Our walk today started at Benrinnes Distillery, where they don’t have a public car park, but where they were quite happy for us to leave Colin for a few hours, although they did forewarn us that there wasn’t a path up Ben Rinnes from there, and that we would have to ‘pick your way up’.
That news came as something of a surprise as the map shows not just a path, but a track leading from there. It turned out that the map was right and that the distillery employee had perhaps not ever tried exploring the rear of the property.
Yep, that’s definitely a track!
That track took quite a way up the hill and fortunately I was looking in the right direction when Mick walked straight past the little path that was to take us via the little rocky outcrop and then to the summit.
We stayed dry until we were just before the rocky outcrop, when a shower hit. It turned out to be heavy enough a shower that I came to wish I’d put my overtrousers on, as my trousers were soon plastered to my legs. The shower duly passed, and the legs dried out surprisingly quickly. Here’s a look at the view through two of the rocks on the rocky outcrop bit:
Actually taken on the way back down; it was raining then too.
Our first visit to the summit only lasted as long as it took to take a self-timed photo. With another shower almost upon us, we hot-footed it to hide behind a rock, where we found a family sheltering under a convenient overhang.
“Are you on holiday” was the first question and within thirty seconds I was convinced that we were about to find that Mick knew the man’s brother (having already established that both previously worked on Nimrods at Kinloss), but that turned out not to be the case. Instead, we discovered that they used to live about 2 miles away from us at home! They were the only people we saw during our outing, which is surprising considering what a nice, straightforward hill Ben Rinnes is and that (if you can put up with a few showers) it was a nice day for it.
(There would be a picture of the view from the top here, except that I don’t have a 3g signal and it’ll take too long to post more than 2 photos!)
With tea drunk and sandwiches and cake eaten, I nipped back up to the summit between showers for a few more photos before we left, then down we went. We should have set out at a sensibly early hour, and made a day of it by taking the circular walk which is obvious on the map, but as we weren’t out early (and as I’m inherently lazy!) we simply retraced our steps.
The stats were 6.66 miles walked with just over 2000’ of ascent in 2 hours 20 minutes of walking (less than an hour on the way down, because the terrain was so nicely springy that we ran part of it!).