Awful Hand, Mullwharchar and Wolf Slock
There is something about the name “Rhinns of Kells” that is just lovely. A quick check through my beautifully arranged and catalogued photo collection shows that it is 5 days short of four years since I last walked on this ridge and it was long overdue for a repeat. Last time I did it on my own , but today I had two companions: Stuart and her Jazzness. Both had been making noises about doing “The Rhinns” for months now and today was the day. This time was special because we were aiming to do the whole thing from [place name=’Coran of Portmark’] down to [place name=’Meikle Millyea’] in one jaunt.
The Start: looking towards Hart Fell
In our quest for hillwalking pleasure, Jazz and I headed further east to Annandale just north of Moffat to do a lovely circuit taking in Hart Fell and the Devil's Beef Tub. This is a lovely part of the world with the next batch of Donalds that we need to do. They had always seemed too far away for a day trip but it turned out the M74 makes them closer in time than some of the places in South Ayrshire. Continue reading
White Hill to right of the SUW heading for Loch Dee
We’d tried to walk these hills last year but a strong wind made me worried that Jazz’s ears would catch a strong gust and she’d end up on the Antrim coast. Now we were back, but still the wind was pretty strong. Only later did I discover that Curleywee comes from the Gaelic cor na gaoith meaning “point of the wind”. So it would be a windy day – but the good thing is: it would be a warm wind! Incredible to remember that only a fortnight ago we were in multiple layers in the snow: today it was shorts+T-shirt with SPF15 liberally applied. Continue reading
Jazz on Shalloch on Minnoch
Have you ever listened to silence? Not just the quietness you get when the resident teenager switches off her music, but real silence. The sort of silence where the auditory part of your brain goes “Who pulled the plug out?”. Well, that’s what I got today on Shalloch on Minnoch. The sort of silence when there is no wind, water, insects, birds, planes, cars, people, or mad Spaniels doing something noisy and stupid. After a few minutes even the blood in your ears calms down and you hear: nothing. It’s rare and magical. Continue reading
Lowther Hill Radome
Lowther Hill is a landmark in south-west Scotland: everyone flying to North America needs it. That’s because it has a very nice air-traffic control radar and beacon sitting at the top. Find the big geodesic dome on the top of the hill and that’s Lowther Hill. Not content with one hill they’ve spread out and put a bunch of uglier antennae on Green Lowther. So, these hills are worth climbing not because they are attractive in themselves but because they give a great view over the whole area and you get to microwave your lunch at the top for free.
Pentland ridge from Green Law
This was a nostalgia trip: the Pentlands used to be a favourite stomping ground when I was young. Now where did that quarter of a century go? These hills aren’t particularly high (the highest, Scauld Law doesn’t even get to 2000 feet). But they look great and are very easy to access. Today we did a mostly linear walk from Carlops to the Flotterstone Inn: a total of 18km and 9 tops. Continue reading