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Forfar & District
Hill Walking Club

Forfar & District Hill Walking Club

Forfar & District Hill Walking Club


2021 News



Note that the journal is stored in reverse chronological order. Some items may be missing but can probably be found in the Newsletters
2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2002-2012

Sunday 26th September 2021 - Social Meet - Largo Law

5 members attended. 4 members met at 09:30 at the car park on the south side of the Tay Road Bridge, and travelled in 2 cars to Lower Largo, where they met up with another member. It was an idyllic morning on the Costa Fife as the group set off at 10:15 eastwards along the Fife Coastal Path. The route soon left this and went northwards to Upper Largo along farmtracks and right-of-ways. After tramping through the village to the cemetery, the route continued upwards to a farm, then climbs very steeply to the lower top. Fantastic view appeared of the Forth estuary. Then there is a wee dip as we climbed to reach the trig-point at the summit at 11:45. (290m, from sea level). A short break was taken here as the group looked northwards to Arbroath, Dundee and even Schiehallion in the distance. The route was retraced down the steep slopes to Upper Largo, then after a brief period on the road, the group followed the den back to the car park, reached at 13:00. We found a picnic table and had lunch before departing home. Distance 8km. Ascent 320m.

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Sunday 12th September 2021 - Day Meet - Beinn a'Bhuird

10 members attended. 9 members met at 7am in the Myre car park in Forfar and used 5 cars to travel to Linn o' Quoich where we met another member at 9am. We soon set off through the Scots pines on a forest road for the first few miles up Glen Quoich then on to the shoulder of Beinn a' Bhuird reaching the top and stopping for lunch in the low cloud at 1pm. As we finished lunch the cloud cleared and we were rewarded with fantastic views of many of the Cairngorm Mountains including Ben Avon and Beinn Mheadhoin. We then made our way back down the same route of ascent noticing the lovely smell of the Scots pines as we made our way through the trees. Reaching the car park just after 5pm. Wildlife seen on the day included a covey of 5 ptarmigan, several mistle thrushes and wheatears.

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Monday 6th September 2021 - Online Open Meeting followed by forum

8 attended. A brief open meeting was followed by a chat.


Sunday 15th August 2021 - Day Meet - Drumochter

6 attended (4 members, 2 guests). Met at Balsporran Cottages, Drumochter for this day meet, 4 congregating at the Myre for the rather novel concept of car-sharing and the other 2 making their own way direct.
The forecast of possible localised showers proved to be correct on the journey up the A9 but the walkers needn’t have worried as this turned out to be the only rain of the day. The leisurely chat while changing into boots was brought to a sudden end when an invasion of midges chased the walkers on their way. After taking a compass bearing the group set off across the A9 onto the pathless moor at 8.50am. A short but steep climb then took the group on to the plateau at Meall a’ Chaorainn. The plateau at this stage was in cloud so a bearing for the top of A’ Bhuidheanich Bheag was taken. However the cloud lifted a short while later and revealed the trig point in the distance. After a brief stop, the walkers moved on in a northerly direction and enjoyed a very pleasant walk across the plateau, with the old boundary fence posts occasionally helping to guide them on their route. The views were opening up now with An Dun prominent to the east and the Fara and Ben Alder showing up well to the west. Further on, glimpses of Loch Ericht and Dalwhinnie could be seen. After about four hours, Carn na Caim, the second summit of the day, came into view. The walkers stopped here for a well-deserved lunch break, with the best views now being to the north, with Meall Chuaich in the foreground and the expanse of the Cairngorms in the distance. From here the walkers retraced their steps for about 3 kilometres and descended by the quarry track. Once almost down, they made use of the track constructed for the installation of the pylons, heading south before crossing the road to the cycle track which took them back to the cars just before 4pm. Numerous golden plovers were seen on the plateau and, a relatively rare sight these days, a family of 5 ptarmigan.
Distance : 18km, ascent 800m.


Monday 2nd August 2021 - Outdoor meeting - Auchterhouse Hill & Balkello Hill

10 attended (9 members and a guest), meeting at the car park at Balkello Woods at 7.30pm. Clare led the way, heading up to the dyke then westwards on a gradual climbing path to reach the summit of Auchterhouse Hill (426m) from the west side. Fantastic views were had all round. Then a descent eastwards to the Windy Gates before a short steep climb to the viewpoint on Balkello Hill (397m). There was a bit of confusion about the descent route, but eventualyy we found the track heading south eastwards, then turning back to the woods and the car park , reached at 9.30pm. Distance 6.2km, ascent 300m. Beautiful summer's evening.

