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The Driesh from Glen Prosen

PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2018 9:11 pm
by weaselmaster
Another shortened weekend - Allison had a GPs appointment to get blood taken on Friday afternoon and the weather on Friday was not conducive to hillwalking - 60-80mph winds. We needed something easygoing to assist rather than retard her recovery, so I settled on the Angus Munros. For once, I thought we might call in at a campsite - but when I phoned Drumshademuir outside Kirriemuir about 30 minutes before we set off it seems they no longer take tents (but were very keen to accommodate us in a camping pod. No thank you. So I really had little idea where we'd pitch up. We'd used the car park at Invermark before, so decided to head there, arriving just as the light was fading and the rain was spattering. Our usual little corner was under about 6 inches of water, so we had to improvise. A wet and wild night.

Saturday morning was sunny with a strong southwesterly wind. Last time we walked up the glen, back in January, it was a fiercely cold morning with the path slippy like an ice rink. No such conditions today, in fact no evidence of snow or ice. Long shadows preceded us as we walked along to the Queen's Well then started the ascent up by the Ladder Burn. A runner passed us by - for the first of three ascents he did on Mount Keen whilst we were out walking. He was obviously "keen" :roll:

ImagePC080257 by Al, on Flickr

Long shadows
ImagePC080258 by Al, on Flickr

ImagePC080259 by Al, on Flickr

Very strong wind at the summit cairn, very little snow anywhere, the flanks of the Lochnagar hills were white but that was about it. Back down the same route, back at the car just after 1pm. What would we do now? I had thought it would be good to climb the Driesh and Mayar from Glen Prosen, for a change, but had never ventured up that glen. A look on Googlemaps had suggested the road at the top of the glen to be narrow and not replete with places to pitch. Hmmm. We had plenty of time, and light, to find somewhere though, and accordingly set off towards Glen Prosen. First place we came to was the Airlie Memorial Tower, which had a car park. There's also a big block of carved granite as a memorial to Captain Scott and Dr Wilson from the ill fated Terra Nova expedition - apparently much of the planning for the trip was done in Glen Prosen where Wilson was working to discover diseases of Grouse. I suggested we take a stroll through the woods to the tower, many dog walkers doing the same. On the way back, decided to look for somewhere to pitch - found a suitable flattish spot not too far from the car. This made for a quiet night - slept well.

ImagePC080260 by Al, on Flickr

ImagePC080261 by Al, on Flickr

Airlie Monument Tower
ImagePC080263 by Al, on Flickr

Memorial to Captain Scott and Dr Wilson
ImagePC080264 by Al, on Flickr

prosenx.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts

Continued along Glen Prosen in the morning, found a parking area just before the bridge over the Prosen Water up by Glenprosen Lodge. Our route would head along the glen to Kilbo Cottage then up the Shank of Drumwhallo to the bealach between Mayar and the Driesh. There are a number of new buildings at the lodge, looking very spick and span. The glen itself it deserted - a lot of the forestry has been felled. It;s a gentle climb to Kilbo, marked as a ruin on the map, but restored by the estate - would make a fine bothy. Ahead of us rose the frosted slopes of Mayar. A pair of black grouse flew across our path.

Parking area
ImagePC090265 by Al, on Flickr

ImagePC090267 by Al, on Flickr

Kilbo Cottage in the distance
ImagePC090268 by Al, on Flickr

ImagePC090269 by Al, on Flickr

The map shows a track through plantation leading up to King's Seat, but this has been lost as a result of the tree felling - there's a bulldozed track just a little further along which rises to the same destination. A steady climb to the Black Skellies - the north wind reaching us as we gained height. A brutally cold wind, the small patches of snow underfoot frozen hard, the bogs solid ice. Met another walker on his way down from Mayar. Across to the north, the White Mounth was living up to its name. We descended heading for the Driesh. Stopped for lunch amidst a pile of rocks for some shelter from the icy blasts. A couple of feet of snow in the wind shelter around the trig point on the Driesh.

ImagePC090271 by Al, on Flickr

ImagePC090272 by Al, on Flickr

ImagePC090275 by Al, on Flickr

The Driesh
ImagePC090276 by Al, on Flickr

Driesh summit
ImagePC090277 by Al, on Flickr

From here, the route led on to the Simm of Hill of Strone - this provides a pleasant track back down into Glen Prosen although does require ascent of 145m - just think - erosion of a mere 15 feet of ground at the Sneck of Farchal which joins Strone to the Driesh would render the hill a Corbett :wink: Easy going back through the woods to the car. Quite an enjoyable way to do these hills - definitely good for winter when snow might render Corrie Fee/ Shank of Drumfollow awkward.

Hill of Strone
ImagePC090278 by Al, on Flickr

ImagePC090280 by Al, on Flickr

The Driesh
ImagePC090281 by Al, on Flickr

Nice descent path
ImagePC090282 by Al, on Flickr

ImagePC090284 by Al, on Flickr

Re: The Driesh from Glen Prosen

PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2018 11:08 pm
by prog99
I've done that approach to Driesh & Mayer too(with an energetic detour to Badandum hill). Nice route but I suspect you'll not be welcome during the main shooting season, especially grouse.

Re: The Driesh from Glen Prosen

PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2018 9:22 am
by weaselmaster
prog99 wrote:I've done that approach to Driesh & Mayer too(with an energetic detour to Badandum hill). Nice route but I suspect you'll not be welcome during the main shooting season, especially grouse.

Wow! Badandum Hill is quite an add on! I had looked at an ascent from Glen Isla but decided it was too long.
I think you're right about the shooting - the descent route from Hill of Strone passes by a series of grouse butts.