I have clearly lost the knack of uploading these posts but hopefully it will work this time. Andy’s first CP since his accident. I thought we better take it easy for the first one so we went for Knockargety. The start didn’t look very promising as forestry work has made the track very muddy and fairly unattractive. However a lovely single track lead to the summit and a fantastic view of the Dee valley. A lovely walk for a sunny Thursday morning.
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.
A fine day for a race with 48 runners of which 11 were from Deeside as well as 2 summit marshals.
Thanks to all who helped.
Unfortunately we didn’t read D and E’s perfect directions but instead set off up the landrover track and took the left fork. We continued round until we were on the high point of the track and Lucas choose where we should veer up through the trees for the summit. Unfortunately, again, there was a carpet of fallen trees which was pretty much impassable so we skirted back down a bit and round the worst of it to pop out at the top not far from the cairn where some chocolate eggs were unfairly distributed. A better route was taken down and fun was had playing on the huge pile of sand, Page found a caterpillar. From here we headed down a single track and then followed the fence line back to the road. An easy check point with a good view. Approximately 3.5km and about 1hour 15mins! We did read D and E’s blog once we got home and agree that it would make a good handicap race for the summer.
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!
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.
Steph and I set off from the car park just up from Starrypool, there is a fair bit of timber extraction going on at the moment so the paths are fairly muddy but we are hill runners are we not? We were fairly certainly we knew the way as we had followed this route before with Warren at the helm, turns out it was about 8 months ago and it is fairly convoluted, therefore, there was a lot of heather bashing.About 3/4 of a mile from the car park there is a little ride on the right which cuts off a fair bit of the boring track, it is a tad wet but it does the job, from there you carry on the path to the right, through the deer fence gate and carry on till the end of the track.
Head through the small gap in the fence into the trees and then get lost!! Through our efforts I suggest you do not go as far as the gully on the left and in no circumstances head across it and into the deep, shin ripping heather…or wear shorts for that matter.
Once you find your (better) way to the top Craig Lash it is a fairly non descript top, more of a rise really. Head onto the main track and once you pass the cairn at the top take a left and head down for about 200 metres, you will find a fairly indistinct track on the right. Don’t miss this, we carried on for about a mile till we met the track coming over from Glen Cat, found a flail cut track which paralleled the track we just came down and headed back up it, then just went straight up the hill to the faintly underwhelming top that is Lamahip (see splendid photo!).
We took the indistinct path back to the main track, back to the cairn and turned back to the West, lovely long descent here from about 1200 feet to 600, we came past a very small lochan which was still frozen, not sure if it would have held our weight but it certainly looked pretty thick.
On down to the strange wee cabin (anyone know the history of this?) and then through the newly felled area and into the fields above Ballogie, we took a very small path which required a fairly steep climb up through the trees. Final descent down to Starrypool, mainly because we took a wrong turn. I have included the strava upload for this route so you can see where not to go!
Andy had a day off so I suggested that we meet at 9am and go for a nice little run up Pressendye and maybe take in Lazy Well. The views from Pressendye were great and the gentle descent down to Lazy Well good fun. A long descent on a nice grassy track to East Davoch and then back along a very quiet little road to Tarland. A nice 11 mile route for a Monday morning (surely better than being at work??).
Fooled the kids (and their cousin) into collecting another checkpoint. Lovely day for an epic walk (epic if you are 4 or 44) up the Craigendarroch. Much fun was had by all as you will see from the photos. On the descent we took a little detour to see the burnt remains of the Darroch Learg Hotel.
This is a nice wee route for picking up a few CP’s; starting at the Dinnet car park we headed off around Kinord on the South side and started slaloming through the ramblers dressed in full survival gear, good thing most of them were in luminous colours as it was pretty misty.
After about 2 miles we turned off the main track to take in the board walk, it gives access to a pretty good example of tertiary succession wetland (essentially a bog). We carried on towards the Burn O’ Vat road, crossed over and took the path through the woods and starting climbing up Cnoc Dubh, this is always a lovely place to run, soft underfoot, mostly singletrack and very undulating. About three quarters of the way up Steph decided to test my tired legs and I decided that my legs were tired – I uploaded a Strava segment for the Cnoc Dubh climb for you KOM baggers.
We stopped at the top to admire the shafts of sunlight shining on Pannanich and then blasted down the descent to try and find Duncan’s shortcut to the Upper Vat. We failed miserably in our quest and nearly had to imitate Jules Lines but decided to not downclimb the cliffs but to traverse the easy shoulder and down into the Vat. This is definitely an otherworldly place when the mist is down, half expected to see a few hobbits popping out of the rocks and was prepared for the tree in the picture to come to life, I shouldn’t have re-read Lord of the Rings the other day.
Wandered down the slightly difficult to run path to the sinkhole and out into the real world, headed off back round Kinord via the most direct route, there appears to be some path upgrading going on at the path to the North East of the loch near New Kinord. We met the luminous ones again just before we got back to the car park, not sure they understood what “we are on your left” meant but we did manage to engage in a couple of tangos as we negotiated our way past them.
Overall about 8.2 miles and about 650 feet of climbing, very relaxing way off picking up three CP’s and a very varied route.