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Sunday 18th July 2021 - Day Meet - Glen Lyon

7 members attended, meeting at the top of Glen Lyon, near Pubil, under the Loch Lyon dam. 6 members took off at 09:25, but were joined later by a 7th member who arrived late. The group climbed steeply to the track above the loch and headed west for 1km before climbing steeply northwards to the bealach below Meal Buidhe (at 907m, one of the highest Corbetts). Ascent was made by the south-east ridge to reach the summit at 12:00, where fantastic views awaited. The hill sits above Rannoch Moor, and offers 360 degree views all round. The group were able to pick out many well-known hills. A descent was made to the bealach via the north ridge, to find the gate! A traverse was made down the Feith Thalain to pick up the next bealach, which was full of peat hags and cloudberries, but luckily dry. Then it was a long climb up to the summit of Sron a' Choire Chnapanich (837m), reached at 14:30. Again this was a superb view point, sitting above Loch An Daimh. The hill was shared with a herd of cattle, sitting on the summit ridge. Descent was by the fence line, then down to the Alt Phubuill to reach a landrover track, which was followed to the road. Then followed a 1km trudge back to the cars reached at 16:30. Weather was dull with a cool gentle breeze (lovely after the previous 2 hot days), but the cloud level was high, so great views were had. A few golden plover were heard and there was a good view of one fairly close by. Distance: 15km. Ascent: 980m.

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Monday 5th July 2021 - Evening Outdoor Meeting - Coastal Walk at Easthaven

14 attended (12 members and 2 potential new members). Met at 19:30 at car park at Easthaven. Thankfully, the rain had stopped by then! The group followed the coastal track towards Arbroath, then as they reached Elliot Links, they went down to the beach and headed back along the sand, with some opting to walk along the top of the dunes. Some birdwatching took place, along with much chat. Back at cars at 21:20. Distance : 6.5km.

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Sunday 27 June 2021 - Social Meet - Benachally

4 members attended. The meet started at the car park at Butterstone village hall, leaving at 09:10. The route started steeply up a farm track to Ledluckie Farm, then carried on through a field of sheep to reach the moors above. Lovely views of the lochs below came into view. The path through the moor had been trampled by cattle, so was quite rough in places. On the way over the moor, the group broke off to search for a cup-marked stone (like on the Carrot Hill evening meeting). It was eventually located. How do people detect these prehistoric markings and record them? A brief stop was had near Craigend before climbing through deep bracken and heather then picking up a rough track to the monument (built in 1830), which stands 3m high or so. This was the land of the flies! Hot, sticky and thousands of them! Real character building stuff for the team! Rucsacs were dropped here and we wandered over to the top at 487m - no obvious track through the deep heather. Returned to monument for a long lunch break with stunning views all around. Return route was by the road to Riechip then onto Butterstone, reaching the cars at 14:20. Many wild flowers were found and named, and birdlife spotted included stonechat, wheatear, curlew and oyster catcher. A lazy day in hot humid conditions. 10km, ascent 430m.

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Sunday 13 June 2021 - Day Meet - Bike and Hike - Beinn Iutharn Mhor

6 members attended. Travelled individually and met at car park at Inverey at 08:00. Set off by bike at 08:15. The ride-in climbs 230m and about half of that is in the first 2km. The group spread out, headed by a member on an electric bike! We reached the ruined Altanour Lodge and set off walking a 09:40. After a wee bit of a wrong route, we followed the burn up to the foot of Beinn Iutharn Beag (963m), a Munro Top and climbed steeply to the summit, which was just below the clouds. A short descent followed with views of Loch nan Eun. Weather was rather wet by this time with rain blowing in on a SW wind. The group climbed to Mam nan Carn (986m), another Munro Top, followed by a drop into a bealach where we stopped for a early lunch. The group carried on to the summit of Beinn Iutharn Mhor (1045m), which was one attendee's 200th Munro. By this time the rain had cleared and good views were appearing all around. The descent route followed down the NE ridge, with a very steep nose at the end. Various tracks were followed back through the heather to the bikes at 14:45. Left at 15:00 and back at the cars at 15:45.
Cycle: 9km (and 230m ascent) on way in and 9km out, downhill. Walk: 13km, 770m ascent.
10 or so ptarmigan spotted.

