TUmp cleanup S of the Don

Date walked: 08/09/2020

Time taken: 5.5 hours

Distance: 8.75km

Ascent: 352m

With the weather stymying our trip to Fisherfield, it was back to the day job of bagging Section 21 TUmps.
We continued to scoop up the ones south of the Don, which involved a bit of extra driving because the A97 was closed for repairs to the bridge at Deskry Water near Boultenstone. This meant a detour via Gairnshiel or Alford. We chose Gairnshiel.

The target Hills were:- Bonlee; Allargue; Knocklea; Cultorden and Tom Breac. It took a wee bit o zig-zagging around the countryside, but the weather was fine.


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We ignored all the "road closed" signs and parked up opposite the gates into Tillypronie Lodge. We followed the track up to a gate, then along a track on the S side of the dyke until we noticed another track on the other side of the dyke, so we crossed over just below the summit of Bonlee and followed a mown track to the top.

Track along the S side of the dyke on Bonlee.JPG
Track on the S side of the dyke on Bonlee

The summit area sported another gas gun setup similar to the one we had seen on Peters Hill a couple of weeks ago and a shooting butt nearby.

Gas gun on Bonlee.jpg
The gas gun emplacement on Bonlee

Top of Bonlee.jpg
GordonC and H at the top of Bonlee

The top was close by.
After a short stop, we followed a track down along the crest of the ridge back to the gate and thence to the car.

Track down off Bonlee.jpg
The track down off Bonlee


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We drove to Strathdon via the Gairn bridge - both of us having our senior moments on the way.
I turned off too early up the B9119, before realising my mistake - doh.
Later on, up where we'd stopped a couple of weeks ago beside a caravan with barking dogs, GordonC stopped when he saw a dark grey Meriva parked there, wondering why I'd pulled in
Just as he was about to accost the occupant of the Meriva, he realised that it wasn't me. The mistake was reinforced by the real me scooting past on the main road at this moment.
Don't laugh - one day you will be as old as us !
Thought it would be an opportunity to do Allargue Hill, so we turned left and braved all the bikers and open topped classic cars enjoying the sunshine. This is really a drive-by, but it has to be done - so we did it.

GordonC and H on Allargue.jpg
GordonC and Harvey at the top of Allargue


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Didn't have time to do this last week, so drove down a track which went round to the back of Knocklea house and parked on a track that continued round the hill, which didn't seem to be having much use.

Parkup for Knocklea.jpg
Parkup for Knocklea

Wandered up to the back of the house then across a fairly deep grassy meadow alongside a dyke to the trees, then up through the trees to the top.
Returned across the meadow to the cars.

Top of Knocklea.jpg
The top of Knocklee


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Parked up at the bottom of a fire break with plenty space, disturbing a workie parked in a white van having a quiet piece.
The track up the firebreak was overgrown and soggy at the bottom, so we struck up to the crest of the ridge and followed it to the top, distrubing a couple of roe deer on the way. Their fresh scent kept Harvey snuffling along their escape routes for quite a while.

Top of Cultorden.jpg
The top of Cultorden

Followed the overgrown firebreak track back down, managing to scuff my shins, again, on a buried bit o tree.


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Parkup at Rough Park for tom Breac.JPG
Parkup at Rough Park for Tom Breac

Parked up at the bottom of the track up to the cottages at Rough Park among derelict farm machinery outside a workshop.
Wandered up the track through the cottages and past a field of neeps, which had a couple of sparkly revolving bird scarers supplemented by a kite on a pole. I think the kite- bird was supposed to be a Kestrel. Anyway, we didn't see any birds, so I guess they worked !

The Kestrel kite.jpg
The Kestrel Kite

At the top of the main track we followed another one that skirted our hill on the N side, then struck up to the top from it, The top was beside the fence separating the open forest to the N from the dense one to the S.

On the track we spotted a reel of plastic tape that someone had rolled up on to home-made a reel, then just left it there. I wonder why.

Abandoned reel of tape on Tom Breac.jpg
Abandoned reel of tape on Tom Breac

GordonC near the top of Tom Break.jpg
GordonC near the top of Tom Breac

GordonB on the spot height of Tom Breac.JPG
GordonB on the spot height of Tom Breac

There was a wee firebreak with a faint animal track in it running parallel to the fence so we followed it back to the main track .

Not a very long day in distamce, but a bit of moose-stepping through the deep grass/moss/wild hyacynths in the forested bits. Luckily, though, not long stretches of it.

A nice breeze kept us cool on quite a warm day ( 20 DegC ) .
We rewarded ourselves with an ice lolly from the Bellabeg shoppie before driving home.

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Gordon Ballantyne

Location: Westhill, Aberdeenshire
Occupation: Retired
Activity: Munro compleatist
Mountain: Ladhar Bheinn
Place: Knoydart
Member: Ex- RAF MRT Kinloss
Ambition: Complete Corbetts/Grahams

Munros: 281
Corbetts: 89
Grahams: 20
Donalds: 7
Sub 2000: 59

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Joined: Jan 30, 2011
Last visited: Sep 17, 2020
Total posts: 235 | Search posts