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.

Criffel and Boreland Hill - Never mind the Tussocks

Criffel and Boreland Hill - Never mind the Tussocks


Postby icemandan » Thu Apr 05, 2012 11:09 pm

Sub 2000' hills included on this walk: Criffel

Date walked: 04/04/2012

Time taken: 6.5 hours

Distance: 21.5 km

Ascent: 800m

Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).


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



Friends were staying near Kirkgunzeon. Criffel has been nagging me from across the water for years. The opportunity was too good to miss. Looking at the map a quick up and down from New Abbey looked like too short a walk to justify a drive up from Kendal. A look at the map suggested that we could continue west to Boreland Hill then north along the ridge to finish on the oddly named Lotus Hill. There's a lot that you can't tell from a map.

We dropped one car at the Lotus Hill car park and drove to New Abbey - a pretty village with a ruined abbey and a millpond. A lane led up to the edge of the forest and from there a good path led up into the forest. It picked up a stone wall and became a progressively muddier path as height was gained.
P1010293.JPG

Eventually we exited the forest and the first of a series of superb 'helicopter' views came into sight as Loch Kindar appeared.
P1010296.JPG

Climbing up more steeply, we soon reached the subsidiary summit of Knockendoch from where snow covered Skiddaw rose with unexpected majesty across the Firth.
P1010297.JPG

The coastal flatlands and the Nith Estuary made for a dramatic contrast with the high ground and made these modest hills seem much higher.
P1010301.JPG

At the top of Criffel, the whole of the Cumbrian Coast down to St Bees Head spread out before us behind a silvery sea.

So far so good. The path vanished and we bushwhacked down towards Boreland Hill. There had been a large fire here and the entire hillside was burnt heather and ash. Not the most enjoyable ascent...
P1010305.JPG

but we were rewarded at the top with a view of the indented coastline around Kirkcudbright.
P1010304.JPG

And even the Solway wind farm looked good in this light.

That was the good bit. Initially we made good progress. When we got to the end of the burnt bit, the ridge towards Meikle Hard Hill was covered in deep heathery tussocks interspersed with deep holes full of slime. Progress slowed to a crawl. There weren't even any animal tracks. Exasperated and tired, the appeal of Lotus hill and another four miles of this ebbed away. So we bailed out. We came to a cleared section of woodland and followed a stream down to a forest road which made for fast but indirect progress down to the glen and a long trudge down the road back to the car. Criffel is great, Boreland Hill is an ok viewpoint but I wouldn't recommend the ridge walk to my worst enemy.
icemandan
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 446
Munros:250   Corbetts:26
Grahams:13   Donalds:13
Sub 2000:16   Hewitts:199
Wainwrights:214   Islands:33
Joined: Jun 30, 2010
Location: Kendal

Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).


Walkhighlands community forum is now advert free

We need help to keep the site online.
Can you help support Walkhighlands and the online community by setting up a monthly donation by direct debit?



Return to Walk reports - Scotland

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: SuperMillie and 57 guests