The Mountain's Silhouette

Hiking and backpacking in the mountains of Scotland

Here We Go Mistaking Clouds for Mountains

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Date: 17th June 2012
Distance: 12.78km
Ascent: 886m
Time: 3hrs 30min
Hills: Mayar (Munro, 928m)
Weather: Dreich
Route: Click to view on an OS Map

I suppose it was inevitable that my run of good luck with the weather had to come to an end at some point. This was to be the weekend. After a cold, rainy Saturday spent in various coffee shops and the art gallery to get my long and rambling Ben Alder report written up I was determined to get out on Sunday, especially as MWIS had forecast better weather in the Southeast Highlands for the day. After recent long drives I tried to minimise driving time by heading down the road to my “local” hills in Angus and headed up Glen Clova to the Glen Doll car park where there is a good choice of potential routes and hills. As I left Kirriemuir and picked up the winding Glen Clova road the clouds let spill a substantial part of the North Sea and pretty soon it wasn’t a road I was following, but a river.

At the car park the rain had eased slightly but it was still the first walk in a very long time that I started in waterproofs (just a jacket actually as my planned route wasn’t really long enough to justify over-trousers as well). I shouldered my ultralight daypack (oh to be free of tent and sleeping bag and all the other accoutrements of camping) and set off into the forest. The weather had the benefit of keeping the crowds away and so it was a peaceful stroll along the forestry tracks down to the White Water and across onto a narrower path threading its way between tall pines.

Cloud of Dreish

Forest Track

At the end of the track a bridge over the Kilbo Burn was out of commission so I got wet feet splashing through the stream. They soon warmed back up on the climb up through the trees to Corrie Fee. The rain had turned into a thick mist as I got closer to the cloud base and when I reached it Corrie Fee was largely veiled. Dramatic crags could be glimpsed peeking through the swirling mists like something from a lost and ancient world.

The White Water

Crags in Corrie Fee

Here I stopped to have something to eat. I’d also brought my Backcountry Boiler along to give it a test firing but sadly I wasn’t able to find any decent dry deadwood and so failed to get more than a tiny, sputtering fire going with just some shredded paper for kindling. Next time I need to remember to bring along a little bit of firelighter to get things going properly.

Packed up I set off through Corrie Fee and up the steep but enjoyable path which winds its way between the crags and waterfalls to eventually emerge on the plateau just a short distance from the summit of Mayar, a Munro. With little effort I was standing at the cairn surprised to find that the crags to my east were catching the cloud and so to the south and west of Mayar there was something of a view.

The Lost World of Corrie Fee

Summit of Mayar

From the summit of Mayar

It wasn’t really a day for hanging around though and so tightening my hood against the damp air I set off along to find the Kilbo Path and a descent route down via the Shank of Drumfallow. There were a few more people here (well, two) and soon enough I was back in the forest, slip-siding my way down the delightfully muddy track to get back down to the car park and a change of clothes

Shank of Drumfallow

Shank of Drumfallow

It had been a great little outing. The dampness had brought a whole new set of sights and smells and the lack of people allowed me time with my own thoughts. Next time though it would be good to get a cup of tea.

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