Friday, 21 December 2018
Blowing in the wind on Corryhabbie Hill
Near the summit of Corryhabbie Hill there's a series of small cairns and stone lined hollows. I can't find much information about their origin, but it's known that Ordnance Survey teams camped on the summit in 1819 and again in 1850. Sometimes the parties built stone shelters to live in and its possible that these are remnants of the shelters.
A fairly level walk along the ridge with splendid views soon arrives at the 781m/2562ft summit which is marked by a trig point within a shelter wall. The trig point is topped by a conical metal "hat", something I've not seen on any other trig pillar. I hunkered down in the lee of the shelter wall to get some respite from the biting cold of a north wind.
In the previous post I remarked on just how expansive the views are from Corryhabbie Hill, and that's why it was selected as a triangulation point for mapping by the Ordnance Survey. The views have recently been altered completely though - to the east of Corryhabbie is Cook's Cairn, a broad ridge of heather...........
.......the north end of which hosts the turbines of the huge Dorenell Windfarm. This has been, and continues to be, a very controversial project for a number of reasons. The Aberdeen Press and Journal (P & J) articles make for interesting reading, as do the ones from Energy Voice. Whatever the controversies and whatever your opinion of onshore wind energy, the simple fact is that the industrialisation of this hill has changed it forever.
I descended from Corryhabbie Hill to a boggy bealach which drains to form the River Livet on one side and the River Fiddich on theo other, thus providing the raw material for some of Scotland's best known whiskies. The 120m/400ft turbines dominate the ridge above, the noise of those which are operating was really obvious.
I was glad to get past the windfarm and follow the Fiddich as it curved around towards my starting point at Bridgehaugh.
The final few kilometres were a joy, some warm October sunshine on my back and glorious autumnal colour around me. I still think that this is a better route to Corryhabbie Hill than the much shorter "up and down" from Glen Rinnes - despite the visual intrusion of Dorenell.