I first climbed Farragon Hill (St Fergan’s hill), with Frances and Eleanor, on 3 January 1982, golly gosh, 30 years ago.
With soft, deep snow, cloud at 1,500ft and an icy conical peak, it was a physically demanding day, only eased by the track from Loch Tummel which passes just ½ mile east of the summit.
The second visit, this time solo, to this 783m/2658ft Corbett was last month. The weather forecast predicted westerly gales of 40mph gusting to 60mph, plus extensive low cloud and a wind chill temperature at 3000ft of -15c. Not a day for the very high tops. Later the wind was due to “ease” to 35mph and the cloud to lift, so, rather than following a high-level track from the west, a long sheltered walk in from the south made more sense. Not surprisingly I met just two others, local lads Duncan Pepper and Tom Edwards.
From Weem head east for ½ mile on the minor road to reach a broad track on the left, map ref 854498, signposted Cuil and Glassie. There is also a green sign – Glasssie circular, Weem 3 miles.
The track curves right past a number of houses and Cuil farm to enter the Glassie section of the Tay Forest Park. There are good views down to Aberfeldy as the steady gradient Forestry Commission track eases the climb to junction map ref 861510. To the left is signposted Glassie bunkhouse and Glassie circular walk, however, follow the track on the right. At the next junction curve sharply left, go past another junction, ignoring turns to the right, to clear the forest at map ref 859514 by a padlocked gate.
Traverse the grassy field to its northern end at map ref 860519, to meet a stone wall and a wide fire-break on the left. Cross the dyke and follow the fire-break, the mapped boundary between the Forestry Commission and Edradynate Estate.
I was curious to find the nearby mapped 433m trig point but there was no way through the dense growth. The fire-break gives a pleasant north-west approach to the hidden-at-first Loch Glassie with Farragon dominating the skyline. Follow a grassy path of old round the grey-coloured loch, partially ice-covered and with some swans on my day, and cross the outflow at the north end.
Continue anticlockwise to the east bank of a stream to enter the mapped fire-break and head NNW to reach open country at map ref 847540.
Traverse wet ground to reach the base of the hill, then by heathery slopes to the south-east ridge and easier terrain. The summit area is craggy, but that presents no problem on a clear dry day.
Despite the wind having eased, I had quite a battle to reach the cairn.
Once back at Loch Glassie, follow the water’s edge south-west, then a short distance west over rough ground, to reach an obvious break in the forest and another track at map ref 846528. At the first junction, signposted Aberfeldy, turn south-east (left) for an easy return to the padlocked gate, map ref 859514.
Map Ordnance Survey map 52, Pitlochry & Crieff
Distance 10 miles
Terrain Forestry tracks and fire-breaks to heathery slopes and
Start point Track off minor road east of Weem, signposted Cuil and Glassie, map ref 854498
Time 6 hours
Nearest town Aberfeldy
Recommended refreshment spot Breadalbane Bakery & Coffee Shop, Dunkeld Road, Aberfeldy