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Windlestraw Law Circuit - Report

Windlestraw Law Circuit - Report

Postby juniemo » Mon Jun 09, 2014 10:47 am

Route description: Windlestraw Law circuit, Innerleithen

Grahams included on this walk: Windlestraw Law

Donalds included on this walk: Windlestraw Law

Date walked: 09/06/2014

Distance: 18.75 km

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I found this walk very challenging and at times unpleasant or treacherous. On a clear day the views were fabulous. I am unclear as to the total ascent because of the amount of up and down and I don't think the Route Profile accurately describes the true extent of the Up and Down. I did not have any measuring gear but I am sure the total climb was close to 1000 metres
I will add comments of the stages as described in the walk details.
Stage 1
Good directions. The path to the bridge lies between two cottages
Stage 2
Easy to reach the fort but then a tricky steep descent on grass before climbing up to the forest,. The views are stunning.
Stage 3
When you reach the top of Priesthope Hill it is better to cross the fence because there is a track cleared on this side and the other side is much trickier.
Stage 4
The ascent is very steep - standing underneath it looked almost vertical (but looking back later I would estimate at least 65 degrees). I found this a killer (but to go back would have involved a similar climb back to Priesthope Hill). Once the steepest part has been climbed it becomes a bit easier on the lungs but it is now very boggy and you are having to search for solid ground to tread. There was no gap in a cross fence before we reached the cairn. Fabulous views again from here and a well earned llunch break.
Stage 5
While walking this part we tried to identify how we would start the descent but didn't see the second cairn. I was feeling very unsure at this stage because I wasn't sure the direction we would be taking.
Stage 6
Thanfully the photo of this stage allowed us to determine the direction we were heading but had we retraced to the first cairn there was no instruction on where to go next. We crossed the tussocks heading for the track we could see. Only at this point did we see the second cairn above us. We reached the track and climbed Scawd Law and Cairn Hil. Again stunning views of the rolling hils as we walked.
Stage 7
The descent was treacherous - muddy, slippy, steep, and lots of fir branches to avoid. I would not want to repeat the experience. I'm not sure that my trousers or walking boots will ever look the same again. I would describe the first part as a plunge and the part after the lowere cairn as a descent. The second part of the descent seemed never ending. It was also steep in many places but not treacherous and the canopy of larch (I think) trees very attractive. At the bottom the wall is not easily visible because of the vegetation but it is clear where to turn right and at the end of the trees you view civilisation again. Aiming for the bridge by the farmyard involved navigating a number of fields to eventually walk down the side of the farmhouse to reach the bridge (we spend some time trying to find the bridge because it is at water level and not easily seen)
Stage 8
This was straightforward. The stroll along the Tweed was a pleasant end to what had been a more difficult walk than expected. Ddidn't manage to follow the final instructions to get to the bridge over the Leithen but by now we could use our nose to get back to the car.
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Posts: 1
Joined: Jun 8, 2014

Re: Windlestraw Law Circuit - Report

Postby jmarkb » Tue Jun 10, 2014 8:40 am

Did this a few weeks ago: it's a good walk but quite rough going in places! I think the walk profile is more or less correct: maybe 50m short on the total ascent compared to counting contours on the map - it just feels like more...

The descent off Cairn Hill is a bit of a mess: I wonder if it would be better to drop west off the ridge from the gate before Cairn Hill along the edge of the forestry and pick up the track along the bottom of the valley, which brings you out to the main road at the same point?
Posts: 4275
Munros:241   Corbetts:96
Grahams:78   Donalds:29
Sub 2000:43   
Joined: Oct 28, 2011
Location: Edinburgh

Re: Windlestraw Law Circuit - Report

Postby FiferStu » Fri Dec 26, 2014 2:18 pm

Not sure how we can follow your route. No photos, no map, no route descriptions. Unless I'm missing something??
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Posts: 40
Munros:36   Corbetts:14
Grahams:15   Donalds:28
Sub 2000:10   
Joined: Sep 10, 2010
Location: Fife

Re: Windlestraw Law Circuit - Report

Postby rob114 » Sun Dec 28, 2014 2:19 pm

Fiferstu, the numbers refer to the WH route.... Easy to work out!
Posts: 6
Munros:125   Corbetts:32
Grahams:5   Donalds:10
Sub 2000:11   Hewitts:6
Wainwrights:9   Islands:15
Joined: Mar 23, 2013

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