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Loch Fell, the Wind and the Pen. Snow Bother! :-S

Loch Fell, the Wind and the Pen. Snow Bother! :-S


Postby meangarry » Tue Feb 05, 2013 11:32 pm

Grahams included on this walk: Ettrick Pen

Donalds included on this walk: Ettrick Pen, Loch Fell, Wind Fell

Date walked: 05/02/2013

Time taken: 8 hours

Distance: 20 km

Ascent: 1190m

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After myself and fellow wh member Papabouba's last outing in the snow around the Hart fell horseshoe we thought we'd give this route a bash, in the snow. :? Now, our last outing was hard going through deep soft snow. Todays outing was not dissimilar although the snow was deeper in alot of places. :shock: Great! Drifts so deep it was easier to crawl over them so as not to sink in. The main difference other than the depth of snow was the weather, it was not pleasant. Spindrift and low cloud was difficult to make progress through. We made it to the end of the glen where the path meets the suw and continued straight up onto west knowe. A very steep acsent of 250m. As I was plodding through the deep snow I stepped on a rock and hit the deck like a professional wrestler. The lower section of my pole took the full force of my hulk hogan leg drop and was more bent than an italian referee. :( This made the rest of my day very difficult, keeping my balance in the drifts and wind was tough on my legs. When we reached the trig on loch fell we took shelter.
DSC_0385.jpg
Tucked up behind the trig on loch fell.
The respite was short lived as we knew we had to move to find better shelter to stop for some spirit lifting soup so we marched towards windfell nick through the wild conditions. In the sheltered nick there was a deep drift which we decided to use to our advantage. We dug simple snow holes to get down out of the wind. It worked, the combination of a wind break and soup was delightful. Re-energised we shot up wind fell like two mountain hares.
DSC_0395.jpg
papa on wind fell
Fortunately for us the wind had blown the top clear of snow and we made good progress along the ridge. We passed a spot where I had lunch on a previous walk in better weather. It was clear we were making slow progress.
DSC_0401.jpg
Cheesing in a wee drift. I ate lunch here in fairer weather.
At this point we came upon a wide area of drift where we crawled over to avoid getting sunk in. Snowshoes would have been a godsend. Even through the deep drifts we plodded on. Ettrick pen was now not far ahead and a strong tail wind helped us onto the summit where we collapsed behind the large cairn.
DSC_0409.jpg
Papa on the pen
The usually steep descent was also made easier by the wind which held you up in a way that eased the strain on your knees. :) Once down the track to the bothy at over phawhope we got a brew on. It was just 3°c inside the bothy, which had been left with the front door wide open and the porch full of drifted snow, but it felt lovely and warm to our wind beated faces. Whilst the water boiled I swept the snow out the porch. :-x Tea and coffee from melted snow was rather nice :D and on leaving the bothy the skies began to clear.
DSC_0430.jpg
Clearing skies from the bothy.
The plan was now to use the suw and head back to the glen we had used to get to loch fell. Although the track was good there was still 6 inches of snow lying. Going was still tough.
DSC_0433.jpg
Papa bear in the woods.
We trudged through the forest and over the moor to parks well where a drift blocked the footbridge. :lol:
DSC_0445.jpg
Wee footbridge on the suw back to selcoth.
Once this final obstacle was overcome the route back to selcoth fish farm was mostly down hill and walked in silence, we were both knackered! 8 hours of walking through deep snow is not easy :? but it sure is satisfying to get back to the car. Maybe the next time we are out there won't be a foot of snow! We'll probably still go regardless. :lol:
Attachments
DSC_0425.jpg
Snowy bothy.

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meangarry
 
Posts: 398
Munros:27   Corbetts:17
Grahams:13   Donalds:53
Sub 2000:5   Hewitts:17
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Re: Loch Fell, the Wind and the Pen. Snow Bother! :-S

Postby ScottishLeaf » Wed Feb 06, 2013 12:00 am

Looks like a brutal day on the hills, bet it was fun! lol
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Re: Loch Fell, the Wind and the Pen. Snow Bother! :-S

Postby foggieclimber » Wed Feb 06, 2013 12:09 am

Amazing what a difference a few days makes!

Today:
Image

Last Friday:
Image

Nice to see Ettrick Pen again so soon :D.
Cheers
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Re: Loch Fell, the Wind and the Pen. Snow Bother! :-S

Postby meangarry » Wed Feb 06, 2013 12:18 am

Certainly was brutal and fun dude. Even when I'm kaput i still can't resist a jump around in a big drift. :D

And foggie, it certainly does make a big difference. Think I took a pic from a similar spot.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/meangarry/8448199023/
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meangarry
 
Posts: 398
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Re: Loch Fell, the Wind and the Pen. Snow Bother! :-S

Postby gmr82 » Wed Feb 06, 2013 2:57 pm

8 hours - tough one!

Hope this walk made up for not getting out on Saturday!
gmr82
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Re: Loch Fell, the Wind and the Pen. Snow Bother! :-S

Postby meangarry » Wed Feb 06, 2013 4:06 pm

Yep, it did mate. Also managed to catch up on some sleep after watching the superbowl on sunday night. 11hours of sleeping like a log. 8) Luckily for me the forecast is good for the next few days and I have friday saturday off. Woo hoo!
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meangarry
 
Posts: 398
Munros:27   Corbetts:17
Grahams:13   Donalds:53
Sub 2000:5   Hewitts:17
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Joined: Mar 24, 2012

Re: Loch Fell, the Wind and the Pen. Snow Bother! :-S

Postby Silverhill » Wed Feb 06, 2013 11:52 pm

8 hours, 20km through the snow, respect! :clap:
For some reason I now want to do that section of the SUW again, but in the snow. Love the picture of the footbridge at Ettrick Head.
Is the bothy still in good condition?
DSCF1259.jpg
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Re: Loch Fell, the Wind and the Pen. Snow Bother! :-S

Postby meangarry » Thu Feb 07, 2013 9:46 pm

Yep it's in good nick. Plenty logs and kindling cut too. It is a lovely wee bothy, feels like a home from home with a good fire roaring and crackling away. :)
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meangarry
 
Posts: 398
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