Great start to the year.

Route: Morven and Maiden Pap

Grahams: Morven, Scaraben
Sub 2000s: Maiden Pap, Smean

Date walked: 14/01/2012

After initial mix up when Ed phoned, we agreed to meet up in Dingwall at 0700hrs. It was the middle January and the weather forecast was the first bit of decent weather after a number of weeks of strong winds and heavy rain. So it was great to see blue skies as we made our way up to Braemore, start at normal point for tackling these groups of hills. But unlike ones that have gone before us, we were adding another 2 hills to the round; “Small Mount & Smean”. Normally not on anyone’s radar, unless you are of the same mind frame as Ed and myself, that is interested in doing humps as well.

Not long before we arrived, the sky split open for the night sky with glories sun shine as to welcome us for a great days walking. So we didn’t take long once we arrived at the start point to get moving, make our way along the track which runs west past the forest corps to Corrichoich. On the way we still hadn’t gone firm on which hill we will tackle first. I was keen on doing Maiden Pap however was not really bothered as I was just glad to get out on the hills and have some company. For most of my walks I do are on my own. Ed suggested walking out and doing Small Mount first, followed by Morven then the two sub 2000 Marilyn’s then Smean and finishing with Scaraben. After a quick look at the map, I was happy with the route. Some of you, who are keened eyed, will have notice that was not the shortest route. I am sure though Ed would of agreed, with the great weather that day it was worth been out making the most weather.

Maiden Pap

Good bit to go to the first hill

Ed looking forward to the day.

Getting closer.


A decent pace was made at the start arriving at the top of Small Mount in 2hrs. Both of us at the time did wonder there was some mistake that Small Mount was a Hump, as the climb to the top from the Col didn’t feel it was over the 100m that is required to be classed as a Hump. In fact, the climb is 110m “Checking it afterwards”. The views from this small hill were fantastic and our mouth watered as the thought of the views we were going to get once on top of Morven. It was at this point Ed almost made a mortal mistake…! As we looked west, Ed pointed out Cnoc an Eireannaich and said; “it was another Hump”. “Is it” I replied in a keen voice, as my face lit up…. With that Ed must have realised what was flashing above my head… Ed Quickly said; “It’s a bitty too far away, it will need to be done another day”. Even with that I was still tolling with the idea of doing it. After wee bit more discussion I was happy to leave it, I think to Ed’s relief as his tone of voice seemed more relaxed.



As we headed up Morven, Ed was making short work of getting up it with his long legs. While I was sweating heavily trying to keep up with him, so was glad of the wee stops on the way up. Next time I am going to tie his dam legs together….. I know it well put a big smile on his face knowing I was tolling a wee bit at this stage. Once on top of Morven, the views that we were earlier hoping to get; was not a disappointed. We could make out Orkney to the north, hills beyond the Moray coast and Foinaven to Stac Pollaidh in the west. Even though the skies were clear and the sun was out, a cold wind was still blowing, so we dropped down a bit out of the wind to have a quick bite to eat and drink.

Looking back.

Smean, Maiden Pap and Scaraben

On the way down we meet two lads that had cycled from Wick; we had good 5min chat with them. Though I thought and Ed mention that they did looked lost in the conversation, when I started mentioning different hill types.


Anyone who has done Smean, will know that its top is made up of a series of lumps of rock. The trick is climbing the right one with the cairn on it. I arrived on Smean ahead of Ed and was waiting for him as I sat next to the cairn. I see Ed popped up as he made his way up the wrong rock, I gave a shout and as he looked round his face said it all as it donned that he made the wrong choice. I did smiled, though not to the fact I made the right choice but that I made the same mistake as Ed.


Maiden Pap


Ed on the wrong rock!

Now making his way up the right one.

Happy he finally made it......


Maybe not......

Glad I was up first.

Before leaving Smean for Maiden Pap, Ed suggested leaving our pack around half way. Making our way, I had seen a place that was good to drop off our packs (a raised wee hump). With the weight off our shoulders, we carried onto Maiden Pap. Form the top it gave good views of the terrain that we crossed earlier in the morning, from the start to passed Morven also the area of ground that we still had to cover. This also marked an important part of the day for us, the start of Queen of the South v Ross County game. With me born next to Jubilee Park and Ed’s been “RCFC” it wouldn’t be hard to work out who we both if you didn’t know us be routing for…. With Maiden Pap been quite exposed to the elements, a sharp wind was now blowing across its top. So with good pace we headed back to where we earlier drooped off our packs and a spot of lunch.

Ed hurrying back for lunch.


Sal-vaich like Small Mount just makes it as a Hump by only a few meters! Though at the time it did felt it had more of a climb up its heather cover slope than Small Mount, it is shorter by 5 meters. We spent some time on top of Sal-vaich as Ed tried to get through to HQ (Home) to speak too C.O. (Commanding Officer, i.e. the Wife), to find out how Ross County was doing in its game with Queen of the South…. The reception wasn’t great so it took a few tries or Ed to get through, but an update on the score was managed to be sent by the C.O. Both teams were drawing at one each…., the good news though, the nearest team to Ross County was also drawing. If the scores stayed like that and the day we have been having weather wise, it would a good day. No complaints here anyway.



Ed on the phone to the C.O.

With a look at our map we had a quick chat to the way we were going to attack the final hill “Scaraben”, we headed off. Only stopping to see if Ed could get a signal, which he was at times…. Only to find for some reason it wouldn’t allow him to connect to HQ. As we approached Scaraben, the first signs of darkness started to grip the sky around us. Ed also at this point finally managed to get though and receive the final score; it was a draw, with the closest team also drawing too. From the top I set my compass on the bearing that we needed to take, however night visibility was good and could pick our route off Scaraben down its steep slope before bottoming out to more gently heather slope. Which in places was boggy were the heather gave way to grass/reed covered ground. Onto the harden track and back to the car without even the need to use head torches.



Once back at the car, we both agreed it was a good day with some great views of the overall laying area that should be done in good weather.

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

1, 2

8 Munros from Glen Isla, will my feet ever forgive me?

Munros: Cairn of Claise, Carn an Tuirc, Creag Leacach, Driesh, Glas Maol, Mayar, Tolmount, Tom Buidhe
Corbetts: Monamenach
Date walked: 15/11/2011
Distance: 57.7km
Ascent: 2530m
Comments: 16
Views: 10049

Mountaineagle on Loch Muick with a different take on it.

Attachment(s) Munros: Broad Cairn, Cairn Bannoch, Carn a' Choire Bhoidheach, Carn an t-Sagairt Mor, Lochnagar
Corbetts: Conachcraig
Date walked: 01/11/2011
Distance: 45.2km
Ascent: 2410m
Comments: 6
Views: 4565

1, 2, 3

Chritmas on Ben Macdui

Munros: Ben Macdui, Cairn Gorm
Date walked: 24/12/2010
Comments: 40
Views: 14756


Mountain: Ben Wyvis
Place: Black Isle
Gear: Compass & map
Ideal day out: Long walk whether I have to climb or scramble, better still if I can get a combination of hills in, i.e. Munro’s, Corbetts and Grahams

Filter reports



Trips: 1
Grahams: 2
Sub2000s: 2


Trips: 2
Distance: 102.9 km
Ascent: 4940m
Munros: 13
Corbetts: 2


Trips: 1
Munros: 2

Joined: Mar 26, 2009
Last visited: May 21, 2012
Total posts: 62 | Search posts