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Brown Cow Hill - the white world

Brown Cow Hill - the white world

Postby BlackPanther » Tue Mar 22, 2011 1:51 pm

Route description: Brown Cow Hill circuit, Cock Bridge

Corbetts included on this walk: Brown Cow Hill

Date walked: 19/03/2011

Time taken: 5 hours

Distance: 14 km

Ascent: 455m

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Weather has improved at last and after a couple of miserable weekends we finally saw some sunshine and blue skye. So it was time to return to the hills! We chose Brown Cow Hill - not a very inspirational name for a Corbett. When looking at the map, it appears to be a gentle-sloped mountain and the easiest route only includes about 450m of ascent. Piece of cake, one could say 8) .

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I was a bit concerned that it would be a dull climb. Quoting SMC Guide about Brown Cow Hill, "its physical form is about as exciting as the name suggests" :wtf:. But once more Scotland surprised me - it turns out that there are no boring hills here. At least from my experience, but I'm not an expert.
Back to BCH, the walk starts at the car park by Corgarff Castle (temporarily closed due to bad weather). On Saturday morning everything around was covered in white snow:
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Corgarff Castle from the car park

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Corgarff Castle close-up

To the north - Carn Ealasaid, another easy hill to climb on a short day:
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Carn Ealasaid from the car park

From the starting point we walked a short distance along the road past Cockbridge Farm, to the first field gate (it was locked, we had to climb over it :lol: :lol: ) and then there is a track leading along the Cock Burn, that means if you can find it under the snow. After crossing the burn we stayed on that track and followed it through a small forest area. The higher we climbed, the better the views - true winter wonderland!
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Carn Meadhonach

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The white track :)

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Looking back downhill

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And a bit more...

There were quite a few mountain hares lurking around. Their fur is already changing back to gray color so they are easier to spot on white background:
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Can you spot a hare?

At about 600m we left the track which turns back to the top of Carn Oighreag and we walked up the slope past the featureless bealach. According to SHC Guide it is supposed to be a peat hag zone, but there was so much snow on top of them that the only things we noticed were a few white lumps and bumps :lol: Further up, the snow got even deeper (in places knee-high) and it gave our leg muscles a proper warm-up.
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View NE from the bealach

When we were just about to approach the first top of the summit plateau, gray-ish clouds appeared and suddenly we were standing in the middle of white world...
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Where the hell are we???

Once we reached the flat and wide ridge of the hill, Kevin was really worried that we could miss the top cairn. Fortunately, the cloud lifted just a wee bit, so we walked literally a few meters below it :D After wandering about for a while we eventually managed to find the true summit cairn or should it rather be called "cairnette" :lol: (if there is such word). It was cold and windy - not a time and place to sit down, eat sandwiches and enjoy the views especially that there were no views to be seen... But wait a moment! Here comes the sun again!
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Proud Kevin with "cairnette" marking the top of Brown Cow Hill

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A gap in the clouds

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Maybe we'll see something at the end of the day?

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A glimpse towards the Cairngorms

We returned the way we came. As we descended back to the bealach, we left the cloud behind and for the remaining time we could enjoy the lovely scenery around us:
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Back into the sun

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By the end of the walk it turned a little gray...
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On the track heading down past Corgarff Castle

Two days later we drove past Cockbridge on our way east (it will be a subject of another post) and - believe me or not - all the snow from fields surrounding Corgarff Castle was gone! Definitely spring is in the air :D :D
corgarff snowless.JPG
Very little snow left!
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Re: Brown Cow Hill - the white world

Postby morag1 » Tue Mar 22, 2011 5:23 pm

BlackPanther wrote:We chose Brown Cow Hill - not a very inspirational name for a Corbett
:lol: :lol: :lol:

Lovely photos, looks like you had a great walk and a great day out.

It is nice to see the spring again though :wave:

Re: Brown Cow Hill - the white world

Postby ChrisW » Tue Mar 22, 2011 5:40 pm

Great report and some cracking pics, it's so difficult to get good shots of these hills when they are totally covered in snow, like the white track - very much :D
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Re: Brown Cow Hill - the white world

Postby monty » Tue Mar 22, 2011 7:15 pm

Some lovley pictures there. Not the most taxing of walks but the winter blanket made it very scenic. :D

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