walkhighlands

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.

The Marilyn with the Least Ascent?

The Marilyn with the Least Ascent?


Postby weaselmaster » Sun Mar 15, 2020 10:26 pm

Sub 2000' hills included on this walk: Cairn-mon-earn, Cairnpapple Hill, Hill of Fare, Hill of Garvock, Kerloch, Strathfinella Hill, Turin Hill

Date walked: 15/03/2020

Distance: 38 km

Ascent: 1459m

5 people think this report is great.
Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).

After Allison's failure to be restored to health last weekend, I was dubious about going anywhere with her this weekend. She's been back to the doc and issued with another course of antibiotics, which seemed to have been the right ones this time, as she wasn't coughing her lungs up at every moment. We went out on Thursday and walked the Greenock Cut: her ability to complete that circuit without dying made me feel more comfortable about going away at the weekend. But they would need to be little wee hills, with tracks. A look at the map and the North East suggested itself - there were a cluster of 6 modest hills there - some very modest :wink:

We headed off on Friday morning with the aim of climbing Turin Hill and Hill of Garvock on the way up to Deeside Holiday Park. Turin Hill has been in my mind ever since Graeme D published his iconic account of open warfare with the "grumpy farmer" on his way to the top. That was back in 2012! At the time I had just started climbing Munros and wondered why on earth anyone would care enough to climb such a small and uninteresting hill anyway :lol: How things change...

I was a little frustrated that we'd have the best day, weatherwise, for the last God knows how long to travel up the A90 and climb two poky wee hills, rather than do something more, um, worthwhile, but that's the way it goes at times. We had a detour into Forfar to try and find a toilet as Allison was desperate for a pee - half the town seemed to be closed off due to gas mains work and it took forever to try and get to where the toilets were meant to be.


2020-03-13_1200 Raw.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts



After that it was onto the B9134 to attempt the hill from the north - we were not going to risk aggravating the "grumpy farmer" by going through his land on the southern approach. There's a small layby at Carsegowrie Farm - we favoured a more direct approach than that using the track from Back of Turin Hill - and we set off along the field edge. First problem was to get over the wall and under the (electric) wire - actually it wasn't electrified today, but who knows when that will change. Then another obstacle course at the field corner, with a combo of barbed and electric wire to be negotiated. The sheep in the field we were about to walk into were watching us closely. We made it up to the tree line of March Wood and found ourselves on a muddy track, with a red warning board pointing out that live firing might be taking place. Is there no end to this hill's challenges? Up to the trig point without mishap, then we crossed over the wall to the cairn, where an old bit of fence or gate post was stuck in the stones at the top of the cairn - I had to do the old "if you can pull the sword from the stone" routine... We then paused for lunch in the sunshine beside the cairn, watching a very small helicopter, a bit like something from a James Bond film, flying on the "grumpy farmer's" side of the wall. I imagined, as it disappeared from sight below us, that it would suddenly rise up ahead of us with machine guns blaring and the farmer screaming "Get orf my land". But it didn't, which was a little anticlimactic. We wandered back down to the car unscathed.

ImageP3130453 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP3130454 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP3130455 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP3130457 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP3130459 by Al, on Flickr

Excalibur needs a bit of a clean...
ImageP3130460 by Al, on Flickr

Allison favours the more dignified pose
ImageP3130461 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP3130462 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP3130463 by Al, on Flickr


2020-03-13_1338 Raw.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts



From there we drove along towards Laurencekirk, for Hill of Garvock. I was surprised to find, when we drove up to the viewpoint/car-park that we were already at 230m and the summit was only 277m. At the start of this walk there was a warning sign about "protective cows", but since we only encountered a few non-protective sheep, there was no reason for alarm. One walks along a grassy field for almost two kilometres, gaining height incredibly gradually until a strange squat tower comes into view. This marks the summit. The tower - a folly - apparently dates from 1845. It is possible to enter and climb to the top, meaning that for once, when there has been a structure on a hill beside and higher than the trig columnn - you can actually ascend it and be at the real highest point :D I would advise caution, as three of the spiral stone steps near the top have broken off and require to be climbed past. It also gave me cause to ponder - as I was waiting for Allison to come down, standing on the other side of the broken steps - just how safe the remaining steps above actually are :shock:


ImageP3130465 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP3130466 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP3130468 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP3130470 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP3130472 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP3130473 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP3130474 by Al, on Flickr

