What a difference a week makes, last Sunday grey, sodden, just miserable. Today the 1st blue skies for goodness knows how long. The clocks changed, potential extra hour in bed, but I wakened with my normal sleeping pattern so up, drove the 45 miles to the Forrest Lodge car park and was walking just before 9am.
My objective was Carlin’s Cairn, a Donald at 807m. This would complete the Rhinns of Kell summits for me. To get there I chose to ascend via the Corbett, Corserine 814m.
As soon as I left the car park there were two deer were feeding on the edge of the forest, nice early morning sight.
The walk in
Head north towards forest lodge then go left (west) up the forest track named Birger Natvig road to pass the house at Fore Bush. The ridge looks particularly good in the morning sun.
Basically just keep following the track and you cannot go wrong.
Turn left here
After 1.97 miles from start the track swings right at NX525874. Take to the track on the left and after 200m or so follow a path off left into the forest on the south side of the Folk Burn, which is crossed across a new mud bridge after a few hundred metres.
This half mile walk is extremely wet and boggy with few options other than keep jumping from side to side to try avoid deep mud puddles.
Open moor follow the path
Once it emerges from the forest cross the stile onto open moorland and into a nice bowl shaped area. A fairly clear path, but wet and slippy at times, the path continues west onto Craigrine, the NE ridge of Corserine, which is climbed to the summit plateau. The sun was beating down and I was perspiring, is it summer?
Almost at plateau
Once on top there is a very large cairn, which can be seen from near the start but this is not the highest point.
Carlin's cairn behind this cairn
Follow the faint path and if like today the trig of Corserine is clearly seen along with great views north of Carlin's Cairn along with the other hills in the north ridge. The south ridge were in bright sunlight so no snaps.
Merrick from Corserine
Walk has taken 1h 50min from start, good progress, but up here the northerly winds were now giving me the fridge treatment so on went hat and gloves.
I take a few minutes as the views are superb but this was not my destination so on I went.
Carlin's Cairn from Corserine
Carlins cairn lies to the north (it is only 7 metres smaller than Corserine). Follow another track and there is a drop of about 100 metres before climbing back up to the large cairn. Of course I had to do it the other way as well and I was feeling my legs by the time I was back up top on Corserine.
The extra ascent was worth it as the views from here were today better than Corserine. 2hrs 15min to cairn. Just take it all in. I spotted someone at the trig but they didn’t come this way, the only other person so far. Brilliant views of ‘The Range of the Awful Hand’ and Loch Enoch.
Awful Hand from Carlin's
The return has fine views of Polmaddy Gairy corrie (I love the names here), care required from the top if misty. Unfortunately the views on one side are dominated by wind turbines so enjoy the other views.
On the descent from Corserine it was also care required as the wet grass was very slippy indeed.
Forrest Lodge Black Watch
I actually met some other people coming up so not all alone on the hills after all.
When I finished I had a look at the Forrest Lodge and its history. Belonging to the Fred Olsen liner this handsome Black Watch has a very interesting history but I will leave you to search for it.
A very good walk and particularly nice to see the blue skies.
Time: 4 hours 17min
Distance: 9.6m (15.45km)
Ascent: 2844ft (867m)
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