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This fine pyramid of a hill, seen from many points, does not make Corbett height, instead falling into the group of hills called the Grahams. Its name means the fiery or beacon hill, and as such it shares a similar history to Ben Lomond and others, hills of outstanding use as a means of communicating long distances by beacons. The umber-coloured stones were also convenient in building forts and the staggeringly huge cairn on Tinto which looks down on the trig point, a short distance from the battered indicator topping the cairn.

Begin at Fallburn, just off the A73, where there is ample parking and the start of a well-beaten track. This is all but impossible to miss and leads SSW up Totherin Hill, which has a cairn just east of the track at 479m. Continue a little way on to a fork in the track. The left fork continues up the ridge proper while the right contours above the very fine symmetrical coire that is Maurice's Cleuch (gully). Some may wish to take the left fork if the hill is heavily iced in winter.

The final part of the track parallels a fence to the foot of the spreading cairn, which has several sheltering walls on its south flank. The view is of rolling, grassy hills and fields, with the nascent River Clyde shining to the southeast.

The adventurous may care to descend by walking over Scaut Hill (586m) and Wee Hill (385m), to find a way north over fields and by small tree plantations just west of St John's Kirk. Otherwise, descend by the ascent route. Picture is taken from Scaut Hill.


Maps: OS Sheet 72 'Upper Clyde Valley, Biggar & Lanark'
Distance: 6.5 km
Ascent: 480 m
Time: 3 hours
Food & Drink: Tinto Hotel in Symington.


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