This was a bit of a filler in between backpacking trips and, dogless, I had to drive all the way to Galloway myself, which was a bugger. But Galloway is nice and soft and green and a bit empty when compared with the hustle and bustle of the North Pennines and the crowds in the Howgills, so it was time for some quiet and contemplative contour-bashing, just me and the dog’s lead.
I started off with the Keir Hills – a little ridge somewhere up a small road out of Dumfries. This ridge is well defended by wobbly walls, barbed wire and electric fences, plus some really really ancient hurdles clearly put together before nails were invented and each one dangerously dangerous in a specially delicate and wobbly kind of way..
But the ridge held two ticks – thus the 327 metre Tump, The Mull was bagged, followed by a lovely but barricaded ridge to the 357 metre Marilyn Wauk Hill. This is a nice top with lovely views of the Rhinns of Kells, Cairnsmore of Carsphairn, The Lowther Hills and the Northern Lake District fells, specially Skiddaw, rising out of the waters of the Solway, plus, as a bonus, some sixty or seventy wind turbines, some of which were actually turning. Unusual. Nice.
Mountain Warehouse have recently sent me some rucksacks, one of which I’ve sold – proceeds to Mind - and the other, I took on this trip. I promised to do a review and I’ll do this after I’ve used it for a bit. It seems OK, though and above is a portrait of the pack at the top of Wauk Hill.
And so, having studied the view for a bit, I returned whence I came over the lovely but barricaded ridge back to the knipemobile, badly parked near the summit of the white road on the bealach or pass between The Mull and Fleucharg Hill.
Next - some distance away, I parked badly again on a side road out of Glenesslin for the bagging of the 432 metre Marilyn Bogrie Hill. This was fairly easily done being just over a mile and about 700 feet of up from the parking spot to the top. The hillside lower down the fell has derelict pastures and each pasture seems to have at least one, sometimes two or three ancient clearance cairns. Some of these are quite well built and are more than just piles of stones. This must have taken some significant effort over a long period for what is now just a sheep pasture. Just sayin’, like…
Not satisfied with this meagre ticking bag, I decided to climb the 358 metre Hump Castramon Hill – a mile and 450 feet of up to the immediate South. Both these hills provide extensive and similar views to Wauk Hill and Castramon has a rather lovely steep and rocky northern face to it for a bit of extra fun. I had intended to climb a third Marilyn – Killyleoch Hill but having run out of energy, time and mars bars, I thought it best to go home. I’ll come back and do another three later on.
Total bag for the day – 2 Marilyns, 1 Hump, 1 Tump, 8 miles 2000 feet of up. 1 cheese and tomato barm cake, 1 banana, 1 mars bar, 1 apple and blackberry turnover, 1 pint filter coffee, thirty quids worth of four star.
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