Adventures close to home

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Attachment(s) Date walked: 10/11/2019
Distance: 16.8km
Ascent: 994m
Views: 8

Adventures in the Dark at Carsphairn

Corbetts: Cairnsmore of Carsphairn
Donalds: Cairnsmore of Carsphairn

Date walked: 09/11/2019

Distance: 32.5km

Ascent: 1338m

A curtailed weekend due to Allison having an appointment on Friday (which was an absolutely beautiful day for the hills, I will add :wink: ) then going on holiday - again! - on Sunday. She had one Corbett left down in the south, so it seemed a reasonable opportunity to go that way. However - we were leaving on Friday afternoon, after her appointment and I was at a loss for camping options down Galloway way. Last time we'd done Cairnsmore of Carsphairn we'd pitched in the car park for Loch Doon and been visited during the night by carloads of techno-doggers, so after last weekend's intrusion on the way to Mull, I definitely wasn't risking car park camping again :lol: It occurred to me that we could go in from Craigengillan and use Clennoch Bothy, nice and convenient for the circuit of Cairnsmore and Beninner - a Donald Top she also needed for her "proper" Donald completion. I'm a bit wary of bothies on Friday nights, but knowing Clennoch has no stove/fire I though it might be less likely to be visited by drunken pleasure seekers at least in the winter months.

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

We had a nice drive down the coast, a big, almost full, moon rising as the darkness fell. Parked in a big passing place just before the houses at Craigengillan and sat in the car having our tea before setting off. Several cars passed by, which puzzled me as it's a dead end road. Oh well, who knows the goings on of these Borderer-types. Collecting our kit, headtorches on, we set off up the track. Boy it was cold - the car had registered a slightly sub-zero temperature as we were driving in, add a bit of wind chill and it was parky for early November.

ImagePB080282 by Al, on Flickr

I do enjoy walks in in the dark - provided there's a reasonable track to follow and the rain isn't raining. So tonight was one of those times. The Plough sat over the silhouette of Moorbrock Hill; other stars were somewhat washed out by the lunar power. I managed to continue on the main track when we should have left it and we found ourselves heading for the top of Craigengillan Hill instead of where we should be going - oh well, what's another kilometre in the dark :wink: Back on track, we passed the farm buildings at Moorbrock before heading round Green Hill. The steady gain in height was warming us up, despite the frozen ground. Then the long straight track that ultimately brought us to Clennoch.

ImagePB080286 by Al, on Flickr

ImagePB080287 by Al, on Flickr

The squat shape of the bothy was a welcome sight as we finally arrived, at around 8.30. I hadn't stayed here before, but had popped in for a look whilst doing hills in the area about 3 years ago. No lights on inside. We slid open the door and yes, no other inhabitants. We unpacked, remarked on the provision of a mattress on one of the beds, which you don't find in every bothy, and unpacked our kit. A warming cup of tea with some biscuits brought the circulation back before we turned in. Read for a bit then waited to see if anyone else was going to roll up - I reckoned if we got past 11pm we'd likely be left alone. And indeed we were.

ImagePB080289 by Al, on Flickr

ImagePB080290 by Al, on Flickr

In the early hours we heard the wind getting up - the turbines in the windfarm just to the north of the bothy began to scythe the air. The forecast for Saturday had been for rain - it was a pleasant surprise to find that although it was frosty and a little claggy high up, the day was dry. We breakfasted frugally and set off - an easy crossing of the Bow Burn then onto the northeastern shoulder of Cairnsmore - steep initially then a long gradual ascent to the summit.. We could see frosty footprints ahead of us - someone else had been up this way already today.

ImagePB090291 by Al, on Flickr

Bothy and Dugland in backdrop
ImagePB090292 by Al, on Flickr

ImagePB090293 by Al, on Flickr

View over to Moorbrock
ImagePB090296 by Al, on Flickr

Summit Cairnsmore of Carsphairn
ImagePB090297 by Al, on Flickr

From the trig point/cairn we set off, in clag, for the nearby Donald Top of Beninner - an uneventful traipse following a fenceline once Nick of the Lochans was reached. Then back down into the valley. A couple of young deer - deerlings? were up ahead, just come out of the trees and hadn't seen/smelled me yet. Nibbling the grass. We reached the track and made good time back down towards the car - the surroundings having been stripped of the mystery they'd had in the darkness. We paused by the burn to have lunch before getting back to the car at 12.30.

ImagePB090298 by Al, on Flickr

ImagePB090299 by Al, on Flickr

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

The day was still young, the weather still fine. I had been looking at my Simms map on Hill-bagging this week and noticed I had one Simm left in Section 27, Hare Hill up near New Cumnock - a northern outlier of Blackcraig Hill. I said to Allison that it was all windfarm track right to the top - she gamely agreed to go for it. A rather lovely drive in the last of the autumn colours. We drove through the quaint, interesting looking village of Moniaive then along towards Thornhill. There's a section of the A76 running alongside the River Nith that is currently single track due to landslip risk - here we saw numerous red kites - a "kettle" of kites if you will. They seemed very interested in the many pheasants along the roadside - whether the living ones that were exploring the new straw-lined drainage system or the many squished pheasants on the road wasn't entirely clear :o

We parked just inside the road to High Cairn Farm and set off along farm roads then across a field on a farm track, not a windfarm track :wink: My bad. However we soon did reach the windfarm track which led us right the way to our objective. Big skies to the east, the Lowther Hills visible. Our objective was reached, a smile and a photo from me then back the way we'd come, getting back to the car around 4.15 as the light was starting to fade. I've now completed 75% of Scottish Simms - yay!

