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Winter Walk in the Sidlaws

Winter Walk in the Sidlaws


Postby Boots_and_Paws » Wed Jan 17, 2018 6:32 pm

Route description: Sidlaws: Craigowl and Auchterhouse hill

Sub 2000' hills included on this walk: Craigowl Hill

Date walked: 11/01/2018

Time taken: 3 hours

Distance: 7.5 km

Ascent: 333m

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With the weather being good and we had a free day, we decided to take our first trip up the Sidlaws to get a good view of Dundee and it's surroundings. We started in Balkello car park, which had plenty of parking spaces, and a good view of the hills we were about to climb. We approached the information sign at the car park and started our walk through the woods towards Auchterhouse Hill.

Image20180111_123350 by Rhys Thindal, on Flickr

Coming out of the woods we crossed under pylon lines, and then though a wooden gate at a stone wall. The path then followed along the wall before coming to a fork in the path, where we took the path to the right starting the ascent on Auchterhouse Hill.

Image20180111_124406 by Rhys Thindal, on Flickr

A view during the ascent of Auchterhouse. Although only a few degrees in temperature, with the sun out and the upward ascent we quickly packed away our coats.

Image20180111_124632 by Rhys Thindal, on Flickr

On our way up Auchterhouse!

Image20180111_124858 by Rhys Thindal, on Flickr

Some patches of Ice on the paths in places, made up a nice contrast with the surrounding moors.

Image20180111_130539 by Rhys Thindal, on Flickr

Reaching the top of Auchterhouse, with the crown of Larch trees surrounding the site of on old fort.

Image20180111_131320 by Rhys Thindal, on Flickr

On top of Auchterhouse summit!

Image20180111_132444 by Rhys Thindal, on Flickr

The next two targets, Balluderon and Craigowl.

We retraced our steps partly down Auchterhouse before coming to a fork and heading left down Auchterhouse and towards the ascent of Balluderon.

Image20180111_133030 by Rhys Thindal, on Flickr

The relatively steep ascent up Balluderon Hill.

Image20180111_134054 by Rhys Thindal, on Flickr

Shortly after on top of Balluderon summit. The stone cairn in memory of Sydney Scroggie really added character to this summit, and we spent some time admiring the view indicator found on top of the cairn.

Image20180111_133728 by Rhys Thindal, on Flickr

A view of Dundee from the summit of Balluderon.

We then headed towards Craigowl hill, the highest summit of the walk. After a quick decent down Balluderon, we started the climb up Craigowl.

Image20180111_135607 by Rhys Thindal, on Flickr

A single tree on the way up made for a lovely photo.

Image20180111_140458 by Rhys Thindal, on Flickr

Approaching the masts on top of Craigowl, the path was quite boggy on places.

Image20180111_141421 by Rhys Thindal, on Flickr

The masts on top of Craigowl. These created a unique atmosphere to end the last summit of the walk.

Image20180111_142241 by Rhys Thindal, on Flickr

After passing the first masts we crossed a fence on our left to reach the trig point.

Image20180111_141702 by Rhys Thindal, on Flickr

The sun had gone behind the clouds now, but the views on top of Craigowl were still worth the climb.

We then started our descent down Craigowl by retracing our steps back to the fork just past the masts and heading left down a small path. As we headed down the path became less clear, eventually leading to a field of faint paths leading in several directions.

After pondering the best way to go, we headed down the field and towards a fence, meeting a track along the way, we followed this until we saw a metal gate in a fence just past a stream leading back to the forest. Going through this gate we appeared to be back on track.

Image20180111_150030 by Rhys Thindal, on Flickr

The path after entering the metal gate.

Image20180111_150156 by Rhys Thindal, on Flickr

After crossing under some pylon lines we came to a sign marking the way back to the car pack, we took this route until we reached the car. The path was very muddy in places while going through the woods.

Overall a good local walk for the Dundee area, not too strenuous while providing great views at the summits.
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User avatar
Boots_and_Paws
Walker
 
Posts: 9
Munros:4   Corbetts:3
Grahams:2   
Sub 2000:2   
Joined: Jan 8, 2018
Location: Dundee

Re: Winter Walk in the Sidlaws

Postby Sgurr » Wed Jan 17, 2018 7:21 pm

Had one winter when we made for the Sidlaws every time it looked too iffy to drive to the HIghlands. Good walks. We are now back on the Fife Coastal Path and the wee hills of Fife, but must have another bash at the Sidlaws soon.
User avatar
Sgurr
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 3468
Munros:282   Corbetts:222
Grahams:219   Donalds:89
Sub 2000:568   Hewitts:132
Wainwrights:140   
Joined: Nov 15, 2010
Location: Fife

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