Great day on the spur of the moment and after my visit to hospital it was a blue sky day. My local Corbett Ben Rinnes was looking great and I felt that 4 weeks on from my latest operation it was time to have a go. I few phone calls meant that an old friend Gail was off work and a late start would be ideal and we met at 1130 for the 30 minute drive to Ben Rinnes. The drive takes you past all the great distilleries of the area and in a day like this everything was looking great. At 841 metres Ben Rinnes was the biggest hill I have done since last year but what a day to be out. The wee car park was busy with 6 cars and after the initial sorting of gear out and sunscreen we were off.
It is a great track well maintained and no litter at all, the sky just so blue and even a few bumble bees out. I was a bit worried how I would go but we took it easy and having Gail with me was great company. The smell of burnt heather from the “hill burn” was fairly strong and the whole side of the hill had been burnt badly, we saw little wild life all day.
Ever wondered what these stripes of land are on the hill – They’re fire scars. The vast majority of them are started deliberately by landowners and farmers in order to create ideal conditions for upland birds such as grouse? But yes, the main reason behind it is economic, ie creating good shooting moors for the lucrative grouse shooting to be had all over the UK. It is also used by various agencies as land management but today it looked a barren waste.
From a friend.
“There was a wildfire on Ben Rinnes a few weeks ago, took 9 fire engines and lots of hard work to put it out. The Heather is very dry and just the slightest thing will set it off. Not sure on the cause but they had been burning grouse strips earlier in the month”
Ben Rinnes is a great wee hill and we met some lovely people two teachers from a local school who are going to take their kids up later in the month for a Charity . They were doing an assessment of the hill and hopefully the kids will have a great day. The views are magic the Moray Coast and the lush farmland and distilleries abound. The weather was great perfect for walking and the wind had dropped the views of the still snow-capped Cairngorms came into view after about an hours walking and the Granite outcrop that make the summit. We had the summit to ourselves in the sun and I had a scramble on the outcrops and enjoyed the heat and some lunch. It is only about 5 kilometers to the summit and an ascent of 550 metres two hours or less at my pace just now with lots of breaks. I was so pleased a bit sore but so happy to be on this lovely hill. I loved the views and peace and hopefully this is the start of my recovery. The midges were out but never bothered us but it was very hot and great to see the familiar hills and the viewpoint on the summit was of great use. We could see Lossiemouth lighthouse and Lochnagar a North – south line through the summit viewpoint.
We had a great walk off it was getting hotter all the way off and we were soon back at the car and then the easy drive home. A bit sun burnt and tired but what a fun day on the spur of the moment.
Mountains are great medicine add to that the sunny weather, good company and I am feeling sore but so much better.