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3 Wee Yins and more jungle photo's

3 Wee Yins and more jungle photo's


Postby Fife Flyer » Wed Dec 18, 2019 7:57 pm

Sub 2000' hills included on this walk: Criffel, See Morris Hill, Woodhead Hill

Date walked: 15/12/2019

Time taken: 3.4 hours

Distance: 11.3 km

Ascent: 791m

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Yes I know you are all thinking oh no not another report on some of those wee hills down south. Well tough, these wee hills are just as much fun as there big cousins up north.
Ideally we would have headed up north but once again the forecast was pants, wet and a rather gusty wind, so I suggested to my usual companions we head south. George wasn't available but Parminder was game for another laugh and even offered to drive.
We arranged to meet at Straiton at 7.30 and what a treat it was to drive along the Edinburgh City Bypass without all the commuters getting in our way. I was rather early as you just never know what the traffic is going to be like!!
We arrived at the car park for Criffel and were on our way at 9.30.

Criffel, 2hrs, 5km, 506m


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Early morning shot of Criffel, unfortunately covered with cloud on the higher slopes

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Fair sized car park, but I would imagine it gets busy in the summer

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The way ahead - doesn't look very inviting

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Much better surface now

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First view of the Solway Firth

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Parminder marching off uphill

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A cracking path that gradually gains height

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Looking back, once you reach this wooden contraption, the path ends and the bog begins

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Luckily as it was cold, some of the boggy bits were frozen and fairly firm

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Not a bad view looking back, Loch Kindar

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View to the left as we trudge uphill

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Parminder looking up at the trig, Knockendoch in the background

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Trig in the distance, doesn't look promising view wise!

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The large cairn on the summit

As we were in cloud I didn't take my usual video, it was also rather blowy and cold. We descended a bit on the south side to see if we could get views below the cloud, sadly that was a waste of time, so we tried to retrace our steps back down the hill. Somehow we missed the path back downhill and were too far west, however this worked in our favour as we descended following an animal track which was superb to head downhill on also avoiding the icy boggy path. Once out of the cloud we could see exactly where we were heading.

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Out of the cloud and we are heading towards the loch

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Looking back across the wooden contraption and back uphill

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The way down, Parminder leading the way whilst I took some photos

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Looking across to the car park

Woodhead Hill, 1hr 15mins, 3.5km, 175m


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Parminders parking spot, plenty of room for other vehicles, even tractors to get past with ease

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The way ahead to Woodhead Hill

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After following the road towards Woodhead we turned left and then past an isolated house, then right onto the forestry track

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After about 300m we left the luxury of the track and headed uphill across the felled tree debris, luckily we were able to walk in the tracks left by the forestry vehicles

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Now we need to turn right to follow my plotted route

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We headed through the gap in the wall, then turned left

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Parminder wondering what he had signed up for

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That is where we are heading

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Parminder looking impressed, little did he know it was going to get worse

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Looking south

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Once we reached the top of the debris a cycle path appeared - as it was slightly better terrain and going in our direction it would have been foolish not to utilise it

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After a short restbite it was back onto the debris which was taking us back uphill

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Parminder getting used to this now, the cycle track is this side of the trees

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The way ahead

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Parminder picking his way slowly uphill

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A bit of a mess

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Yes we are actually heading into there

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Parminder ducking and diving, not far till we reach daylight again

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More like an obstacle course at times

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I can see now how and why I ended up with bits of twigs down my back and stuck to my top

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Out of the forest now and not far to the summit

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Plenty of future Christmas trees

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Looking SE

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Look what we stumbled across, a path!

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Looking south from the summit (ish) area

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The HUGE summit cairn, the stump to the left does look higher but Parminder wandered all around the summit, standing on a few tree stumps and agreed with the cairn

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Video taken on the summit of Woodhead Hill

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We opted to try out the path for our descent, it doesn't feature on a map so we had no idea where it was taking us

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About to head into the forest

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Slight obstruction

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I checked my phone to see where we were in relation to my plotted route and the path was going in the wrong direction so we turned back and descended via a different route

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Spot Parminder, just as well he wasn't wearing green

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Looking southish again

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Our descent route kept us to the left of the forest, we now follow vehicle tracks downhill

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The cycle path is this side of the forest ahead

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Parminder picking his way downhill carefully

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The cycle path again

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Any cycling experts able to explain what this all means?

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Once we reached the above sign we turned left downhill over the usual debris

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Not far to the forestry track, we descended without venturing into the jungle

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Not much more to endure now Parminder

See Morris Hill, 35mins, 2.8km, 110m


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Once again we kept our boots on as it wasn't too far to our next parking spot.
We left the unclassified road and turned left up a smaller unclassified road that takes you to Riddingshill and then eventually up to the top of the hill where the large mast is.

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Parking spot

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The way ahead

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Just past the house on the left there is a locked gate

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As you can see the gate is well and truly locked

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The mast and the summit in the distance

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Friendly small flock of sheep, must of thought we had food

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They were thinking about following Parminder

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Dumfries in the distance

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Not far now

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Arty shot

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Plenty of dishes attached

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We heeded the warning

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The area around the mast is well fenced off so we had to walk round to the trig

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The buildings inside the fence were fairly substantial

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The trig peeking above the grassy slope

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Looking northish

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The mast and buildings

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Video on the summit of See Morris Hill

After the usual photo's it was time to descend.

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These few sheep stayed ahead of us for the majority of the descent

This turned out to be another cracker, the only down side was the lack of views on Criffel as apparently the views of the Solway Firth and beyond are supposed to be rather good. Parminder can now be classed as a jungle veteran having experienced forestry navigation for a second time. A huge thanks to Parminder for driving again.
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Fife Flyer
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Re: 3 Wee Yins and more jungle photo's

Postby Sgurr » Wed Dec 18, 2019 10:35 pm

We thought we had it bad with Woodhead Hill in 2011,, but I think it was better when the trees were still standing. Someone put up a new cairn though

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Sgurr
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Re: 3 Wee Yins and more jungle photo's

Postby PeteR » Thu Dec 19, 2019 2:36 pm

Good to be reminded of some of these "lesser" hills Martin. I've somewhat fallen out of love with writing up walk reports these days, so it's good to see you keeping on with posting yours :clap:
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PeteR
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Re: 3 Wee Yins and more jungle photo's

Postby Gordie12 » Thu Dec 19, 2019 4:31 pm

Keep them coming FF - love to read about some of the less well known hills :D :D :D
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Re: 3 Wee Yins and more jungle photo's

Postby McMole » Sun Dec 22, 2019 12:27 am

From your photos there looks to have been more felling since Jaywizz and I visited Woodhead Hill in May 2018. We had no stretches of felled forest or dense foliage to arrive at the same mountain bike trail and sign as you. Like you we left it to head for the summit and took what turned out to be an easier route than yours. We found another bike trail that led us to within sight of the summit cairn. I think it could be the one you started down. If you'd persevered it would have led you back to the sign. Only problem is it is one-way for bikes from the south, so they arrive at great speed from behind. Rear view mirrors required! Here's the record of our route with the bike tracks added.

Woodhead Hill route.gif
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Re: 3 Wee Yins and more jungle photo's

Postby parminder » Tue Jan 07, 2020 9:54 pm

FF. Thanks for organizing another braw day out :clap:
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