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Thread: Loch Enoch & Mulwharchar

  1. #1
    ‹bermensch
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    Thanks for posting the pic of Loch Enoch Geoff. Apart form being a nice photo, it reminds me that I really must go up to Galloway again before too long. It's really a very special place (and I'm even remembering the endless tussocks and bog when I say that!).

  2. #2
    Ultra King Paddy Dillon's Avatar
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    For those who don't know... Loch Enoch is indeed a very special place. I don't think I've ever seen a lake with such a crinkly shoreline. The white sandy beaches dip into peat-stained water, so you get all sorts of colour grades as you wander round the shore. It's in the middle of the rugged, remote, boggy Galloway Hills, so you have to put in some serious effort to visit it. If you think it might make an ideal wild camp this summer, the midges might convince you otherwise, but don't let them put you off.

  3. #3
    Goon GeoffC's Avatar
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    It certainly was a wonderful spot in a great 4-day backpack, due mainly to the perfect conditions: unbroken sunshine, clarity and no midge problems. We were surprised to find the whole area completely deserted, but as Paddy says it involves some serious toil at times on wet and tussocky ground that would horrify many people accustomed to paths.
    We are really looking forward to backpacking the eastern section over the Dungeon hills and Rhinns of Kells. Reading Paddy's book, the former sounds similar to the Rhinogs so it should be great - if we can get fine weather before the midges start this year, otherwise we may wait until late Autumn.
    There are more pictures of the area in the report, including the other lochs and a pan from the tent pitch on Rig of the Jarkness.

  4. #4
    Ultra King Paddy Dillon's Avatar
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    Whenever you try and link the Dungeon Hills and Rhinns of Kells, take great care to choose good river crossings between the two. If there's been a lot of rain, expect real difficulty. The rivers, or 'lanes' as they're know locally, can be exceptionally deep over a considerable distance, but occasionally there are bouldery bits or shoals of gravel where the water is more easily crossed. Sometimes, you might even find a footbridge not marked on the map, though these have a habit of coming and going.

    I love those 'Jabberwocky' placenames, like Rig of the Jarkness!

  5. #5
    Goon GeoffC's Avatar
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    ...Sometimes, you might even find a footbridge not marked on the map, though these have a habit of coming and going

    The plan is to use the footbridge over Gala Lane at NX 469902 and the unmapped forest ride leading to it from the west - I hope they are still ok.

  6. #6
    Ultra King Gordy's Avatar
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    That bridge was fine last year at least.

    My old man tells me there was a plan to drill into Mullwharchar and use it as a nuclear dump back when I was still in nappies.

  7. #7
    Ultra King Paddy Dillon's Avatar
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    Mad Jim - that picture shows the difference between boulder-hopping across a 'lane' and being faced with a broad, deep stretch. We haven't had enough rain this past year to shift a bridge like that, so it should be fine.

    Over the years I've been flooded off, snowed off and midge-bitten off the Galloway Hills, so I approach them with caution!

  8. #8
    Ultra King Gordy's Avatar
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    Aye, I'd be suprised if that bridge has budged an inch.

    > I've been flooded off, snowed off and midge-bitten off the Galloway Hills

    It's proper wilderness, eh! :O)

    Geoff - do you have any more info on this "unmapped forest ride"? I'm hatching a plan to do all the Galloway Corbetts in a day but I need to find a route through the forest from Merrick to Corserine.


  9. #9
    Goon GeoffC's Avatar
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    ...Geoff - do you have any more info on this "unmapped forest ride"?

    Here is a 1:25000 map of its approximate position, shown by the arrows leading to the footbridge.


  10. #10
    Ultra King Gordy's Avatar
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    So it just joins the track that swings north to Loch Doon then. Cheers, Geoff.

    I'll find a way through those trees yet. :O)

  11. #11
    Ultra King Paddy Dillon's Avatar
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    On an early trip to the Galloway Hills, using an old map, I forded the Black Water of Dee when it was running wild. My map didn't show the forest tracks on both banks of the river, although I was following one and could clearly see the other. After nearly being swept away while fording the river, imagine my disgust as I hauled myself up the far bank, cold, wet and exhausted, to spot the big concrete vehicle bridge spanning the river!

  12. #12
    Widdler Cameron Scott 3's Avatar
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    I was down there for a run during the winter, heading for Mullwharchar and Dungeon Hill from the car park at the end of Loch Doon. The bridge over the Gala Lane was still there and a lot of the forest rides seem to have been used for 4x4 racing, so much so that there are clumps of branches placed over the worst boggy patches in the forest rides. Someone is using this area (around the Kireoch Burn)as a playground, and they do not appear to be lovers of the outdoors as we define it. It's probably the same clowns that have been damaging the bothys. I packed out what rubbish I found.

    As for midges, the worst attacks I've ever encountered were at the Cauldons camp site. I once saw the attendant sweeping out the toilets, there was a pile of dead midges on the floor that would have filled a carrier bag. My friends and I spent many holidays there, usually leaving earlier than planned due to the midge attacks. One particularly bad one led us to a women's hairdressers in Newton Stewart for a communal head shave and a purchase of women's tights for subsequent midge protection. It's a pity the camp site is now closed, the ranger used to let us camp there in the winter for just a couple of quid and always stopped by to make sure we had returned from the hill safely.

    This area is indeed special, I'm nipping down tomorrow for a run around the Awful Hand. If you see a stumbling mid 40's baldy man give me a wave!

  13. #13
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    Cauldons brings back memories of midgie swarms and missing food (goats) and missing dog (after the goats). Also of having a meal at the pub down the road and not paying for it until the following week!

    We'd just forgotten. "Its OK, a lot of folk do that", was the response when we tried to apologise!

    I've never reached the top of Mullwarchar - I was a couple of hundred feet off once and the dog smelled a goat and we had a 1000' downhill chase over the tussocks befoer I caught him (before he caught the goat). By the time we'd got our breath back it was throwing it down with rain and we both went off the idea!

  14. #14
    Ultra King Paddy Dillon's Avatar
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    Caldons campsite and its midge problem were legendary. The campsite is now closed and there's very long grass there, but you're still OK pitching a tent there so long as you're prepared to fetch and carry your own food and water. After a particularly vicious midge attack I de-camped to the very summit of The Merrick, which turned out to be the only midge-free place in the hills that summer.

  15. #15
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    Friends used to run a campsite down on the Machars on the way to Whithorn, and they regularly got refugees from Caldons who'd been driven mad my the midgies.

    Now I'm getting all nostalgic about the area - it gave me the one and only complete week of blinding sunshine and blue skies I've ever had in Scotland!


  16. #16
    Mini Goon RyanMac's Avatar
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    I camped beside there for 2 nights a good few years back and it was really good.

    It was the first time i was convinced i had seen a big/wildcat and after the first night I was walking on the small beach the next morning to find a half eaten rabbit and some paw prints.

    That night it snowed really heavily and i had a nice long, cold, wet walk back out to clatteringshaws carpark.

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