Mysterious tracks on the Rhynie TUmps

Date walked: 29/04/2021

Time taken: 5 hours

Distance: 9km

Ascent: 240m

A bit of a spotty day on these TUmps.

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

When we arrived at the layby for Quarry Hill, we pored over the maps to allow a hail squall to pass. Walked down the road for a wee bittie then through a gate onto what looked like a bit of the old road.

The start for Quarry Hill.JPG
Looking back at the starting gate for Quarry Hill

A ramp to another gate allowed us to hop over a slack fence into a grass field bordered by a hawthorn hedge . At the top, a system of gates allowed us through into the field containing the grassy top of Quarry Hill.

Field gates on Quarry Hill.jpg
Field gates near the top of Quarry Hill

Top of Quarry Hill wi Tap o Noth behind.jpg
Top o Quarry Hill wi Tap o Noth behind

The sun was out, so we returned quickly to the car.

Cnoc Cailliche & Meikle Turf Hill

Although shorter by doing these two from their nearest respective roads, we decided to do them both from the east as I'd spotted animal tracks criss crossing the ridge between the two on GE.

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

Walked up the road to the Wheedlemont fans then negotiated through fields of ewes and lambs to gain access to the gorsy top and the fort.

The Wheedlemont fannery.jpg
The Wheedlemont Turbines & maintenance huttie below Cnoc Cailliche

Wheedlemont turbines.jpg
Wheedlemont turbines from Cnoc Cailliche

Top of Cnoc Cailliche.jpg
Thr gorsey top and fort of Cnoc Cailliche

The first bit from Cnoc was grassy, but animal tracks led through the patchy heather until we hit the fence below Red Craig, having endured our first hail squall. Fortunately, we'd hit the fence at a gate, which although a little flooded, was unlocked.

The Dubbie gate below Red Craig.jpg
The dubbie gate below Red Craig

We followed the track on the other side of the gate up towards the bealach then right up the grouse butts ( only saw one in pretty poor state ) to Little Turf Hill. An animal track took us up to patches of grass leading to the top of Meikle Turf.

GordonB and Harvey at the top of Meikle Turf.JPG
GordonB and H at the top of Meikle Turf Hill

GordonC and H on Meikle Turf Hill.jpg
GordonC and H at the top of Meikle Turf

We basked in the sun, then headed back, only to be overtaken by another hail squall.
After the squall, GordonC noticed a strange wiggly brown track in a field at the back of Rhynie. There didn't seem to be any reason for it to snake around unless it was a go-cart track. but it didn't seem to go anywhere. Mystery.

The broon wiggly tracks.JPG
The wiggly broon track near Rhynie

We dropped down to the wood below Cnoc to avoid the sheep and gained access to a field without any livestock . This took us by the fans and to the car just as another squal hit us, making us hurry back the last few metres.

Ord Hill
Managed to find a parkup by the wheelie bins.

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

Gained access to the field opposite by a gate, then up the grassy ridge and by the fences running along the crest of the ridge. We tested all the possible tops, but as usual, each one we stood on looked lower than the others,but the farthest one seemed to be closest to the GPS position.

Third and real top of Ord.jpg
The top of Ord Hill

We could see another squall coming over Tap o Noth across the glen so we scuttled back down the ridge to the car.

Scuttling back to the car on Ord.JPG
Scuttling back down to the car from Ord Hill

The hail squalls, although a bit cold ( I'd forgotten my luggie bonnet ),weren't too wetting, so I didn't have to drag my anorack oot o ma hillbag - lazy git !
A quick re-group then down to Alford for an "sit-down" bacon roll and coffee - nectar.

PS. GordonC solved the mystery of the broon wiggly track - its a moto--cross circuit !

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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: 282
Corbetts: 89
Grahams: 20
Donalds: 7
Sub 2000: 59

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Joined: Jan 30, 2011
Last visited: Apr 30, 2021
Total posts: 258 | Search posts