I’m not one to issue a walk report every time I step out on the hills. I have been helping a local community group to provide walk descriptions for their area so that others visiting the area can explore the hills. So I thought I would put one of these recent descriptions on here to give other users a route for these hills. If you have been on these hills and have some feedback let me know and if you use this to help you walk these hills I hope you enjoy the walk.
Description. Climb 2 of the Southern Donalds (hills over 2000 ft) onto the two most northern of the Lowther hills.
Distance 6 miles (10 km)
Ascent 2,000 ft (700 m)
Time 4 - 5 hours
The start of the walk is from the car park for Glenochar Bastle and Fermtoun trail which is just over 2 miles south of Elvanfoot on the A702. From the car park leave through the small pedestrian gate in the corner beside the signpost. The path follows white waymarkers for the Fermtoun trail and these should be followed. When the Glenochar burn appears to the right of the path look for a small bridge over the burn ahead on the right. Turn off the path and down to the bridge and cross the burn heading for a gate. Pass through the gate still following, now unpainted, waymarkers past the stone wall on the left. Make for a new gate where the hill rises and pass through the gate. This is moment that you leave the waymarkers ascend the hill beside you. The route is North-West.
The ascent of the hill, Coupland Gair, is open hillside with paths made by sheep and quad bike tracks made by shepherds. None of these paths or tracks specifically go in your direction! In fact there is no specific path leading up this hill. Use your own route to go upwards. When the hill starts to level off a fence beside a broken down parallel wall is reached and this fence will go to near the top of Lousie Wood Law. Follow the fence continuing north-west uphill. Near the top of Lousie Wood Law a gate across your route is reached; pass through the gate and continue a small distance to reach a small cairn and trig point at the top of the hill.
Navigation to Dun Law is much simpler. Return to the gate and follow the fence with the gate south and then south-west downhill. After the change of direction in the fence it is worthwhile crossing the fence to find a quad bike track to continue the descent. When the route appears to vanish below you the route is descending into Little Windgate Hass, a steep gulley to descend into and climb out of. The choice is continue to follow the fence or veer left to find a shallower descent and hence a shallower ascent but the latter choice will add time to the walk.
Once out onto the open hill again it is a simple matter of following the fence line south-west and uphill. The route passes over the White Law before rising up to Dun Law. The summit of Dun Law is marked by a small group of white stones. From here if visibiilty is good the town of Leadhills can be seen looking north west and inline with our route the communication masts on Green Lowther are quite prominent. Beyond these masts on Lowther Hill is the 'golf ball', a radar installation. Both of these hills are also Donalds.
Leave Dun Law in a south east direction (turn left from your uphill route) and follow the fence downhill. When a small level area beside a knoll on the left is reached cross the fence to the left and continue downhill until a gate across the route is reached. Pass through the gate and then veer to the left in an easterly direction heading for Glenochar with the hill that was ahead of you on the descent now on your right. Cross the level area between the two hills but once on the rise onto the next hill contour round to your left and walk along the side of Glenochar.
The waymarked trail around the remains of Fermtoun is reached and the remains of the houses, especially the Bastle can be seen on the left. Keep going in the same direction even though a white waymarker points towards the ruins. Follow the waymarkers back to the point at which the bridge crosses the burn and here join the outward route back to the car park.
The photos will not be part of my description but are here as a record of my walk.
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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.