I’ve been up this particular hill, Ben Rinnes, twice before, two different routes, but Laura has been gazing at it longingly from her window for nearly a year, so it was time to get her up there!
As luck would have it, a window of opportunity fell on a day of wonderful weather, so I drove out to pick Laura up from her road end and we continued on along windy, narrow lanes to the car park, which was already (we thought) quite busy. The car was neatly abandoned, faffing completed and the walking began.
Seemingly busy car park
The walk starts at the bottom of the hill and goes up. In fact, it does very little than go up. So, up we went and we continued up virtually all the way. That’s what hills do. We met one or two people as we went up. A local lady and her dog, and a group of young boys/men doing some sort of training (dressed for running, but most definitely walking until after they left the trig…) and probably a few others I’ve forgotten.
View towards the Cairngorms on the way up
…few more views
Dark clouds gathering
Some of the tors at the summit
Fabulous views were had, as expected, from the top, but we didn’t hang around as, although it was nice day, there was a chilly breeze at the top and I began to lose my fingers. We decided to drop back down the hill a bit to find some shelter to enjoy lunch. We dropped down a fair bit before we found somewhere suitable to sit, out of the wind and with a bit of a view, although by this time the track had become a bit of a motorway. I have never seen so many people on one hill! Some were friendly and cheerily said hello, some were decidedly unwilling to make eye contact and speak. I think they were tourists. It struck me we were quite overdressed by comparison, most were wearing trainers and jeans, one small lad had found his boots sore (probably too small) and was walking in his socks. An older lady was trailing up behind her family (presumably) complete with jaunty little hat and a huge handbag.
Lunch view 1
Lunch view 2
Lots of cars
By the time we returned to the roadside, the car park (which takes about seven cars) had completely overflowed and cars were carefully parked along the verge for quite some distance along the road, which is luckily quite quiet. I was impressed to find that no one was particularly badly parked.
So, Laura has climbed Ben Rinnes (I’ve done it three times) and we have ticked another trigpoint. Brilliant day! Thanks again Laura.
Just over four miles and a bit of up.