Lovely Day in Aberdeen – what a change in a day. Bennachie a lovely wee hill.

I took and old friend to the eye clinic yesterday afternoon in Aberdeen it is 70 miles each way on the very busy Aberdeen Road and what a change in weather after one day. As usual the eye clinic was busy and the staff exceptional, time for everyone and great care with every patient, amazing. From the rain and mist of Glen Affric to the clarity of yesterday it was a majestic morning  with the sky out all day and great views all the way. Sunglasses were worn all the way the sun was so strong a hint for winter driving?  On the way the lovely wee hill Bennachie  is a range of hills in Aberdeenshire It has several tops, granite tors and the highest of which, Oxen Craig, has a height of 528 m (1733 feet). Though not particularly high, compared to other peaks within Scotland, the mountain is very prominent, owing to its isolation and the relative flatness of the surrounding terrain, and dominates the skyline from several viewpoints. I love this wee hill and have only climbed it a few times I did not have the time today but I must get up it this winter.

"Bennachie from the North" by Tommfuller - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bennachie_from_the_North.jpg#/media/File:Bennachie_from_the_North.jpg

“Bennachie from the North” by Tommfuller

The peak that stands out the most visually is Mither Tap (518 m, 1699 feet) and from its top there are good views of the county to the north and east. Most of the tops lie along an east / west ridge, with the exception of Millstone Hill (409 m) an outlier or spur which is separated from and to the south of the main ridge. Mither Tap has an Iron Age Fort on its summit. Unlike with many other hilltop forts in the area, there are no signs of virtification on the stone. Bennachie is visible from a number of distant points; it is a lovely mountain.

The distinctive shape of Bennachie is a landmark that’s meant ‘home’ for thousands of years. People have lived in a fort carved into the hill top, and in radical farming settlements on its slopes. They’ve quarried its stone to build houses, and spun yarns about devils and giants who built its tracks or threw its giant boulders in fits of anger. I passed it many times on my way to Aberdeen for my operations and it was a special landmark for me it looked stunning as we returned just as the darkness fell and a clear sky with a magic crescent moon made it a lovely but busy drive home. I never got a chance to get a photo but what a lovely view all the way back.

When I was travelling back from my operations in Aberdeen I saw this hill often on my journeys and it meant so much to me, what another cracker on my doorstep. Last night the wind was up again and the wee house rattling and another wild forecast. The hills are now snow covered in many places and I hope to get out on Thursday and see what is happening on the hills. I must check my bag and check it, get my ice axe and crampons out and big winter gloves and goggles an see what the weather has brought.  Keep checking the weather and see what is happening on the mountains.

1976 Early winter walking on Ben Lui  who is the wee guy with the hat?

1976 Early winter walking on Ben Lui who is the wee guy with the hat?

About heavywhalley.MBE

Lecturer and Mountain Rescue Specialist
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