After retracing our steps we motored along to Peterculter to Deeside Holiday Park. Very friendly, but not a great place to camp - it was one of those sites for caravans and motorhomes where the campers have a small green patch, surrounded on all sides by the dead eyed stare of motorhomes. But it did the necessary for a couple of nights for us. I swithered whether to try another short hill - it wasn't yet 4 o'clock, but Allison reminded me that she was meant to be recuperating. So we walked the couple of miles into 'Culter to get some things from the Coop, including some very satisfying Northern Bloc Peanut Chip icecream :clap:


2020-03-14_0943 Raw.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts



What would Saturday bring? The forecast had suggested showers, but we basically got a day of rain and clag. I'd left two of the longer walks for Saturday and we started by driving out past Banchory and setting out on Kerloch. We used the WH route for this one - 10k on track or footpath. We sat in the car at the parking place looking out at the wind and rain and grimacing somewhat - why couldn't it be sunny like yesterday? Well it wasn't. We could see no sign of the hill itself - just kept plodding along the forestry track. Still some snowy residue up here - and this is a bigger hill than we've been used to of late, over 500m. Woo! We missed the turn up to the summit and had to struggle through heather for a little way before reaching the cairn and trig column. Met some other walkers on their way up as we were descending back through the trees.

ImageP3140476 by Al, on Flickr

What new hazard would today on the hills bring?
ImageP3140477 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP3140478 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP3140479 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP3140481 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP3140482 by Al, on Flickr


2020-03-14_1326 Raw(2).gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts



From here we headed north to tackle Hill of Fare. I decided against the WH route on this one as it's an indulgent 18.25km "an enjoyable walk with extensive views" - well not today. Instead we chose to go up from north of Torphins, reducing the walk distance by two thirds. Result!

We parked by a large log pile where there's room for a couple of cars and set off along more forestry track, which deteriorates into extraction track for a bit before coming to a gate and joining a footpath. This meets with a footpath heading up the hillside - very reminiscent of the heather/red granite footpaths of the Cairngorms. There wasn't much to see due to the clag. I'd switched GPS maps to a 1:25000 Adventure Map, which is good for footpaths etc, but doesn't have OS info like contour heights etc. We reached the summit according to this map, with no summit feature to be seen - had to change back to my 1:50000 OS map card to find where the cairn was :( . As before it was back the way we'd come and a journey back to the campsite.

ImageP3140483 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP3140485 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP3140486 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP3140487 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP3140488 by Al, on Flickr

Typically the weather improved once we were back at the tent. During the night there were many different birds conspiring to stop us sleeping - two flights of geese with creaking wing sounds, a screech owl, a wood pigeon perched immediately above the tent, and several others who's sounds I couldn't identify. We did see the evidence of a sparrowhawk having claimed a pigeon on the grass by a caravan beside us.


2020-03-15_0858 Raw.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts



Sunday - we woke to sunshine at seven. There were two more hills to be done today in the region - Cairn Mon Earn, another forestry encumbered hill south of Crathes, and Strathfinella, nearer to Fettercairn. We drove through Crathes and gained a significant amount of height getting to Durris Forest, meaning that we had less than 200m ascent to climb Cairn Mon Earn. Parked by the forestry gate and started off uphill, an easy pace. Unusually for a commercial forest, the air was full of birdsong. We came to a barrier saying the path was closed for forestry work and that no unauthorized persons were allowed past. No-one was working (one of the advantages of it being early on a Sunday) and we passed by the rather half-hearted barrier, continuing our walk to the top. There are at least five transmitter masts on the top of this one.

ImageP3150489 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP3150490 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP3150491 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP3150492 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP3150493 by Al, on Flickr



2020-03-15_1104 Raw.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts



Once back at the car it was a trip back to the B974 that we'd used for Kerloch the day before. Strathfinella hill is reached via a twisty up and down road with the Mount Battock massif on the western side - reminiscent of the drive from the Lecht to Braemar in places. We turned down into Strath Finella and drove a couple of miles along, following a tractor going to feed sheep at the base of our hill. we found a large-ish passing place to park in, leaving sufficient room for others to get by, and set off up the hillside, following a track initially, covered in sheep slurry (not a place to slip and fall :shock: ) then onto the hillside, following sheep tracks and aiming for the corner of the forestry, where there's a gate. Larks were spiralling upward, filling the air with song - spring must be nearly here. A bit of fumbling around amongst trees with no path til the track is reached, then easily - if muddily - to the summit. The trig column is nestled in the trees, a small cairn marking where it hides.

