Crippled up the Criffel
Getting back into hill walking following a break by tackling the Criffel, near Dumfries. It was a lot harder than we thought it'd be!
The Criffel is a hill in Dumfries and Galloway, south-west Scotland. It is 570 metres high but appears higher because of its great isolation and high relative height - it is the eighth most prominent hill in southern Scotland.
We climbed the Criffel from the Ardwall path, the shorter circular walk through a steel but good forest track, followed by steep boggy terrain and then steeper rocky, snowy terrain. The weather wasn't too bad but as we got to the top we could see a front moving in and during our descent it started snowing but nothing we couldn't handle. There was a lot of snow and frozen ice underfoot, the decent was a little more eventful than the ascent, lots of slides and tumbles down the hill!
The overall walk was about 7 miles long, round trip. It was much harder on the way down due to the steeper gradient and icy conditions underfoot. Waterproof boots are an essential item through the boggy area and trouser gators advisable as well since there is a lot of mud that gets plastered up your trouser legs. All in all a good days walking, now we thirstily head to the local pub!