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Name:Cairn William
Hill number:1521
Height:448m / 1470ft
RHB Section:21B: Fraserburgh to the Dee Valley
County/UA:Aberdeenshire (UA)
Catchment:Don (Aberdeen)
Class:Marilyn, Hump, Tump (400-499m), Yeaman
(Ma,Hu,Tu,4,Y)
Grid ref:NJ 65618 16809
Summit feature:rock within 1m of trig point
Drop:255m
Col:193m  NJ640125  
OS map sheet(s):(1:50k) 38
(1:25k) OL59E OL62E 405E 420E
Survey:obvious summit
GPS data:show GPS entries for this hill

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N.B. Some hill summits are on private property or on land where there is no public right of way.  Permission should be sought from the landowner where access to a hill summit is through private land(*).
*For information about access rights in Scotland see the ScotWays website.
Please report via the contact page any logs you see below which describe or encourage acts of trespass, and mention the hill number and hill name.

Logged Descriptions  (logged by 144 users, only the latest 50 shown - Show all)ByDate of Ascent
From miniscule parking in stubby forest track at NJ663153. Route not recommended, but hard to suggest an alternative - do it anti-clockwise if you have to, that way you'll see the MTBs coming at you. The hill appears to have been turned over to the MTB fraternity, a solitary legacy green FC post with a red arrow each side indicates the original bi-directional ridge-summit footpath, but now the ridge-summit 'path' is a mono-directional 'red' MTB circuit. From parking, a faint path has a couple of level traverses E, before becoming distinct and heading purposefully uphill, objective in view, until it meets forest track - take note for return as no obvious marker sign. Took track, E to NJ664161 and then N up path, which is now a broad 'red' MTB run. From col at NJ661171, ignored 'no entry' sign and headed W up 'red' MTB run - alternative is pathless, purgatorial heather. MTB run meanders about and takes forever to teach the summit trig, but better than the heather. Followed ridge 'path -Isbjorn25/05/2019
With Mikegettingonabit09/02/2019
Walk up from the southNozzer25/10/2018
Bagging the trig.BigJ25/10/2018
Track from NJ 673 178 (driveable but guarded by open gate with padlocks dangling) to excellent MBT to trig and Marilyn Cairn William from NJ 662 171. Back to track where South to soon find good track up to Pitfichie Hill (TuMP)carole engel22/10/2018
Link to map of bike trails: https://scotland.forestry.gov.uk/images/pdf/rec_pdfs/PitfichieMap.pdf However, this doesnt show the path up from near Pitmunie if you just want to trudge up and downdaviemore09/10/2018
SoloUisdean2502/09/2018
No idea why I thought it a good idea to climb the hill up the field from Rorandle, excellent easy route found in descent, see below. The track at the top of the field (with bull) does not exist, and you have to thrash through gorse to climb a 4 strand BWF, then more gorse to get on the forest road. Easy peasy after that, a hard surfaced track to the col, then the zig-zag MTB track. Experiment showed that off-piste corner cutting is not advisable in descent. Found a very good way in descent, so the way to to do it is this: start at West Pitfichie 673178 and either walk or drive to the mast at 661182 (parking possible) on a smooth forest road then climb the track leading to the col. No mud at any point.Gill03/08/2018
As Nordicstar, worked very well.Lionel Bidwell16/04/2018
Parked at 663154 N of Pitmunie.Up soggy path to forest road. Right along road and up old MTB track as Nordicstar, slightly hidden at start then Zig Zags to summit. Back also by his route. Might be better going up track past stream on map.Coinneach21/03/2018
From near Pitmunie. 1st of 6 today: Cairn William, Bennachie, Millstone Hill, Hill of Fare, Benaquhallie, Craiglich.PGCE22/02/2018
from car park for Whitehill stone circle. via track on E flank of Green Hill and Cairn William then up to col with Pitfichie Hill (not climbed) and zig zag track to CW summit. Delightful route in cold sunshine. Descent on expanses of granite pavement and through groves of small Scots Pine. MTB route but works well if walk widdershins. 4hrs, solo with a few stops. Will return.niallp10/02/2018
From the south with Colin Edwards. Sunny but with chilly wind on top.vegibagger24/10/2017
2 of 5: From Pitfichie Hill.ChrisR13/03/2017
Ascent as per the entry by 'nordicstar'. Drive-by bagging on the way from Keith to Glasgow!raffemeister27/10/2016
On the bike, using the mountain bike trail.fasgadh17/09/2016