ImagePB090301 by Al, on Flickr

ImagePB090302 by Al, on Flickr

Hare Hill (right) Blackcraig Hill (left)
ImagePB090303 by Al, on Flickr

ImagePB090304 by Al, on Flickr

ImagePB090305 by Al, on Flickr

ImagePB090306 by Al, on Flickr

ImagePB090307 by Al, on Flickr

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Comments: 1

Mulling things over...

Attachment(s) Munros: Ben More (Mull)
Corbetts: Beinn Chuirn, Dun da Ghaoithe
Grahams: Beinn Fhada
Date walked: 03/11/2019
Distance: 48.7km
Ascent: 2805m
Comments: 11
Views: 428

Nearing the End...

Attachment(s) Corbetts: Beinn Stacath, Creach Bheinn (Loch Creran), Glas Bheinn (Kinlochleven), Stob a'Choin
Date walked: 27/10/2019
Distance: 58.4km
Ascent: 3491m
Comments: 8
Views: 565

From Golden Autumnal Afternoons to White Wintry Blasts

Attachment(s) Munros: Beinn na Lap, Cairn Gorm
Corbetts: Creag Mhor, Geal Charn (Arkaig), Leum Uilleim, Meall na h-Eilde
Grahams: Glas Bheinn (Loch Arkaig)
Date walked: 20/10/2019
Distance: 63.6km
Ascent: 3928m
Comments: 3
Views: 671

Almost a dead otter...

Attachment(s) Corbetts: Baosbheinn, Beinn an Eoin, Beinn Bhan, Sgurr a' Chaorachain
Date walked: 29/09/2019
Distance: 46km
Ascent: 2374m
Comments: 2
Views: 405

1, 2

Glen Etive with a Broken Toe

Attachment(s) Corbetts: Beinn Maol Chaluim, Beinn Mhic Chasgaig, Beinn Mhic-Mhonaidh, Beinn Trilleachan
Date walked: 22/09/2019
Distance: 42.4km
Ascent: 3416m
Comments: 15
Views: 643

Jura! Jura! Jura!

Attachment(s) Corbetts: Beinn an Oir, Ben Donich
Grahams: Beinn a'Chaolais, Beinn Shiantaidh
Sub 2000s: Cnoc Reamhar, Corra Bheinn (Jura)
Date walked: 15/09/2019
Distance: 45.4km
Ascent: 3018m
Comments: 5
Views: 539

Knoydart brings a smile back to Weasel faces

Attachment(s) Corbetts: An Stac, Beinn Bhuidhe, Beinn na Caillich, Rois-Bheinn, Sgurr Coire Choinnichean, Sgurr na Ba Glaise
Date walked: 09/09/2019
Distance: 72.6km
Ascent: 5134m
Comments: 7
Views: 449

A Deluge and the Death of Summer

Attachment(s) Corbetts: Ben Tirran, Carn Mor (Ladder Hills), Creag Uchdag, Creagan na Beinne, Geal Charn (Dorback), Morven, Mount Battock
Date walked: 02/09/2019
Distance: 97.9km
Ascent: 5108m
Comments: 6
Views: 587


User avatar
Location: Greenock
Occupation: Bandersnatch?
Interests: Solvitur Ambulando
Activity: Wanderer
Mountain: Foinaven
Place: Assynt and beyond
Gear: Satmap Active 12
Member: MCofS
Camera: Olympus TG5 / Sony RX100
Ideal day out: A long walk that thrills, chills and makes me feel alive
Munro rounds: 2
Corbett rounds: 2
Graham rounds: 1

Munros: 206
Corbetts: 18
Grahams: 69
Donalds: 85
Wainwrights: 15
Hewitts: 31
Sub 2000: 178
Islands: 28
Long Distance routes: West Highland Way   

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Trips: 50
Distance: 2689.5 km
Ascent: 166280m
Munros: 10
Corbetts: 173
Grahams: 34
Donalds: 1
Sub2000s: 22


Trips: 61
Distance: 3090.77 km
Ascent: 206176m
Munros: 271
Corbetts: 16
Grahams: 10
Donalds: 9
Sub2000s: 32


Trips: 76
Distance: 2994.86 km
Ascent: 175243m
Munros: 67
Corbetts: 12
Grahams: 72
Donalds: 81
Sub2000s: 97
Hewitts: 13
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Trips: 78
Distance: 2035.42 km
Ascent: 124390m
Munros: 17
Corbetts: 4
Grahams: 142
Donalds: 71
Sub2000s: 24
Hewitts: 15


Trips: 68
Distance: 2453.94 km
Ascent: 164961m
Munros: 77
Corbetts: 126
Grahams: 17
Donalds: 8
Sub2000s: 2


Trips: 64
Distance: 2406.7 km
Ascent: 166291m
Munros: 109
Corbetts: 112
Grahams: 16
Donalds: 10


Trips: 64
Distance: 1894.46 km
Ascent: 127277m
Munros: 219
Corbetts: 17
Grahams: 4
Donalds: 3
Sub2000s: 1


Trips: 24
Distance: 254.33 km
Ascent: 16304m
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