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Dun Rig via Glen Sax

Dun Rig via Glen Sax


Postby FiferStu » Sat Dec 07, 2013 6:11 pm

Grahams included on this walk: Dun Rig

Donalds included on this walk: Birkscairn Hill, Dun Rig

Date walked: 16/11/2012

Time taken: 6 hours

Distance: 23 km

Ascent: 760m

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ROUTE
Peebles - Haystoun - Glen Sax - Upper Newby - Glensax (remains) - Dun Rig - Old Drove Road - Stake Law - Birkscairn Hill - Kirkhope Law - Kailzie Hill - Craig Head - Gypsy Glen - Peebles

My first visit to Glen Sax in 14 years. Nice, easy start along the thankfully cattle-free entrance to Glen Sax by Haystoun, followed by very gentle undulations along Glen Sax itself. Fourteen years can be a long time, and I had forgotten how scenic this whole area was (and still is) - a nice glen with a meandering burn, flanked by hills on three sides.

Image
'Entrance' to Glen Sax

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Craig Head across Glen Sax

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Trees at the foot of Kailzie Hill across Glen Sax

The plan today was (or had been) to strike onto the ridge on the west side of the glen, gaining it by ascending Dead Side and working my way round to Dun Rig via Hundleshope. But the clear track up Dead Side I recall from 14 years ago was nowhere to be seen. So judging by the amount of daylight in mid-November, I made a quick decision to make for the very far end of the glen and head up to Dun Rig via the northeast ridge. So I made my easy way to the end of the track, passing on the way the abandoned farm dwelling of Glensax. What a lonely place this must have been! It’s in a beautiful spot but remote, two miles or so from the nearest habitation, Upper Newby, and a further two miles beyond that to the town of Peebles.

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Disused farm dwelling of Glensax

At the end of the glen I had to find a way across Glensax Burn before I could start my ascent. The burn was quite wide and pretty full as well, so rather than plunge straight in I thought I’d spend five minutes looking for an easier way across. And sure enough, just beyond the ‘ford‘ marked on the map, there was a ‘footbridge‘ (a wide plank of wood, but it would do!)

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Dun Rig and Glenrath Heights at the far end of Glen Sax

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Glen Sax from lower (NE) slopes of Dun Rig

I then made my way up this new route, for me, to the summit of Dun Rig. There was an intermittent path, but in any case this was a reasonably easy gradient, and I plodded to the top in about half an hour. I stopped by the triangulation pillar for a refuel, but it was short-lived as a bitter wind accompanied briefly by a sleet shower made me want to move on quickly.

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Broom Hill from Dun Rig

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Dun Rig summit at last

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Descending Kirkhope Law

By now it was hat, gloves and full winter gear all the way. Nice, clear day or not, it was still a bitterly cold wind, and I just concentrated on staying warm and trying to reach Peebles before darkness. Once I’d negotiated the awful peat hags of Dun Rig/Stake Law, I stopped once more on Birkscairn Hill to finish the coffee and rations. Then it was mostly downhill along the old drove road, my step quickening as time was getting on. Although I had a headtorch with me, I didn’t want to run out of daylight before reaching the streetlights of Peebles. I made good, quick progress downhill, all the time taking care not to fall or twist an ankle with the downward momentum. I reached the Gypsy Glen at 4.30pm, with darkness now upon me. Twenty more minutes of street walking to the centre of the town, and I was ready for my bus home.
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FiferStu
Walker
 
Posts: 49
Munros:36   Corbetts:14
Grahams:15   Donalds:28
Sub 2000:10   
Joined: Sep 10, 2010
Location: Fife

Re: Dun Rig via Glen Sax

Postby FiferStu » Mon Dec 09, 2013 9:31 pm

Thanks, RTC. You're right, this is lovely walking country, sometimes overlooked by those heading for the Highlands.

I first walked here in 1996, which seems a very long time ago now! I lived in Edinburgh back then but I'm now in Dunfermline, and still enjoy coming here.

Part of this route also holds historical interest, particularly on the drove road. I often stop and think of the effort in getting huge herds of cattle the long distances to the markets in earlier centuries. Tough times!
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FiferStu
Walker
 
Posts: 49
Munros:36   Corbetts:14
Grahams:15   Donalds:28
Sub 2000:10   
Joined: Sep 10, 2010
Location: Fife

Re: Dun Rig via Glen Sax

Postby meangarry » Wed Dec 11, 2013 4:33 pm

I was there with a mate recently. The hills had a dusting of snow and for the most part the hags and bogs were frozen. I'm a touch over 14st and the iced up bogs held my weight easily. Unfortunatley my mate is a 6'3'' 18st rugby player and one such bog that held me decided to give way under him. :lol: It was rather amusing. :lol: :lol: :lol:

Peebles is a great wee place.
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meangarry
 
Posts: 398
Munros:27   Corbetts:18
Grahams:13   Donalds:56
Sub 2000:5   Hewitts:16
Wainwrights:23   
Joined: Mar 24, 2012

Re: Dun Rig via Glen Sax

Postby Starfish999 » Thu Jul 13, 2017 11:32 pm

Great to see my regular Sunday walk illustrated so nicely :)

Only comment I'd add is that you should keep an eye out for mountain bike riders when you walk the drovers way... increasingly they are straying from their dedicated routes in nearby Glentress and Innerleithen as this area continues to be promoted for this purpose. Mostly this is fine, but a minority seem to treat the hills as their private race course - often in groups - speeding up behind you with no warnings given. This is also leading to worsening footpath erosion in places on the downhill stretches where these riders often break heavily, which can make the going a little muddy in wet weather.
Starfish999
Mountaineer
 
Posts: 1
Joined: Jul 13, 2017

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