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Surprised at the good views from Wether Hill

Surprised at the good views from Wether Hill


Postby desmondo1 » Fri Dec 22, 2017 10:06 pm

Sub 2000' hills included on this walk: Wether Hill

Date walked: 21/12/2017

Time taken: 2.35 hours

Distance: 12.26 km

Ascent: 285m

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Wether Hill
Sub 2000/Marilyn 535m
The winter solstice today, so it was appropriate to pick a short hill for the shortest day. I also needed a break from all the Xmas preparation, the weather forecast is positive so decision made.
My original plan was to pick up last Saturday's incomplete walk and finish Benbrack. However, as I drove past Loch Doon heavy fog/mist along with light rain was encountered. Should I turn back but no, I drove to the start but no change in the conditions. If I can't get a view I tend not to climb when on solo trips. But, I had a back up plan, a straightforward hike up the wind farm to Wether Hill, a sub 2000 not yet completed, so drove on a mile or so.
Start of walk.jpg

Walk start
It was still light rain but getting a little brighter so I decided to go for it. Interestingly the light rain hitting my phone was producing multi colours pin prick size drops on my screen, what was dropping down on us? I have had sand in the rain before but never this. A rainbow spectrum of dots.
There are no signs, just a locked barrier, so I checked the GPS and yes this was the start. I had no great expectations for this walk but the views from the top ended up being really good.
You cannot get lost, simply follow the dirt road. On your left there is a track to a private property, Yellow Craig, expensive looking gates and a CTV sign, no unwelcome door knockers here. Cannot see the house but there is a small stretch of water, looks like private fishing, nice.
Castle Craig rock formation.jpg

Castle Craig rock formation
Soon after that there are good views of the craggy rock formation, Castle Craig, from this angle they do indeed look like a ruined castle.
There is another barrier, this time the official wind farm entrance. As I go through loud mooing begins, my nemesis are around. I trundle up the path and there standing staring at me is a big black beast. Soon the hills are covered in them. At least today all they did was stand and stare as I walked through them, still heart rate up a notch.
Mist lingering.jpg

Lingering mist
The fog and mist is still lingering in lower stretches but makes a nice image.
The track loops back on itself once behind Cornharrow hill. If you wanted some moorland walking you could go directly over this from the barrier rather than follow the track.
Wether Hill on right.jpg

Wether Hill on right
Once around the bend the main turbines are in view along with an operational service centre. Wether Hill is up with the turbines on your right. Although I simply followed the track you could again simply cross the moor, your choice.
Wether Hill.jpg

Track to Wether Hill summit
Once the track reaches the top turbines your choice left or right, it is a circle. In either case walk until you reach a cattle grid then simply follow the faint boggy ATV track until you spot a very small insignificant pile of stones near the middle turbine. GPS confirmed the high spot. I actually went right and continued over the moor a bit to get some views and also to check height as map suggested this was the top before returning and going to the higher spot.
Thankfully the weather had cleared so fine 360deg visibility.
Bail Hill Striding Arch.jpg

Bail Hill Arch
Benbrack Striding Arch.jpg

Benbrack Arch
If you can ignore the intrusive turbines there were cracking views today from here. All 3 red sandstone Striding Arches could be clearly picked out. My original target Benbrack and then Colt Hill arched on top plus Bail Hill, half hidden.
Cairnsmore of Carsphairn.jpg

Cairnsmore of Carsphairn
Cairnsmore of Carsphairn still had some snow on top. Cairnsmore of Fleet to the south looking like an inversion. The Rhinns tops nearby, again low mist below. Plenty of pockets of fog/mist still lying in places. Many other sights just made my day, from low expectations to this, wow.
View South from Wether Hill.jpg

View South
Had a chat with some workers repairing a turbine, one guy hanging out the top. The told me it is a straight ladder climb inside the turbine but that the newer bigger turbines have internal lifts.
Turbine under repair.jpg

Turbine under repair.
A walk back down the track and survived my staring cows once more.
Not much wildlife today, a couple of flocks of goldfinches, a raven, some grouse and a pheasant plus the white butt of a roe deer jumping into the trees.
So not at all a wasted day and Benbrack is still left for another day. Back to the Xmas food preparation!!
Ascent: 934ft (285m)
Time: 2.35
Distance: 7.64m (12.26km)
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desmondo1
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Posts: 190
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Re: Surprised at the good views from Wether Hill

Postby HalfManHalfTitanium » Sat Dec 23, 2017 8:20 am

Beautiful and atmospheric photos!
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HalfManHalfTitanium
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Re: Surprised at the good views from Wether Hill

Postby Jaywizz » Sat Dec 23, 2017 9:48 am

Good to read you also celebrate the shortest day! I enjoyed your report.
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Jaywizz
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 227
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Re: Surprised at the good views from Wether Hill

Postby desmondo1 » Sat Dec 23, 2017 12:53 pm

Thanks it was nice to clear the head from Xmas duties and looking forward to many more once I have cleared the Xmas/Boxing day invaders.
desmondo1
Hill Bagger
 
Posts: 190
Munros:78   Corbetts:40
Grahams:39   Donalds:63
Sub 2000:120   
Islands:13
Joined: Nov 6, 2012

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