This hill gets overlooked when climbing the neighbouring Cairnsmore of Carsphairn because it is a bit on the dull side. Today was different as we thought we try out a different approach: instead of the tourist route up from Green Well of Scotland (NX556944) we would instead go up from Knockgray on the other side of Carsphairn. The B729 doesn’t have any good parking spots on this part (and we certainly don’t block farm drives) so we parked at the war memorial in the village and walked up. It was beautiful day: cold with a lot of snow and ice around, but a cloudless blue sky – perfect.
The idea was to take the track up past the oddly-named Willieanna and skirt Black Shoulder to the col and then onto Beninner. The walking was pretty easy until we got onto Black Shoulder when the path became an ice-rink. It then became easier to leave the path and head directly for Beninner.
The snow near the summit was about ankle deep and completely free of footprints: no-one has been here in at least a month. The view from the cairn was wonderful with Ben Lomond (115 km/72 miles) and the Lakeland Fells (110 km/68 miles) clearly visible and I was also pretty sure I could see Snowdon (225 km / 140 miles) away floating above the Irish Sea. The east edge of Beninner drops away quickly leaving a great view at your feet over towards the Lowther Hills.
We returned to the car by heading down and over Knockwhirn. The fence here is electric and I had to do my usual trick of throwing Jazz over. It was only later that I found this sustainable generator ticking away nicely: good thing Jazz is well insulated!
On the way down we were treated to a lovely sunset over the Rhinns of Kells (at 3.30pm!)
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