On Friday morning I set out for a Club meet based at the Blackwater Outdoor Centre, which is located seven miles South of Spittal of Glen Shee. A really good venue that I had not stayed at previously. My final two unclimbed Section 7 Marilyns were just around the corner; Crock and Hare Cairn.

Both Crock and Hare Cairn are very much covered with trees. However, neither hill presented any route-finding difficulties.

Click here to see a map of the routes undertaken

Hill: Crock
Date: Friday 1st July 2011
Company: Myself and Beinn
Time: 2Hrs 45Mins
Dog friendly: Yes

For Crock, I parked at the car park at Freuchies.

Within minutes of setting-off, I had to put on my midge-net. No midges, but hundreds of flies. They were really annoying Beinn too.

Path heading NW from Freuchies:

Tree-covered Crock:

Log piles:

More logs:

I followed the good vehicle track for just over four kilometres, passing Loch Shandra and Tulloch.

Loch Shandra:


Mount Blair is quite prominent during the walk-in.

Mount Blair from Tulloch:

After passing a clearing and reaching the edge of the forest, I left the main track and made my way up the hill. There is a small cairn on the track marking the start of the ascent.

Following the edge of the forest:

After a few hundred metres, I arrived at the start of the tree corridor. This was the best part of the walk as it was at least 10 degrees cooler in the corridor and there were no flies in there, so off with the midge-net .

Entering the tree corridor:

Inside the tree corridor:

Once above the trees, I followed a faint track leading towards the summit cairn.

Crock, above the trees:

Looking back to treeline from summit:

We didn't spend much time at the summit as I was keen to get back to the car to ascend Hare Cairn.

Hare Cairn is very close to Crock but I have read of real difficulties trying to find a route through the trees between them.

Beinn at the summit of Crock:

I therefore returned to the car via the same route.

Once back to the car, I drove to the Backwater Reservoir and on as far as Glenhead Farm. I parked just beyond the building with a large bird painted on its roof.

Hill: Hare Cairn
Date: Friday 1st July 2011
Company: Myself and Beinn
Time: 1Hrs 30Mins
Dog friendly: No (Several fences including a six-foot deer fence)

My ascent of Hare Cairn was definitely a case of make it up as I went along.

Parking and starting point at Glenhead farm:

I followed a good track past Glenhead farm and onto just beyond Glendamff farm.

Backwater reservoir:

Hare Cairn and Glendamff farm:

At Glendamff farm I met a couple of walkers who enquired where I was heading. They advised that they had just had to "wade the river" .

A short distance beyond Glendamff farm, I followed a track leading down to "the river". I waded through the water coming to just below the toe of my boots i.e. about 1.5" deep .

Once across the Amazon, I had to climb over a gate and Beinn had to squeeze underneath a barbed-wire fence. We then made our way up the field.

Ascending a field up Hare Cairn:

During the ascent, we climbed over a dry-stane dyke into the neighbouring field to avoid having to cross another fence at the top. We then made our way across to the edge of the forest leading up Hare Cairn.

Looking back to Glendamff farm from top of field:

Once at the edge of the forest, we followed the deer fence up the hill.

Following the deer fence and treeline up the hill:

As we ascended, I spotted a young deer from quite a way off. I must have watched it for a couple of minutes before it eventually spotted us. Plenty of time to get the camera out and zoomed to catch its look of surprise before it scarpered.


Unfortunately the deer fence ended at a junction with another deer fence running perpendicular to the first. The deer fence was not that tight at the bottom, so a bit of pulling enabled Beinn to get underneath the fence.

Once passed the fence, the stroll to the summit was straight-forward.

Beinn at the summit of Hare Cairn:

Mount Blair and Crock from summit of Hare Cairn:

We returned to the car via the same route.