Forfar & District
Hill Walking Club

Forfar & District Hill Walking Club

Forfar & District Hill Walking Club

2020 News

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Note that the journal is stored in reverse chronological order. Some items may be missing but can probably be found in the Newsletters.

Mon 7th December 2020
Open Meeting - online via Zoom

19 members attended at various stages during the meeting. An Open Meeting was held first. This took the first 40 minutes of Zoom, and a bit more of the 2nd Zoom. The president reported on the Mountaineering Scotland AGM and EGM. There was a lengthy discussion about walking buddies. The meeting was followed by a short quiz set by Colin. It was based on Angus, so our Glaswegian member was a bit disadvantaged. Carolyn won with a score of 34 out of a possible 44. The prize was a virtual chocolate orange. Nicola H then ate the real chocolate orange in front of us!

Sat 21st November 2020
Mountaineering Scotland AGM and EGM

Our president, Linda, attended this Zoom webinar, having previously cast the club votes by email. Here is her brief report. View here

Mon 2nd November 2020
Open Meeting - online via Zoom

31 members attended. Nicola Baillie gave an excellent presentation on her November 2019 trip to Nepal, where she climbed Mera Peak and Island Peak. Great images and an very informative narrative. Thank you.

Halloween Party and November weekend are both cancelled

The committee have decided to cancel the Halloween Party (was to be on 31st October). We've since found out that the Carn Dearg club has cancelled all external bookings for 2020, so we couldn't have gone ahead anyway.
Also the Glencoe Ski Club has cancelled all bookings for their club hut, so the November meet could not ahead anyway. We've stayed in this excellent hut 4 or 5 times times now, and hopefully we'll be back in the years to come.

Mon 5th October 2020
Open Meeting - online via Zoom

21 members attended. Apart from the work party, this was the first club event since the day meet on 8th March, and the first meeting since the night of the AGM on 2nd March. The meeting was chaired by the new president, Linda, in her first role as chairperson. After a short business section, the meeting was opened up for comments from the members about the current situation and opinions about how the committee are handling it. The meeting finished at 20:20.

Sat 5th September
Davie's Bourach - Workparty

6 members attended. See report and photos here.

Mon 31st August 2020
Phase 3 : Volume 1 : Lockdown Stories and Photos

See all photos here. Use the "i" icon to see who took the photo and where it is.

5 Photos. He's glad we're not restricted to 5 miles now but rather disillusioned with crowded places. He tried Glen Doll on a weekday but car park overflowing and toilet block closed, not a good combination. He's managed to find some quieter places and had a great day with the bike up Glen Ogil where, apart two gamekeepers, he saw no one. He did the Hill of Glansie circuit seeing pair of swans with 6 cygnets, grouse, eagles and a raven.
He and Alison went back to the Lunan Well, as the last time he was there a couple were spending lockdown cleaning it out off vegetation. They've made a very impressive job of it.

1 photo. On our way to Corran for a few days. Stopped at a view point!

Nicola B
10 photos. She went walking in Fannichs. She camped at car on Frid night (midge HELL on Sat a.m.) then camped on ridge on Sat and Sun nights. Was beautiful. One of the best weekends she's ever had in the hills!!

1 photo. Took his girls to the hills.

Willie 7 photos. A day on Mayar with Clare and grandchildren, Caitlin and Sandy. Their first Munro. Rebus on the heather. Views south and north from Shandford Hill. Duck attack in Glen Odgil.

15 photos. Spent 3 and a half weeks touring the west coast in a campervan with bikes and an inflatable kayak. Also climbed a few Corbetts and Grahams. David's road bike trashed by a bull on Skye!

7 photos. Spent a few days at Mochrie Cottage in Glen Ogil. Also had a day trip to the hills behind Balintore.

8 photos. Steve and Neil decided to have a trip North 14 – 17 August. This was planned about 3 weeks in advance once Steve was confident in his rehab and training. This was just over 16 weeks after his heart bypass operation. They climbed Seana Bhraigh on the Sat, approaching from the west after driving and then cycling up Strath Mulzie. The low cloud started lifting as they reached Loch a’ Coire Mhor. It quickly cleared as they climbed the north east shoulder. It was glorious day, and as warm as it looks in the photos. They only met 2 people all day, and that was on the summit. Sun was another glorious day! The hill was very busy – 25 people on the top! Mon Another warm sunny day on Ben Klibreck. Only problem, and it was a big problem, were the midges that swarmed around them for most of the day. The worst Steve has experienced!