ImageP3150494 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP3150495 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP3150496 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP3150497 by Al, on Flickr

Swampy track to the trig column
ImageP3150498 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP3150499 by Al, on Flickr

Allison loves Marilyns
ImageP3150500 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP3150501 by Al, on Flickr

I took a more direct route on the descent, to avoid the sheep slurry and we were back at the car in an hour and three quarters, including a stop for lunch. What would we do now? There was still time for something short, despite the long drive down. I got it into my head to go and do Cairnpapple - I'd done it years ago as part of a Geography/History field trip when I was at school, but Allison needed it for her numbers. So we drove down the road, going over the Queensferry Crossing and enduring various back roads near Broxburn to arrive at the hill. This needed even less work than Hill of Garvock - we parked in a field at 299m and had the mighty job of gettting to the summit of 314m :lol:


2020-03-15_1517 Raw.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts



Of course, I mistook the cairn on the viewpoint as being the summit and went there first. Then we noticed a stone circle in a field nearby, beside Knock farm and went to investigate. I had no recollection of any such circle being here and it wasn't on the map...must be a modern replica (indeed it was put up in 1998 as a 50th birthday present for the farmer). Then we went back to the car and headed to the trig point, passing a group of Landrovers on an off-roading day out. All very exciting. So we'd managed to accumulate a little more ascent than necessary, but still only 25 metres, less than Hill of Garvock. So I guess Cairnpapple must be the Marilyn with the least ascent required from where you can legitimately park your car. But please tell me if I'm wrong can there really be a Marilyn that needs less than 11m ascent :?:

No, that isn't the top
ImageP3150502 by Al, on Flickr

No, that isn't a real stone circle
ImageP3150504 by Al, on Flickr

No, this isn't the top either - apparently it's a spot 5m away that's 5cm higher... :shifty:
ImageP3150506 by Al, on Flickr

Landy day out
ImageP3150507 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP3150509 by Al, on Flickr
User avatar
weaselmaster
Hill Bagger
 
Posts: 1913
Munros:217   Corbetts:44
Grahams:76   Donalds:89
Sub 2000:367   Hewitts:31
Wainwrights:15   Islands:28
Joined: Aug 22, 2012
Location: Greenock

Re: The Marilyn with the Least Ascent?

Postby jmarkb » Mon Mar 16, 2020 8:45 am

weaselmaster wrote:But please tell me if I'm wrong can there really be a Marilyn that needs less than 11m ascent


If you include the English ones, then yes: Crowborough is in the middle of a town and has virtually zero ascent!
http://www.hill-bagging.co.uk/mountaindetails.php?qu=&rf=2913

Wideford Hill on Orkney runs it pretty close, can't be more that 2 or 3 metres?
jmarkb
Mountaineer
 
Posts: 4353
Munros:241   Corbetts:96
Grahams:79   Donalds:30
Sub 2000:43   
Joined: Oct 28, 2011
Location: Edinburgh

Re: The Marilyn with the Least Ascent?

Postby malky_c » Mon Mar 16, 2020 11:01 am

I was going to suggest Wideford Hill too - you can almost reach out to the trig from your car window!

Hope Mountain near Wrexham must have less than 20m ascent and be about 200m from the nearest road. There's a few like that, but it springs to mind particularly because we drove over it in such thick mist that we failed to find anywhere to park, and therefore didn't manage to get up it :lol: .

Not your most inspiring collection of hills there - I will definitely go up Cairnpapple at some point, but only if I cycle there from Glasgow.
User avatar
malky_c
 
Posts: 5996
Munros:282   Corbetts:222
Grahams:219   Donalds:74
Sub 2000:276   Hewitts:269
Wainwrights:122   Islands:36
Joined: Nov 22, 2009
Location: Glasgow/Inverness

Re: The Marilyn with the Least Ascent?

Postby nigheandonn » Mon Mar 16, 2020 1:21 pm

I did Cairnpapple with the little local viewpoint hill of Cockleroy, which is definitely the better hill - and fairly close to the Union Canal path. And there's the cairn itself, and Torphichen preceptory, if you like to get your culture, or Beecraigs if you like trees - I think you could invent quite a nice ride!

