Mabie’s Monicas: third and fourth

4.2 miles 1h 54m ascent 232m

Craigbill Hill ahead

Craigbill Hill, Auchenfad Hill

A Monica: a hill with its name on the OS 1:50k. A Wee Monica is named on the 1:25k, but not the 1:50K. Not every hill has a marked spot height, so I have chosen to include any hills whose highest contour is in the area bounded by the Forestry boundary. There are six Mabie Monicas, but two of those have their summits just outside the boundary, but within a biscuit-toss. Of the four Wee Monicas, one has a top outside the boundary. I’m not sure if it a biscuit-toss away, but a pebble-toss, yes.

The Brown Walk trail passes within 100m of Craigbill’s summit so the climb from 40m to 205m is on good tracks. I left the trail at its highest point, checked the direction to the summit and plunged into the trees. I said last week that Marthrown Hill was densely forested, but Craigbill Hill has forced me to re-calibrate my concept of “densely forested”. Mabel’s lead had to be untangled several times. Progress was so slow that my watch kept asking if I had finished my ‘workout”.

There is an easier route and luckily I stumbled upon it having spotted a line of lightness in the trees. It leaves the brown trail not far beyond where I did. It was an easier walk though not easy. The summit is quite a small area. There is a stick in the ground which I presumed to be a summit marker though a mound a metre or so away did look marginally higher. It might have been a tree stump though. The ‘easy’ path got us back to the Brown Trail.

Craigbill Hill Summit marker?
Craigbill Hill alternative summit

Auchenfad Hill is an easier visit. A gravel MTB track takes you to the hill’s ridge. The summit is on the far side of the stone wall but the wall has fallen and a well walked trail then follows the wall. I suspect the summit is on the trail but I did wade through bracken onto a rise that looked a little higher. Once there though, I was less certain. The trail continues but then turns down and southwards so we just returned the way we had come.

I’m pretty sure this wasn’t my first visit to Auchenfad Hill.

Auchenfad Hill

Both these are Mabie Monicas, though Auchenfad Hill is one of those with its summit the wrong side of a wall.

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