Monday, 30 January 2012

ADRC Recce for Dalry walk. January 2012

You have to use your imagination here. I came up with a female lioness.

Blair Castle. Hope the sun is still shining next week.
Today Monday January 30th I decided as it was such a nice day I would try and recce my Dalry walk which I had tried to do earlier on in the month and got into all sorts of bother. I will give few details today as a fuller blog will follow next Sunday when I do the walk.The part I had dificulty with on the last recce was again today quite challenging but the frosty ground helped as there are areas that are extremely boggy,lets hope for a frosty day next Sunday .Alternatively there is a hard road walk so that will be a decision for the group on the day. We will be meeting at our usual car park in Millbrae,Ayr at 8.50AM  please bring gaiters if you have them as this could turn out to be a very muddy walk .Fuller details and contact telephone number are as published in this weeks Ayrshire Post.

Saturday, 28 January 2012

ADRC Troon to Dundonald on the Smugglers Trail. January 2012

Walk start at the closed toilets in Troon.

Setting off along the shore.

Frosty elevenses at Fullarton House

Here's a couple of antiques.

I thought our American readers would appreciate this sign!!

The smugglers trail.

At one time this was the town of Troons water supply.

Dundonald Castle (circa 1371)

Our leader.
Today Saturday January 28th ADRC with 26 walkers set off from South Beach in Troon to do a 7 mile walk to Dundoald on an old smugglers trail. Crossing over Royal Troon golf links on a very frosty morning we were not alone several hardy golfers with their coloured balls were trying to play on the frozen links.Passing the old Crosbie Church which was part of last weeks walk with South Ayrshire we went into the estate of Fullarton House to have  our coffee stop beside some open toilets.As we passed a field there were large flocks of geese feeding much to the delight of some local twitchers with their telescopes . We then passed through the village of Loans to take us onto the next part of the smugglers trail when our leader told us that in years gone by some people would bring in ships of spirits and tobacco and transport them up this road to Dundonald. In other words this was the early version of todays booze cruises. Once we reached Dundonald Castle we had a lunch stop where some of the group then went for the bus home to leave the rest of the group to do a return walk  over Dundonald Hill to complete a 14 mile ramble.Super day out in the winter sunshine with lots of local history storys .

Glenapp to Ballantrae. January 2012

Always like to take a photo of the ferry.

This is the very muddy road to Portandea.

The burns were in full flow today.

Currarie Port Bay with a distant Ailsa Craig.

Just as well the bridge was still here on the Shallochwreck Burn.

7 mile walk today.

A very muddy me!!
Yesterday Friday 27th January I caught the bus to Glaenapp via Girvan to meet up with teacher for a 7 mile walk along the Ayrshire Coastal Path to Ballantrae.When the bus dropped us off the rain was pouring down and it was thoroughly miserable but the forecast said it was to improve. We had planned to visit Portendea on the way but as we climbed up the path above Loch Ryan we decided to give it a miss as we were geting soaked we would just make our way to Ballantrae. Once on the top the rain eased and the sun tried to make an appearance but underfoot was pretty soft. If we made good time we thought we might catch an earlier bus home but after we passed through Currarie Port bay which takes you onto the cliff path the going deteriorated dramatically to pure muck and running water. We carried on but the chances of catching  the earlier bus were abandoned as our progress along this stretch was exceedingly slow. Going down a very steep muddy slope I slipped and down I went into the muck where I was heard to mutter the odd naughty word. Once clear of cliff path we stopped for a late lunch before making our way back to Glenapp Castle Hotel gates. When we arrived in Ballantrae I took off some of my dirty clothing as I thought the bus might refuse to take me in that state. Anyway we completed the walk but  both agreed this path is meant for summer outings and one to avoid in the winter.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Grey Hill /Byne Hill,Girvan. January 2012

We met this fine resplendent kilted gentleman enjoying a walk on our national bards birthday. (Robert Burns)

The teacher trying to stay upright in the gale force wind.

No this is not the teacher trying to "bore" me!!

Another bored walker.

