walkhighlands

Sheepish moments on some Amulree Grahams

Grahams: Meall nan Caorach, Meall Reamhar

Date walked: 01/09/2017

Time taken: 2.8 hours

Distance: 11km

Ascent: 620m

After several days at the superb Jessie May's hostel in Birnam, it was nearly time to head southwards again. I wanted a last trip to the hills, but my brother still didn't feel like anything strenuous. So, my cunning plan was to get some early morning exercise, then get back in time to check out and have a leisurely day on our way to East Lothian.

This did mean indulging slightly less than I'd have liked while enjoying the weekly traditional music session at the Taybank Inn, then a rather early start. About 10 miles of driving brought me to Amulree, where I parked by the community centre (parking free/by contribution) and was on my way by 6:15 am.

The sky had been getting lighter as I went. I was too low down (or too late starting) to get a direct sunrise, but it did catch beautifully on the clouds to my left.
DSCF0209.jpg
Clouds at sunrise


I kept up a brisk pace for about 1/2 mile of road walking alongside the A822 - I had remembered to take a head-torch, to help make myself visible. There is just sufficient verge to at least jump onto when traffic comes, though actual walking (or jogging) is better done on the tarmac when safe to do so.
DSCF0208.jpg
South beside the A822


I soon reached a turn-off to the left, leading to Girron and a Rights of Way Society fingerpost to Milton Burn, 7 miles. Following that through several gates led past the houses at Girron and then turned southeast on a track above the Girron Burn. That helped making progress and gaining height, though I'd decided to walk the route anti-clockwise, so was going to need to turn right and cross the burn at some point.
DSCF0212.jpg
Meall nan Caorach silhouette


The glen floor and burn caused no issues crossing (the weather had been quite dry for at least a few days previously). Then I had short heather - I'd guess managed for grouse - covering the slopes up Creag Ruadh Stocach. This was enough to feel warm, with the sunshine starting to come through, though caused no difficulties.
DSCF0215.jpg
Track after Girron


I met the main obstacle of the walk once up onto the ridge: a new-looking pair of electric fences, running in parallel along the fenceline marked by OS. This led along the high ground and around to Meall Reamhar. Even the higher cloud seemed to be clearing and lifting, giving good visibility of the walk ahead.
DSCF0222.jpg
View towards Loch Freuchie


The fence did force me to compromise on visiting the 601-metre point: instead, I got to about 600 metres and decided that was close enough, "Testing" the fence found it to be very live indeed, which could have been a good wake-up if I hadn't already been raring to go and enjoying the morning.
DSCF0224.jpg
Grahams ahead


Following the fenceline around, I made progress eastwards and up to the cairn atop Meall Reamhar. This (and its neighbour) are at the edge of the Highlands, so offer good viewpoints of hills and glens in one directions, more open landscape in others. As well as the drop and rise ahead, if I was going to fit in a second hill for the day.
DSCF0229.jpg
Meall Reamhar towards Meall nan Caorach


Thankfully the electrified fence turned away, leaving some more veteran posts and wire for the plunge and reascent (slightly over 150 metres drop and rise, a bit over 1/2 mile distance). Most of this is over heathery ground, though it was slightly boggy in the bealach before where the Milton track passes through.
Then there was another heathery ascent - enough to warm up (as if I needed that) and excuse a quick drinks break along the way. The ground eases off before the high point of the route, Meall nan Caorach capped with a trig point and, once more, offering some decent views.
DSCF0243.jpg
Meall nan Caorach trig point


The quickest route from here would have been to cut downhill and rejoin the track northwest. But I wanted to include the minor top of Creag Ghorm, which made the route more of a natural horseshoe (and offered another hill to tick). So I turned northwards, following the line of fenceposts, descending slightly to turn northwest.

I noted some scattered sheep grazing the heathery turf, but didn't pay them much attention on my way to the few rocks at the summit.
DSCF0255.jpg
Creag Ghorm


This was another chance to take in what the day looked like: quite promising, though the highest hills still wore their cloudy hats and scarfs.
DSCF0256.jpg
Cloudy Munros beyond Glen Quaich


Then I noticed that not all of the sheep were grazing. One was at the end of a green peat-pool, only a stone's throw from the summit. And obviously stuck there, as she had managed to reach the edge but not get out.
DSCF0258.jpg
Bogged down


I checked the surroundings and situation. There was dry ground on most sides, so I first tried whether my approaching would be enough to make the ewe jump out on her own. No luck: she must have been weighed down by mire and water soaked into her fleece, despite some attempts to move.

So I quickly put on some gloves and took off my pack and camera, putting those aside. It's very lucky that the ewe had horns, since they provided me with the perfect handles to grasp. She was heavy, but my pulling and (perhaps) her efforts were enough to get out from the pool.

