Friday, 20 April 2012

Dog Tired on Dungeon Hill

After our early lunch stop on Craignaw, we began our journey across to Dungeon hill. It is a tricky hill to find the steep gully to get off Craignaw but my memory served me right and took the right route first time. In misty conditions it can be treacherous trying to find a way down to the Devils bowling green.

The devils bowling green is an area of huge "boiler plates" of granite slabs with lots of small stones scattered around resembling bowling balls. The small stones were not placed there by humans but left when the glacier melted and dumped its deposits on the slabs. This photo is of the bowling green looking back to Craignaw.

Looking towards Dungeon Hill from the bowling green.

My friend Russell standing in the foreground which gives the photo of the area a better feeling of scale

Finally we arrived at the cairn marked on the OS map which is on the bealach between Craignaw and Craignairny. We were now approximately one third the way round the circular route that we hoped to do. My legs started feeling the strain of climbing to the top of Dungeon Hill. Holly silently hopped along behind us. She doesn't complain and doesn't wander far.

A final push through the rocky crags on the top of Dungeon Hill brough us to the summit cairn. By now all our legs were feeling the effort of hiking in the rough goround of the Galloway hills.

However the views made it all worth the effort. Looking northwards we could now see the third and final hill on our walk. It also marked the half way point, after that it was downhill all the way back to the car at Loch Trool. However.. I knew it would be a struggle climbing the round lump of a hill called Mullwharchar.

The full length of the silver flowe shimmered in the valley below. I could make out the various bogs that make it such a dangerous place

Zooming into the closest bog, I could see the stagnant water that had no bottom.. however there appeared to be the odd path crossing the flowe

North east was just as an impressive view looking along the cliffs of Brishie towards loch Doon. After another short break we headed for Mullwharchar. Somewhere on the descent route, Holly lost her coat and I never noticed until too late. We couldn't find it despite retracing our steps for a fair distance. The cold wind could have taken it for miles.

We started the slow slog up Mullwharchars featureless slopes and were around half way when Holly made it clear that she had enough of this hill. She started to make a little nest in the long grass and sat down refusing to go any further. I picked her up and noticed she was wet and cold so I too sat down so she could sit on my dry legs. No sooner had she settled ..she then started snoring loudly. I waited with Holly while Russell topped the summit of Mullwharcher. This photo was taken looking over Loch Enoch from our resting place. It was another six miles back to the car.

However..with the occasional coaxing with pieces of sandwich, Holly made it all the way back. In fact she had some energy to spare because she started pulling on the leash when she saw some sheep, not far from the car. This is undoubtably our longest walk together. It was twelve and a half miles and climbed a total of 3500ft. I know of at least six legs that were stiff the following day. Hope your's were OK Russell and thanks for your company..we enjoyed the day :-D


russell said...

Great day out, Donny. It was great to have somebody who knew the area so well to follow. We'll have to have another walk in the area soon. Braw photos. Thanks again, Russell

blueskyscotland said... walked in every part of Scotland and the Galloway hills are by far the toughest if you leave the paths and go cross country.Elephant herds can get lost in the tussocks of the silver flowe.

Donny Wilcox said...

Hi Russell and Bob.. thanks for looking in. I agree the galloway hills are hard work...but soo worth it. Im looking forward to getting down that way again :-D

Douglas Wilcox said...

Hi Donald that's reminded me of the similar trip we did down there with Alasdair Brookes, probably in the seventies. We were in pouring rain and mist all day but we didn't do Mulwharchar as well that day. I remember navigating through the Wolf's Slock from Craignaw to Dungeon hill with the walls of the slock amplified by the mist making it look like the Grand Canyon!

Donny Wilcox said...

Hi Douglas.. yup.. I bet these photos brought back many memories for you too.

Hope you get back to the walking soon..even the track of the Southern Upland Way would give you a flavour of this area again

Doreen Murgatroyd said...

One would tread very carefully over on the part of the bog which had 'what appeared to be pathways' crossing it. Someone must have found those pathways. Who might that have been?

Donny Wilcox said...

Hi Doreen..thanks for looking at the blog..and I agree..I would be very wary of crossing the Silver Flowe..I was always told to keep well away when I was a kid..but I have seen some references on the internet that it can be crossed around the Nick of the Dungeon area..but please dont take my word for it.. the references I found may not be very accurate