Sunday, 24 May 2009

Cairnkinna Hill.

Continuing our attempt to further depress the share price of W.L.Gore ( Goretex © ) we headed down to Dumfries and Galloway for a day`s hillwalking on the advice of Heather the Weather.

I can`t fathom out why folk head north all the time and ignore areas like this.Cairnkinna Hill,a Marilyn, makes for a great day out from Glasgow, it`s only 60 odd miles,and yet we saw nobody all day.

It had been on my list for a return visit for ten years ever since I cycled down from Polskeoch bothy to Penpont one fine day.The Scaur Water itself,which runs from Polskeoch down to Penpont, is full of hidden waterfalls,birch woods and an inspiration for the local sculptor Andy Goldsworthy.



Seven miles of single track road leads up from Penpont......



.......to the start of the track leading to the building marked Woodend on the OS map at NX 795 997.There is just about room opposite the path for one car.Across the field for a few hundred yards and then the track takes off steeply through the forest before opening out into the fields below the cottage.


The view down the Scaur Water...



When approaching it you will see a gate about 50yards below and to the right of the cottage.Go down here and through to the next field and make a rising traverse up to the left aiming for another gate a few hundred yards away.This gives access to the fine south west ridge of Cairnkinna.

The ridge is a fairly effortless way of ascent with good views back to the Scaur Water valley and across to the hills to the west.Chanlock Rig looks a fine hill from here.Altogether it`s on a par with the Lake District.

Chanlock Rig....



As we turned north east along the ridge to the summit the views opened out to 360 degrees.The Lowthers and Queensberry were prominent to the east while to the west the views extended to the Rhinns of Kells.Criffel was easily recognised to the south although the Lake District hills were smothered in a fine haze for most of the day.

Bob with the Rhinns in the far background....



The summit appeared now and sported one of the biggest cairns I have seen on a Scottish hill although a small diversion was called for first of all to bag the trig point :)



For a cairn this size there appears to be little history to go with it.It`s not listed as an antiquity and the consensus seems to be that it is Victorian.

Myself on the cairn....



It was nice and sunny but the air temperature had taken a considerable dip on the summit plateau.Still,we managed a half hour lounging around in the lee of the cairn as our thoughts went out to the other members of our climbing club and the rain they were enduring on the Cuillin ridge :)

The view southwards towards Criffel...



Off downwards by the same route.....Glenwhargen Crag appears.There were rumours years ago that there was some climbing available hereabouts....



About 500 feet lower down Bob discovered that his sunglasses were no longer perched on his head and decided that they must have been left at the summit.Being a true friend,I volunteered to lie down on a convenient rock slab and have forty winks whilst he toiled back up to the cairn :)

The view from my rock slab...



And sheep may safely graze.....Wales being at least 200 miles away :)



A few choice curse words heralded the return of Specless Bob.No sign of them at the summit so the rucksac was duly upended just to make sure that they weren`t lurking in there.



Notice the contents...none of your emergency bivvy bag,gps and whistle stuff for the blueskyscotland boys.
A Gunsters and a packet of Mr.Kipling`s finest by way of sustenance,three bottles of coke to rehydrate.Three tubes of sun tan lotion...one factor 20 for not so good days,one factor 30 for normal bluesky days,and a factor 45 for extreme days :)

On our way again we were soon back down at Woodend....



....where we encountered the usual Young Bullock Posse that prove to be one of the obstacles of Marilyn bagging.Them and electric fences :) Ever since a close shave with a herd of mad charging cattle with murderous intentions on the Hill of Garvock in Aberdeenshire last year I exercise a bit of caution with these beasts.No problems this time though.....

The Posse think about it......



The Posse think better of it :)



Soon we were back at the car and getting the boots off.We dallied down the road back to Penpont taking the western fork this time.This part of the country is made for cycling with very few cars and loads of birdlife along with great scenery.Pretty much like the Lake District without the crowds.

Oystercatcher posing for us....



We had a wander round the old church in Penpont which had a few interesting old gravstones,stopped to admire a few free range pigs and had a wander up to this Andy Goldsworthy sculpture outside the village...



Miss Piggy stalking the photographer...



A really enjoyable day out in a great part of Scotland...

4 comments:

Zed said...

Oh wow - I really must go to Cumbria/Lake District and Scotland then - the views are marvellous from your photos. My partner, aka 'The Twat' lived in Ambleside for several years working in conservation.

His speciality? Dry-stone walling - and so much more.

Lovely.

fatdogwalks said...

This is my 4th attempt at a post - my office computer kicked me off 3 times and this time something won't let me cut and paste(lol)!

I'm impressed you got anywhere near the oystercatcher - I usually find they are too skittish to take a close up photo.

I discovered a Goldsworthy sheep pen sculpture near shap last easter but didn't realise at the time they were an institution. You could start bagging them as well Alex! (lol).

fatdogwalks said...

Whoopee!!!! it worked!

The Glebe Blog said...

The closest i get to Cairnkinna,is when i'm heading to Edinburgh via Penpont and Drumlanrig.Now i know what's above me.Fair play to you Alex and Bob,you're making your own map of Scotland.