Hill: Ben Rinnes
Date: Saturday 24th March 2012
Company: Myself, Carole, Becky and Beinn
Time: 3Hrs 45Mins
Dog friendly: Yes

The forecast for today was pretty-good, so we set off to ascend Becky’s first Corbett.

I had a few potential Corbetts in mind for today, but opted for Ben Rinnes – a fine Corbett visible from across much of Aberdeenshire and Moray and also our closest-to-home Corbett.

This was certainly Becky’s biggest hill attempt to date – almost twice as much ascent as previously attempted. Would she manage it?

We parked at the roadside beside the small car park, as the car park was already full. Becky and Carole set off ahead of myself and Beinn. I was the Sherpa today, carrying an assortment of clothes, food and four litres of water. Becky and Beinn were joint expedition leaders .

Click here to see a map of the route undertaken

Becky and Carole setting off up Round Hill:

It didn’t take long to ascend Round Hill. The path was not as good as I remembered it to be, from my previous ascents of Ben Rinnes in 2006 and 2002. Lots of stones just dumped on the track in an attempt to prevent erosion.

Becky at the cairn on Round Hill:

It was already quite warm, so all jackets were disposed of into the Sherpa’s pack and we were again on our way.

Looking towards Roy’s Hill and Ben Rinnes:

We stopped for our first of several breaks about half-way up Roy’s Hill.

Having our first break:

Our next wee sit-down was at the top of Roy’s Hill. Great to have all day to just wander slowly up the hill, without pressing-on to ascend further hills. Also nice to ascend in trail shoes instead of boots.

Carole and Becky on Roy’s Hill:

The path improved considerably as we ascended from Roy’s Hill towards Ben Rinnes.


It was nice to look back and see Little Conval and Meikle Conval – both Sub2000ft Marilyns. This was about our only view today, as the mist did not lift.

Little Conval, Meikle Conval and Roy’s Hill:

During the ascent, I asked Becky several times how she was coping. She was "Little Miss Determined", over 700m high and still doing fine .

Becky waiting for us to catch up:


By the time we reached the final stretch to the summit of Ben Rinnes, Becky was starting to tire but she continued on and managed all the way to the summit, and all the way back to the car, unassisted. Not bad for a five-year-old.

Final stretch to summit of Ben Rinnes:

Summit area granite tors:

Approaching the summit tor:

On reaching the summit area, we first visited the trig point and then all visited the actual summit – the tor circa 10m away from the trig point.

Becky, Carole and Beinn at the trig point:

The views today were pretty-much non-existent, which was a little disappointing. However, at least the mist kept the temperatures lower.

Better views on previous ascent of Ben Rinnes, with Becky’s granddad:

The trig point now has a small toposcope mounted on it. This wasn’t there on my previous ascent in 2006. Quite a nice wee toposcope, but I think they should have used nuts/bolts that wouldn’t rust.

Trig point toposcope:

Looking down on the trig point from the summit tor:

After visiting the summit tor, we stopped for lunch, spending around 20 minutes at the summit.

Limited view from the summit:

The descent was much quicker than the ascent, with Becky managing the full descent, under her own steam, in just 1Hr 15Mins. During the descent, numerous hill walkers stopped to speak with Becky.

Looking back to Ben Rinnes:

Looking back to Roy’s Hill and Ben Rinnes:

Great day out. Munro number one might not be too far off .