Hiking in the Heat: Mayar and Driesh

In order to make the most of the amazing weather we had been blessed with in Scotland, Sarah and I decided to take a trip to the Angus glens, an area of Scotland I’d never been to, but one that I was keen to explore to enjoy the different landscapes on offer compared to the more rugged ones found in the West Highlands or Arran. We opted for Mayar and Driesh, 2 of the easiest Munros in the country, but even these were made diffucult by the searing heat that us Scots were not used to!

[June 2018]

In order to shorten our journey to Glen Clova and make the most of the fantastic weather, Sarah and I had opted to stay at Ecocamp Glenshee, around an hour or so from Glen Clova. This meant we had a couple of hours less to travel in each direction and could make the most of our trip to explore this very beautiful part of Scotland.

As the mountains in question were not particularly difficult, we had a relaxed start compared to other trips and arrived at the car park in Glendoll around 1030. After donning our boots, we set off along “Jock’s Road”, a famous track linking Glen Clova with Braemar (walking this whole path is definitely a candidate for a future trip!). The going was easy, following a logging track, and this gave us a good opportunity to stretch our legs and warm up before the more strenuous section of the day in a short while.

IMG_7747
Pleasant surroundings
IMG_7753
An easy start to the day

We made good, quick progress along the track and soon reached the end of the logging road, where the path continued as a smaller footpath heading for Corrie Fee.

IMG_7760
Good paths for quick progress

Very soon, the magnificent Corrie Fee came into view. We stopped for a quick water break (the heat was definitely getting to us already!) and soaked up the spectacular scenery for a few minutes, before setting off once again through the corrie to it’s steep back wall, our ascent route for Mayar.

IMG_7767
Corrie Fee
IMG_7773
Stunning scenery in Corrie Fee

Once again, the going was not particularly taxing and we made excellent progress towards the rear of the corrie, stopping once more for water and a short break before our tougher push up and out of the corrie and on to Mayar, our first Munro of the day.

IMG_7784
More of the corrie’s stunning scenery
IMG_7800
More stunning scenery

The tougher, steeper section of our day was fairly short lived thankfully. The walk begins at around 250m and the top of the corrie is around 700m, so there wasn’t a huge amount of ascent or effort required to reach the wide open spaces of these rolling hills.

The going was once again manageable – besides the heat – all the way to the summit of Mayar, which we reached by following a well defined path from the top of the corrie. We reached the summit around lunch time, stopping now for a bite to eat and plenty of water to replace the large quantities that had been sweated out so far!

IMG_7823
Sarah looking towards Driesh from mayar
IMG_7824
Wide open spaces

The views from the summit were excellent. We could see as far as Mount Keen in the east, Lochnagar to the north and the Cairngorms to the west. We did, however, have another Munro to take in, so we opted to get moving and began the short descent and reascent towards Driesh, once more following excellent, well defined paths.

Very soon after leaving Mayar, we reached our second and final Munro of the day – Driesh. The views were equally similar from here, giving the same panorama of open space and rolling hills for miles and miles. A short break was once again in order and some more food and water, before beginning our descent back to the car.

IMG_7839
Sarah on the summit of Driesh

The descent began by retracing our steps as far as the wonderfully named Shank of Drumfollow. From here we followed another path north-east, taking us down gradually to the forest below.

IMG_7853
Easy going on the descent

We soon reached the forest once more, where there were a couple of steeper sections among the generally easy going track back towards Jock’s Road.

IMG_7855
Pleasant woodlands to round off the day

We reached the outbound path a few hundred metres from the car, turning on to this path once again and making our way – with a far better tan than we set out with – back to the car and, more importantly, a stash of ice cold water waiting on us!

All in all, this was an easy and very enjoyable day in the hills, taking us around 5 hours to complete despite the high temperatures. We would also very much recommend Ecocamp Glenshee to anyone looking for cheap accomodation in the area with spectacular views and plenty of peace and quiet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s