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A frosty Morning Around Peebles

A frosty Morning Around Peebles

Postby Border Yellerbelly » Wed Feb 29, 2012 1:00 am

Sub 2000' hills included on this walk: Cademuir Hill

Date walked: 07/02/2012

Time taken: 7 hours

Distance: 18 km

Ascent: 848m

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This is kind of a first posting but actually some of you will know me as my alter-ego, the older and uglier half of Paul_Antonia. Somehow it just didn't feel right to post reports, using that account, on walks that Antonia didn't accompany me on and as I've described in our postings I can't always get out with Antonia, indeed she doesn't always want to come. Solution to this quandry? my own account, on which I can post any of my other adventures without feeling that somehow I'm defrauding everyone. All of this, of course, after clearing it with our administrator. :D

This report is from a bit of an impromptu day out a few weeks ago.
I had a couple of days off work on 6th and 7th and had spent the Monday kicking around the house, washing pots, hoovering etc whilst Chenoa was at work. It had been a fairly misty-grey start to that day but had brightened considerably later on and I'd been somewhat disappointed not to be out in the sunshine. You know that feeling of being caged in and having wasted a day when you could be in the hills?
Anyway, that evening I was checking out all the important gossip on facebook when my friend and work colleague, Jaromir, posted some lovely photos taken from a hill just above the town that very day. Whilst we were looking at the grey start he'd been out above the mists and taken some stunning scenes of the mist in the Tweed valley with spires, trees and hills poking out.
Well that was just about as much as I could stand. The "green-eyed monster" came out, it was "like a red rag to a bull", and any other similar phrases you can think of.
Jari was still online so I dropped him a message checking that I had correctly identified his vantage point and he told me that he was heading out again the very next day. The forecast was similar and promised a hard frost overnight.
Jari's planned day was to head out south of the town, along the Manor Valley and up to Dollar Law, not exactly a short walk then?
Dollar Law is one of our local hills that I've yet to set foot on so I invited myself along for the ride.
Jari wanted an early start so he could get some photo's around sunrise, the agreed time and location being the post office on Peebles High Street at 7am. I could hardly wait.......
Tuesday morning arrived and I headed off through town along Eddleston Water ( "The Cuddy" locally ) to my rendezvous at the post office. It was still dark and there was indeed a hard frost. I was travelling light and had packed my lunch and a drink into the pockets of my coat. I had brought the camera along but after much deliberation had elected to leave my tripod at home.
I approached the post office just as the clock on the parish church was striking seven and was pleased to see that Jari was approaching from the opposite direction. Good, neither of us would have to stand around waiting on this cold morning.
Jari wanted to try to gain some height quickly so he could try to get some similar photo's to those he'd taken the previous day, so because the planned walk would keep us at low level for a few miles we decided to change the plan and head out towards Glensax and beat a path straight up Newby Kipps.
The route led us through Victoria Park and along Glen Road to the start of the Old Drove Road and Gypsy Glen. A fine walk in it's own right but today we turned right along the private road of the Haystoun Estate which leads to the beautiful valley of Glensax. I was captivated by this place the first time I came here and had to keep reminding myself " This isn't a holiday, I live here now."
On this frosty morning, just before sunrise, it had a pastel- hued beauty that I've not experienced before. I must have been hexed or something because I never once stopped to photograph it, or maybe I just didn't want to slow down Jari.
We continued along the track to Upper Newby Farm, turned past the sheepfold and round behind the farm to follow the minor valley of Waddenshope Burn.
1 Looking back to Peebles from Glensax.jpg
Looking Back towards misty Peebles from Waddenshope burn. Newby Kipps is above us to the left and Dead Side to the right

2 Peebles from Glensax Frosty Morning.jpg
Again looking back from Waddenshope Burn to the mist hanging over Peebles

By now I could see that Jari wanted to be getting some altitude behind us, he kept looking at his watch and mumbling about it being nearly sunrise. It was clear to me that there wouldn't be the same mists that he had seen the previous day but it was equally clear that we would be getting some great weather. We could see the Summit of Newby Kipps above us glowing copper as it caught the first rays of sunrise.
We abandonned Waddenshope Burn to it's lowly journey and headed straight up the side of Newby Kipps. Not a big summit by anyones measure but it is a steep pull straight up the side and great care should be taken not to injure an ankle in one of the many rabbit holes.
After much huffing and puffing on my part we finally gained the summit and a well earned breather whilst we took in the views over Peebles and the Tweed Valley.
3 Peebles in mist from Newby Kipps.jpg
The morning mists over Peebles gradually burning away in the early sun. The Pentland Hills can just be seen in the distance.

Newby Kipps holds a unique position here ( or so I thouight ) in that it has a rocky outcropping at the top.
5 Gate on Newby Kipps copy.jpg
Old Gate at the summit of Newby Kipps, with views along Cademuir Valley. Cademuir Hill to the Right and our descent route via Juniper Crags is to the left. Hills of the western side of Manor valley and the Broughton ranges are in the distance.

We lingered here for quite a while and discussed our route onwards. One thing being for certain, we would be heading SW over Preston Law which is pretty much the only way off Newby Kipps without making a full descent.
4 Preston Law from Newby Kipps.jpg
Preston Law ( Far Right ) with our route visible alongside the wall. Snow capped Hundleshope Heights peeps out behind with Dead Side to the left. Clouds hanging over Birkscairn Hill.

