Wed 25th Nov
Started out from the cairn at the high point of the Old Military Road – good track all the way to Geallaig Hill. A nice 9k out & back run, windy but thankfully the rain held off.
View over towards Balmoral, with ominous clouds over the hilltops:
On 30th July I drove up the B976 from Crathie and parked along the military road. Heading straight up the hill from there I saw Gentians and Intermediate Wintergreen in flower. Following a track to the summit of Geallaig, the views were good as it was the first clear day for ages. I carried on to Creag na Creiche before turning back.
Legs pretty wiped out from running so happy to tick off one cp I had skied to within yards of and another which I run most years but a first for J and the muts.
After our day out in Gairnshiel with Dave and Kathy on Saturday we still had two cp to do in the area. Weather is looking very showery and blustery but we decide to go out anyway.
Parked at Shenval and up the track, forking left at the split. At 500m it starts to snow and we take shelter (a bit) in a ditch for 15 minutes. Resume climb to the 600m line (where track fizzles out anyway) and head across heather towards Fox Cairn. It looks like we have a difficult gulley to cross but there are a couple of small tracks and we get up onto the hill quite easily. A fence and gate guide us to the cairn.
A quick photo in the wind and then back to the car and onto Geallaig Hill.
1 Fox Cairn
2 Geallaig Hill
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Up the White Hill. Dull and breezy. Shame I couldn’t get out yesterday when the weather was better. Not much variety in the landscape on the way up, but a spectacular cairn at the summit. Apart from a few grouse, I saw only a kestrel.
Geallaig hill is a nice climb, well unless you have to race up it in the dark and cold whilst being chased by people with headtorches on and sporting slightly questionable fashion sense (me included!).
The climb starts on the track opposite Braenaloin and goes up for 1.8 miles and 1,144 feet (12% grade).
We all set off at various times, worked out by Dave Hirst, he seems to work some magic every month for the handicap which ensures that we all get to the finish roughly together.
We all survived the climb, Tilly was first up and Steph was fastest and I managed to get up without being sick due to all the birthday cake I consumed at work beforehand.
Once we all jogged down it was time to adjourn to Chez Mardall for pasta, lovely bread and extremely rich and very tasty chocolate birthday cake baked by Steph.
Hope you all don’t mind me tagging you for the CP, I couldn’t remember the dogs’ names but they certainly beat me to the top and deserve a tag as well.
Thanks to Lina and Nick for their hospitality, to the boys for their entertaining menagerie and Steph for baking a great cake.
All in all a great way to spend my birthday.
Share your experiences of this challenge point.