Hills: Moorbrock Hill, Cairnsmore of Carsphairn & Beninner
Date: Thursday 30th April 2009
Company: Myself and Beinn
Time: 5Hrs 20Mins
Dog friendly: No (several fences to negotiate via this route)
Weather: 5Hrs 20Mins of rain
I intended starting this walk from Craigengillan (up the ‘Water of Ken’ road) but could see no parking space there so I drove a few hundred metres further along the road and parked at, and started the walk from, NX640953.
After 20 minutes of sitting in the car hoping that the rain would stop (it didn’t), I eventually got out, put on my waterproofs and set off. Unusually, even Beinn was apprehensive to leave the car.
The track from NX640953 was good and made for quick progress.
Track from starting point:
Looking towards Moorbrock:
On reaching the Polifferee burn I was really happy to find a bridge over it.
The burn was very much in spate due to the constant, continuing rain.
Bridge over Polifferee burn:
On reaching Moorbrock, we found the Poltie burn also in spate but had no difficulties crossing it.
Poltie burn at Moorbrock:
From Moorbrock, we followed the track alongside the Poltie burn leading up to, and around, Green hill. We followed this track around Green hill and up onto Moorbrock hill.
Note: At NX614975, the track splits into two with the main track continuing Northwards. The track for Moorbrock hill at this split heads North-East. (One of the tracks is not marked on the 2006 edition OS Landranger map)
Track alongside Poltie burn leading to Green Hill:
Watch-tower below Green hill:
During the final ascent of Moorbrock hill, I had to resign my camera into my Ortleib rucksack liner as it was getting wet through its Lowepro case.
Thanks to the GPS we found the small three-stone cairn marking the summit of Moorbrock hill, without having to search for it. There was low-cloud above 450m throughout the walk.
Beinn at small summit cairn of Moorbrock hill:
From the summit of Moorbrock hill we followed a direct bearing towards the summit of Cairnsmore of Carsphairn, just over 2.5km away.
At the col we encountered our first fence of the day. Sitting on the fence lowered it enough for Beinn to jump over it.
The ascent of Cairnsmore of Carsphairn didn’t take too long. We had a brief stop in the summit shelter – just long enough to have a quick drink, a bite to eat and take a photo.
Drenched dog at summit of Cairnsmore of Carsphairn:
From Cairnsmore of Carsphairn, we continued on towards Beninner.
At the col we encountered our second fence of the day. Again, I sat on the fence to lower it for Beinn to jump. As I did so, I got a pain in my lower back and thought I had perhaps pulled a muscle. Three seconds later I realised, as I received another jolt of pain up my spine, that I hadn’t pulled a muscle but was sitting on an electric fence with soaking wet trousers on!
After a bit of heavy dog tossing we were on our way to the summit of Beninner.
Beinn at summit of Beninner:
At the summit of Beninner, I had a very quick look at the map and decided to head South and then down alongside the Poldores burn back to Moorbrock. This descent was fine until reaching the Poldores burn.
There was no way we could cross this burn due to spate so we ended-up having to stick to its South-bank all the way down. This entailed going through bits of forest, crossing more fences and going over lots of very-wet ground. I wouldn’t recommend this descent.
We eventually reached an old bridge over the Poldores burn at NX633962. From there it was easy going back to the bridge over the Polifferee burn and then out along the track to the starting point.