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Sunday, 9 January 2011

Wigtownshire Ramblers-Cairnsmore of Fleet (reroute) January 2011

Saturday the 8th 0f January 2010.
Todays walk should have been from Glentrool to Loch Dee via the Rig of the Jarkness.
Various factors including weather and road conditions meant a change was necessary.
It was decided we'd climb Cairnsmore of Fleet.   

Fourteen walkers and two four legged (Skye and Ailsa) set off from the bottom carpark by the Cairnsmore estate.
Fresh snow had fallen overnight.

As we wended our way through the estate we could see that the summit was well under cloud.

We're soon into the forest,and I'm soon towards the back.
I've got plenty of staying power,but when it comes to climbing I'm slow.
One way of helping myself is to pass through the group when they stop.That should always keep me in touch.

A heavy snow shower descends but luckily it isn't a prolonged one.Ailsa and Skye are loving it.

We continue on and are soon above the forest,more than halfway up.
There's been a few minor slips on icy patches but after a short break we continued our ascent.
Now we were into the mist when at times the sun could be viewed by the naked eye.

At roughly 500 metres our group leaders called a stop.
Up here on the exposed slopes, the ice under the snow was causing quite a number of slips and falls.Remembering how much water had been of the higher path from our last walk up here it was decided to abandon the climb.The bruises and grazes acquired thus far was deemed sufficient. 

As much care was required on the descent.A path was made through the heather back to the forest.

Out of the mist the sun was shining brightly below.

We're soon treated to lovely views over the Cree estuary and the Machars.

Reaching the forest track we stop for lunch.
After lunch by a unanimous vote we decide to take a longer route back.
This being an area he knows like the back of his hand,Shorty takes over as walk leader.We head north along the forest road. 

Time for a photo call.Scoop's got the right idea,she moves the group out of the sunlight.Who's that on the left ?

We continue on till we reach the Mill burn... 

...where we decide we'll head down the Mill burn path.

Scoop takes more pictures than I do.

Reaching the gate at the bottom of the woods we take a short detour back up the burn to look at the waterfalls.

We're told that this was once piped and was the main water supply for Palnure and surrounding farms.

Now we're on open farmland,the Minnigaff hills are prominent.

There's mischief afoot recrossing the Mill burn.

Now we're facing south heading towards Bardrochwood.

A short climb brings us to the Motte over Machars Hill where we're treated to another snow shower.

We're back into the Cairnsmore estate now.

Reaching the woods one particular rambler thought it would be fun to climb up a wooden game/shooting ladder.The third rung, snapping like a twig, soon brought the idiot back to earth.He was lucky just to sustain a bruised elbow.
(Well at least the gamekeeper or a shooter won't be hurt now and the bruised elbow is getting better)   

It's becoming overcast as we head through Strathmaddie,past the ruined watermill and back to the carpark.

The decision not to continue to the summit was the right one.It still turned out to be a very interesting and worthwhile walk.

A good number of us finished the day off with tea/coffee,cakes and scones at the Cinnamon in Newton Stewart.Wonderful company. 


  1. Looks like a great day out, Glebe. You were quite right to turn back due to ice. Yesterday I fell 4 times on Dumyat, near Stirling. The 3rd fall was a really sore one. I recently bought a pair of "Pogu spikes" which are a type of cheap ersazt crampons. They got me up Dumyat twice just after Christmas. - In fact they were amazing on ice. Unfortunately, I find them difficult to put on and take off while wearing boots and they ball up with soft snow. That is why I didn't wear them yesterday. - But should have. You might want to pass their name onto your pals. All the best, Russell Campbell

  2. Thanks for the tip Russell.
    I've just looked them up,and they do look good.Here's the link for any interested party.

  3. Yup. You cant beat crampons.I swear by them,(every time I try to put them on in fact).But they do make walking on ice much easier.
    Nice to see those green fields lower down in Wigtownshire Jim.Seems like a long time since we had that colour up here.Happy new year.Smashing pictures as usual

  4. You lucky lucky people, glorious looking walk. Very envious.

  5. Jim, I've had a big pile of catching up to do here so I've off round the world on your 2003 trip as well as a wee wander round Galloway on your walk this week.
    I see just about as few things that I recognise in galloway as I do on your world tour such is my unfamiliarity of the area I live in (something I must sort sometime soon)


Thanks for all your comments. I may not get to reply to them all, but you may be sure they'll be appreciated.

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