Log 15 Jan 2012

Jethro, Jeremy, Noelle, Kevin, Fraser, John, Donald, Allan, Dave + Radley travelled south via M74 to Langholm then up towards Hawick and parked at Priest Haugh. 
With the sun still rising and shining directly into our eyes we started off south then east towards several square miles of thick forest having decided to tackle the round in a clockwise direction. 
A route was forged through 2 miles of the woodland using tracks and firebreaks identified on a large scale map extract and from Google Earth satellite imaging. 
Our first objective was Maiden Paps (510m).  This was so we would not have to weave a route through the forest at the end of the day, possibly when tired and/or in failing light, but more probably so that the group could get their puerile comments over with early in the day.
The route took us south then west over Scaw’d Law to the trig and shelter at Greatmoor Hill (599m) and on to Cauldcleuch Head (619m) where the summit is marked by a post sticking out of a frozen bog. 
We travelled on over Skelfhill Fell and Holywell Rig to the cars arriving around 4pm, 6 hours after starting off.  In all that time the temperature didn’t rise above freezing but with solid ground underfoot, a cold stiff breeze on the top but still air lower down and good visibility the walking conditions were perfect.
The total distance was about 10 miles with an ascent in the region of 2000 feet.
The two carloads met up in a Hawick hostelry after a swift puncture repair and allowed Dave to examine photos on the pub wall in an attempt to rekindle memories of his earliest working days in that town. 
The rest of us just enjoyed the ambience and the bargain prices of the ales (and cider).  Home via Edinburgh by 20:15.
Report by Donald Irvine