Fleur 2
5 photos. Seems to have done a lot of walking with Gill and Jim. Various photos from Creag Leacach, An Socach, Carn a' Mhaim, Derry Cairngorm, Bynack Mor.

5 photos. A superb day on the Gaick Corbetts - An Dun and A' Chaoirnich.

David 3
3 photos. Loch Fitty in Fife, a recovered open cast mine. Sunset over Mull from Beinn Lora, a Hugh. Summit of the Corbett, Fraochaidh, in Appin.

2 photos. Broad Cairn.

Fleur 3
5 photos. A great day on Lochnagar.

David 4
3 photos. Graham bagging! Hunt Hill in Glen Esk.

Frid 24th August 2020
Congratulations John!

Honorary Member, John Norrie celebrated his 90th birthday on Mon 24th August. The whole family stayed on a trawler moored in Inverness and went to son's Graham’s where he’d organised to have a tandem for the day!
Many screams were heard around Kiltarlity as Graham whizzed them up the road! They both managed a run out on the road with Graham at the helm but John did take over on the front on the way back. John enjoyed it so much he is looking for a tandem now. John spent hours talking to the skipper of the trawler discussing every fishing boat every built, beating the family at dominoes and had many a dram!! All great fun!!
Some photos of John can be found here. There had be to some piping photos as John has piped many people to the top of their last Munro.
Of course John is Rita's toy-boy. She reached her 90th birthday ahead of him in May and her story and some photos (some with John) can be found here.

Sun 12th July 2020
Stay Alert Quiz - Results and Answers

Carolyn has marked the quiz. Here are the results.
1st : 19pts : Graham Brown
2nd : 17pts : John & Rita
3rd equal : 16pts : Mel & Ian, Graeme Harris, Clare Stewart, Ray

Thanks to Carolyn for creating and organising the quiz.
See answers here

Tuesday 7th July 2020

Neil Sangster has decided to stand down as Weekend Co-ordinator.
The Club is sorry to lose Neil as Weekend Co-ordinator, so personally and on behalf of the Committee and the members of the FDHWC, the president would like to say a big thank you to Neil for taking on the job and for all the time and effort that went into doing it so well for all the enthusiastic “weekenders”.
Fortunately, a replacement for Neil has volunteered. Carolyn Smith is willing to take over the job of Weekend Co-ordinator.
On behalf of the Club, thank you, Carolyn. We wish you well in your new role – once weekend meets resume!

Mon 29th June 2020
Phases 1 and 2 : 3rd set of Lockdown Stories and Photos

5 Photos. The first is of a rare Hankie Tree on Burnside estate. He also managed to bag a new summit during lockdown when he cycled round to Inverarity and up Fothringham Hill where he found some interesting features. There is a Victorian summerhouse called the Henroost! Further up he discovered an old Wireless station where he left the bike and walked over to Hill of Lour to visit the Carnegy family mausoleum.
He's also cycled over to Carse Gray (north of Forfar) and down by the Lunan Well which is the source of the River Lunan that runs into Lunan Bay. He's running out of new places to go within 5 miles of home now!!

6 Photos. 2 of the Handkerchief tree at Burnside (one from this year and a better photo from 2017). 2 of wild flowers taken on Chester's Walk near Forfar. 1 from the Woodland Trust's live webcam on Loch Archaig of an osprey nest. And last photo is a completed difficult 1000 piece jigsaw.

2 photos. Out foraging? It look's like an edible Cauliflower (aka Brain) Fungus?. Location withheld!

10 photos. Can't keep a Donald-man down! First 2, cycle from Doune to the Braes o' Doune wind farm, a bog trot with deep ravines up to 3m deep between the hags. Lots of cloudberry spotted. Second 2 (1 also a Graham) from Glen Artney, including a peakier wee outlier. Much better conditions underfoot.

3 trips. (1) Arbroath cliff walk to Authmithie. (2) Dunnichen hill from Letham (with Jill). (3) Sunrise on Craigowl.

