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]

Tuesday 15 June 2021

A Two Corbett Day

Tuesday 15 June

Corserine (NX487870; 814m)
Start: The Burnhead Car Park, by Forrest Lodge, to the east of the hill.
Distance: 13.1km
Ascent: 700m
Weather: Overcast and cool, but dry.

Parking up adjacent to these signs in the car park at just 0645 this morning...

An unlawful prohibition of camping that ought to be challenged by the local access officer.

...I hoped that our presence there at such an early hour wouldn't be taken as an indication that we'd spent the night.

A leisurely breakfast and we set off towards our hill, with every expectation that it was going to be a relatively straightforward outing. I was talking to my sister last night and explained, to her surprise, that (in my opinion) the big hills are generally easier than the obscure little ones. This was a Corbett and thus I expected it to have a trodden line the whole way to the summit, meaning that although it involved around 700m of ascent, those metres were going to be relatively easily achieved.

So it proved to be. The first 4km or so were on forest tracks and, once we'd cleared the trees, an obvious trodden line took us through a fine open landscape onto the broad rounded ridge.

Mick on the lower reaches, then approaching the cairn where we gained the ridge

Rather a lack of air clarity looking behind us

The summit was still a linear 800m away from us but it was gloriously easy walking across cropped grass, with fine views over surrounding lumps.

Summit snaps. Last weekend's hills in the background.

The wind was biting on the top and had we lingered any longer I would have had to don another layer. I'd already put on my gloves, and a buff over my ears (although that was mainly to keep my hat in place) on the way up.

Our Corbett guide book suggested a circular walk, taking in more of the ridge, and perhaps we should have done that, but we were lazy and took the easy option of retracing our steps.

Jogging the tracks back through the forest, we were back at Bertie just over 2.5hrs after setting out. A fine outing.

Cairnsmore of Carsphairn (NX594979; 797m)
Start: Opposite track entrance at Green Well of Scotland.
Distance: 11.8km
Ascent: 640m
Weather: Overcast and increasingly windy with a few short and light showers.

When I announced my intention to also visit this hill today I had it in my mind that it was a much smaller one. It was only after Corserine this morning that I looked at the map in more detail and saw it was also a Corbett. It looked to be another straightforward one, so I didn't let its height put me off and after lunch we pootled the few miles up the road to access it.

I'm sure Mick had his fingers metaphorically crossed that there wasn't any Bertie-suitable parking nearby (I'd seen a statement that the parking was good, but hadn't been able to verify via StreetView), as that would have excused him from coming with me. As it was, we arrived to find a dead-end section of old road, from before improvements re-routed the carriageway a few metres away, where you could fit a dozen Berties.

Like this morning, a track was to take us the first 4km, but this time it was open, rather than through forest. Having kept me company as far as the end of the track (which has been recently 'upgraded' in a rather rough-underfoot way; I suspect for windfarm activities) Mick turned back (as planned; he had no interest in coming to the top of this hill) and I continued on the trodden line that runs adjacent to a wall that takes a slightly indirect route to the top.

The going was generally firm on cropped grass, with just a few squidgily boggy areas, so it didn't take too much effort to haul myself up the final 400m of ascent to the trig point and cairn at the top. From there I had views over the active windfarm construction to the east and more pleasing views in other directions.

The wind had been cold on this morning's hill. It was now cold and strong enough to blow me about. I sat a few minutes in the summit shelter, inhaled a chocolate bar, and made my descent.

By the time I got back to the track the gusts were almost stopping me in my tracks as I jogged my way back down to Bertie.


1 comment:

  1. Well done, and have a great trip. We look forward to seeing you in Montrose.