Day 12

Day 12 Glenbuchat to Gartley Moor

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Monday 22nd May

Day 12

34km

801m ascent

Grahams 1

Camp in the trees

Glen Buchat
The morning was very cold with sleet showers and I was soon packed and walking up the track to Creag an Sgor which got the circulation going again with the help of a few sunny intervals.

Peat hags again!

Looking across Glen Buchat
The ridge to The Buck is easy walking with a few very good peat hags along the way to keep it interesting and with the wind increasing everything dried quickly between the showers. The top of The Buck is very cairngorm like with the trig point perched on top of a large lump of granite but the temperature and strength of the wind did not encourage me to linger admiring the view so I rapidly descended the path which got progressivley boggier until near the road it was more like a swamp than a path.

Mount Keen in the distance

Well kept grouse moor
Rather than walk round the road I picked my way through the deep heather and tussock grass to the aptly named White Hill of Bogs and then easily over Turf Hill to reach a farm track and then the road to the start of the path to the Tap o' Noth. There was a large noisy group of schoolkids in the car park at the bottom of the path who had just come down, leaving a deserted path for me to climb to the wind blasted prehistoric hill fort.

The Buck

Tap o' Noth
I found the actual fort interesting but not fascinating, the remains of the vitrified stone ramparts were sparse and it was difficult to get a feeling of what had actually been here. I was glad to get out of the wind as I dropped down to the forest track and walked through the trees on the north side of the Hill of Kirkney until I emerged on the open hillside above Gartley.

Tap o' the Tap o' Noth

Looking back to The Buck
The caravan and campsite marked on the map consisted of two rotting caravans sitting in a field of nettles, thistles and rushes so walking swiftly past and on towards Gartley Moor I found a convenient water trough to fill my Platypus before taking to the track at the edge of the forest.

Looking back to the Tap o' Noth from the forest track

Gartley
I began to despair of finding a good place to pitch with thick forest on one side and steep arable fields on the other untill I came to the level top of a grass field, there were sheep and cattle in it but sheep are not generally a problem and I hoped the cattle would stay lower down, which they did. It was a perfect site with enough wind to solve condensation problems and a great view of the showers sweeping across Strath Bogie although when I spoke to the farmer who drove round later to check his animals he seemed slightly bemused that anyone would chose to camp up here for the night. Gartley Moor (about to rain!)

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