No Walkfest could take place without one ascent of the highest point in southern Scotland. ** Walk fully booked **
The majestic Merrick at 843 metres with her airy aspect never fails to appeal but with very steep flanks deserves respect, particularly in poor visibility. This route includes a section never previously used and by avoiding the "tourist path" on the ascent it is a demanding climb.
The start at Bruce's Stone goes to the bothy at Culsharg then along a recently extended forestry road and with recent harvesting previously hidden views delight the eyes. From the end of the road the Buchan Burn is followed to a spur that extends from Redstone Rig involving a steep climb of 300 metres in a little over 1.5 kilometres. A relatively short section leads to the summit of the Merrick, with its wonderful views in every direction. If the conditions are perfect, a faint outline of Snowdon is possible.
The return to Bruce's Stone uses the well-trodden path over Benyellary through a gate in the recently constructed deer fence which protects the montaine re-vegetation project.