Log 15 Aug 2010

WHITE COOMB AND HART FELL CORBETTS NEAR MOFFAT

O.S. Maps 78 &79

With a wonderful weather forecast (actually, a bit too hot for the hills) we gathered at 7am in the car park. Donald drove with Fraser, Noelle, Kevin and Laurence. Dave K drove with Derek and Sue.

15km North East of Moffat, Donald dropped 3 of his passengers at the Visitor Car park at Grey Mare's Tail, then returned to park at Capplegill where all would rendevouz later in the day. Donald and Fraser had a long walk east of Capplegill.!

At 9:15am, after a photo call, Derek H, Sue and Dave K set off with Noelle, Kevin and Laurence up the excellent path by Tail burn to Loch Skeen where everyone enjoyed a wee soaking to try to cool down a little, too early in the day for a swim & 2 Corbetts to bag!

Derek H crossed Tail Burn before the loch, headed straight to White Coomb (821m) and returned by the same route to the car park.

The team, now down to 5, from Loch Skeen, headed across boggy ground, then up steep slopes approaching White Coomb from the north.
On the summit we managed to find the only infestation of midges of the day and they were fierce! A speedy exit was made and we headed to Firthhope Rig.
From this point Dave K headed north to do a high level clockwise round of Loch Skeen, with Radleigh, returning by Tail Burn to the Car park and Derek H.

Now down to 4 members, the team headed off in the scorching heat down into Rotten Bottom choosing Donald's scenic route on a quest for spectacular views from Raven Craig.  However, on being overtaken by a group of pensioners (these were real pensioners, not young things like Fraser) who obviously were on a high speed easy track we trudged away from the boggy route by Raven Craig and found the boggy route used by the really high speed pensioners.   Morale hit an all time low.   Maybe they were an hallucination in the intense heat?

Beautiful firm ground with short grass led all the way to the top of Hart Fell&.a hard earned second Corbett.   
Several groups of twenty or more, seen during the day, were now gathering on the summit, we didn't stop for food.
An easy descent with spectacular views into Black Hope from the cliff edge path (except when on the broad flat top of Swath Fell when the wire fence almost tempted us straight down to Moffat) brought us round to the best view point of the day from a spur on Nether Coomb Craig at about 3pm (great photos in the Gallery by Sue and Kevin.)   
Various attempts to communicate with our distant companions (by text) informed us that the walks were taking longer for everyone in the heat.   
Only one chance for a cool down in a tiny pool on the way down and a challenging finish through ferns brought us to the cars at Capplegill within 20 minutes of our companions, approx 3:30pm. (6hrs 15mins)

Thirsts were slaked at The Balmoral Hotel beer garden, then at 5pm we started home to Milngavie.

Thank you all for a great day on the hills.
Report by Noelle Ryan

 
Donald and Fraser  were made welcome to park at Capplegill, and made their way eastwards over the hill pass path to the deserted buildings of Potburn, then along the Southern upland Way to the bothy at Over Phowhope near the head of the Ettrick valley.   
The bothy brought back memories to Donald of an earlier walk on the Way. 
Some distance further along, a gap in the forest allowed access to the high ground, and access to ETTRICK PEN was gained by markedly undulating easy walking over Hopetoun Craig.  
A direct descent to the bothy led to a northwards saunter on the Southern Upland Way, and then on a forest road onto open ground and the summit of BODESBECK LAW.   
The ascent through the airless forest did bring home how hot it was.   
Three local gents of youthful seniority were attempting paragliding, finding the windless conditions limiting their efforts.   
They were delighted that we were coming south from Glasgow to discover their secret corner, rather than heading for the obvious highland hills.   
On return to the car, we could hear the voices of the others descending, and shortly Dave also drove up.   

Yes, a superb day.