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89 Donalds in 89 Days - Manor Hills

89 Donalds in 89 Days - Manor Hills

Postby Peter Hardy » Sat May 15, 2021 2:09 pm

Donalds included on this walk: Drumelzier Law, Middle Hill, Pykestone Hill

Date walked: 15/05/2021

Time taken: 3.75 hours

Distance: 21 km

Ascent: 907m

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89 Donalds in 89 Days

Manor Hills (Pykestone Hill, The Scrape, Middlehill, Taberon Law, Drumelzier Law)

On Saturday 1st of May I began a huge charity challenge that I have set myself. I am completing all 89 Donalds (as well as the 52 additional Donald Tops) on my mountain bike in aid of the Anthony Nolan Charity. I am raising money and hoping to encourage as many people as possible to sign up to their stem cell register. I am going to do this in no more than 89 days, averaging at 1 hill per day. Some days I will bag 5+ and other days I will bag none. All on top of my 9-5 job, so weekends and evenings only (probably some annual leave too).

With another week of wet, changeable weather, I struggled to make it out after work this week having had all my energy zapped during the day after being sodden from working in the rain. After an early night on the Wednesday and a dry day at work on Thursday I was better prepared for making the most of the break in the weather. I set out to bag Pykestone Hill as well as the Donald Top, The Scrape. I figured that if I only bagged these 2 summits then I’ll have still made progress but the option to continue on was there if I felt fit for it.

I parked at the small parking area next to the cottage (which is currently being substantially extended) and set out along the track behind the house, through the gate and along the field. I crossed the first bridge I could see and continued along the ATV tracks and through a gate before turning left again and over a newer looking, wider bridge. There does look to be several places for crossing back over so don’t panic if you’ve missed the first bridge.

I made my way up past the trees on my left, past a few metal/wooden farm outbuildings and then up the ATV track bearing left but opting for the right hand forks when meeting any junction in the heather. The ground conditions for most of the ascent were great - nice rocky track before plateauing out towards the top where it began to get slightly softer underfoot as the terrain turned more into moorland.

By the time I had reached my first Donald of the evening, Pykestone Hill (9/89), i was right up amongst the clouds. I had good visibility around me although the cloud spoiled any views of the surrounding landscape.

ImageUntitled by Peter Hardy, on Flickr

From the trig point I made my way north following the fence line along a faint path, past a pile of stones to my left and up the hill to my third Donald Top of my challenge, The Scrape (3/52). I took a quick photo and retraced my steps back to Pykestone Hill.

ImageUntitled by Peter Hardy, on Flickr

I felt in good shape for continuing so I carried on to my next Donald.

From Pykestone Hill I followed the fence line down and over Grey Weather Law as well as Long Grain Knowe. The fence split off in 2 directions near the top. I turned right and followed it westward over some boggy terrain (low fence posts work well as stepping stones). I soon reached Middle Hill (10/89) where the summit is mostly featureless. There are a few fence posts piled up that are as close as you will find to a trig point/cairn.

ImageUntitled by Peter Hardy, on Flickr

The descent from here towards Taberon Law was quite steep, it did not look too appealing for the return journey. I pressed on regardless and followed the fenceline down the hill where the fence then turns right and then left again soon after. I made it to the top of Taberon Law (4/52) but didn’t hang about for long.

ImageUntitled by Peter Hardy, on Flickr

I headed back downhill, over the bog and up the steep bank of Middle Hill.

ImageUntitled by Peter Hardy, on Flickr

My legs were beginning to tire at this stage. I knew I had broken the back of the route but it was still daunting to know how far I was from the van.

I made my way along faint tracks towards Glenstivon Dod passing the shephards cairn along the way.

ImageUntitled by Peter Hardy, on Flickr

From here I then descended down the dip and up Drumelzier Law (11/89), I passed a pile of big granite stones on my left as I rode down the hill.

ImageUntitled by Peter Hardy, on Flickr

ImageUntitled by Peter Hardy, on Flickr

The final push up to the top of Drumelzier Law was a killer but also a huge relief. I stopped for a quick photo before making my way NW towards Logan head then from there heading NE to Fingle rig before descending down ATV tracks to reach the path along Drumelzier burn. From here I found the gate I went through next to the bridge. I just retraced my steps back through the field until I reached my van.

ImageUntitled by Peter Hardy, on Flickr

ImageUntitled by Peter Hardy, on Flickr

ImageUntitled by Peter Hardy, on Flickr

I managed to avoid any rain showers but the cloud did, unfortunately ruin my views. With a load more Donalds in this area I should manage to make up for this in one of my next outings. Watch this space, and in the mean time please go check out the Anthony Nolan website, they are such an important charity to so many family’s which not enough people are aware of. Their mission is to help people suffering with blood cancers.



Thanks for reading

(P.s. website links will be removed if not permitted, please just let me know)


Peter Hardy
Hill Bagger
Posts: 9
Grahams:22   Donalds:87
Joined: Jan 28, 2021
Location: Dumfries

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