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Monday 7th June 2021 - Outdoor Meeting - Daunder over Carrot Hill to Dodd Hill

19 members attended (including all 3 honorary members). Met at the car park at Carrot Hill, NO 464 409, at 7:30pm. Unfortunately the haar had rolled in and the views were somewhat limited. It was a gentle climb up to the trig point on Carrot Hill. From there the group followed the old quarry road to Dodd Hill with its big cairn. Most of the group descended southwards to have a look at the old quarry, from which Carmylie slate was extracted. On the way back, this group plunged into knee-deep heather to search for a prehistoric cup-marked stone. Using GPS we were able to find the 10m square and eventually found the stone, which was only discovered in 2015. Details can be found on the internet. The last group entered details in the geocache found at the stone, and reached the cars about 21:40. A successful night - just a pity about the misty conditions.

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Sunday 23rd May 2021 - Day Meet - Glen Esk

11 members met in the car park at Invermark at 08:30. The meet was conducted as to MS guidelines and an attendance register was taken. The weather was remarkably calm and mild as the group set off at 8.40, however the first sharp shower of the day was experienced within the first 200 metres and had a few members scurrying for waterproofs. The group made good progress along the track past Loch Lee and onwards to the footbridge where the route leaves the track and branches left towards the Falls of Unich. The going became very boggy underfoot from this point due to all the recent rain but on the other hand the waterfall was looking very impressive as a result. After a photo stop the walkers started the long climb up towards the falls of Damff. If anything, this waterfall looked even more impressive. A short distance further on the group crossed the footbridge to the east side of the burn and as the weather was showing signs of turning again, a decision was made to stop for an early lunch before the rain set in. This proved to be a good decision as the walkers were pelted with hailstones just as they were setting off again. Thankfully this did not last long but there was a noticeable drop in the temperature as the path levelled off across the top of Cairn Lick. The cloud stayed clear of the tops to allow good views along Loch Lee and beyond to Mount Keen. On the descent down the Shank of Inchgrundle one member unfortunately stumbled and sustained some nasty facial injuries. After some rudimentary repairs he was able to gamely carry on. The route rejoined the outward path at the west end of Loch Lee and the walkers were back at the car park by 14:30. Wildlife spotted included lapwings, dippers, thrushes, tree creepers and one brief glimpse of a mountain hare.

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Monday 17th May 2021 - Outdoor Meeting - Evening Walk at Cortachy

11 members met in the car park by the school at 19:30. The meet was conducted as to MS guidelines and an attendance register was taken. There was a little rain to start with, but it cleared up during the walk. Steve led us up the west side of the South Esk to a new bridge and then back by the east side, visiting the Airlie family graveyard before returning to the cars at 21:30. The pace was slow and we had lots of stops for a blether. Common sandpipers and grey wagtails were spotted during the walk.

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Sunday 18th April 2021 - Day Meet - Glen Lethnot and Glen Clova

The was the first meet since the pandemic started. 15 members attended in 2 groups. After presentation of the Mather Neep to Clare by Mr W. Mather himself, a group of 8 left from the top of Glen Lethnot at 09:15, contouring round the side of Hill of Mondurran and climbing on easy slopes to the bealach below Mount Sned (621m) on then west to Hill of Glansie (726m). They stopped for lunch at Dog Hillock, then cut north to Ruragh (735m) on a landrover track before turning east to Hill of Berran then dropped steeply back to the cars. 13.4km, 610m ascent.
The other group 7 members attended. The group left from the big car park just north of Rottal at 09:05. They climbed steeply up to Manywee (685m), then dropped and climbed over Finbracks (756m), stopping for a snack on the eastern side. Then it was then a traverse over rough ground to Ruragh (735m), reached at 12:00, hoping to meet up with the Lethnot group. Here, they turned north towards White Hill. A stop was made for lunch was down at the bealach then a long climb up to White Hill (778m). From there, they picked up a track and descended on it almost back to the cars before making the mistake of heading to the cars directly over boggy difficult ground and a shoogly fence! Weather was dry most of the way with a cool wind. Good views to the east and south, but he higher hills to the north were capped in cloud, and the group experienced some rain and sleet blowing through on White Hill. Everyone enjoyed being out again, though the walking was quite rough in places. Several golden plover were spotted and also many mountain hares, still changing from their winter coats. 15.6km 845m ascent. Back at the cars at 15:00.

