Date Walked: 14th April 2011
Distance: 9.6 miles (15.5km)
Actual Ascent: 2434ft (742m)
Time Taken: 5.5 hours
MWIS promise me reasonable weather with the odd chance of a shower today, that's good enough for me so it's boots and bag packed and off toward Glen Esk for a walk to Mount Battock.
Following WH advice I park at 'Millden' close to the payphone sited there, but instead of following the 'burn of turret' as advised I crossed the road bridge and commenced my walk by going through the open gate adjacent to the road
There is a good track and it turns quickly away from the road.
In a very short time there is a chink of blue sky threatening to break through.
The track climbs at a comfortable pace out toward Mount Battock
looking back toward Millden across Glen Esk
and up toward our target as the section of blue sky grows larger
looking back as the sky clears shows that the ground is covered quickly along this stage
ooking forward it seems we are not out of danger as far as the threat of showers is concerned
Mount Battock seems a long way off as the cloud darkens as I pass the 'hill of turret'
Passing through a steel gate 1km on and turning to look across the valley shows I am walking along the edge of the cloud line....hopefully it will stay to the east
It seems my luck may be running out as the two 'locals' give me that "are you insande" glance before turning and heading off across the heather
but...............onward and upward as the dark clouds bubble by, still no rain
Though there is now a little blue again some very dark stuff is creeping in from the east
I am now seriously thinking about crouching beside that landrover and having a cuppa whilst it passes...but still no rain
I ignore it and continue forward and and the landrover is soon too far behind to be of use
The whole area seems so barren all of a sudden as the clouds become heavier with rain, there is nothing around here for shelter
A little further and I see the reason for the landrover (I had wondered) and see why the path is in such good condition
looking west I can't help but think... is it possible to go anywhere around here without Lochnagar getting in on your photo's
Oh.......that's interesting, I feel like running back down and getting the bloke in the digger and pointing out that he missed a bit....
A little hag hopping to the summit then, but its dry (still) so no problem
My first view of the summit shows someone has beaten me to it and is resting in the shelter
We had a short chat about the usual and the three of them headed off the way I came, they also told me the walk from Clachnaben to Mount Battock was a horrible, wet, hag ridden, journey from hell...or something like that, anyway suffice to say it's probably best avoided for a while. They hadn't come that way today but had done that walk recently. On departure the first of the three fell whilst stepping over a small wire fence at the summit, as the second went to his aid the third guy moved to a spot where the wire was much lower....then fell over it too I confess a blurted out a short laugh involuntarily so 'Sorry fella' .........but it was kinda funny....no offence meant I soon tucked myself into the summit cairn for tea and snacks
The usual shot.....
Away in the distance to the north west I can see Bennachie on the left horizon
to the west is the beast that is Lochnagar.......soon ya bleeder....soon
Heading over to 'wester cairn' for the route down I can just see loch lee to the south west
The hill looks little more than a bump on the way out
A few heather fires are burning to the west in the glen and to the east is the lush green spot where the car awaits
On reaching the junction where a left turn (south) would be required for the normal descent I continued along the track toward the west
The track twists and turns a little through the heather
then the track turns south overlooking glen tennet to the north west
and Glen Esk to the south
Some fancy stonework here which goes a good way to explaining why there are so many grouse in this valley, you can't go more than a few yard without one scaring up beside you
The track now descends quite steeply and turns to the south east back toward Millden
looking back up there is a little blue sky again and it seems I have escaped the rain once more
Past the small farm with the constantly barking dogs....
Before I could get this shot, this small water-hole was surrounded by oyster-catchers, I've never seen so many in one place, I felt bad for scaring them off
At last I reach the tarmac road that lead down to the pay phone
it passes through this beautifully situated farmhouse
If you have to walk down a tarmac road it should always look like this
this old watermill is almost idyllic in that picture postcard sort of way
just a little further along the road is the car park by the phone box where my chariot awaits
A really enjoyable walk which upon reflection, I could have extended much further.....maybe next time; at least the rain didn't get me.