Monday, 21 February 2011

Largs Hills with Kilmarnock and Loudoun ramblers Sunday 20 Feb 2011

For today's walk I went to Largs and met up with the Kilmarnock and Loudoun Ramblers who were today tackling a fairly strenuous hill walk up towards Rowantree Hill. 22 walkers left from Largs Academy and climbed up a path leading past the Gogo Water which was soon down in the valley as we were on a very steep ascent at this point, fairly gets the heart pumping on a Sunday morning. Once we were up the first hill we stopped near to the aerial on Cauld Rocks and took a breather as the biting easterly wind had now picked up making the wind chill factor well below freezing level. From here we then climbed to the top of Girtley Hill (385M) but due to the mist all around us it was difficult to pick out the usual landmarks down below us on the Firth of Clyde.From here our intention was to start out over the Bessel Moors and on to Rowantree Hill but as our walk leader rightly pointed out we were now up at the snow level and the ground conditions were very boggy underneath the snow and the summit was shrouded in mist so it was decided to abandon that idea and try and cross the Greeto Water and do a ridge walk back towards the start. After a lunch stop beside the rushing water we set off to look for a crossing point which proved more difficult than first anticipated and after several reccies of varying difficulty this idea was also abandoned as the ground was very sloping and slippy with the mixture of boggy moss and snow several of the ramblers displayed  acrobatic skills whilst sliding down the hill on their backsides.We then headed for higher ground which was a little drier underfoot and climbed back to the summit of Girtley Hill where another well earned breather was taken before we headed over to the Cauld Rocks aerial station and then we made the steep descent back to the cars where we then had this club's traditional "Kilmarnock Huddle" where all walkers form a circle and a nominated member proposes a vote of thanks to the walk leader on behalf of everyone. A very nice idea and one that other groups may wish to consider.A good walk in very difficult conditions.
The Gogo Water
Looking back towards Millport.
Coffee Break.
We soon get spread out.
A rest from the biting Easterly wind.
Now we are up at the snow level.
Aerial view of Largs.
The Kilmarnock Huddle.

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