18/09/15Looking to get some good miles in the legs. From Dinnet over the hill to Glen Tanar, up to HWH and beyond, then right over the hill back towards Deeside. Brief diversion to the Rocking Stone (cp 99) then down to cross the river at Cambus bridge and back by the railway. Buzzing at the start (combination of caffeine and a good meeting) and felt like I flew over the first hill. Kept going steady throughout and pleased with pace back along the railway at the end.
We took the track from Greystone and collected the two points. As Derek & Evelyn pointed out there is a track on the south side of the fence which takes you to the top of Black Craig. We then continued to Slai an Gour and followed the fence line to the track to Deecastle. We turned off to the SW at the top of the plantation to bring us directly back to Greystone trying to avoid the electric fence we previously experienced in a night run. Beautiful day for it.
Just back from a short holiday south of the border. I’m nursing a cold but we decided that fresh air might be the best remedy (followed by curry/beer tonight).
Verge-parked 1/2mile west of Tombae and (following DaveH) up the Greystone/Etnach track on foot (note how I avoid the verb ‘run’). On the way up I took a waypoint at the plantation above Ettrick Croft for use later (cp 61)
At the gate we continued to follow DaveH to the Rocking Stone. As he says, its a bit awkward as you can’t see the stone from the track and have to commit to a bit of heather before it comes into view. Excellent views on what was a fine day.
Summer is here so it’s time to get the mountain bike out. Started from Greystone and slogged my way up the path towards Etnach. At the top, go through the gate and there is a track immediately on the left that goes all the way to the top of Black Craig (and continues down to Halfway Hut). It is all rideable, just about, but is getting very overgrown and it would probably be quicker to run. Not that running would be much fun given the deep heather. Returned back to the gate, went back through it and immediately on the other side there is a track that goes down to Ballaterach and near to the rocking stone. It is indistinct to start with, then very boggy, but just before it starts to go properly downhill there is a big cairn on the left. This is as close to the stone as you can get on a bike, it’s only about 200m away. From here down the track is very good riding, although the farmyard at the bottom spoils the experience a bit. Only 13km in total with 400m climb but it took me 90 minutes.
Well having mentioned the idea of combining a visit to the “stone” and Bellamore Craig thought I better give t a go. Well the cycle had not left my legs in good shape and carrying a sac with ropes, boots and cleaning gear was perhaps a bit optimistic. Weather was holding and walk was fine but the terrain showed little resmblance to the map with a vehicle track crossing the river and before heading south more or less where the footpath is shown. A cairn was reached with a biggish stone 50 or so feet away. Wasn’t as brave as Andy so didn’t climb it but more to the point could not get it to rock. So after a tea wondered around up and down the river looking for a bigger stone that rocked but no joy.
So onto plan b, down to the burn and off towards the Craig to be met by endless bog then a fence with no visible crossing point. So after some faffing sac and then me got over the fence and more bog led slowly to crag. As I approached 30 or so dear jogged slowly away. The cliff seemed to take for ever to arrive and by the time it did all I wanted was home. Ah well another plan bites the dust.
Maybe next year 99 will be a red balloon!
As we were now in British Summer time we thought a trip into the countryside above Ballaterach was in order, after a wee CP hiatus we decided to visit the Rocking Stone and Black Craig. Aboyne was left in glorious sunshine and mid 30’s temperature (well in Fahrenhieit anyway), once we parked on the Ballaterach road the skies turned a leaden grey and it appeared that winter was returning with a vengenance.
Being hard core hill runners we decided to go to the Finzean tea rooms (no that was reward for afterwards!), weinstead headed up through the farm dubs and onto the hill via the field north of the small tree plantation.
Once the main track was gained we slowly trudged up, definitely feeling the after effects of the last couple of weeks racing/training, the snow quickly intensified and became a mini blizzard. We climbed to the cairn on the main track and then headed off directly down the hill, probably a bit too far down as we found a wee trod which ran parallel with the burn below. Once we climbed back up to the rocking stone an impromtu bouldering contest took place to try and ascend the rock (see photo). After a little sheltering time we decided to forgo Black Craig, mainly due to poor visibilty and lack of energy.
We dropped down the main path, back through the dubs and past the friendly sheep who thought these fools in colourful gear were going to feed them. Back to the car, showered, small girl picked up from nursery (apparently donkeys are visitors to Aboyne nursery on occasion) and comfortably ensconsed in the aforementioned tea room with nice soup and frittata on the table trying desparately to turn down the rhubarb crumble, we reflected that all in all it was a nice April Fools Day!
Fri 6th March – a windy day up to the Big Stane or Rocking Stone. Then on to Black Craig with the wind in my back.
Good run off the tops to the east but then took a ‘shortcut’ through the heather – not recommended.
Nice round from South Deeside road near Greystones. Rocking stone, Cairn Leuchan, Quartz cliff and Black Craig. Surprised some mountain hares – made them stand on end.
quartz cliff 17 Feb 2015
cairn leuchan 17 Feb 2015
black craig 17 Feb 2015
rocking stone 17 Feb 2015
A bar of chocolate to the first person to identify the musical reference. (Well you have to do something to get people to read your blogs). Another beautiful day and no snow underfoot for a trip up to The Rocking Stane. I took the track through Bellamore Mill. Once past the metal gate, follow the track 100m up to the burn which you can cross on stepping stones. Go up the hill, past the grove of pine trees and when you see the little cairn of stones, go down past it diagonally through the burnt heather. I came upon a herd of twenty red deer stags when I reached the stone. I also saw a pair of buzzards and a flock of bullfinches. Best view is over to the Dinnet lochs.
Great time up Black Craig from s deeside road, then on a slightly “erratic” path down to the rocking stone, through heather and snow. 3 deer, lots of sheep and a herd of highland cows.