Mick and Gayle had been summoned by Ciara for a visit, so I planned menus and walks. In the end, I suggested four walks, but when I mentioned one route was the Cromdale Hills, Gayle declared they’d not been there, so the decision was made and that was where we headed on Saturday morning.
It was the perfect walking day, slightly overcast, but with good views and a very slight breeze. Could have done with slightly more breeze really, to keep the flies off, but it was good on the top.
We parked the car at the car park over the bridge and faffed a while. Boots were selected and donned, mid-morning snack was had and noses powdered before eventually we decided we really did need to set off. It’s a straightforward stroll, mainly uphill to start with, passing through a field of cows (I neatly placed the rest of the group between me and the cows, they’re all better runners than me, I needed a head start…) and through a ford. A steady pace was maintained and I only needed one or two pauses to get me to the top and one of those was a navigation check.
We have no idea what ritual this was
Posing on the bealach
Views. I can’t remember which way I was looking, but it’s probably west…
Once at the bealach it’s relatively easy to follow a vague and occasionally wet path along the ridge line, stopping at the jubilee cairn for lunch. The cairn bears a plaque dedicating it to King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra. in 1902. It would have provided us good shelter from the cool breeze had we been first there, but the group of four young people got there first. However, it was nice to see a group of young, relatively well equipped people out on the hills of their own volition and not DofE.
Gayle, practicing her gurning…
We took photographs and ate lunch, I almost created a third sandwich for Mick as the crumbs from my rolls were blown into his lap. We were soon on our way again as it was getting a tad chilly sitting there, even with the extra layers. The boys fair sprinted along the ridge to the cairn on Creagan a’ Chaise, along with the trig. The group of young people passed us on their way back, they’d obviously chosen to do an out and back from Cromdale rather than a circular route like ours. We were also passed by a lady and her bouncy spaniel that showed us surprisingly little interest. Having admired the views, we took a line off relatively similar to the last time David and I were up here, but from memory rather than actually taking the map and compass out. It was good.
The boys at the trig with the cairn behind
The boys did manage to drift right a bit and a little low for the path we were aiming for, but as we girls were behind them, taking a higher, more direct line and too far away to attract their attention, we decided they would eventually notice and right themselves. We may have become a little competitive (which may have just been me…) and speeded along slightly in order to hit the path first, which I did, but not before turning my ankle and ending up in a bed of heather. At least it wasn’t a boggy hole this time! I bounced back up before the boys even noticed, phew.
Another ford, and then we hit the road. I seem to remember this road went on forever last time, but in actual fact, it is a very short walk from Milton back to the car at Mains of Inverourie. What a fab day out!!
Approximately 10.1 miles and roughly 2048 ft of ascent.