On the Corbett traverse - Martha
28th to 30th July 2023 - Campsite at Kenbridge Hotel, Kirkcudbrightshire
Claire and I left Edinburgh on Friday midday and had a run up Cairnsmore of Carsphairn – including some Blaeberry foraging and stoat-spotting. We enjoyed great views from the top all the way over to Arran and Ailsa Craig, and a lovely grassy descent. In the evening, we congregated with Brendan, Duncan, Doug and Rhi at the campsite of the Ken Bridge Hotel in New Galloway for tent assembling, dinner cooking, beer drinking and hatched out a plan for Saturday.
After breakfast, we split into two teams for a traverse of Shalloch on Minnoch & The Merrick (plus all the Donald and Donald tops along the route). Team North-to-South (Rhi, Brendan and I) started at Stinchar Bridge, whilst team South-to-North (Claire, Doug and Duncan) set off from Glen Trool. Claire and Doug left Duncan, who was taking one for the team and was aiming for an out-and-back walk to facilitate transportation, on The Merrick, where he waited for team North-to-South. The two teams briefly met up in the clag on the summit of Kirriereoch hill before continuing their respective journeys. Team North-to-South didn’t only have to deal with less ascent, it also seemed that we had slightly better weather conditions. Rhi and I made good use of those during a lovely swimble in the Buchan Burn – whilst Claire and Doug spent the last 1.5 hours of their walk in properly rainy conditions.
After drinks in the hotel bar we ambled into the village centre and had a tasty tea in The Smithy, with some more drinks and pool playing back at the hotel bar before heading back into our tents.
For Sunday, we opted for a coastal walk from Rockcliffe to Sandyhills and back – the forecast looked quite a bit better there compared to the hilly areas. Beautiful coves, Belted Galloways, flowers, rope swings and ample scrambling opportunities were seen and had.
I truly enjoyed exploring this (new to me) area of Scotland with a lovely group of people, no midges and significantly less rain than forecast. Special thanks to Duncan for sharing all his local knowledge and getting our dinner reservation sorted on Saturday.