Author Topic: TR Galloway Forest Park Day 1 Sat 29 Aug 20  (Read 1182 times)

April

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TR Galloway Forest Park Day 1 Sat 29 Aug 20
« on: 19:07:32, 02/09/20 »
I took this photo at home before we left for the drive to Loch Trool.


We were out for 2 nights taking in a few hills and lochs in the Galloway Forest Park. It took 2 hours to get to the car park just before the Bruce's Stone car park, a long drive but worth it, we had sunshine all the way but it had clouded over a little by the time we got there. In the car park a man with a Scottish accent asked where the start of the Merrick Trail was. I told him a bit further along the road just beyond the Bruce's Stone car park. Beefy and I both laughed again that a Scot was asking me a Geordie for directions. They drove to the next car park a few minutes walk away, we were just pleased to get parked, it was only 9.15 and there were few spaces left. We were doing the Merrick Trail too. We walked along the road past the Bruce's Stone car park which was almost full too then onto the path which was muddy and rocky. Hard to walk on and progress was slow with our heavy packs with 3 days food and camping gear.

Buchan Burn


A look back at our route


The visibility on the drive had been very clear and perfect but a slight haze had set in for the far distance views.

Culsharg Bothy ahead


So far we'd only seen one other couple on the path and they had overtaken us. This wasn't to last though, we discovered Benyellary and Merrick are very popular mountains. We had a peep in the bothy. There was a notice on the door that it was currently closed. There was a broken window but otherwise looked quite clean for a bothy.

We were overtaken by more walkers before we stopped for our early lunch. We felt like we were crawling up, we were struggling carrying the weight for 3 days, it has been a while since we have done more than one night. We chatted to most of the people, nice folk and very friendly  O0 

Our lunchtime view


View from the way up Benyellary


The highest mountains are Curleywee and Lamachan Hill (I think). I hope I don't get these mountains wrong so please be gentle if I do.

On Benyellary summit


The wind was quite strong as we gained height and it was really cold when the sun went in. It had clouded over even more now so it was more in than out.

Merrick from Benyellary


Loch Neldricken is the loch on the left


I could see hills in the far distance and I thought these must be the Lake District fells

View over the wall from Benyellary


I think this is the Isle of Arran, at first I'd thought it was the Mournes but this was looking north west so it can't have been.

Looking back to Benyellary from the way up Merrick


Ailsa Craig and The Mull of Kintyre


Approaching Merrick summit


There were a lot of people about, not quite as busy as a fell in the Lakes would be on a bank holiday Saturday but more people than we are used to since we started popping over the border. On the way up Merrick we chatted again to a lovely Scottish guy who we'd seen earlier when he overtook us on the way up. He mentioned he'd been out camping a few weeks ago when we had our summer  ;D It did have a real winter feel to it in that wind, it was bitter. Great bloke to talk to and his dog was adorable  O0

View over Mullwarchar to the Rhinns of Kells


The loch in view is Loch Doon. Apt name we thought for the present times  ::)

Mullwarchar, Dungeon Hill and Craignairny are the hills in the foreground


Craignaw and Craiglee are the hills behind the lochs


We would be doing these the next day. We began a pathless descent down Merrick via Redstone Rig. There had been paths so far, mostly good but now the terrain got rougher the further we descended. We saw no other people for the rest of the day, they disappeared when the paths did!

Loch Enoch from the descent


Tough terrain to descend


We had to zig zag to avoid craggy outcrops, not a route to do in the clag we thought. It was very slow going because the grass was long and the ground was very uneven too so each step had to be thought out very carefully.

Lock Enoch in view from further down the descent


Looking back at the route down to Loch Enoch


Craignaw in view


We wandered around the hills near Loch Enoch and got onto Craig Neldricken and we tried to find a pitch that was out of the wind that was still blustery.

Lock Neldricken and Loch Arron


We found a decent enough pitch with this view, not bad!

Merrick from near our pitch


The MSR above Loch Neldricken


We got some water from a nearby pool and had our tea. It was later than we thought we would pitch, the walk had taken 7 hours including our lunch stop, about 1mph, but the terrain really slowed us down. We had some wine and didn't really get a good sunset, the ball of the sun went down behind Benyellary. It was too bright to take good photos and we didn't get a red glow. I've seen photos of the sunset view that others got and it was really nice, it was hidden from view for us, it must have all happened behind Merrick and Benyellary.

Day 1 was car park before Bruce's Stone - Culsharg Bothy - Benyellary - Merrick - Redstone Rig - Craig Neldricken 6 miles, 877m of ascent, 465m descent.

Day 1 route map
"Who would've thought...... you are light and darkness coming through" words by Tim Armstrong

pdstsp

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Re: TR Galloway Forest Park Day 1 Sat 29 Aug 20
« Reply #1 on: 19:13:15, 02/09/20 »
Fab views there April - looks a lovely walk.  It was chilly on Saturday wasn't it?  Beefy must be strong carrying three days' wine.

