Sunday, 27 September 2009

Hunt Hill,Glen Esk,Cairngorms.

Hunt Hill has been on the to do list for years now but there was forever something cropping up to prevent a wee trip up there.Not today though....guaranteed sunshine on the east coast and the fact that Bob had been on holiday and didn`t mind chauffeuring me 300 miles in his new car meant that we left my house at 8am.Up by Perth,Dundee and cut off the A90 just after Brechin.Does anybody ever intentionally visit Brechin ? A few miles along the B966 and we stumbled upon Edzell exactly two hours after leaving.

Lovely little village is Edzell....



It had been two years ago since our last visit to Glen Esk and it didn`t disappoint this time around either.It really is well worth a visit if you have never been.Fifteen miles or so from the start of the glen to the car park at Invermark and never a dull moment.We stopped a few times on the way up for photos.....lots of them.Plenty of bird life and a good selection of native trees to maintain interest,the rowans in particular seem to be more heavily laden this year than others.Bob also busied himself adding to his collection of roadkill shots :)

A Fat Bellied Thrush poses by the roadside :)


Tarfside and the rowans.....

The car park was pretty busy but fortunately Mount Keen was taking all the traffic.Another guy took the turn off for Loch Lee with us and was headed for Hunt Hill also.It was Kevin from up near Inverurie and we were to wander up the hill together.A few hundred yards and we drew level with Invermark Castle.....


Popped into the graveyard for a quick look and decided to spend some time there on the return..a lovely position on the shores of the loch.

Unusual old gravestone...

The weather was great...every bit the equal of the days we had in April and May.Bright sunshine,clear blue sky and even some mountain reflections on the mirror surface of Loch Lee.Even Bob was happy to be out on the hill today :)


We left the loch behind and took to the short rise skirting Monawee heading for the entrance to the gorge with the stalkers path which goes up by the Falls of Unich.

Myself with Craig Maskeldie on the left and Hunt Hill straight ahead...


Even though I had a good idea of the scenery we were about to encounter beforehand, I was still taken by surprise at the steep craggy grandeur of the area,especially the crags on the eastern face of Hunt Hill and Craig Maskeldie to the south.Almost as good as the west coast..!

The first of the falls...



We had a wee break at the foot of the falls for a bite to eat and discovered that Kevin had almost finished his Corbett round with only ten to go.It came as no real surprise to discover that seven of them were in the Southern Uplands...the price you pay for living in Aberdeenshire :)

A fantastically engineered old stalkers path took an improbable line up the side of the gorge.You can see how good it is on the bottom of this picture....


A view back down the same gorge from above....


Looking back down the way we had came with Loch Lee in the distance and the slopes of Craig Maskeldie on the right...

A pleasant walk up through the short clipped heather soon saw us at the summit.

Bob and Kevin with Lochnagar as a backdrop...


Kevin headed off to go down the gorge again as he had enjoyed it so much on the way up.Bob and I however headed in the opposite direction to visit a bothy we had heard about.

Heading off to the north with Mount Keen showing..



Johnny Gordon`s bothy...pretty basic inside but plenty of firewood around would make for a cosy winter night.


We contoured around the bottom of Hunt Hill and met up with our outward path at the flats below the Falls of Unich again.We could just make out Kevin in the distance on the sunlit fields below the falls....


The path became busier with daytrippers enjoying the good weather as we neared the road end.They were all Polish...perhaps working in the area.I know from years ago that the local food canning factory employed lots of seasonal workers so that may be one explanation.We also had a chat with a local woman from Montrose along with her Texan husband.

This reminded me of the time some years back when I was sitting alone at the summit of Handies Peak in Colorado.A guy wandered up and sat down a few yards away without even acknowledging me which was strange given that we were at 14,000 ft. and the only two on the mountain on a cracking afternoon.I tried starting a conversation with him and it was proving one sided.I asked him where he was from...."Texas" came the terse reply."Dallas ?" I queried..."Lubbock" he replied."Did you hear a frog there ?"I asked him. He got up and walked away...obviously no sense of humour :-)
( Think about it )

One last push saw us back at the old ruined chapel with it`s graveyard again.The old wall must take a pounding from the waves in winter time but still stands intact,a testament to the skill of the men that built it all those years ago.


What a place to be buried,eh ?


We were pretty knackered and the plan to visit the old standing stones further down the glen at Colmeallie was shelved...it would give us an excuse for another visit.As if we needed one....

As we turned through Perth on the way home we were treated to a lovely evening sky and the grey hanging mass of heavy cloud over the central belt ahead of us :)


The photographs cannot do justice to this fantastic hill day and neither can my pathetic prose.You had to be there...

5 comments:

Brian and Martina said...

That looks like a lovely day and now we know where that cemetery is, Dr F.
;) M
PS: The fact that you can recall the days when patterns like the one on my hiking dress were gracing the windows of respectable citizens tells me you are as old as the hills! Fashion, pal, it's called Fashion!

andamento said...

Wow, that's quite a day trip from Glasgow.
I grew up in Angus and it's lovely to see the beautiful countryside again through your photos. It's a wonderful part of Scotland that's often overlooked - not a bad thing as it just adds to its charm!

Gavin said...

I'm certainly guilty of overlooking Angus, need to rectify that soon. A fine wee hill and a bothy is all I need to tempt me!

blueskyscotland said...

Martina..you are a cheeky wee besom :-)

Andamento..I do hope you are from somewhere other than Brechin as I may have offended you in the blog post..!

Gavin,there is a better bothy a mile or so to the west called Stables of Lee.

fatdogwalks said...

This one just moved onto my list for a good day - a crackin' variety of scenery for one walk. I've never walked that far east - a mistake I must rectify.