A very grey looking Ailsa Craig.
Today Wednesday January 25th I went to Girvan on the bus to meet up yet again with the teacher . We decided to do a climb that would not take us too far from Girvan or the A77 as the forecast was for heavy rain so we  could make a quick exit back to town. The morning was very breezy but dry as we made our way up the Byne Hill (214M) onto Fell (264M) before reaching the summit of Grey Hill (297M)At this point it was difficult to stand up straight as the wind at this height was now gusting up at gale force levels we descended very quickly over Cairn Hill(249M) back to the lower slopes where we managed to get some shelter . We then proceeded back to Girvan as the rain came on as forecasted we finally arrived back at the harbour after a great 9 mile walk in some pretty atrocious conditions but as usual I found it great fun and very exilirating ,not so sure about my partner on this walk as he looked a wee bit knackered after battling the strong winds. Mind you he says he will have recovered by Friday as we plan to go out again this time to Glenapp for a wee walk on the Ayrshire Coastal Path. Hope the winds have dropped by then.

Monday, 23 January 2012

ARDC. Beneraird and Smyrton Hills, Glenapp. January 2012

Walkers at the start.

Lots of fences and walls to be crossed today.

Elevenses in the lea of a hill.

The group at the summit of Beneraird.(424M)

The only ones who made it to the top of Smyrton (340M)
First of all may I apologise to everyone for being a wee bit late with the postings of Saturday and Sundays walks this was due to a technical hitch either with my computer or the blog settings. Not sure what was wrong so I must make contact with the Newton Stewart blogger to seek out his professional opinion.
  Anyway onto yesterdays walk 21 of us met at the crossroads on the A77 in Glenapp to climb Beneraid and Smyrton Hills. These are hills I have climbed in the past but todays route was a wee bit different from our normal one. We followed a line of pylons which led us to the track that comes up from Ballantrae. Once we were on the top of Beneraid I took over for the next part of the walk to go and see the remains of a Liberator aircraft which crashed on Pildinny Hill in 1945. 17 American service personell lost their lifes in the accident with only 3 surviving. We now followed a track through some heather and tussocks to get to the Leana Burn where we had our lunch stop.Afterwards to avoid some cattle we took a detour along the burn before climbing up onto Smytron  which due to the angle we approched we finished up on Benawhirn. 8 hardy souls decided as we were so close we would carry onto Smyrton and rejoin the group as they made their way back to the start. A very windy day with one small hail shower made this an excellent walk considering the weather some parts of the country were experiencing. Thanks to our leader for working out a new route to a favourite walk of mine , my apologies sir that I omitted to take your photo for the purposes of this blog but  am sure to correct this error on your next fine walk as leader.

South Ayrshire Ramblers. Prestwick to Barrassie circular. January 2012

Walkers being briefed by the leader.

The sea state today was "rough"

Making our way along the shore against the wind.

These two appear oblivious to the conditions!

These berries are  known as Sea Buckthorn.

At the view point on top of the ballast bank.

A rambling colleague used to own this building in Troon.

Troon has some rather affluent areas.

Fullarton Woods were carpeted in snowdrops.

An early flowering rhodedendrum.

Another Ryanair flight leaves Prestwick Airport.

Fullarton House

Todays birthday girl with her sash.

Our jovial leader.
Today Saturday January 21st I joined up with South Ayrshire ramblers on a 12 mile circular coastal walk from Prestwick to Barrassie. On a very windy cold morning 14 of us left the railway car park and made our way onto the shore for the first part of the walk against the wind towards Troon.It was quite difficult at first until you got warmed up a bit as the conditions were quite testing to say the least. At Troon we climbed up what is known locally as "the ballast bank" as it was constructed from ship's ballast. On the promenade road we found large bushes of sea buckthorn which is a favourite of fielfares as great source of vitmin D As we walked the Barrassie shore we stopped to watch the wind surfers out on the water trying to stay upright in the strong winds. we now made our way around the edges of Darley golf course to the Fullarton Woods and into the grounds of the house. Our leader gave us a brief history of the area and pointed out that the railway line that passsed nearby was the firstone in Scotland to carry fare paying passengers.Next we visited the site of the old Crosbie Church and cemetry where again we learnt a little bit of its history but this time we  were treated to a reading of some poetry. Once on the cycle track we made our way past Prestwick Airport back to the railway station to end a very entertaining windy walk. Thanks to the leader who was leading today for the first time as a member you did an excellent job handling the hecklers in the group.

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Culzean Estate to Mochrum Hill.January 2012

The teacher on the summit of Mochrum Hill (270M)

Even I managed to get my picture taken.

