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Cauldcleuch Head - dry underfoot

Cauldcleuch Head - dry underfoot

Postby langskill » Tue Aug 23, 2022 7:44 pm

Fionas included on this walk: Cauldcleuch Head

Donalds included on this walk: Cauldcleuch Head

Date walked: 21/07/2022

Time taken: 3.75 hours

Distance: 11.6 km

Ascent: 528m

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I left Edinburgh about 7 a.m. and drove south on the A7 via Galashiels, Selkirk and Hawick. This route is not one with which I am particularly familiar. My excursions south of Galashiels along this way date back to Youth Fellowship retreats to Snoot Youth Hostel near Roberton and to Broadmeadows Youth Hostel near Selkirk and to Borders 7-a-side tournaments in the 70’s and 80’s. At Fiddleton south of Hawick I turned onto an unclassified road along the Carewoodrig Burn. There was an absence of marked passing places on this single track road. I parked in the wide entrance to a forest road about half a kilometre west of Billhope. There was another car parked but I saw no sign of its occupant(s) then or on the hill later. I left the car about quarter past nine.
Having watched some hillwalking videos (or were they vlogs) a few days previously I planned to explore using my Lumix camera to make a video record of today’s walk, in part as a trial for my Munro Compleation trip. Initially, I attached the camera to my small Gorillaz tripod, but I quickly switched to mounting the camera on my Leki monopod/walking pole. This mounting arrangement allowed me to have the camera primed and ready for action and well-placed for walking shots.
I walked west along the minor road and then through an electric fence onto the hillside. I climbed Tudhope Hill on an ATV track along the line of a fence that led all the way to the summit trig point. Views of rolling Border hills opened up as I climbed. From the trig point the sweep round to Cauldcleuch Head could be seen.
From Tudhope Hill trig point looking towards Cauldcleuch Head

From Tudhope Hill I followed the fence line over Millstone Edge to Langtae Hill. In a piece to camera, which I failed to capture as I pressed the wrong button, I said that following fence lines over rolling Border hills reminded me of early walking days with Mike Geddes in the 1960s. Although in those days we were often using the fences as ‘handrails’ in white-out conditions. Today, however, I was walking in good visibility. Although I was generally walking on a faint ATV track, I was walking on deep moss. I was lucky be to tackling Cauldcleuch Head during a very dry period. The guidebooks describe this hill as very wet underfoot. There was a drop of about 50 metres from Langtae Hill followed by a long steady pull to the summit of Cauldcleuch Head (Graham, Donald and Marilyn). I stopped for a lunch break on the summit which was marked with a broken sign (‘..Head’) on a metal pole.

cauldcleuch head.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts

I left the summit heading towards Pennygant Hill. Whilst I followed a faint ATV track in places I also waded through very deep soft moss and vegetation. There were lines of posts about the size of posts used for marked walks adjacent to the ATV track. I assumed that these posts had some role in grouse shoots. However, on researching Gorrenberry after the walk it is possible that the posts mark walks associated with the Gorrenberry restoration project including Gorrenberry Jubilee Wood - would have been worth searching the internet for the background to this project before my walk rather than afterwards. After briefly drifting off my intended route I picked up the ATV track and marker posts(?) again over Pennygant Hill and onwards to Stob Fell before descending down South Mid Hill westward to a track along the Billhope Burn. I walked down the track to Billhope and then along the minor road back to the car.
Wildlife sightings included a kestrel above South Mid Hill, a frog and some crows. The desiccated frog atop a fence post below Langtae Hill probably does not count as a wildlife sighting.
I drove back to the A7 and then south via Langholm to the M6 and on to Manchester for the weekend.
The trial video was moderately successful.
Munro compleatist
Posts: 2
Munros:282   Corbetts:154
Fionas:51   Donalds:57+26
Sub 2000:59   Hewitts:16
Wainwrights:22   Islands:36
Joined: May 17, 2011

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