See all photos here Use the "i" icon to see who took the photo and where it is.

Frid 26th - Mon 29th June 2020
Weekend Meet - Craignure Bunkhouse, Isle of Mull

Meet cancelled due to the current Covid-19 situation and government guidelines. Meet rearranged for September 2021.

Sun 14th June 2020
Social Meet - Wirrens, followed by meal in Panmure Arms

Meet cancelled due to the current Covid-19 situation and government guidelines.

Mon 8th June 2020
Phase 1 : More Lockdown Stories and Photos

Nicola B
12 photos. A selection from walks (including reps up and down stairs), runs and cycles round Glasgow.

Susan and Neil M
7 photos. These are from their weekly bike rides to the west of Liff, in which they have reached ever increasing distances, and feet climbed. They are not all from the same trip! With the weather they have had splendid views across to the Lomonds from the westerly Sidlaws. Their maximum so far is 2,200 feet of ascent, and the new target is 3,000 feet, which may involve doing the same circuit twice so as not to stray too far from home.

12 photos. Stories of 3 outings. (1) A walk down to the lush pond in Craigesk plantation, which has loads of tadpoles in it.
(2) The back way in to the Aberlemno Church yard. There are some really old stones. One dating from 1730. Very interesting if you like that kind of thing!
(3) Following in the footsteps of Ray and Roy, we went up Lownie Hill, and over to Dunnichen Hill, then back by Burnside.

16 photos. Sneaked just over the 5 miles limit to snatch a couple of hours in the Sidlaws. Temperatures were toasty and having the two Naughty Terrierists with her, she only managed Craigowl and Balkello hills. Auchterhouse hill will need to wait for another day. It was the youngest terrier's first hill adventure, it felt like they were in the Mediterranean!

3 photos. Lava with a game dummy, and a dipper's nest under a bridge. The other was taken on 31st May, when his 3 grandchildren looked after him on walk frm Glen Ogil to Hill of Glansie!

4 photos. Cycled from home in Linlithgow up the Carron valley, then climbed a "Hugh" called Meikle Bin. At 570m, it is the 2nd highest top in the Campsie Hills. For those who don't know, Hugh stands for Hill Under Graham Height.

5 photos. One of grebes nesting on Forfar Loch. The other 4 are pre-lockdown of his trip to Mull and Ulva last year. As we're missing a weekend meet to Mull in a few weeks, he thought that it was appropriate.

See all photos here. Use the "i" icon to see who took the photo and where it is.

Sun 7th June 2020
Day Meet - Bike Meet to Glen Ey

Meet cancelled due to the current Covid-19 situation and government guidelines.

Mon 1st June 2020
Outdoor Meeting - Treasure Hunt

Meeting cancelled due to the current Covid-19 situation and government guidelines.

Sun 24th May 2020
Social Meet - Hampers and Champers

Meet cancelled due to the current Covid-19 situation and government guidelines. This had been rearranged from June 2019, when it was cancelled because of the Davie's Bourach rebuild.

Sun 17th May 2020
Day Meet - Coylumbridge to Linn o' Dee

Meet cancelled due to the current Covid-19 situation and government guidelines.

Frid 15th May 2020
Congratulations Rita!

Honorary Member, Rita Norrie celebrated her 90th birthday on Frid 15th May. Despite lockdown, she had a very enjoyable socially distanced family celebration. Both Rita and John are in good health. Rita is missing her choir, and both are missing the Scottish Country Dancing. Both of them have been loyal and enthusiastic club members since 1966, and both have served as president, as well as in many other roles on the committee. In their younger days, the 3 Norrie children were loyal and active club members, too.
Some photos of Rita can be found here.

Mon 11th May 2020
Outdoor Meeting - Girds and Games

Meeting cancelled due to the current Covid-19 situation and government guidelines. At least, Neil didn't win the Boules yet again!

