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Back in the groove

Back in the groove


Postby Fife Flyer » Sat Aug 24, 2019 9:03 pm

Sub 2000' hills included on this walk: Blaeloch Hill, Hill of Stake

Date walked: 19/08/2019

Time taken: 4.3 hours

Distance: 17 km

Ascent: 629m

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Blaeloch Hill, 7km, 220m, 1hr 20mins


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It is a while since I was last out (well just over a week) and even longer for George, over a month. Parminder wasn't able to join us due to school runs etc, he is available for tomorrow so I am the lucky one - hitting the hills 2 days running. This was going to be a good test as to how my fitness levels are progressing after my injury problems.
The forecast, like the previous weeks in August was changeable but we could cope with a few spots of rain. I know George likes to visit 'new' hills so I selected a couple that weren't too far away, George kindly offered to drive. The obvious problem we face when we head south or west is congestion, I suggested to George we leave at 7.30am and stop for a coffee at Harthill on the M8, that way we would hopefully miss the usual gridlock in Glasgow. It was an excellent idea, however things didn't go according to plan. I have never stopped at Harthill before and won't be doing again, firstly westbound only seems to have a filling station and M&S. Not a problem, we saw a parking area but couldn't find the way into it, so in frustration we abandoned that plan and took part in the Glasgow congestion. Our route would take us to places neither of us had ever been to firstly Kilbirnie, where we stopped for coffee and then Lochwinnoch. The plan was to tackle Blaeloch first as that would be easy and we would be back at the car with dry boots.
We would be parking in a nice parking area fairly close to the Clyde Coast & Garnock Valley Crematorium - that looks fairly new and is a few miles from any built up area.
Once kitted up we set off along the track.

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Parking area

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The crematorium

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Looking back

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George showing me where we are heading

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The map without George's finger

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Looking across towards the Clyde after a bit of height has been gained

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The way ahead, this track must have cost a few bob to make

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Yes here they are

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Muirhead Reservoir

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A few more of our "green" friends

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Video taken from the summit of Blaeloch Hill

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Descending now, we opted for the direct route back to the track

Once on the summit which took us 50mins we surveyed the surrounding terrain and the direct route looked pretty similar to what we had enjoyed on the brief ascent after the track, so decision was made and 30 minutes lates we were back at the car. We kept our boots on for the drive back along to Lochwinnoch then up the single track road to Muirshiel Country Park main car park.

Hill of Stake, 10.5km, 409m, 3hrs


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We arrived in the large car park which had a few big puddles and one other car parked. There is a large building that has toilets and an office where there is a park ranger, along with a charge point for electric vehicles. I had a close look at the charge point as I am curious as to how much a charge costs? There are no charges printed so if anyone is able to spill the beans please feel free? I find it rather odd that all garages have to display how much fuel costs, but charging points don't.

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The rangers building and vehicle

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The other end of the building, toilets etc

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George avoided the large puddle

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A couple of dog walkers ahead

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A wee video of the bridge we would 'bravely' cross on the way back

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The way ahead

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It is at the next bridge that we turned left and headed uphill - on the path to the mine area

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Looking back down the path

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The way ahead nice gradual incline

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We took the left fork in the path

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Interesting facts, you will have to Google to see what was mined

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We behaved ourselves and didn't climb over the fence

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Quite a bit of debris at the bottom

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First water feature

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Second water feature

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The way ahead, faint path to follow, wouldn't last long though

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Another fenced off area

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George loving the going up bits

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A bit damp ahead

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George marching along behind me, it wasn't that way a few months ago

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George leading for a few minutes

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You can see the faint path

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Hill of Stake trig

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We opted to take the direct route back which would take us down the nice glen to the fenced off bridge

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George much happier now - descending, we would cross the burn as the terrain on the far side was more walker friendly

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The way ahead

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Not far to our "unsafe" bridge

A huge thanks to George for driving and this turned out to be another cracking day, the weather played ball, apart from a wee shower on the descent. My boots were rather damp on the outside so they wouldn't be ready for tomorrow's outing, so once home it was a matter of getting everything ready for Parminders arrival. Beinn Bhuidhe to follow.
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Fife Flyer
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 2435
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Re: Back in the groove

Postby Jaxter » Sun Aug 25, 2019 10:41 am

Let's just say you had a better day of it than us on Hill of Stake :crazy: :lol:
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Jaxter
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Re: Back in the groove

Postby PeteR » Sun Aug 25, 2019 5:42 pm

It's not often Lochwinnoch gets a mention on Walk Highlands 😂 On my daily commute to and from work. Blaeloch is my "local" hill, being just a few minutes drive up the road from me. I battled the bogs of Stake from the Largs side. Can't say it made it any easier.
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PeteR
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Re: Back in the groove

Postby dibs » Mon Aug 26, 2019 10:22 am

Thanks Martin a good report of a good day, but Munro's are easier by far, on Meall Ghaordaidh yesterday and it was a piece of cake against Hill of Stake.

George
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dibs
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