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A round of Ettrick Hills

A round of Ettrick Hills


Postby john923 » Thu Apr 28, 2011 7:36 pm

Route description: Ettrick Hills horseshoe

Grahams included on this walk: Capel Fell, Ettrick Pen

Donalds included on this walk: Bodesbeck Law, Capel Fell, Ettrick Pen, Wind Fell

Date walked: 21/04/2011

Time taken: 6.3 hours

Distance: 16.3 km

Ascent: 875m

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


Just as with our recent Dun Rig round this was a another quiet day of sun and skylarks with barely a soul to be seen. Parked up at the end of the road which threads for several miles south west along Ettrick Water - there is space for about 4 cars. A helpful sign "Ettrick Horseshoe and Bodesbeck Law" pointed the way along a grassy plantation road. Shortly afterwards the path split next to a broken signpost - we took the right fork to Bodesbeck Law. The track soon emerged from the trees and the day's first top came into view.
j923ettrick01.jpg
Starting point

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Path junction

j923ettrick03.jpg
First view of Bodesbeck Law

The top was quickly reached - a good vantage point for the Moffat hills to the West.
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View over to Hart Fell and Saddle Yoke

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Carrifran glen, between Saddle Yoke and White Coomb

I can see why some versions of this horseshoe miss out Bodesbeck as a fair amount of height is lost and only slowly regained.
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Bodesbeck Law from Fauldside Hill

There is a fence to follow all the way and we stayed on the right of it as it wound its way over Fauldside Hill, White Shank, Smidhope Hill and eventually to Capel Fell. This top seemed to be unmarked but did afford a good view to Croft Head which looked interesting.
j923ettrick08.jpg
Croft Head from Capel fell

Soon we were quickly descending to Ettrick Head where we crossed the Southern Upland Way. The stile made a very handy picnic table with us sitting on either side of the border.
j923ettrick09.jpg
Wind Fell and Ettrick Head from Capel Fell - note peat hags blocking direct route

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Ettrick Head

The direct way up Wind Fell looked a bit steep so we trended right to avoid the peat hags and headed in the direction of Windfell Nick, later curving around to the top.
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Capel Fell from Wind Fell

The top of Wind Fell was only marked by a fence stump in the bog - not very inspiring - but we did have a nice chat about the merits of smaller hills with the only other walker we met that day. In contrast the cairn on Hopetoun Crag was a much better affair - the haze was getting less now and White Coomb range was more clearly visible compared to earlier.
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Hopetoun Crag

And then it was on to Ettrick Pen, its top marked by a rough cairn, before picking our way over grassy slopes westwards to hit the gap in the plantation.
j923ettrick15.jpg
Ettrick Pen top

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Descent from Ettrick Pen

This took us down to Phawhope bothy and a short walk up the Potburn track back to the car.
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Phawhope bothy
john923
 
Posts: 196
Munros:16   Corbetts:9
Grahams:6   Donalds:11
Sub 2000:12   Hewitts:219
Wainwrights:168   
Joined: Apr 20, 2009
Location: Worcestershire

Re: A round of Ettrick Hills

Postby LeithySuburbs » Thu Apr 28, 2011 8:19 pm

Fab :D ! I had been wondering how to tackle these hills and this route looks the way to go :) (maybe next winter).
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LeithySuburbs
Ambler
 
Posts: 1936
Munros:253   Corbetts:50
Grahams:26   Donalds:33
Sub 2000:41   Hewitts:14
Wainwrights:23   Islands:13
Joined: Feb 19, 2009
Location: The Capital

Re: A round of Ettrick Hills

Postby john923 » Fri Apr 29, 2011 8:33 pm

Cheers LS. I think with a little extra effort you could include Loch Fell in the same outing. Croft Head looks a bit too separate a hill, though it would be interesting to devise a route which combined Loch Fell and Croft Head from Ettrick Head.
john923
 
Posts: 196
Munros:16   Corbetts:9
Grahams:6   Donalds:11
Sub 2000:12   Hewitts:219
Wainwrights:168   
Joined: Apr 20, 2009
Location: Worcestershire

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