Thurs 7 May 2020
Phase 1 : Lockdown Stories and Photos

5 Photos. The shore at Westhaven, by Carnoustie – 10 minutes from the house. Two different days, two different moods on the same stretch of beach at the same time of day – around 6 p.m. No hills. Flat walking for coast dweller me!
On Sat 2 May – breezy and very chilly with rain coming in from the west down the estuary, while looking east towards Easthaven and Arbroath, blue sky and sunshine.
Yesterday, Mon 4th May – sunny, warm, calm and pleasant all around – looking SW across to Fife, and E towards Easthaven and Arbroath.
Birds spotted: Gannets and terns diving for fish, pair of Shelduck, Eiders, Mallard, Heron, Oyster Catchers, Curlews, Bar-tailed Godwit, Dunlin, Turnstone, Redshank, Pied Wagtail, lots of crows and starlings. Speugs on the way home.

1 photo. Noctilucent clouds over Crombie Country Park (from the farm).

2 Photos. Mon 4th May -View of Linlithgow Palace from path near house. Sat 2nd May - Sunset from a field 500m out of Linlithgow. He identified all the hills: left to right, they are Beinn Chabhair, Beinn a'Chroin, Beinn Dubhchraig (far distance), Stuc Odhar, Beinn Tulaichean, Cruach Ardrain, Ben Ledi, Benvane, Stob Binnein, Ben More.

7 photos. Frid 24th April. East and West Lomond - stopped on commute home from work in Kirkcaldy to Arbroath.

2 photos. He has been doing lots of cycling and watching the snow gradually disappear from the Angus Hills. Great view of Schiehallion from Bowriefauld to Craichie road on Tuesday 5th. Stopped to forage for wild garlic and made pesto. However this is not wild garlic (as in Ransons), but another garlic called Few Flowered Leek! Still tastes good.

From home in Forfar, he climbed Lownie Hill, and carried on along the ridge to Dunnichen Hill, returning via Burnside and Foresterseat

From home in Kingsmuir, climbed Lownie Hill with his partner, Alison. His report, "Great views, no one in sight!!"
10th May 5 photos: He goes over "Bummy"(Balmashanner) a lot with the bike and walking. He and Alison have also used path networks to go over to Restenneth Priory and because it was so dry we got through the reed beds to Lunanhead without getting their feet wet! Another favourite is Chester's path to Foresterseat and then over by Burnside House and back along the road. Noticed a little fresh snow on the back hills this morning!

Graham T
2 photos from Auld Reeky. Prestonfield Golf Course and Portobello beach.

10th May - 17 photos, all taken around home in Aberlemno.

12th May - 5 photos, around Kirriemuir. Heaps of beaver activity. Bogbean on the pond beside Kinnordy Loch. Lots of water lilies and yellow flag to bloom soon. Lots of swallows darting about overhead. Broody sky looking towards Craigowl.

13th May - 1 photo, from the window of the small ward he was confined to at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary. He was there for 7 nights of which 2 nights were in intensive care following his heart bypass surgery. His walking was restricted to a 2m walk to the window and a 6m walk to the bathroom! Followed each time by a rest! He also had 4 nights in the cardio ward at Ninewells before the transfer to Edinburgh, where he was diagnosed with a minor heart attack (and severe heart disease). Since getting home on Sun 26 April, he has started the slow process of recuperation. He is now getting out of the house each day for a short walk, albeit a very slow amble. He's been told he should make a good recovery, although he has to stay isolated in an effort to avoid the dreaded Covid-19 virus. But certainly feeling better than he was a week or so ago.

1 photo of his dogs, Rebus and Lava, bird watching near the farm, looking for dippers.

See all photos here Use the "i" icon to see who took the photo and where it is.

Frid 1st - Mon 4th May 2020
Weekend Meet - Carbost, Skye

Meet cancelled due to the current Covid-19 situation and government guidelines. Now moved to September 2020.

Sun 12th April 2020
Day Meet - Bridge of Orchy

Meet cancelled due to the current Covid-19 situation and government guidelines.

Mon 6th April 2020
Opening Meeting followed by Members Night

Meeting cancelled due to the current Covid-19 situation and government guidelines.

Frid 20th - Sun 22nd March 2020
Weekend Meet : Kinlochleven

Meet cancelled due to the current Covid-19 situation and government guidelines.

Wed 18th March 2020
Mountain Mind Quiz 2020

This event was cancelled by the organisers because of the Covid-19 situation.