This track is for auto cross bikes. Don't know the significance of the shirt,they are supposed to land on the old carpet.

I was tryimg to catch the colour of the sky which was really black against the sea.
Today courtesy of the bus pass I met the teacher at Culzean for a short walk up through Mochrum Woods and onto the summit. It was a clear cold morning when we set off, we soon warmed up with climb to the summit and were rewarded with good views all around this hill. We took a detour away from the normal track to add a bit of mileage to the walk only to find ourselves descending on an auto cross track but fortunately today there were no bikers. We then crossed the road and entered into Culzean Estate via the old railway line on a stretch neither of us had walked before . Eventually we came to the pay gate at the entrance to the castle which is now open throughout the winter so we took to a forest and a very steep embankment to avoid paying any dues. The teacher is a member but I have allowed mine to lapse perhaps with the amount of time I spend there I should really renew it.Lunch at the visitors centre was to be followed by a walk along the cliff paths when the sky turned colour to  a very dark grey we decided to cut  short our walk and make for the main road to catch the earlier bus back to Girvan and Ayr. Probably covered about 5 miles to make this a short winters outing without getting soaked.

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Details of an emergency involving The Air Ambulance January 2012

The following blog is about an emergency  that Cunninghame Ramblers experienced last weekend whilst walking in the hills south of New Cumnock.The victim who it transpires has a double fracture of her ankle has my fullest sympathy but from a situation like that what can we as responsible ramblers and walk leaders learn from it. After discussion today with some of the members involved I felt it was beneficial to record some of their thoughts and ideas which may help us all in the future if we are ever unfortunate enough to be in a similar situation. 1. When you phone 999 on your mobile in this case due to the location your call is directed to an ambulance co-ordinator based in Glasgow. Give as much detail as you can re location etc take photos of the hills or lochs closest to you with your phone to transmit to the base which could enable someone IE a helicoptor pilot  to locate you more readily and also relay the extent of the injuries you think the victim has sustained..
2 It is the co-ordinator who determines whether you get an air ambulance or the normal one with paramedics.
3.Space blankets should be compulsary amongst each individual member of a group so they can be used in an emergency such as this.
4.If any of the other walkers wish to leave the emergency situation EG to assist the paramedics to locate your position they should only go if they possess a mobile phone so that they can keep in touch with the group at all times.
5.If you possess one of these new high tech phones like an "I" phone for instance please remeber that you operate them with your finger which transmits heat to the screen. If your hands are cold as was the case in this emergency one of the walkers thought his phone was not working but as he found out later due to the severity of the his cold fingers that was the reason his phone would not operate.
6.Make sure that the other members of the group keep themselves warm as you could find yourself with more than one casualty on your hands.
  Basically in conclusion these are some of the  points which were  raised by the group  involved in this incident I hope you find informative and take on board some of the issues mentioned.
   Finally I wish the lady involved who incidentally was a guest of the group on Sunday and  now finds herself   in Crosshouse Hospital a speedy recovery and hope you  return to rambling in the near future.

  Final final footnote must come from the group's comedian who told us today the lady in question can only have 3 free helicoptor rides before they ask her to take up full membership of the ramblers!!

Cunninghame Ramblers. Tracks to Blackcraig Nr Kirkconnel January 2012

Walkers at the start.

Looking for somewhere to sit for our coffee break.

The burn had frozen leaving the icicles.

Todays group

The leader
Today Tuesday January 17th it was a cold misty morning that greeted the ramblers when they met up on a forestry road just outside Kirconnel for an 9 mile walk towards Blackcraig Hill. As it was so dreich there are only a few photos worthy of posting even at that I am not too happy with the quality. 20 of us left our cars and walked up the forestry road which was a steady climb for about 3 miles before going onto moorland which took us up to a cairn which our leader told us had wonderful views on a clear day but alas not today as at this point the mist was fairly thick. The Kilmarnock rocket was given his usual yellow card for going on too far in front of the group as safety is paramount in these conditions.Lunch was taken on the hillside but was cut fairly short as it was so cold. A pleasant walk back down the path back to the cars saw a noticable rise in the temperature at the lower level. Thanks to the leader who had the unenviable job of guiding us through the mist on the moors and back to the start safely.