The Vault Regulars

Monday, June 4, 2012


 The cloud cleared quite quickly to leave a bright moon and a chilly night. The midge will out in vengeance. It wasn't an evening for sitting out. We have a few beers at the Ken Bridge Hotel, Orkney brewery, Corncrake bitter.

 It was a really cold night and although not freezing the wind chill certainly made it feel that way. I was pleased that we had our new sleeping bags.

  The morning dawned bright, warm even.
When Sheila got back from the loo, she had overheard some workman doing ground works on site that today was going to be the best day and tomorrow was going to be wet.
Although our plan of revisiting the ridge we came down off yesterday was on our agenda we decided that we would swop it round and do Merrick today whilst we had clear skies.
  It turned out to be a rare day and a great decision. The highest top in Dumfries and Galloway at 843M.

  Parking up in Glen Trool was not difficult although the last car park down the glen was full. We were in the over spill.
We headed off first having a look at Bruce's Stone and taking some photo's of the Loch etc, as you do.
Then up by a well made pathway beside Buchan Burn. The forestry was short and quite airy with good sun piercing through the trees. The bothy at Culsharg was checked out and fortunately it was looking very promising as new doors and windows had been recently installed had has a new roof and chimneys. Inside it was still derelict but obviously the future looks good.
  With such a lovely day, we passed, yes passed!, quite a few day walkers on the steep climb up to Benyellary. The lochs and tops were looking stunning now as we gained height, what a difference a day makes. Yesterday cold and very windy, today calm and warm with clear views all the way over Eilsa Craig, (Hope i spelt that right).
  Across the Neive of the spit and the Merrick was topped. Only 2 walkers were there, 2 ladies from Carlisle who also were first timers on the Merrick. We chatted for 10 minutes and then they dropped down the east side and into the glen containing the Buchan burn for the return walk.
  The top of the Merrick is covered with glacial remnants. Large white and grey stones deposited as the ice passed. We took advantage of one large boulder to rest and have lunch. The stove came out for coffee.

  It was too nice to return so we spent over an hour at the summit crown, doing a full 360 deg loop, stopping, looking, taking pictures, watching the deer. Just amazing sight. We didn't want to leave. We headed back but contoured a hundred feet or so below the summit to walk the nieve again and return.

  What a superb day. One of those rare, clear days you just don't want to end. Funnily when we got back most of the cars had gone. We had seen about 20 people al day so i suppose for a bBank Holiday that was Empty. We will be back.

  Once again, sorry for th lack of pics but the speed of reception just isn't good enough to post. I will do it when we get back home.


Unknown said...

There's nothing like Merrick on a clear day. Great hill and one I absolutely love. Was up it myself not 2 weekends ago in great weather.

Merrick Wild Camp

AlanR said...

Hello Tookie,
Couldn't agree more, worth every ounce of sweat on such a warm day. We will be back for more.

afootinthehills said...

Hi Alan and Sheila. Glad you had a warm day this time for a fine hill.You should have some lovely pics. I like the way you always take a stove and have a brew/coffee on the hill. We always take flasks!

Thanks for all your comments when we were away. Always looked forward to the 'phone ringing.

-maria- said...

I've noticed that I prefer those cooler days for walking. Around +10 C is quite perfect, and no rain, please. +20 C and above and it's starting to get sweaty.

Looking forward to the pics!

AlanR said...

Hi Gibson,
Thanks for your comments too. I tend to take a stove on most walks, i like the taste of fresh coffee rather than stewed or luke warm.
The pics, i will be posting shortly.

AlanR said...

Hi Maria,
We are back home now after 10 days away. 20+ definitely too warm. 10 is great.
We have had so much rain i think i now have webbed feet.

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