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Report on Shalloch on Minnoch
Saturday 1st July 2006

It all seemed much better now, as we downed our drinks in the Black Bull in Straiton – in fact Pat and Ann had had a change of tune, instead of collapsing on the sofa at home they were contemplating a night out on the tiles! However, it was a different story just an hour before as a walk weary crew made their way back to the carpark…….

On Saturday 1st July two car loads of Craggy walkers headed for the Stinchar Falls in order to summit the highest point in Ayrshire – Shalloch on Minnonch. We set off in high spirits and were undaunted by our first obstacle – a river crossing (well, a stream actually!). In order to ford this expanse of water some of the ladies stripped off (steady lads, it was only their boots and socks) and crossed with dignity and decorum (check out the photo) while the rest of us put our faith in a hop, skip and a jump across. (Thanks for the loan of the towel Kevin – it’s always best to be prepared!)

We were soon ascending the lower slopes of Shalloch – the views were a bit hazy but we were able to view many of the lochs that peppered the Galloway forrest, one of them a personal favourite (check it out at 446925).

After a short tea break at the “picnic rock” (some came well prepared with self inflating seat mats!) we headed up the final slope to the top of Shalloch on Minnoch. Close to the top the cloulds (or smoke!!) rolled in a bit, but we managed occasional glimpses of the scenery before we reached the OS pillar marking the top – SHOCK! HORROR! – this was not the top – the highest point in Ayrshire was actually a couple of hundred yards away. As we made our way to the “real top” one slightly disorientated walker was heard to say “there’s another of those concrete things over there” – unaware it was the OS pillar we had just left!!

A quick descent took us to Nick of Carclach where the weather had cleared and a number of the party made a quick ascent to Tarfessock for a group photo and some excellent views over towards the hills behind Loch Doon.

A long descent over rough ground (there were a few trips, tumbles & giggles) took us to Tunskeen bothy – unfortunately this was in poor state of repair, so we had a well deserved break sitting in the sun on the rocks outside.
After the break we headed down the forest path and then began the arduous ascent up the northern slopes of Big Meowl – hard going when there’s no path! After a bit of puffing & panting (swearing?) we reached the top and took a well earned rest lying in the sun and looking out over Loch Girvan Eye. By this stage the rough terrain was starting to take its toll, weary knees and sore muscles that we didn’t know we had!

We set off again, and a cross country traverse (a.k.a. bog hopping) soon brought us to the shores of Cornish Loch and, believe it or not, a PATH! From the shores of the loch we made the quick ascent of Cornish Hill and then a short descent back to the car park – where there were smiles all round and cries of “I thought he said 5 hours” and “lets get to the pub”!

Another trip to the Galloways is in the planning – be prepared!

PS – well done to Ryan (one of our super fit junior walkers).

Mark Kinnon

Does my bum look big in these ?
Follow the leader
Man with no feet conquers Ayrshire's highest mountain !!
Waiting for the auld yins.
That's it, nice and horizontal.
Let's not walk around these akward boulders.
Loch Girvan Eye
Anyone want another pole - £15 each ?
Knackered ?
Even more knackered ?
You too ?
Photos: Mark Kinnon

There's also a panorama shot of Cornish Loch which can be viewed from the Panoramas Page

Affiliated to: 

Mountaineering Council of Scotland
Scottish Youth Hostels Association

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