Sun 8th March 2020
Day Meet - Clachnaben and Glen Dye

10 members attended. The meet had been moved from the top of Glen Lyon due to the weather. Left Myre car park at 08:00 and Edzell at 08:30. Walking started at 09:10 from the north car park at Bridge of Dye. Sunny but windy conditions. There was just a little snow on the path towards the summit, but otherwise the walking was good. It was very windy for those that scrambled up the top. We had a short break here in the shelter, then headed west to the Hill of Edendocher before following the path south to Charr bothy, reached at 13:00. It was very pleasant there, eating lunch in the sun sitting on the dyke outside. We then took the high track back towards the cars, reached at 14:10. 16.5km, 650m ascent, 5 hours. We had a couple of showers, but otherwise sunny and clear and windy. Alex spotted a crossbill near the start of the walk, and there were a dozen or so peewits spotted on the walk out.


Mon 2nd March 2020
Open Meeting and Annual General Meeting

At Forfar Fire Station at 19:30. 25 members attended.
The AGM took place after the Open Meeting. The annual reports were given by the president, treasurer and meet secretary. Linda Sinclair was elected as the new president. Ray Campbell was elected as the Assistant Meet Secretary. All other posts are unchanged.
A small amendment to section 7 (Data Protection) of the constitution was agreed. Further proposed changes to the constitution are to be discussed further by the new committee, then taken back to the club at an EGM or the next AGM.
After tea/cakes, 3 short films of Scottish Mountains were shown.


Frid 21st - Sun 23rd February 2020
Weekend Meet, Great Glen

8 members attended, 7 staying in the Great Glen Hostel, and one in a campervan. The venue was changed because of storm damage at the Saddleback Mountain Hostel.
2 members climbed Meall Fuar Mhonaidh (699m, a “Graham”) up a muddy path, then into deep soft snow, and just a little icy on the top 100m. There was a very strong westerly wind, and heavy hail showers made the going very difficult, but good views were had between showers (8.5km, 500m ascent, 4 hrs).
The remaining 6 members opted for a lower level route along the Great Glen Way. They started on the south side of Loch Oich and followed the old railway. The original destination was intended to be Fort Augustus, but this was found to be impossible because of works on the canal path at Bridge of Oich, so they opted to return on the north side and ended up in Invergarry Hotel for refreshments (13km, 400m, 4hrs 30). They were joined by the other 2 members and the campervan driver kindly ran everyone back to the hostel in two lifts.
All members set off from the south side of Laggan locks to climb Ben Tee (901m), in very wet sleety conditions. After 800m, they reached the foot of the hill, where there was a rebellion! 7 abandoned the walk, leaving one member to climb Ben Tee on his own. Because of the deep snow, it took over 3 hours to reach the top. Again heavy snow/hail showers blew through, but he was awarded with clear conditions on top (11.5km, 870m, 5 hrs).
One member headed back towards Glasgow, but as conditions were better further south, climbed Dumgoyne and Earl's Seat (570m) in the Campsies (10km, 700m).
The rest headed towards the A9 in tricky road conditions. 4 stopped to climb the Sow of Atholl (803m), but were defeated 100m in height from the top because of blizzard conditions (6km, 300m).
The other 2 headed to Blair Atholl and started a walk from the Old Bridge of Tilt, visiting the Balvenie Pillar then proceeded by the rifle range to reach Gilbert's Bridge and return by the raging River Tilt (10km, 300m, 2hrs 30).
A very enjoyable social weekend - even played cards without the "Big 3".


Sun 9th February 2020
Day Meet - Cruach Ardrain & Beinn Tuaichean

Meet cancelled due to the bad weather forecast : Storm Ciara

Mon 3rd February 2020
Open Meeting - Annual Photographic Competition

Held at Forfar Fire Station at 19:30. 25 members and a guest attended. This was followed by the annual club photographic competition, judged by James Anderson.

Note: when viewing photos below, Select a photo. The small "i" in a circle gives information about who took it, and other details about the photo. On a phone, you might have to use the 3-dots symbol, depending on what browser the phone is using.
Results as follows:-

Photograph of the year - the Brian Coull Memorial Trophy
1. David Sinclair
2. Clare Stewart
3. Willie Mather

Collection of the year - the Norrie Trophy
1. Jackie Arbuthnott
2. Fleur Baxter
3. Nicola Baillie & David Sinclair (equal)

The best photo, best collection, and all entries can be viewed here.


