walkhighlands

Testing the Water

Date walked: 27/01/2022

I had been getting bored with walking from home, but there was little I could do about it, since I didn’t have a driving license. I had a reminder from the DVLA that I needed an eye test in November. My sister said “That’s odd, your birthday is in May, I’ve just got a reminder for a January birthday. Check it.” I never like being bossed about by my elder sister, so it was a week or more until I did, and then discovered that I had been driving illegally since May. The new license took seven weeks to come from the eye-test while I was having nightmares about having to go and live in bus-land. When my father-in-law was finally put off the road, he used to drive his car up and down his very short drive, and then he would drag himself onto a bus, any bus. Since he couldn’t read their labels, each trip was a magical mystery tour. Would this be my plight? Then, the license arrived. First a visit to see daughter and grand-kids, then I could try a hill.
January 27th was a perfect day. I had read of someone who had not only done the Seven Fife Marilyns (as I had) but the top ten highest Fife hills. I had toyed with the idea of adding his Knock Hill, Saline Hill and Lumbennie hill to my round as he had, so this was a reconnoitre .
It didn’t start well. The lady at the farm at the bottom of the zig-zag track up Knock Hill said I couldn’t park there. It was private land and the tractors were in and out all the time. She directed me back to the Knock Hill racing circuit car park.
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It didn’t add a great deal to the walk
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She also told me that the path up the hill from the door was off limits: that was private too.
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I remember climbing that way when I had been bagging all the Fife trig points, but we couldn’t have met anyone.
She directed me to the “right of way” going past the farm. The gate looked a bit unfriendly, so I just climbed it.
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As I had thought of coming back that way, I set off. The muddy path turned into a climb, and I encountered a fence. There was no opening in it as might be expected in a “right of way”, so I climbed it.
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ATV tracks followed the cleft in the hill.
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By then I was regretting forgetting to bring my stick, and also forgetting to change my photochromatic glasses…everything looked black. I took off my woolly hat and pulled my hood down which improved things a little.
At the top are masts, but it was possible to take a photo without getting them in.
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Looking ahead to East Cairn Hill and Saline Hill
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I was sure I remembered reading a TR on these hills, possibly Fife Flyer, and should have checked how they did it. I just went straight down without a path and hit the drainage ditch flowing downhill. It had been newly dug out with steep muddy sides and what looked like old fencing the other side.
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I walked upstream until a wooden extension to the earlier fence I had climbed went over the ditch
It was slow walk squelching through the rushes and my boots got filthy.
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It wasn’t quite such a steep pull as Knock Hill
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Nearly at East Cairn I spotted the dread barbed wire, so sat down to have lunch. Looking back.
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Had I been with R, one of us would have stripped off a fleece and added a sitting mat, and we would have got over one way or another
.However, I have developed a new wimpishness, and decided that the shadows were growing long, and it was time to go home.
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The thought of having to phone for help while tangled in barbed wire was not appealing.
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Another very wet section before I could get into reasonable walking and another crossing of the ditch in the same place.

It’s unfair to judge these sheep because they look like thugs, but I far prefer the black faced ones
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So I don’t think I will be adding these hills to the 7 Marilyns. Friends have already contacted me to suggest coming too in the summer and making it a fund raiser and having done them three times now, why not add a fourth?

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Comments: 4



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Distance: 23.5km
Ascent: 1175m
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Sgurr


User avatar
Location: Fife
Activity: Munro compleatist
Mountain: Last one climbed
Place: Home
Gear: Headtorch
Member: MCofS, NT, RHB
Camera: Panasonic Lumix TZ90
Ideal day out: A few new hills in (mostly) sunshine in (mostly) good company...and an eagle or two.
Ambition: Lifelong hill walking.

Munros: 282
Corbetts: 222
Grahams: 219
Donalds: 89
Wainwrights: 160
Hewitts: 138
Sub 2000: 569
Islands: 58



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Statistics

2022

Trips: 1

2021

Trips: 3
Distance: 23.5 km
Ascent: 1175m
Grahams: 1
Donalds: 1
Sub2000s: 7

2020

Trips: 8
Distance: 23.5 km
Ascent: 1175m
Sub2000s: 10

2019

Trips: 4
Distance: 47.6 km
Ascent: 2500m
Munros: 1
Grahams: 1
Sub2000s: 8
Hewitts: 2
Wainwrights 5

2018

Trips: 5
Distance: 33.2 km
Ascent: 1557m
Donalds: 2
Sub2000s: 5
Wainwrights 1

2017

Trips: 4
Distance: 26.9 km
Ascent: 4252m
Sub2000s: 5

2016

Trips: 1
Sub2000s: 7

2015

Trips: 2
Sub2000s: 7

2013

Trips: 1
Distance: 49.6 km
Ascent: 2370m
Sub2000s: 4

2009

Trips: 1
Distance: 20 km
Ascent: 2000m
Corbetts: 5

1998

Trips: 1

1996

Trips: 1

1964

Trips: 1

1931

Trips: 1


Joined: Nov 15, 2010
Last visited: Jan 28, 2022
Total posts: 5222 | Search posts