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Mols Cleuch Dod and Lochcraig Head

Mols Cleuch Dod and Lochcraig Head

Postby jgregor » Sun Jul 16, 2023 1:49 pm

Donalds included on this walk: Lochcraig Head , Molls Cleuch Dod

Date walked: 29/06/2023

Time taken: 3.75 hours

Distance: 10.5 km

Ascent: 568m

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Back among the reservoirs north of Moffat to round up a stray Donald and a couple of tops. This was a route entirely of my own design, so I would only have myself to blame if anything went awry! Fortunately, aside form a couple of rain showers (which weren't forecast, but were not completely unexpected), nothing did.

We parked in the lay-by a couple of hundred meters east of the entrance to the Talla and Gameshope reserve, by the bridge over the Talla Water. We entered the reserve at the gate and followed the track east for a few hundred meters until we reached the big green shed by the side of the river.

Looking down the Talla Reservoir from the road

Along the track beside the Talla Water

From here we headed up a pathless Donald Top called Carlavin Hill. Near the top a fairly heavy shower started, and we took what shelter we could in a dip next to the wall at the summit for a few minutes.

Climbing Carlavin Hill - view of Megget Reservoir

Talla Cleuch Head (left) and Broad Law (right)

We turned south-east to make the straight-forward walk over to Mols Cleuch Dod, our one intended Donald for the day. The rain stopped on the way.

Mols Cleuch Dod summit

We continued along the track for a bit, then contoured around Firthybrig Head to Talla Nick, near the source of the Talla Water. On our way down to the Nick we dropped below the clouds for long enough to catch a view of Loch Skeen. We stopped for a rest, just the other side of the wall from were we had stopped on a previous hike up to Loch Skeen and Lochcraig Head from the other side. On that day we also visited White Coomb, and is remembered as our windiest ever day in the hills!

Talla Nick (where the wall is) and Loch Skeen beyond

We were not intending to go right to the top of Lochcraig Head this time, but rather to contour round on its west side and on down to Nickies Knowe. However, finding ourselves on a clear path, we decided to follow it to the summit rather than struggle pathless. So, second time for me on Lochcraig Head. We recalled the boys hadn't made it this far the last time, deciding to shelter from the high winds behind the wall to the south were we had ascended, while I pushed onto the summit, then allowed myself to be blown back again :lol: So now they've properly bagged it too.

View east from Lochcraig Head

The day had brightened as we continued north over Talla East Side and onto the Donald Top Nickies Knowe, where we stopped for lunch.

Cairn on Talla East Side

View east from the rather flat summit of Nickies Knowe

Nickies Knowe summit is rather broad and flat, and so the views aren't as good as might be expected given its location. However, decending on it's north side is a differnet matter, with a fine view down Talla Reservoir and over to the Coulter Hills.

Heading down Nickies Knowe, with view of Talla Reservoir

Looking over to the road and the Megget Stane

At the foot of Nickies Knowe we crossed a flat, boggy area between the Talla Water and some tributaries of the Megget Water - a reminder that we were close to the Megget Stane, which marks the high point between the two rivers and their reservoirs.

We reached the green barn we had passed earlier, this time on the other side of the Talla Water. We crossed the river easily enough and followed the track back to the road.

The Talla Water, and the track back to the start

Dipping my toes in the Talla Water

Mols_Cleuch_Dod_2023-06-29_09-40.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts

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Re: Mols Cleuch Dod and Lochcraig Head

Postby HedleyP » Sat Jul 29, 2023 10:43 pm

I love these hills.

Lat time I did that route was on a team training exercise and it was dark, windy (one step forward, one to the side) and raining. Great nav practice though!
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Location: Innerleithen, Scottish Borders

Re: Mols Cleuch Dod and Lochcraig Head

Postby WildAboutWalking » Sun Jul 30, 2023 8:18 am

Nice horseshoe. By coincidence I have been discussing a walk from Peebles to Moffat with a friend, and have been agonising over the best way onto the hills from the Megget Stane - your report highlights a couple of decent options.
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