walkhighlands

Share your personal walking route experiences in Scotland, and comment on other peoples' reports.
Warning Please note that hillwalking when there is snow lying requires an ice-axe, crampons and the knowledge, experience and skill to use them correctly. Summer routes may not be viable or appropriate in winter. See winter information on our skills and safety pages for more information.

Culter Fell and Pals

Culter Fell and Pals


Postby Gordie12 » Wed Jun 30, 2021 11:15 am

Route description: Culter Fell circular, near Biggar

Grahams included on this walk: Culter Fell, Gathersnow Hill

Donalds included on this walk: Culter Fell, Gathersnow Hill, Hillshaw Head, Hudderstone

Date walked: 29/06/2021

Time taken: 5.3 hours

Distance: 19.5 km

Ascent: 965m

1 person thinks this report is great.
Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).

I had to drive down to Lanark to pick up some plants so I decided to head off early and take in some hills. This group seemed fairly close so decision taken and alarm set for 02:20am :shock: In the end I didn't need the alarm as I was awake just after 2am so just got up and readied myself.

With just HGV's to share the road with I was parked up beside Culter Allers Farm and walking by 5am. Parking near water, next to trees and flat calm it was the first time this year I had been aware of midgies but just a few so no problems.

I was doing the round of four hills in a clockwise direction so headed up the road signed for Coulter Reservoir.

1.JPG
Plenty off road parking


2.JPG
Following the Coulter Reservoir road


Before I could finish my dairylea spread and strawberry jam roll it was time to leave the road behind and take the obvious grassy track off to my left (just after Knock Burn). This track would take me beyond a plantation where I then took the right hand track which starts off with stones underfoot but which within about 30 yards is grassy.

3.JPG
Fell Shin from the tarmac road just before leaving it and starting the climb


4.JPG
Looking back down towards the starting point


The initial climb up Shin Fell is fairly steep and I don't mind admitting I stopped for a couple of "photo opportunities". Passing a few old stone shooting butts as I climbed, I was glad to reach the top of Fell Shin, it was too early for there to be any heat in the sun but there was no breeze and it was warm work.

After Shin Fell there was a few minutes of flatish walking before the climb of Culter Fell began.

5.JPG
Tinto appearing


6.JPG
The climb ahead


The climb up Culter Fell seemed easier than Fell Shin and when the gradient eased I could see that it was just a long easy final section to reach the top.

7.JPG
Culter Fell summit in sight


8.JPG
Made it!


The sun was struggling to break free of the low cloud at this point and so there is little depth of colour to any of the early photos. The nearby hills were clear but it wasn't easy to see the more distant ones which was a bit frustrating.

It was now time to follow the fence line to the right and head over Moss Law towards Gathersnow Hill.

9.JPG
Looking down on Coulter Reservoir


10.JPG
Gathersnow hill in the middle of the pic


11.JPG
Looking back to Culter Fell


The fence line ended at Holm Nick where I turned left on a track that headed up Gathersnow Hill. The track switches from a dirt track to a grassy one as it heads up the hill then turns to follow a fence line to the top.

12.JPG
Coulter Reservoir


13.JPG
The top of Gathersnow Hill


After a 5 minute stop I continued to follow the fence line as it headed towards Hillshaw Head. It was about now I started to realise the scale of this windfarm, it's enormous and there are several others in view not that far away. The walk over to Hillshaw Head was pretty quick with little in the way of descent/reascent.as I followed the obvious fence line the entire way.

14.JPG
Just some of the turbines


15.JPG
Approaching Hillshaw Head


16.JPG
The view from Hillshaw Head


There was a fair amount of ground to cover to reach Hudderstone.. I started by retracing my route back down the fence line then at a junction of fences I turned left and headed down to the windfarm where I was able to pick up the main track running through it.

By now the sun was clear of the low cloud and the difference in temperature was dramatic. It was warm work as I headed through the windfarm aiming for the highest turbines on Dod Hill.

17.JPG
One of hundreds


While the track was smooth and made for fast progress I was glad to leave it behind and head over Dod Hill before a final easy grass incline to the top of Huddlestone.

18.JPG
View from Huddlestone


After another brief stop I continued along the fence line for about 60 yards then continued to follow it as it turned NW and headed down the hill. There is the outline of a grassy track about 40 yards off the line of the fence which I followed all the way off the hill.

19.JPG
The grassy track off Huddlestone


20.JPG
My route ahead (towards the plantation on the right)


The grassy path met another track and it was just a case of turning right and heading through a gate before heading along Cowgill Rig. This was a really nice end to the walk on a good track with good views and Cowgill Upper Reservoir below me and off to the left.

21.JPG
Tinto in the distance


22.JPG


23.JPG


Half way down Cowgill Rig I met a couple from Huddersfield out walking their two dogs. They were staying in a holiday cottage at Cowgill and seemed to be loving the peace and quiet of the local area.

24.JPG
Looking back having reached tarmac


The track reached a minor road and turning right there was then a short walk back to the car.

Really enjoyed this group of hills, I know from previous reports that they can be a bit boggy but at the moment they are probably as dry as you could get them and my boots were bone dry throughout the walk. Starting off at 5am it's probably no surprise but the couple out walking their dogs were the only peeps I saw on the entire walk.

Now for Tinto.........................
User avatar
Gordie12
Wanderer
 
Posts: 2021
Munros:114   Corbetts:64
Grahams:27   Donalds:38
Sub 2000:35   Hewitts:30
Wainwrights:24   
Joined: Sep 6, 2012
Location: Nr Forfar

Re: Culter Fell and Pals

Postby gld73 » Mon Nov 15, 2021 7:02 pm

Nice to read your report and see the views I missed when doing this walk today in the clag! Fortunately it was an easy route to navigate, and the cloud did lift a bit for the last third of the walk ...giving me sight of the huge array of wind turbines, though still not Culter Fell... :?
gld73
 
Posts: 648
Munros:157   Corbetts:64
Grahams:54   Donalds:10
Sub 2000:73   Hewitts:42
Wainwrights:59   Islands:13
Joined: Aug 11, 2015
Location: Inverness

Re: Culter Fell and Pals

Postby Gordie12 » Tue Nov 16, 2021 9:40 pm

The timing of the sun coming out was a bit of a shame as the views are good on this walk (before turbine city!).

Out of curiosity what was it like underfoot - couldn't have been any drier when I did this.
User avatar
Gordie12
Wanderer
 
Posts: 2021
Munros:114   Corbetts:64
Grahams:27   Donalds:38
Sub 2000:35   Hewitts:30
Wainwrights:24   
Joined: Sep 6, 2012
Location: Nr Forfar

Re: Culter Fell and Pals

Postby gld73 » Wed Nov 17, 2021 10:53 am

It was quite wet in several places, but not as bad as I thought it might be, nothing deep or unavoidable. My feet stayed dry in hiking boots, no gaiters or wellies required :D
gld73
 
Posts: 648
Munros:157   Corbetts:64
Grahams:54   Donalds:10
Sub 2000:73   Hewitts:42
Wainwrights:59   Islands:13
Joined: Aug 11, 2015
Location: Inverness

1 person thinks this report is great.
Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).




Walkhighlands community forum is advert free


Your generosity keeps this site running.
Can you help support Walkhighlands and the online community by donating by direct debit?



Return to Walk reports - Scotland

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: chillyman8, DGB1, JacH12, nigheandonn, Sirtedwhite and 21 guests