Burnt Hill & Cairn Caidloch
Date: 24th April 2006
Distance: 9.0 miles
Ascent: 1470 feet
Time: 4 hours 25 mins
With: Lisa, Val and Dave
Start Grid Ref: NO446804
A nice walk, initially alongside Loch Lee, before climbing up over Burnt Hill and Cairn Caidloch.
Route Summary: Invermark - Loch Lee - Inchgrundle - Burn of Tarsen - Burnt Hill - Cairn Caidloch - Gleneffock - Birchgrove - Invermark.
1. Invermark Castle
2. Looking across Loch Lee to Burnt Hill
3. A toad
4. Water of Lee and Craig Maskeldie
5. A nice little waterfall on the Burn of Tarsen
6. Val and Dave above Loch Lee
7. Val and Dave climbing Burnt Hill
8. Cairn Caidloch from Burnt Hill
9. Lisa, Val and Dave by the trig point on Cairn Caidloch
10. Looking across Glen Esk towards Mount Battock
11. Mount Keen and Braid Cairn
12. Glen Mark
Walk Detail: This was a walk I’d chosen based on paths marked on the OS map and confirmed by some websites I came across. Unfortunately it was a much more overcast day than before but to start with, as we walked along the shores of Loch Lee, the cloud added a bit of drama and atmosphere to the walk.
While we got good views of both our objectives the most eye catching scenery was at the end of Loch Lee with Craig Maskeldie looking very impressive. Had this scene been transported to the Lake District it would probably be quite well known.
Just before we crossed the Water of Lee Val spotted a toad on the path and I managed to get some good photos. Our climb began just after the farm at Inchgrundle initially alongside the nicely wooded Burn of Inchgrundle before following the Burn of Tarsen. Here our well-made path disappeared and there was a steeper and wetter section which I went ahead on to locate the path that would take us up to Burnt Hill. This I found and as this contoured round taking us above Craig Turner we got an excellent view down to Loch Lee.
After a short sheltered stop in one of the grouse butts we made it to the top of Burnt Hill which disappointingly did not even have a cairn to mark the summit. While we could by now see both Lochnagar and Mount Keen the conditions were still not great for long distance photographs. Ample compensation was to be had though in the numerous sightings we had of mountain hares.
While I got a couple of pictures Dave got some excellent ones with his superior digital zoom lens. When we stopped for lunch proper at the pile of stones and cairns a few hundred yards short of the summit of Cairn Caidloch we were treated to a couple of the braver hares hopping to within 20 metres or so to take a look at us.
After crossing Cairn Caidloch we began our descent towards Glen Effock enjoying all the time expansive views of Glen Esk backed by the silhouette of Mount Battock. I’d been worrying about crossing through Gleneffock farm but this proved to be no problem and the final mile or so along the road was made pleasant by silver birch lining the road and the sun that had started to break through the clouds. This was a decent circular walk with some great scenery at the head of Loch Lee. If we’d had clearer skies it could have been excellent.