The first available day with a good dry forecast for a fortnight tempted me south to a few miles west of Moniaive with Wether Hill in my sights. It was a straightforward two-hour twenty-minute drive with the temperature sub-zero all the way and dipping down to minus seven celsius.An on-line report of a local cottager telling another walker that he could drive up the wind farm access track from the south saw me there at a little after 10am to find 'PRIVATE' and 'NO PARKING@ signs now attached to the gates that are not on Google's Street View's 2009 images. With some doubts about the quality of the information and track I decided not to risk annoying the occupants of Yellow Craig and looked for parking nearby. I found it a little over 0.5km to the east at NX 6881 9201 where the 1:25000 map shows access to a quarry(dis). Yellow Craig was hidden by forestry as I walked along the track, though a fine pair of wrought iron gates were on display along with a CCTV sign. After a kilometre the wind farm came into view. All the way to the wind farm gate with its own warning notices the track was, if anything, in better condition than the road. Sheltered by the trees it didn't have the same liberal coating of hoar frost with occasional patches of ice. From the gate the track climbed steadily as it meandered through the hills past the control cabin and then through the wind turbines to the summit ridge of Wether Hill. As I rounded a cow-capped Greengair Hill I contemplated heading direct for the summit of Wether Hill, but it also had a few dozen cows distributed over its slopes so I decided against disturbing them. As it was I came across some that were near the track and a couple that were on it. They either nonchalantly inspected me as I passed by or took a few placid steps away. Nearing the summit I left the track and was soon at a small heap of stones with a metal rod announcing its position - NX 68647 94219. Those last few hundred metres confirmed that my earlier thought of heading cross-country for the summit would have been slower. The frozen ground cover initially supported me as I trod on it only to then compress under my weight. If it wasn't for the wind turbines the top would give fine views. At first I thought they'd lost one of the fifteen turbines shown on the 1:25,000 map. Then I realised the OS used exactly the same symbol regardless of the side of the fan, and one of the fifteen on the map was for the Met (Meteorological) mast. I returned by the same route meeting nobody and seeing no other wild life, though another van had arrived at the wind farm control cabin.
My initial plan was to collect another nearby Marilyn. That was only if there was time to get off the hill and be well on my way home before it was dark. Starting a bit later and walking further than planned meant that wouldn't be possible so I left that for another day.
Share your personal walking route experiences in Scotland, and comment on other peoples' reports.
Warning Please note that hillwalking when there is snow lying requires an ice-axe, crampons and the knowledge, experience and skill to use them correctly. Summer routes may not be viable or appropriate in winter. See winter information on our skills and safety pages for more information.