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Dun Coillich wee hill at the heart of Scotland

Dun Coillich wee hill at the heart of Scotland

Postby desmondo1 » Thu Oct 19, 2017 8:32 am

Sub 2000' hills included on this walk: Dun Coillich

Date walked: 18/10/2017

Time taken: 1.53 hours

Distance: 4.43 km

Ascent: 288m

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parking area.jpg

View from parking area
The kids were arriving at lunchtime so looked for a short morning hill and came up with the Marilyn, Dun Coillich 572m.
The hill within an interesting community purchase with a view to recreating the land to its original habitat, it is worth an internet search and reading. Historic Heart of Scotland.
Dun Coillich map.jpg

Walking map
Having read the previous reports on Walkhighlands I was intending to follow the same route but by chance I missed the 1st Dun Coillich entrance so turned in at the next one, the one with the Portaloo. Here there are a few notices including a direction board which indicated a marked route all the way around Dun Coillich with a spur heading to the summit. But after fighting my way through unmarked undergrowth the burn was running too fast, I suspected more than a wet bum if I attempted crossing here, so time for a rethink.
I jumped in the car and drove the short distance to park at the caravan park at Glengoulandie.
I crossed the burn at the wooden bridge immediately before the deer centre entrance. No obvious access the hill. Spoke to a local who pointed out an overgrown track on the right immediately after crossing the bridge.
The start.jpg

Infrequently used path
A 100m or so walk along the bank to a kissing gate, it was a tight squeeze, either it’s narrow or I need to lose weight.
I could see another fence some way ahead across extremely marshy ground. Tried sticking to higher areas but feet were in water/bog well above ankles at times. Sprung about a dozen partridge. Next there was a sizeable fence to climb to bring me to open moorland.
Got to climb this.jpg

Got to climb this
I had picked a line from the start going to the left of the trees and then going upwards and across to the summit from there. Trudging through the heather and ferns I thought that this was going to be a long trudge for a short hill. A pair of buzzards cried as they circled above.
Found the trail.jpg

Found the track
However, a bit of luck, I stumbled across the marked green/white posts. Basically this is following the route into Gleann Mor which you get good views of as you climb Schiehallion.
The going is pretty good a wet grass track and my only decision is whether to cut off and head upwards through the heather or hope for the spur. I continue on the still wet but ok trail and reach a post that appears to be set slightly back. I can see the main trail but decide to follow this faint trail into the heather and ferns. The OS map confirmed this would be ok.
spur heads upwards.jpg

Spur track
However, it doesn’t help when looking for green posts in this landscape if you suffer from a version of green/red colour blindness.
Eventually I spotted another post so on the right line. The climb basically follows semi hidden burns which you can hear babbling away but often don’t see. Walking was a cautious affair, constantly prodding the sticks but still there were a few times the foot went down hidden holes. It was glorious isolation but not the place to sprain an ankle or worse.
As I climbed movement to my right a beautiful stag stood looking at me. His colouring was so dark he blended perfectly with the heather. A couple of bounds and he disappeared over a ridge never to be seen again.
Summit in sight.jpg

Summit in sight
When you finally crest the ridge you can continue to the next post which takes you past the summit or simply head up through the heather on the right until you spot the small cairn. Top reached 52 minutes.
Summit looking to Loch Tummel.jpg

Summit cairn looking towards Loch Tummel
A trio of ravens showing off their ariel acrobatics, does that mean anything if your supersticious?
All the higher hilltops are covered in cloud but the local views are still fine, particularly Gleann Mor, the path of Schiehallion clearly seen, Loch Kinardochy.

Schiehallion path clearly seen
I take some time to wander about the tops enjoying the scenery but I still have take care as now deep moss alongside the heather.
Summit flank terrain.jpg

View on descent
I decide to drop back into the glen just as a pair of buzzards fly past then a third appears, but no much bigger wings, I spend about 5 minutes watching the eagle circle above the buzzards before away into the clouds it went.
On the way down red grouse, pheasant and stonechat sighted, not bad.
Followed the trail and back over the marshy ground to the car.
A good walk that fully met the objective.

Distance; 2.75m (4.43km)
Ascent: 945ft (288m)
Time: 1.53

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Posts: 191
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