In warmer conditions these high moorlands can be quite boggy but today the ground was frozen solid and the going was relatively easy.
Another pull up to the Summit of Preston Law and we could clearly see the snow field on the flanks of Hundleshope Heights beckoning us on.
6 Snow Field on Hundleshope heights.jpg
Snow field on approach to Hundleshope Heights. The only picture with us in it ( well our shadows anyway ). The forested dome of Cademuir hill in the midground with the Meldens further back and the Pentlands only just visible on the horizon.

Now, unlike Jari, I hadn't done much walking of this type in snow before so it was quite a shock for me as to how physical it can be, especially where the snow has bridged over the heather so what appears to be solid ground is actually 18 inches deep, so while I was wading knee deep in the stuff Jari was bounding over much firmer ground and having a ball. He clearly knows something that I don't.
A few hundred yards further on and we gained the summit of Hundleshope Heights. The snow here had given way mostly to hard frosty ground again.
We lingered here again for a while, taking photographs and talking about previous walks.
Trig Point Hunleshope Heights2.jpg
Trig point at Hundleshope Heights. Clouds hanging over Glenrath heights and Dun Rig give the place a spooky feel. I've added a coloured Gradient to heighten the mood.

The clouds were hanging over the higher ground to the south at Glenrath Heights and Dun Rig so we decided to head back in a NW direcrtion and descend via Juniper Crags, "A nice place to be", as Jari describes it.
Now this was where I learned that Juniper Crags also has a rocky outcrop at the summit. I don't know why that was a surprise to me, after all with a name like Juniper CRAGS I was clearly not showing much common sense.
Jari was right and this is indeed a very " Nice place to be" with commanding views across to Cademuir Hill , along to the manor valley in the west and back to Peebles in the Northeast.
8 Cademuir hill from Juniper Crags.jpg
Looking from Juniper Crags down Chester Hill and over the flat valley to Cademuir Hill. Both Chester Hill and Cademuir Hill have ancient forts on their summits. Again this seems common in these parts.

9 Looking down from Juniper Crags .jpg
Looking down from Juniper Crags to the western flanks of Manor Valley with the hills above Stobo and Drumelzier behind.

A few more photos and a sit down whilst we had some refreshments. I had packed a couple of sandwiches, some fruit and a drink, Jari on the other hand seemed to have brought enough food to open a small supermarket.
We stayed here till the chill began to encourage us onwards, and downwards, and we descended to the northeastern side picking up a track that led us out via Crookston Farm to the minor road running round the base of Cademuir Hill.
At this point Jari suggested that we could simply follow the road back into town but I didn't fancy that much so we headed west along the road to pick up the John Buchan Way over Cademuir Hill via the Whaum and back down into Peebles at the main Tweed Bridge.
I bade Jari farewell and was home just after lunchtime for a hot soup and a long soak in the bath followed by a glass of wine whilst I looked back at the photo's of the day.

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Border Yellerbelly
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Re: A frosty Morning Around Peebles

Postby kev_russ » Wed Feb 29, 2012 11:42 am

Boot-iful pics :)
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Re: A frosty Morning Around Peebles

Postby Border Yellerbelly » Wed Feb 29, 2012 11:16 pm

Thanks Kev. Very kind of you. I'm getting some good comments about my pics on this site and it really helps my confidence when deciding what to take. Really enjoying my photography recently.
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Re: A frosty Morning Around Peebles

Postby RicKamila » Fri Mar 02, 2012 2:47 pm

Lovely walk and report and some great piccies!!

Why not enter one in the monthly photo competition? :)
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Re: A frosty Morning Around Peebles

Postby LeithySuburbs » Sat Mar 03, 2012 12:09 am

the summit of Cademuir Hill is, erm, a little tricky to find... :?
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Re: A frosty Morning Around Peebles

Postby ChrisW » Sat Mar 03, 2012 3:41 am

Great report BY and lovely photos to accompany it, can't beat a frosty morning hike :D
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Re: A frosty Morning Around Peebles

Postby Border Yellerbelly » Sun Mar 04, 2012 12:56 am

LeithySuburbs wrote:the summit of Cademuir Hill is, erm, a little tricky to find... :?

I agree, it certainly is. I believe it's buried somewhere in all those trees, then of course there is the other half of the hill with the two hill forts on it. It's a favourite area for a constitutional when I've got a couple of hours spare.
In the last 18 months I've been up and down it, over it, round it, and I feel wholly justified in claiming it.
One of these afternoons I'm gonna just head into the trees with my compass and map and see if I can't nail it completely.
Ah if only I had a GPS.........
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Re: A frosty Morning Around Peebles

Postby Scotjamie » Sun Mar 04, 2012 1:54 pm

I agree re the "Lost Cademuir"
Was up looking yesterday, but without GPS just wandered around for hours tripping over the chevaux de frise. Photie from the west side with a forestry clad top peeking out from behind

Cademuir or not Cademuir?

Good luck YB, but a GPS definitely needed :?
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Re: A frosty Morning Around Peebles

Postby wjshaw2 » Sat Jun 15, 2013 2:35 pm

From the Cademuir Hill car park in the woods on the NE side, if you follow the track all the way round to the south side of the hill to the junction of tracks near the Settlement, and take the track that heads almost directly back north towards the top, you'll soon see a muddy forest ride, a break in the trees that heads straight up to the top - it's just a few metres off to the west of that ride. You'll know it's the top, because you stop going up :), no need for a GPS. As far as I remember from last year's stroll up there it's next to a few fallen trees. There didn't seem to be any other obvious routes leading to the top.
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