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.
A pretty wet and miserable day, nevertheless the run up Goauch from the Shooting Greens car park offers a nice mix of terrain. From there I continued on to the top of Scotly, then dropped down to the car park and along the road past Blackhall, before continuing along the track to opposite Trustach. I passed some large, grand and I would imagine very expensive houses on both sides of the Dee that I never knew existed, as well as and some equally wet but contented looking fishermen. I then went up round Slewdrum before returning to the car park along the Deeside Way. Both the feet and the knee struggling after last weekends Highlander exploits, but at least today had no hail, snow or unrelenting bog to contend with!!
It was dull and cool as I headed along the track towards Goauch. I left the bike below the hill and went up through the trees, finding near the summit a path coming up from the east, clearly much used by mountain bikes. Then it was down to the river to the bank opposite Trustach, the weather improving as I went on. I heard and saw migrant willow warbler and chiffchaff, as well as buzzard, wren, great spotted woodpecker, treecreeper, great tit, song and mistle thrush, grey and pied wagtail and mallard.
Little late in posting this as did it last week while I had one hour to spare in Banchory waiting for my daughter to finish her sporting activities. Did it from Scolty car park and went up Scolty after. Total time 50 mins so managed to watch daughter and her sporting activities with the remaining 10 mins!
Shooting Greens loop through Blackhall on the bike from Banchory. Dumped the bike, and ran/walked up to cp at Hill of Goauch cairn, then back down again. The pinewoods up there were as nice as usual and somewhat atmospheric in the snow but the weather got progressively worse once back on the bike again. An easy decision to abort the intended route back (via Ballogie, and up through Sluie) for one as quick as possible by dropping down to the Dee and peddling hard to keep warm. Very cold and wet by the end. Not nice at all.
It was surprisingly cold when Andy and I set off for an easy checkpoint from the shooting greens car park this morning. Nice run to the top of Goauch Hill and then a fun descent all the way down the single track. Didn’t have time to go along to the other checkpoint by the river as I had guinea pigs to take to my sister and a tubing party to go to!
I always think of this as the alternative Scolty – no crowds and fine single track climbs. Took the single track from Blackhall in the NE, then back via the fence boundary wall. Alan
can’t find this so assume was not enterred correctly on the 2 Feb.