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Monday 5th April 2021 - Members Night - The Willie Mather Neep

Online By Zoom, 19:30. 22 members attended, including a new member, Colin Scott, who was welcomed by Linda.
This was a modified version of our usual Members Night. Each member was restricted to 3 photos instead of the usual 10, because of being online. Willie Mather had proposed that members should choose photos that best portray the club to that person and which show something memorable to them. Each person will then explain why they have chosen each of their photos. Willie was to be the judge.
The event was very successful with 13 groups of 3 photos, plus a few extras at the end. It took three 40 minute Zoom sessions to complete.
Willie chose Clare as the winner because of her narrative, but thought that everyone was really a winner. It showed the great camaraderie of the club and lots of great memories of days together. Clare is to be presented with a turnip mug and a neep!

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Tuesday 23rd March 2021 - Committee Meeting

11:00. The full committee meets to discuss resumption of walks following proposed relaxion of the Covid-19 rules and guidelines, by the Scottish Government and by Mountaineering Scotland. Colin and Ray volunteer to become Covid Officers. An attendance register and a risk assessment will be prepared by Colin. Mel to work on an information sheet summarising our guidelines.


Monday 1st March 2021 - EGM

By Zoom, 19:30. 24 members attended.
All 6 proposals were approved. So in summary:-

  • The EGM replaced the AGM.
  • The last 12 months was to be counted as a "non-year" and the present committee will stay on for the coming 12 months.
  • The last calendar year does not count for duration of committee roles (i.e. towards the 4 year rule).
  • Accounts are not audited and will presented at AGM 2022.
  • Fees for the next 12 months will remain the same and are now due.
  • The committee will work on changes to the constitution that were deferred from the 2020 AGM.


Monday 1st February 2021 - Annual Photographic Competition

By Zoom, 19:30. Judged by Graham Chalmers. A fair number of members attended.
20 members had submitted 96 photos in total, which were sent to the judge with alphabetic codes to identify them. The meeting covered three 40 minute Zoom sessions. Graham discussed each of the 96 photos, and then presented the results.

Photograph of the Year - The Brian Coull Memorial Trophy
1st: Colin (G2)
2nd: Nicola H (M4)
3rd: Fleur (S4)

Best Collection of Photographs of the Year : The Norrie Trophy
1st Fleur (S1, S2, S4)
2nd: Jackie (T1, T2, T3)
3rd: Roy (Q2, Q3, Q4)

The winning individual photos can be viewed here
The winning best collection photos can be viewed here
All 96 entries can be viewed here

Use the "i" button to see information about the photo, incuding who took it.


Sunday 17th January 2021 - "Not-Quite-High-Tea" Social Gathering

17:30 by Zoom for 40 minutes. 15 members attended for a chat.
One year on from the walk at Bennachie and high tea at Edzell.
Our president, Linda, narrated a poem.

The President’s Pandemic Lament
The High Tea meet is here again
And here we are at hame
Socialising on a screen.
It’s really not the same.

Thinking about the club’s last year,
Trying hard to find the good bits.
I feel I really must conclude – and I’m sorry if you think it’s rude -
That last year was ….. the pits!

No meets since March, outdoors or in,
Fun weekends but a dream.
Instead it’s e-mail, website, Zoom.
T’would dump you in the deepest gloom
And make you want to scream.

Well now it’s 2021.
Things aren’t better yet,
But the vaccine’s here and now there’s hope
That things will better get.

Our club will meet again this year.
Quite when we don’t yet know,
But when that time comes one thing’s sure,
We’ll all be set to go!!

Download here


Monday 11th January 2021 - at 19:30 : Open Meeting - online via Zoom

26 members attended at various stages during the meeting. Sam Riddell gave a presentation which gave an interesting insight into the very important role and work of the Scottish Charity Air Ambulance (SCAA). It currently runs 2 helicopters. Sam explained how it was organised and how it runs alongside the government system. He also took us through a simulated call-out in a short video. More details can be found on their web site.
After the presentation there was time for a general chat among members.



Note that the journal is stored in reverse chronological order. Some items may be missing but can probably be found in the Newsletters
2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2002-2012