The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Friday 28 August 2015

Cairn William

Wednesday 26 August

My morning forest-track-internet-hot-spot had told me that my intended start point for this walk was viable, and so it proved to be, with parking enough for three Colin-sized vehicles. As we were the only people there, we had our pick.

A sore foot caused Mick to sit this one out, which was a shame, as he missed an outing that I enjoyed greatly. It didn’t start with great promise; on the map the path shown in the snap below is represented as a forest track. I think it’s a long time since it was passable by a vehicle, being heavily overgrown (mainly with broom and gorse) and very soggy underfoot:


That led me to a track of the type I expect when I see a forest track on a map, which in turn took me to an informal mountain bike trail leading up the hill. That was a bit soggy too, but not too muddy, and not overgrown:


The informal mountain bike trail led on to a formal one, which gave an incredibly easy walk to the top, but at the expense of being direct. Just look at the size of those switchbacks!


A sharp shower hit me as I approached the top, leading to a waterproofs faff. A further waterproofs faff was had at the top to remove them, by which time the weather looked like this to the south…


… although it was a bit dark over Bennachie (behind me in this summit selfie):


You may have noticed as you scrolled past that map shot a few pictures ago that I took a rather more direct descent route. I wouldn’t have wanted to ascend through that deep heather, but exactly as someone had noted in their trip log on, it’s very easy to yomp down through the heather, then through the well-spaced trees of that bit of forest. The only impediment was a fight with a short section of six-feet-high bracken.

My upward route had been 2.5 miles long and had taken one hour and one minute. My downward route was 1.2 miles long and took just under 25 minutes. The total upness was 1100’.

Did I mention that I rather enjoyed that one?

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