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A fine day for Craiglee

PostPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2019 5:15 pm
by McMole
With daylight hours shortening by the day I took the forecast of a dry day as an opportunity to do one of the longer walks on my wish list. Longer because of the distance I had to drive rather than how far I had to walk. From near Edinburgh to Bruce's Stone by Loch Troon took almost three hours driving on a Friday morning. So with sunset not long after 4:15pm my 10:30 start gave a bit under six hours of daylight to climb Craiglee, and less if I wanted to start the drive back before it got dark and I did.
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The first hour saw me along the forest road took to the watershed where I failed to find the stone axe head, perhaps because I hadn't found out before starting where it was located. I then used the stile to cross the fence into a sea of churned up mud anointed with cow pats.
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Looking back over the cow pats to the forest track and Mulldonoch
I tried to avoid the worst of it, but the cattle appear to have done a thorough job for the first couple of hundred metres. Further on the terrain did improve, but though there were tracks to follow, none were of A class. I did find a series that took me up towards the summit. As I climbed the south ridge I moved to its eastern side to avoid the cold wind blowing from the west. The summit gave good views in most directions except for a cloud-capped Merrick and other higher peaks.
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:Looking along Loch Trool from the summit
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The Merrick in cloud
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North to Craignaw and Corserine in the clouds
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ESE over Clatteringshaws Loch to Black Craig of Dee
After a quick snack sheltered below the trig point from the wind I set off back the way I had come attempting to find a better route. I failed. As I neared the forest road the last few hundred metres were even muddier than my uphill route and I found a few deep mud (and worse) filled holes.
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Lamachan Hill beyond the churned up moor as I near the forest road
The aroma of cow from my sodden boots and socks seemed to permeate the car on my drive home! I had the track to myself almost all the way back to the car. Just one cyclist panted past on the way to his car having done a 40 mile circuit. Two JCBs were still working hard on the other side of the valley as I drove away. I followed my SatNav's guidance and allowed it to take me though central Glasgow and regretted it.as the full Friday dash for home clogged it up. I'd have been better taking the East Kilbride route I'd used in the morning. I felt fortunate to have had a fine dry day when south of the border there was extensive flooding with even more being forecast.