July Day Trip to Shalloch on Minnoch

Six people turned up at Cathcart for this outing and all opted for the high level walk. We sorted ourselves between 2 cars and set off making good time to arrive at the Bell Memorial Car Park.

We headed down the track to the farm and then up through a firebreak in the forest. It was warm and muggy and the midges were hunting in packs. We were glad to clear the forest but were soon walking in mist (or clag in our case! Ed), so a bit of compass work was needed to ensure we made the summit.

Summit of Shalloch on Minnoch  Dry ground!

After a break we went south along the broad ridge over Tarfessock and some boggy ground until we came to the initial steep ascent of Kirriereoch Hill. This flattened out and in the mist we again needed a bit of compass work to find the rather small cairn.

We backtracked to a wall and followed this down the ridge eventually getting below the mist and being able to determine our route out. We spotted the “distinctive firebreak” described in the books and duly headed for it. This was not the easiest part of the walk as we had much hopping from reed tufts, backtracking, crossing of the burn and climbing of the fence to make progress. We also had to use the fence as a means of getting across some of the really boggy bits. It took us well over half an hour to negotiate the 1 kilometre of the firebreak.

Having finally got on to solid ground, we took a quick break before walking out on a forest track towards the road. We only had one other hazard to deal with and that was a ford in the river. As our boots were already soaked, we just waded through the water. At least we all had cleaned boots. From there it was a short distance to get to the road and a 2km walk back in the now sunny weather to the cars. The walk had taken us over 7 hours – possibly the longest walk for some time on a day outing. (aye .. the dastardly Donalds, Ed!)

After getting changed we headed up to Kirkmichael where we stopped for a well-earned drink. We were all quite tired and it would have been nice to have sat outside in the evening sun but we had to drag ourselves away for the drive back to Cathcart.

Bob MacDonald

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!! BELATED HOT NEWS !!

Sgurr a'Mhaoraich on Saturday 27 July 2002 ...

Well I thought I'd better write something down regarding my last Munro. I'm writing this almost 2 years later, so I've had plenty of time to reflect. I was a little disappointed with the weather, but after climbing all the Munros, I knew there was a high probability the weather would be poor. At least it didn't really rain until we got to the top! Looking back at previous 'last Munros' I've attended, the weather has not been much better ... Andy & Bob: pouring rain; Allan: clagged in, etc.  I think James's last Munro in NOVEMBER was the best!

Another amazing fact is that I didn't take any photos, which as most of you know is unusual .. too busy pouring out the champagne!  Some of you have sent photos and here's a few ....

Ready to ascend Sgurr a'Mhaoraich  On the summit of Sgurr a'Mhaoraich  The champagne flows!  Nearly time to go!  The Club Munroists (July 2002)  See you Jimmy!

Anyway, thanks to the following for making the effort to accompany me on my final Munro ... Bob MacDonald, Allan Boyd, Justin Cullen, Iain Glassford, Andy McGowan, Kenny MacKenzie, James Anderson, Ian and Iris Moffatt, Willie Robison, Jim Waterton, Jim and Irene Scott, Gordon King, Chris and Kate Robertson, Miriam Murphy, Mark Douglas, Adrian Lunnon, and Mike Pearse.  Also not forgetting Phil Davies and Ian Galloway who saw me off at the bottom, but had to get back to the pub.

Additional thanks to Bob and the Team for the montage .. the total number of people in the picture is still rising.

Any advice for budding Munroists? Yes. Don't rush, take your time and pick a nice sunny day for the last Munro.  Here's to the next round!

Mark Setford, Compleat Munroist

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