Walking - Hill & Mountain

Group Leader - Dick Vernon
01292 442195
Location - Public on-road parking area, opposite Shanter Way, Alloway
Tuesday @ 0845
Season - Continuous

This is a large group with over twenty-five members, and its aim is to provide a wide range of hill walks, from Munros to relatively low level ones. Because of group numbers (and the fact that there is in the group, a number of very experienced hill-walkers who share leading walks) the modus operandi is evolving, with the pattern being of a choice of both a high level and a lower level walk on many Tuesdays, especially during the summer.

The higher level walks have taken members to the ‘Arrochar Alps’, the Trossachs, Arran and even Glencoe as well as the Galloways and other hills nearer to home. Walks this year have included: Ben Lui, both Ben Vorlichs, Stuc A’ Chroin, Beinn Dorain and Beinn an Dothaigh, An Caisteal, and the Tarmachan Ridge to the north and Mullwarcher, Scaw’d Law and Cairnsmore of Carsphairn to the south.

The provision of a more local, lower level walk closer to home as an addition to a higher walk was introduced in 2011, and is already proving popular with some of our members, especially those who perhaps are not as fit as they used to be (i.e. all of us sooner or later!) and we are keen to have more joining us who would like this form of hill walk. Apart from the many smaller hills and tracks in the Galloway hills, good use has been made of the hill walks provided in leaflets for the areas around Barr, Straiton, Dailly, Girvan etc. Walks this year have included: Byne Hill and Grey Hill at Girvan, Kirkland Hill at Kirkconnel, Irish Law behind Largs, as well as Rigg of the Jarkness, Hoodens Hill and Corin of Portmark in the Galloways. An effort will be made to select the lower walks so as to be suitable for those wanting to take part. It is amazing how high the lower walk can be, provided that the speed of the walk is reduced to suit all!

When conditions do not favour a hill walk, the River Ayr Walks and the Ayrshire Coastal Path, have provided good walking. The Group’s first Leader, Willie Watters, who retired as leader in 2011, played a substantial part in the creation of the Ayrshire Coastal Path.

During the winter months, because of daylight and weather restrictions, the group doesn’t usually go too far afield, although if the weather is good and the mountains are covered in snow, some of the hardier souls are likely to head north.

The walks to be undertaken are usually a matter for discussion the previous Tuesday, but mainly due to the vagaries of the weather, a final decision is not usually made until the day before the walk, when members are informed by e-mail where possible. Occasionally a decision is not made until the morning itself.

Apart from membership of OiR, the only essential requirements are a reasonable level of fitness and proper hillwalking equipment, especially good walking boots and wet and cold weather clothing. Walking poles are helpful and a torch is needed in winter.

Finally, and importantly, the group still welcomes new members.

Dick Vernon submitted these photos from an ascent of Ben Lomond by the Hill and Mountain Walking Group. 

Dick said, "We have a great team in the group and in this, a core of folk who like a challenge!"


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