I was especially glad to see that the ewe could move a few steps off, once released, before she sat down in the heather. And she was holding her head up, hopefully not hurt by the hauling. So I collected my things to head downhill, feeling optimistic that the ewe should dry out and recover with some warm sunshine.
DSCF0260.jpg
Thank ewe!


I made a brisk descent of the heathery, then grassy slopes back onto the same track I'd taken before.
DSCF0261.jpg
Gambolling down the slopes


I did spot and hail the driver of a pickup that I noticed near some buildings above Girron, in case they had been to do with the sheep, but they were not. So I decided against doing anything further and simply returned to Amulree by the way that I had come.
DSCF0271.jpg
Back along the A822


There was blue sky and warm sunshine by my return at 9 am. That let me get back to Birnam with time for a shower and second breakfast, followed by ... not quite such a leisurely day as I'd promised, but one with very minimal ascent.
IMG_20170901_090243.jpg
Amulree hall



Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts


Click to mark this as a great report. Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).

Comments: 2



Loch Leven Circuit

Attachment(s) Date walked: 01/09/2017
Distance: 21km
Ascent: 90m
Views: 263


Birnam Hill views

This post is not published on the Walkhighlands forum
Attachment(s) Sub 2000s: Birnam Hill - King's Seat
Date walked: 30/08/2017
Distance: 7km
Ascent: 490m
Views: 19


Mount Blair dash

This post is not published on the Walkhighlands forum
Attachment(s) Grahams: Mount Blair
Date walked: 29/08/2017
Distance: 4.5km
Ascent: 430m
Views: 15


Spartleton Edge to the Herring Road

Attachment(s) Sub 2000s: Spartleton
Date walked: 27/08/2017
Distance: 6.9km
Ascent: 255m
Comments: 4
Views: 258


Like a straw in the wind

This post is not published on the Walkhighlands forum
Attachment(s) Grahams: Windlestraw Law
Donalds: Windlestraw Law
Date walked: 24/06/2017
Distance: 12.5km
Ascent: 490m
Views: 73


How I Stuic around a tempestuous Lochnagar

Attachment(s) Munros: Lochnagar
Date walked: 21/06/2017
Distance: 27.5km
Ascent: 1600m
Views: 316


Western 'Gorms: Eight and Ten from Glen Feshie

Attachment(s) Munros: Beinn Bhrotain, Braeriach, Cairn Toul, Monadh Mor, Mullach Clach a'Bhlair, Sgor an Lochain Uaine, Sgor Gaoith, The Devil's Point
Date walked: 19/06/2017
Distance: 68km
Ascent: 3666m
Comments: 8
Views: 774


Hare-raising stravaiging between Drumochter and the Gaick

This post is not published on the Walkhighlands forum
Attachment(s) Munros: A' Bhuidheanach Bheag, Carn na Caim
Corbetts: An Dun, Maol Creag an Loch (A' Chaoirnich)
Date walked: 17/06/2017
Distance: 32.5km
Ascent: 1900m
Views: 81


Fionn Bheinn and the fairy cloud

Attachment(s) Munros: Fionn Bheinn
Date walked: 15/06/2017
Distance: 10km
Ascent: 800m
Views: 314

Driftwood


User avatar
Activity: Mountain Walker
Member: MCoS
Camera: Fujifilm X10

Munros: 161
Corbetts: 28
Grahams: 10
Donalds: 19
Sub 2000: 18



Filter reports


Statistics

2017

Trips: 20
Distance: 388.2 km
Ascent: 23871m
Munros: 27
Corbetts: 3
Grahams: 4
Donalds: 8
Sub2000s: 2

2016

Trips: 18
Distance: 418.65 km
Ascent: 28135m
Munros: 36
Corbetts: 7
Grahams: 1

2015

Trips: 18
Distance: 396.25 km
Ascent: 22870m
Munros: 25
Corbetts: 8
Grahams: 5
Donalds: 9
Sub2000s: 1

2014

Trips: 10
Distance: 208.35 km
Ascent: 13080m
Munros: 30
Sub2000s: 1

2013

Trips: 14
Distance: 203.85 km
Ascent: 12880m
Munros: 19
Corbetts: 9
Donalds: 2
Sub2000s: 3

2012

Trips: 10
Distance: 138.1 km
Ascent: 9275m
Munros: 14
Corbetts: 2
Sub2000s: 4

2011

Trips: 7
Distance: 100 km
Ascent: 6500m
Munros: 8
Corbetts: 1
Sub2000s: 1


Joined: Jun 09, 2011
Last visited: Apr 18, 2018
Total posts: 256 | Search posts