Hill: Knockan
Date: Sunday 6th January 2013
Company: Myself, Carole, Becky and Beinn
Time: 1Hr

I first successfully ascended Knockan on 12th February 2010, subsequent to a failed attempt on 20th December 2009. Knockan was described as a “wee shite” in the Relative Hills of Britain forum owing to forestry making it difficult to gain access to the summit. It was an unspoilt wee hill.

Unfortunately, Knockan is now really easy to summit.
Why unfortunately?

In 2010, construction commenced on the ‘Hill of Towie’ windfarm resulting in in excess of twenty giant turbines covering not only the Hill of Towie but also neighbouring McHattie’s Cairn and Knockan. As well as wind turbines there are also now ugly excessively-wide new tracks. This windfarm eyesore can be seen from much of Banffshire and Moray.

[rant]This government won’t be happy until they have destroyed much of Scotland’s scenic lands. There is complete lack of strategy and joined-up thinking on energy policy, resulting in onshore windfarms and individual wind turbines being erected here, there and everywhere. Local Authorities are being overwhelmed with application after application from companies hoping to reap all the subsidy benefits. Community concerns are being ignored. It wouldn’t be so bad if windfarms and individual wind turbines were in the least bit reliable. When there is no wind there is no power produced. When it is too windy, they are switched off so again there is no power produced. When it is too cold, they are switched off so again there is no power produced. The only people who “like” windfarms are those who stand to financially benefit from them.[/rant]

Today, I set off to have a closer look at the destruction caused on Knockan.

Click here to see a map of the route undertaken

We set off up the large track created for the Hill of Towie windfarm.

Becky at the start of the track leading to Hill of Towie windfarm:

Turbines on the slopes of Knockan:

More turbines on Knockan:

We followed the ugly tracks to get as close to the summit as possible before leaving the track. The summit of Knockan can be reached by walking circa 200m across lichen and heather.

Becky and Beinn at the cairn (allegedly 30m from featureless summit):

Good to see lots of local hills from the summit. Not so good to have wind turbines uglifying the views and shattering the peaceful tranquility on the hill.

View towards Corriehabbie, the Convals and Ben Rinnes:

Ben Aigan (zoom):

Ben Rinnes (zoom):

Corriehabbie Hill (zoom):

View during descent:


During the descent, Becky was brave enough to approach one of these Martian monstrosities. It let out the sound “Ooooooooooooooooh, narrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr”. We narrowly avoided its death ray.

Becky dwarfed at the base of Turbine 10:

Good to get Becky up her first hill of 2013.
Good to get Beinn another new Marilyn.
Shame about the turbines .