April - 2014

Upper Ward Mountaineering Club




Walk Report - April 2014


Upperward Mountaineering Club – April 2014

Rhinns of Kells


Any lingering doubt that a good day in the hills needs to include at least one mountain of Munro status, was surely dispelled with the April outing to Galloway to climb the Rhinns of Kells ridge. This undulating ridge runs North/South for a total of 4Km from Corserine in the north to Meikle Millyea in the south with glorious views to virtually all of the major peaks in the Southern Uplands and gives a great day in the hills.

The weather forecast for the day was excellent and did not disappoint, with cloudless skies and superb visibility all day. Sun cream and shorts were the order of the day. Last year the planned visit to the Rhinns of Kells had to be abandoned but there were no such problems this time.

The starting point for the walk was at the excellent Forest Lodge car park, 6km west of the A713, deep in the Galloway Forest Park. The most difficult part of the walk is probably navigating the many forestry tracks to find a way onto the hills themselves but help is given with some good way markers specifically for hillwalkers. Strangely, all the forest tracks are named, mainly Norwegian names, and our initial route took us west, along Birger Natvig Road. Once through the trees and over the deer fence a steep climb up a good track onto Polmaddy Gairy gave good access onto Corserine itself which, at 814m, is one of only 7 Corbetts in the Southern Uplands area. The views westward to The Merrick are particularly spectacular, highlighting the severe cliffs which are not apparent when climbing this hill from the normal southern route. From Corserine the ridge runs southeast over Millfire and Milldown before reaching Meikle Millyea. Both Millfire and Meikle Millyea are classed as Donalds (One of the southern hills between 2000 – 2500 feet).

The descent was made over Meikle Lump following a rough stone dyke and then selecting the most suitable route to access the return forest track back to the start point, this time using the Hans Heiberg Way. This latter part of the walk is somewhat spoiled by the inordinate amount of deforestation that has taken place recently, finishing the day on a slightly low note after what was otherwise an excellent day on the hills.

The next club meet will be the scrambling day on the weekend of 10/11 May, in preparation for the weekend visit to Ullapool at the end of May. The pre-meet will, as usual, be in the Woodpecker Bar on the Wednesday prior to the walk.



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