Club Outing to Cioch Mhor (by Dingwall)

This was cancelled due to a number of factors including weather, availability due to holidays etc.   However, thanks to one member of the Club who ascended the hill two days earlier and has provided the following short report.  

Cioch Mhor stands 6 km north-west of Dingwall and lies at the edge of Devonian Old Red Sandstone;  at its summit are exposures of breccia.   Towards Ben Wyvis the rocks are of the much older Moine succession.   Locally referred to as “The Pap” (on account of its somewhat steep rounded shape), Cioch Mhor is a mere 482 metres in height – but has lovely views towards Cromarty Firth, the Strathconon hills and Wyvis itself.   It is popular with hill runners and was apparently a favourite walk of the Scottish author Neil Gunn.

For the botanist, the hill is especially interesting.   The flora on the summit ‘cone’ includes several berry-producing plants including arctic bearberry, cloudberry, crowberry, cowberry and blaeberry.   There is fine growth of Cladonia lichen, all three heather species (ling, bell and cross-leaved), sedge (including deergrass, green-ribbed, star and glaucous), and clubmosses (alpine, stags-horn and fir).

Heath rush is common and there is at least one good clump of creeping willow.   Grasses seen included wavy-hair and  mat, together with several bent species.

On the approach route from Heights of Dochcarty, the yellows of bog asphodel, lesser spearwort, tormentil and yellow saxifrage delighted the eye!

Posted in Outdoor Event.