Ridge

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Re: TR Galloway Forest Park Day 1 Sat 29 Aug 20
« Reply #2 on: 19:19:08, 02/09/20 »
Lovely pics and they actually look right on my phone, a lot of pictures become stretched.

richardh1905

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Re: TR Galloway Forest Park Day 1 Sat 29 Aug 20
« Reply #3 on: 19:22:01, 02/09/20 »
Lovely stuff, April. Looks as if you had visibility every bit as good as I did on Pillar.


I've got my eye on those lochs with the granite beaches. And Craignaw looks like a fascinating lump of granite, despite its modest height.
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richardh1905

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Re: TR Galloway Forest Park Day 1 Sat 29 Aug 20
« Reply #4 on: 19:25:48, 02/09/20 »
Lovely pics and they actually look right on my phone, a lot of pictures become stretched.


I've noticed that on my reports, but tapping the images sorts them out.
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April

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Re: TR Galloway Forest Park Day 1 Sat 29 Aug 20
« Reply #5 on: 19:51:03, 02/09/20 »
Beefy must be strong carrying three days' wine.

 ;D It was only 2 days wine, we wish we could get dehydrated wine  ;)

Craignaw looks like a fascinating lump of granite, despite its modest height.

See Day 2, it is a great mountain, a very interesting ascent, we loved it.

Lovely pics 

Thanks Ridge  :)
"Who would've thought...... you are light and darkness coming through" words by Tim Armstrong

karl h

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Re: TR Galloway Forest Park Day 1 Sat 29 Aug 20
« Reply #6 on: 19:58:28, 02/09/20 »
Great pics and TR April.  O0

  I've had a route for the Galloway hills on my mapping program for years. Not sure I'll bother now looks a bit too rough and gnarly  ;D
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April

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Re: TR Galloway Forest Park Day 1 Sat 29 Aug 20
« Reply #7 on: 20:07:45, 02/09/20 »
I've had a route for the Galloway hills on my mapping program for years. Not sure I'll bother now looks a bit too rough and gnarly  ;D

We did mention several times over the weekend that the walking was worse than the worst of your Karl routes  :D

The path up to Benyellary and Merrick is good after you get by the Culsharg Bothy so I would recommend that walk to anyone, most of the rest of the off piste walking we did definitely a test of patience. 
"Who would've thought...... you are light and darkness coming through" words by Tim Armstrong

beefy

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Re: TR Galloway Forest Park Day 1 Sat 29 Aug 20
« Reply #8 on: 20:13:19, 02/09/20 »
Great pics, Ape O0
Was a cracking pitch that, what an adventure  :)
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pleb

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Re: TR Galloway Forest Park Day 1 Sat 29 Aug 20
« Reply #9 on: 20:36:51, 02/09/20 »
Have you been crossed with snails or summat?  :P
Looks tremendous country again.
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richardh1905

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Re: TR Galloway Forest Park Day 1 Sat 29 Aug 20
« Reply #10 on: 21:11:47, 02/09/20 »
These may be of interest, April


http://viewfinderpanoramas.org/panoramas/UPL/MERRICK-N.gif
http://viewfinderpanoramas.org/panoramas/UPL/MERRICK-S.gif


PS - I think that I spy Black Combe in photo 16  :)
« Last Edit: 21:15:07, 02/09/20 by richardh1905 »
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sparnel

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Re: TR Galloway Forest Park Day 1 Sat 29 Aug 20
« Reply #11 on: 21:41:13, 02/09/20 »
Great report April. I note you haven't mentioned the Grey Man of the Merrick.
This is a profile view of a prominent outcrop on the steepest side of the Merrick.
Looks like the face of an elderly gentleman.........it's a very photogenic feature.
You can snap it next time!

Dodgylegs

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Re: TR Galloway Forest Park Day 1 Sat 29 Aug 20
« Reply #12 on: 23:41:18, 02/09/20 »
It's a wild place!


Brings back a memory of driving up to Ayr, stopped for a break and a young guy came walking out of the wilderness towards us. An American lad had arrived on boat from Ireland and was walking to Edinburgh... strange thing was he had no special walking gear or rucksack!

April

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Re: TR Galloway Forest Park Day 1 Sat 29 Aug 20
« Reply #13 on: 07:46:28, 03/09/20 »
Was a cracking pitch that, what an adventure  :)


It was a good view  :)


Have you been crossed with snails or summat?  :P


I think we have  ;D  We could not believe at times what little distance we'd walked when it felt like triple the mileage.


PS - I think that I spy Black Combe in photo 16  :)


Thanks for those Richard and I think you are right!


I note you haven't mentioned the Grey Man of the Merrick.
Looks like the face of an elderly gentleman


I had seen pics of this when I was looking at routes but it was to the right of where we descended so we didn't see it. Maybe next time!


It's a wild place!


It is wild indeed. The ground we walked on doesn't seem so bad now its a few days since  :D
"Who would've thought...... you are light and darkness coming through" words by Tim Armstrong

Mel

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Re: TR Galloway Forest Park Day 1 Sat 29 Aug 20
« Reply #14 on: 22:13:29, 03/09/20 »
What a smashing pile of wilderness  :)


Some of the names have an Irish sound to them, I think  :-\