The weather was pretty wild as I left Burghead – it was raining heavy and the forecast mentioned sleet and snow for the big mountains. The plan was to climb my local Corbett Ben Rinnes with the start of the Moray Walking Festival and I thought the weather would put a few off but a hardy 6 turned up in the windy car park. Dianne ( the busy coordinator was also there and took a few photos before we set out and explained the plan had a we chat introductions and then off. Dianne then dashed off on another chore for the Festival what a lassie. I had two friends with me Gail and Derrick to help as the weather may mean that we may not all get to the top. No one had climbed Ben Rinnes before so it would be an interesting day. We were all of differing ambitions but a couple had never been on a hill before but this is what the Walking Festival is about and to have some fun and a bleather if you can talk and walk! It would be an interesting walk and maybe testing for the weather conditions.
The car park was quite and looked like the road had been improved and new tarmac was down. The hill is looked after by a local group the “Friends of Ben Rinnes” who do a great job maintaining the path and keeping this busy hill tidy. Ben Rinnes 841 metres is the dominating summit of Moray and is a very popular hill walk. The views, as might be expected, are extremely extensive, taking in much of northeast Scotland. From the summit it is possible to see 8 counties (Aberdeenshire. Banffshire, Moray, Nairnshire, Inverness – shire, Ross and Cromarty, Sutherland and Caithness) and on a clear day even the Moray coast. Another draw for the walker are the waterfalls from the many rivers that flow down the mountain such as Linn of Ruthie.
This is whisky country and a magical place to be. Would we be lucky today with the weather?
Chat before we go ready for the June weather.
I had winterized my bag with a few warm clothes and we set of with waterproofs on and fearing the worst of the winds. Though it was June we had hat and gloves on from the start. We were soon off and the hill is a steady plod but on the first bit up Round hill we amazed at the many wild flowers that were about despite the weather and the colours blue, yellow and white made a change from the grayness of the sky.
This wee hill is in 4 stages and we were all going well and I had a quick change as I getting warm and the wind was dying down the forecast had said may 35 – 40 knots on the top pretty windy but we were sheltered and the track is good. As we wandered up Roy’s hill getting grand views of Moray and the neighboring Corbett Corriehabbie Hill with its top clear but the Cairngorms were grey and in cloud .
From here it is a steep pull up the Scurran of Locherlandoch (a great name) with its erosion and the smell of the burnt heather from a fire a few months ago. We took it easy as this is the steep part and had a few stops for views and a break. It was cold but when walking was okay and the rain and wind had stopped all were going well and looked like they were loving the views and lost in their own thoughts.
We saw a couple of Ptarmigan among the heather but no chicks they would be hiding out of the weather today! The ptarmigan is a plump gamebird, slightly larger than a grey partridge. In summer, is a mixture of grey, brown and black above with white bellies and wings. In winter, it becomes totally white except for its tail and eye-patch, which remain black. It breeds in the highest mountains of the Highlands of Scotland on the Arctic like landscape there. Birds are residents, seldom moving far from breeding sites. In severe cold weather, birds may move from the highest ground to the edge of forests.
The ptarmigan is a plump gamebird, slightly larger than a grey partridge. In summer, is a mixture of grey, brown and black above with white bellies and wings. In winter, it becomes totally white except for its tail and eye-patch, which remain black. It breeds in the highest mountains of the Highlands of Scotland on the Arctic like landscape there. Birds are residents, seldom moving far from breeding sites. In severe cold weather, birds may move from the highest ground to the edge of forests.
We were soon on the final plateau and in the mist the Granite Tors sheltering us from the wind. We left the bags just below the summit and then had a scramble to the top enjoyed by all. No view but the summit shot then down for a break out of the wind sheltered by the rocks.
The break for lunch was great and those that wanted had a dram thanks to the Moray Walking Week toasted the two birthdays in the party and then headed down. The weather again brightened up and we got views again.
It was an easy walk down even the steep bit we all went well the views came out and there others were a few on this lovely hill. It was an enjoyable walk and at the car park all were happy. I headed to the cafe for a coffee and a cake for Gail and Derrick who were with me all day as a thanks and then home.
A great fun day on our own we hill. I was asked what is a mountain is Ben Rinnes a mountain” to me a mountain is what you want it to be and Ben Rinnes is a grand mountain in a special place, we are all very lucky.
Thanks for a good day and all the efforts of the Moray Walking Festival!
Ben Rinnes is a Corbett
The Corbetts are peaks in Scotland that are between 2,500 and 3,000 feet (762.0 and 914.4 m) high with a prominenceof at least 500 feet (152.4 m). The list was compiled in the 1920s by John Rooke Corbett, a Bristol-based climber and SMC member, and was published posthumously after his sister passed it to the SMC.[ 221 Corbetts, many of them in areas of Scotland with no Munros include Moidart,Ardgour, the Southern uplands and the islands of Arran, Jura, Rum and Harris.
- List of Corbetts
A list of Corbett Tops, covering every mountain in Scotland with between 2,500 and 3,000 feet (762.0 and 914.4 m) of height and between 100 and 500 feet (30.48 and 152.4 m) of relative height, was published by Alan Dawson in 2001. There are currently 673 of them, including the 221 Corbetts.