Sun 19th January 2020
Day Meet -Bennachie - followed by Annual High Tea

27 members boarded the bus at Edzell Muir car park at 08:00, and were treated to a beautiful sunrise as we drove north. We picked up a guest at Westhill and carried on to start walking on the B992 near Towmill Farm at 09:30. The new Aberdeen bypass has certainly speeded up access to Bennachie. The route followed the relatively new Gordon Way until the plateau. It was a pleasant and easy climb through deciduous woodend, open areas with gorse, and forestry plantations, where a crossbill was spotted. We then left the Way and headed over to Hermit Seat (478m). The ground was frozen solid making the going easy across boggy areas. From there, we headed to the busier part of the range, crossing Watch Craig (497m) before reaching the highest point, Oxen Craig (529m), where we stopped for our first break, admiring the views all round. Lochnagar and Ben Avon in the west were snow covered. The route then headed east to the shapely Mither Tap (518m) with the ruins of the Iron-Age fort still visible. It was rather breezy on top. A descent through sparse woodland took us to a bealach, where we stopped for our second break. A steep climb took us to the top of Milestone Hill (408m), which again served up superb views. The descent was steep, by a newly built path down through mixed woodland to reach the bus at Donview car park at 14:50. Bus departed at 15:10 and reached Edzell at 16:35. Distance 13.5km, ascent 650m.
3 members had a very enjoyable meet to Sturdy Hill, Glen Esk in good dry conditions. The start of the walk was near Auchmull Farm. Access was through a deer fence gate and keeping to the west track up to Craigancash (542m). The easterly route towards the trig point at the summit of Sturdy Hill (544m) was over rough ground. The descent was over rough ground to meet the track which meanders up and down to link back to the original track down to Auchmull Farm. The walk started at 11:40 and finished at 16:10. Distance 8.5km, ascent 450m.
The 27 Bennachie group and 3 Sturdy Hill group were joined by 5 other members for a high tea in the Panmure Arms (35 in total).


Mon 6th January 2020
Open Meeting - Norway presentation

Held at Forfar Fire Station at 19:30. 23 members, a guest and the speaker attended. Following the short meeting and refreshments, the published talk on “The John Muir Trust", didn't take place. Instead Iain McLachlan, ex-president of the Brechin Photographic Society gave an illustation talk on "Norway". Iain has visited Norway as a young man, spending a summer working on a remote farm. Since then he had re-visited many times over a 40 year period, often staying with the same farming family. He presented photographs from the farm, trips to their summer pastures, reindeer hunting and ice fishing with the family. In addition, he had travelled widely over Norway, sometimes by boat. He included photographs of the Lofoten Islands, and trips in winter to search for the northern lights. To complete his talk, Iain presented a series of photographs of the Angus landscape, taken from a drone, which is another of his hobbies. A very good talk. Thank you.

Thurs 2nd January 2020
New Year Meet - Glenduckie Hill & Norman's Law

15 members attended. We met at car park at south side of Tay Road Bridge, and took 4 cars to a layby on A913 near Glenduckie. We set out at 9:45 climbing steeply to the hill fort, and then onto the wooded top of Glenduckie Hill (218m). The route then went through thick forest then into more open countryside. We got disorientated for a while here, but eventually found the Fife Coastal Path and stopped for a break just we we started climbing again. Then it was a pleasant walk along farm and forest roads to the foot of Norman's Law, which we overshot a bit. A quick crossing of a field and a steep climb brought us to the top of Norman's Law (285m). Unfortunately the views weren't that great due to the rain that was beginning to sweep in. The group then descended eastwards, down slippery rock outcrops to reach the trees, and don full waterproofs. By now the wind had risen and the rain was stinging our faces. We turned south into the wind and followed a vague track down through a herd of highland cattle to reach Denmuir Farm, and before Ayton turned NW towards the Coastal Path. Before reaching it, we stopped for another break in the shelter of the trees. Afterwards, we headed on the Coastal Path for a while then headed to Glenduckie village and reached the cars at 14:15. 12 of the group ended up in "The Newport" for coffee and beer. We started in dry conditions with a strong south-westerly wind, but unfortunately the weather turned nasty for the second half of the walk. Distance 12.5km, ascent 550m.