Saturday, 17 January 2015
A Fare day
A cold day with an even colder wind - it's been the way of things in the north-east of Scotland for the last few weeks. Too windy for kayaking, too windy for practical days on the higher hills but perfect for days out on the lower hills.
The Hill of Fare is a sprawling, rolling area of heather moorland overlooking Banchory on Deeside. The "normal" route goes up from Raemoir to the south of the hill and is quite short; the far longer but (in my opinion) far finer route goes from the east of the hill near Echt, offering a spacious feel and wide views for almost the entire way.
On setting out from the road I found that I'd left my camera at home. The I did have my smartphone though, a Samsung Galaxy S5 and so I took the images on that - and on the whole I was quite impressed with how they turned out - it is a phone after all! This view shows the ever-present Mither Tap of Bennachie on the right, and Cairn William with good snow cover on the left.
Emerging from the forest one is straight away onto the broad shoulder of the hill. There are good tracks right across the high ground and with good snow cover this may well make a good ski tour.
Pausing for breath in the frigid cold air, I looked back to a super view right over the city of Aberdeen and out to the North Sea - I could clearly make out ships anchored off the harbour.
Although less than in most years, the snow cover enhanced the landscape enormously and the all-round views were really good.
To the west the higher Deeside hills were intermittently under sweeping snow-showers, emerging each time a little bit whiter than before.
The summit of Hill of Fare (a "Marilyn" and 471 metres/1545 feet high) is not where the name appears on the map but about 2 kilometres to the south-west. The actual top is marked only by a boulder and a couple of smaller stones; in poor visibility or under deep snow it would be a challenge to find. The outward route is a full 10 kilometres, as would be my return, but the views more than made up for the distance - a hill to save for a "Fare" day.