A short evening walk when the weather had finally improved. Started near the quarry on the south Deeside road and made the mistake of following the lovely green track round the hill. Much better just to head straight up which avoids the worst of the heather. Came down this way. This is one of my favourite small hills in Deeside – the pine trees at the top are all small and gnarled, and there are great views in all directions. Only took 40mins.
While the serious runners were at Slioch, K and I had a gentle walk around Lamahip and Craig Lash. Started just west of the Bucket mill where there is space to park by a track which according to the map only goes a short way – don’t believe the map round here. It actually goes all the way to Finlets Cairn where it becomes the path marked on the map. The northward extension of this on the other hand, doesn’t really exist. On the way up the (rather steep) path we saw what I think was a white tailed eagle circling over the woods. It was far too big to be anything other than an eagle, and had a white head and (I think) a white tail. I’ve never seen one over here but I know some were reintroduced to the east coast. Whatever it was, it was huge. Carried on to Corybeg then Lamahip. There have always been lots of seagulls here, strange so far from water. There is a track to the top, but the start isn’t easy to spot, and it isn’t very good. Back to Corybeg, then straight down the hill, through the gate in the fence and on to Craig Lash. Took the track south west from the summit, over the other top, then followed other tracks, some good, some not so good, down the Burn of Finlets to the road. Very nice woodland around here. I’ve seen capercaillie here in the past, but not for a few years. From the car we went down to the ford and K went to point 82. I didn’t want to get my feet wet and I’ve already done it so I didn’t bother to wade the river.
Biked in with Kathy from the Loch Muick car park to the Glas-Allt Sheil, then walked up to the waterfall. From just above the waterfall left the path and made our way via Loch Buidhe to the Dubh Loch. Mostly easy going, with a lot of grass rather than heather, and a spectacular view down to Loch Muick. I’d never been up here before and it was interesting to see the hills from a different angle. Very bleak though – it felt like the glaciers had only just left. Not much sign of spring this high but the trees are green around Loch Muick, and there are a lot more of them than there used to be. Definitely a good route, and an easy way of getting two points. Only 8km with 340m climb.
20 of us raced up cp70 last night before the AGM. Results:
Dave H – 25:31
Steph – 25:33
Dirk – 25:34
Jamie – 25:36
Dave C – 26:19
Andy – 26:20
Miles – 28:28
Trevor – 29:23
Sam – 29:28
Katie – 30:18
Warren – 31:07
Amandine – 31:43
Dave O – 33:53
Patrick – 34:47
Clare – 35:12
Jeff – 36:04
Joe – 37:11
Kathy – 38:45
Duncan – no time because he went off to the boardwalk before the start. Derek – marshall.
Biked up Hill of Goauch with Kathy from Shooting Greens with the intention of carrying on down to the river, but Kathy got a stick in her gears on the way down and broke the hanger for the rear mech, so we had to walk back to the car. The hill is in a lovely bit of old pine wood surrounded by the Blackhall plantation. There are also lots of mountain bike trails there, some of which are really nice, some very muddy, and some horribly scary. Usually you don’t know which kind you are on until too late. We went home and had lunch, then decided to make up for the morning by walking two easy points from Potarch. There is a marked trail up the hill in Craigmore wood, but you have to find the trail before you will find the map or any of the markings. We did it clockwise so had almost finished before we came across the map, and all the arrows pointed where we had just come from. After you get off the fire roads the hill top is rather nice, but the track to get there is very long, very straight and very stony. Went on to Ord More in Sluie woods. Another nice bit of woodland (at least at the top) with lots of little crags and a feeling of remoteness only spoiled by motor bikers throwing themselves off the said crags.
Biked with Kathy, Derek and Evelyn up Glen Gairn from near Gairnsheil Lodge as far as Corndavon Lodge, then walked up Tom Breac. Not an exciting hill, but a very good view from the top. Surprisingly dry as well – didn’t get wet feet at all. Walked back to the bikes, then headed back, and took the tack that goes nearly to the top of Cnoc Chalmac. The climb is quite hard, the descent back to the main track very nice. Didn’t even take our helmets off for the short walk to the top of the hill. Got back to the cars just as the rain was starting.
Rode up to Lazy Well with Gary and Kathy, on a drizzly day with low cloud. K turned back and Gary + I continued along the track to Pressendye. There is a new deer fence almost all the way and I’m not sure what the best route is. Probably to stay on the right of the fence. We stayed left and turned north after descending broom hill, which is less steep than the direct route but a very bad track. Took the most direct route back down which is a great ride and gave me the chance to check it out before the race on Thursday. Have to admit my legs were a bit tired after the Ben Lomond race yesterday.
According to my Not Entirely Reliable Guide to Placenames in Aberdeenshire, Craig Doin means Hill Hill. Whatever, it makes a good circuit. Started from Balmoral, took in the Princess Royal’s Cairn, which celebrates some princess getting married, on the way to Connachat, then climbed Craig Doin from the north, which is pretty steep but the woods are nice. There is a very impressive cairn on the way up, built to celebrate Queen Victoria buying Ballochbuie. Carried on south, crossed the path then went on to the Prince’s Stone, which celebrates Prince Albert spending a night in a hut. I wonder if Deeside Runners should employ a stonemason to record our great exploits? Kathy practised her curtseys while I sang God Save the Queen. Carried on NE along the path and back to the start. 18km, 600m of climbing, and it took us 3:45, but we were walking not running.