Weather fair.MountainMac02/05/2016
1/3 with ElizyanneGmacT07/04/2016
1/3 with GmacTelizyanne07/04/2016
Glorious day, finished in fine style after ascents of Bennachie and Millstone Hill earlier...from the north near Rorandle using forest track to the coll then walking up a brilliant cycle route to summit, saved tired legs thrashing though deep heather albeit long zig/zags.N.Morters02/04/2016
A bit icy on the west side of the mountain.eilidh198321/02/2016
From 663153. Track frozen, so mud not a problem. Further up the zig zags are interminable. Recommend more direct approach and return through mature larch and heather.jenx22/01/2016
Good parking at 663154, the track is wide enough and not that muddy compared to some. Boots are fine with gaiters. At higher track met look for the MTB track that comes down west of the burn at 663162. Not the track shown on map. This line although eroded is good and leads to the main MTB track, of which the zig zags have been mentioned enough. Stick with it its better than the heather on the ascent. On way down a faint track leads off SE through the heather all way to mature larch, which allow a way through to the original ascent line. Fast down.nordicstar22/01/2016
With AS, FS and MS. Round trip with bike from NJ672178.eks25/10/2015
Jim.Fothergill's directions worked perfectly, in both directions. Route and write-up at: http://gayleybird.blogspot.co.uk/2015/08/cairn-william.htmlGayle26/08/2015
across fields from ardneildy to join track then path to the top.robertphillips15/05/2015
Parked just N of Pitmuie, up forest tracks and followed helpful MB track above forest to summit.AndrewFinnimore12/09/2014
from 663162. After 750m of muddiness follow the bike trails either NW or NE to summit. As the track zig zags a lot it appears easy to go off the wrong end. I think it was the Red Granite trail. Pleasant hillThearlaichdubh08/09/2014
By MTB: http://app.strava.com/activities/187855623Alastair S31/08/2014
2nd ascent. Solo, on bike.amswanston28/04/2012
Track on map from 663153 to 659160 is a narrow and muddy path. Right at top then another muddy path to Pitfichie Hill's col. From there a zigzag mountain bike trail leads to summit. There are shorter ways but the heather is very thick.Topographer5702/11/2011
Popular hill for mountain bikers with one track going over the summit.JohnW17/04/2011
Park at NJ663153 where a track heads NNW to meet the forest road at NJ659160.A biking track heads N from NJ663162 to the col where a long zigzag track leads to the summit.Short route back head SE on heather & well spaced forest to forest track at NJ660161Jim.Fothergill13/04/2011
Revisit. Old path from Ardneidly has been ploughed up. MTB trail crosses summit SW-NE. Heather is deep.RHW23/05/2009
With Guy and Sian. Via Forestry tracks and bike trails, good paths all the way on circular walk from minor road to SE.PreCambrianLife18/09/2008
Solo. Parked at Pitfichie Forest (NJ663154). Walked on a rough track NW to join a much better track. I followed this ENE to the burn coming down from the direction of the Cairn William - Pitfichie Hill col. I followed a little used path on W side of burn and then struck up hillside of Cairn William - too much heather etc. I found a new mountain bike track (not shown on my 1:50,000 map). I followed the track with large zig-zags to the summit of Cairn William. Followed the mountain bike track as it continued SW and W, eventually coming to a forest track which connected with my outward track. Weather good.pwbellarby09/09/2007
Left a Geocachethehaggishunter00/02/2007
2nd) 11/11/06Smudge01/06/2005
Bridleway E of Pitfichie. Looks like a cycle track goes to W of Pitfichie.Eddie01/09/2004
Cosmics Tuesday night run from Monymusk, 9 miler.stever20/07/2004
Parked just before Royhall. Narrow path continued ahead to forest road, Turned left and steeply uphill. On a level continued around to start of path leading between CW and Pitfichie Hill. At col found new track for mountain bikers leading to CW and up hill on long zig zags. Straight up through knee-high heather to rejoin path and final beeline over shorter heather to column at 15.00.arranc19/06/2004
Dry, sunny, hot, good views.iangalbraith09/06/2004
With DB, by bike.amswanston01/10/2002
Date is first visit. Notes from later...dullish approach from SE, wide view, NB goo dfp crosses summit SW-N. park Ardneidly, tks to 661168, deep heather to summit RHW25/12/2001
Alone via MTBSpudGunn18/08/2000
alasdaircairns15/01/2019
Tartantraveller06/01/2019
gary198106/01/2019
Ledi06/01/2019
otis.laws06/09/2018