The tower on Hill of Garvock looks a bit like a petrified rocket...
User avatar
nigheandonn
Wanderer
 
Posts: 1404
Munros:19   Corbetts:9
Grahams:7   Donalds:26
Sub 2000:54   Hewitts:134
Wainwrights:214   Islands:34
Joined: Jul 7, 2011
Location: Edinburgh

Re: The Marilyn with the Least Ascent?

Postby Craiging619 » Mon Mar 16, 2020 1:48 pm

Not forgetting the A166 (Garrowby Street) East of York that actually crosses straight over a Marilyn summit. I've had a look on Google Maps and it seems like the trig point is locked in behind fences(?) :(
User avatar
Craiging619
Hill Bagger
 
Posts: 145
Munros:54   Corbetts:30
Grahams:27   Donalds:14
Sub 2000:17   
Islands:21
Joined: Jul 21, 2009
Location: Glasgow
Walk wish-list

Re: The Marilyn with the Least Ascent?

Postby jmarkb » Mon Mar 16, 2020 1:59 pm

Craiging619 wrote:Not forgetting the A166 (Garrowby Street) East of York that actually crosses straight over a Marilyn summit. I've had a look on Google Maps and it seems like the trig point is locked in behind fences(?) :(


Bishop Wilton Wold: summit now considered to be the tree covered tumulus NE of the trig, maybe 2m of ascent? http://www.hill-bagging.co.uk/mountaindetails.php?qu=S&rf=2833
jmarkb
Mountaineer
 
Posts: 4353
Munros:241   Corbetts:96
Grahams:79   Donalds:30
Sub 2000:43   
Joined: Oct 28, 2011
Location: Edinburgh

Re: The Marilyn with the Least Ascent?

Postby Phil the Hill » Mon Mar 16, 2020 2:36 pm

You can actually park your car at what is considered to be the current summit of Crowborough, just round the corner from the trig point. I walked in from the Ashdown Forest to make it more interesting - rather pleasant when the bluebells are out.
User avatar
Phil the Hill
Walker
 
Posts: 345
Munros:261   Corbetts:26
Grahams:5   Donalds:6
Sub 2000:9   Hewitts:137
Wainwrights:63   Islands:8
Joined: Sep 22, 2010
Location: Wallington, Surrey

Re: The Marilyn with the Least Ascent?

Postby vuirich » Mon Mar 16, 2020 5:08 pm

jmarkb wrote:Bishop Wilton Wold: summit now considered to be the tree covered tumulus NE of the trig, maybe 2m of ascent? http://www.hill-bagging.co.uk/mountaindetails.php?qu=S&rf=2833

Ascent route to Bishop Wilton Wold from the A166
Image

Ruardean Hill in the Forest of Dean and Kit Hill in Cornwall can involve just a few feet of walking from a vehicle with almost no ascent.
User avatar
vuirich
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 224
Munros:282   Corbetts:50
Grahams:66   Donalds:89
Sub 2000:154   Hewitts:142
Wainwrights:214   Islands:27
Joined: Dec 29, 2012

Re: The Marilyn with the Least Ascent?

Postby Sgurr » Mon Mar 16, 2020 5:20 pm

Re shortest ascent: if you might also try English Marilyns there are several near drive-bys. One I remember best is Ruardean Hill, where pre GPS we had the choice of a trig, the cover of the reservoir (probably man-,made so didn't count), and the position of the kneeling statue of a miner. We just got out of the car and strolled across. If you want details try googling "A supermarket sweep of Shropshire Hills." It also has a picture of the cat that goes walkies on a lead.
User avatar
Sgurr
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 4484
Munros:282   Corbetts:222
Grahams:219   Donalds:89
Sub 2000:569   Hewitts:139
Wainwrights:160   Islands:58
Joined: Nov 15, 2010
Location: Fife

Re: The Marilyn with the Least Ascent?

Postby PeteR » Mon Mar 16, 2020 7:28 pm

Good to see Strathfinella has dried out 🤣
User avatar
PeteR
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 2060
Munros:282   Corbetts:158
Grahams:89   Donalds:89
Sub 2000:177   Hewitts:3
Islands:9
Joined: Jan 27, 2010
Location: North Ayrshire

5 people think this report is great.
Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).



Walkhighlands community forum is advert free

We need help to keep the site online.
Can you help support Walkhighlands and the online community by setting up a monthly donation by direct debit?



Return to Walk reports - Scotland

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 77 guests