Innerdownie - two falls and a submission

Donalds: Innerdownie

Date walked: 05/03/2020

Time taken: 3.5 hours

Distance: 10.75km

Ascent: 490m

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Nearly a week into my trip south a couple of sub-2000 outings and plenty of walking round the streets of Edinburgh convinced me I was ready for something more challenging, so I got back on the trail of Percy Donald's 1932 list of hills and tops.

The Glen Sherup circuit has always looked a good way to spend a few hours so I set off up the M90, eventually parking at the Glendevon car park later than planned at 11.30 - which partly proved to be my undoing.

It's a straightforward walk from the car park, a path linking with the forestry track after a few hundred yards, then a mile-and-a-half gradual climb through the trees above the Glen Sherup reservoir.

The path away from the car park

There's a mile of so of this

Which turned into this

Turning right at a cairn, I followed the firebreak straight up to a gate which opened out onto the hillside with views to the south and east that would on a better day be superb, but even so I could catch glimpses over to the Lomond Hills as I made my way up.

Up through the firebreak

I was surprised at how much snow was still on the ground and grateful to follow several other footprints up the hill.

The gate is a welcome sight

Well-trodden route up past the plantation

The going got slower as the snow became thicker and icier as I neared the top and the lack of winter gear was rapidly making me revise my plan as I arrived at the top. Also, by then it was 1.30 and I was only a quarter of the way round.

Looking south-east on the way up Innerdownie

Looking towards Innerdownie summit

Cairn at the top of Innerdownie

As I enjoyed tea and a biscuit at the top, I looked over towards Whitewisp Hill and Tarmangie which, although fairly close, but seemed to have far more snow. I set off anyway and trudged over to Benties Knowe where I had a slow-motion tumble in thick snow. Brushing myself off, I took another break, making note of some very threatening weather passing by to the north and decided the circuit could wait for the summer.

Heading back down proved tricky for the first few hundred yards and sure enough, I ended up on my backside again before reaching the gate and a firmer footing for the trip back to the car park.

From the summit of Innerdownie towards Whitewisp Hill and Tarmangie

No shelter here today

Threatening weather to the north - maybe time to turn back

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Comments: 5

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Location: Westray, Orkney
Activity: Mountaineer
Place: Westray
Ambition: Finish Orkney's Marilyns

Munros: 3
Corbetts: 1
Grahams: 2
Donalds: 6
Hewitts: 2
Sub 2000: 31
Islands: 18
Long Distance routes: West Highland Way   

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Trips: 3
Distance: 23.8 km
Ascent: 973m
Donalds: 1
Sub2000s: 2


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Distance: 65.98 km
Ascent: 3228m
Corbetts: 1
Grahams: 1
Donalds: 4
Sub2000s: 6


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Distance: 61.67 km
Ascent: 1526m
Munros: 3
Sub2000s: 4


Trips: 1
Distance: 7.8 km
Sub2000s: 1

Joined: Jul 07, 2017
Last visited: Jul 05, 2020
Total posts: 31 | Search posts