over it on the descent :lol:

Image The locals watching my every move

Image The way up Mount Blair - steady incline and the majority of the ascent is on this firm short grass. Be prepared for 400m of non stop 'upness', the good thing is the summit is soon reached :lol: :lol:

Image Just in case you didn't believe me - here is the track a bit further up :lol:

Image The latter part of the ascent turns into a track, here it is looking down

Image The cluttered summit of Mount Blair

When I reached the summit of Mount Blair not only was it a bit chilly it was also rather blowy, I did take a video but it isn't good enough to post, not only is it a bit wonky but the wind noise isn't very pleasant - haven't got round to the technical side of attaching nice music to videos yet :lol: :lol:

Image There is a shelter on the summit with a circular map telling you how far certain places are - as the crow flies. Considering I am north of Edinburgh and the Satnav worked out that it is 65 miles :roll:

Image Just so the folk in the west don't feel left out :wink:

Image Dalnaglar Castle zoomed, wonder how often they whitewash the walls :lol:

Image Above photo zoomed a bit, nice setting

Image Piles of timber debris - anyone know what happens to them?

Image More timber stuff

Really enjoyed these hills as a group, even though you are starting above 300m if you do all 3 each one still has 400m of going up to overcome. Mount Blair on it's own could probably be done in an hour with fresh legs :lol: :lol: Having said that if the weather is kind Mount Blair offers some great views and the circular shelter is interesting :wink:
Next on the menu will be more of the same.
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Fife Flyer
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Re: A BAD(andun) (Mealna) LETTER to (Mount) BLAIR

Postby rockhopper » Wed May 17, 2017 12:07 am

At least I can lay claim to recognising the hills from the title :lol: having finished off a trip with your first after deciding against your second and third due to bad weather.
Quite a few hill options in this area with shortish routes for each - cheers :)
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