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7 Donalds from Daer Reservoir

7 Donalds from Daer Reservoir

Postby RTMcB » Sun Sep 21, 2014 8:11 pm

Fionas included on this walk: Ballencleuch Law, Queensberry

Donalds included on this walk: Ballencleuch Law, Comb Law, Earncraig Hill, Gana Hill, Queensberry, Scaw'd Law, Wedder Law

Date walked: 21/09/2014

Time taken: 6.75 hours

Distance: 28.7 km

Ascent: 1414m

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Daer 7 Donalds 21_09_14.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts

Yet again I find myself taking inspiration from gmr82 http://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=31243! This little clutch of 7 Donalds almost brings my tally to 25%. The missus was ill, and besides she's a bit bleh about the Donalds, but I couldn't let a glorious day go to waste. However, I left my camera behind :( and had to rely on my smartphone. Sorry for the poor quality.

Due to some polite tailgating, I missed the turn of for the "Daer Waterworks". Didn't fancy getting rear ended just to go up some hills. Quick 3 point turn and I'm on the road to the Daer reservoir. When the road forks take a right! You need to be coming up the west side of the reservoir. Driving alongside the reservoir I saw the first of today's golden eagles! Got a bit distracted with that and missed the spot to park at Kirkhope Cleuch. I ended up at the farmhouse and thought it best not to park there so returned to Kirkhope Cleuch. Space enough for 2 cars, but there's possibly a space by the cattle grid should you need it.

Boots on and I'm off into the forest following the track from the car park. Not the best of tracks, so when you spot a chance to cross the wall and jump into the adjacent field take it. Straightforward ascent up Comb Law. I avoided the sheep and made a bee line for the summit. Fantastic view across the the hills with the golf ball and transmitters on them! Sun was blazing not a cloud in the sky, although it was a bit hazy. My walk to the first Graham off the day, Ballencleuch Law saw my disturb a second golden eagle. Now from my recent experience, I'm pretty sure it was one but I've no photographic proof of this one. Arriving at Ballencleuch Law, there was at least 2 more golden eagles going about. There were definitely 3 or 4 in the sky at once. All hovering looking for food. BTW there were plenty of wee mammals diving for cover today as I trod across the peaty bogginess. The eagles were still visible from Scaw'd Law.

Here I took the track, it passed a wee derelict shed, now more of a sheep toilet. The track continues up almost to Wedder Law. Hard to tell where the actual summit is, I just picked the best spot where it seemed nothing else was higher. Steepish descent to the south of Wedder Law and then you hit Thick Cleuch Moss! Clearly a euphemism for boggy, energy draining filth! I was glad that the ground was drier than when gmr82 came through. Pulling up to Gana Hill, there were more eagles going about and a couple of hares. Someone's laid a very nice track across the top of Gana Hill, sadly it wasn't to my benefit. Not obvious where the actual top was but I reckon the mound by the track was the highest peak. Eagles still visible coming down Gana Shank, bit of a zig-zag route as you follow the contours to get to the start of Earncraig Hill. At least the summit there was obvious, though it was protected by barbed wire! A quick detour to the gate then back up to the summit for a wee break and a chance to eye up Queensberry, the second Graham of the day.

From Penbreck to Queensberry shoulder it's pretty boggy, but it was mostly dry. I doubt it would be pleasant if it were waterlogged. A quick pull up to Queensberry summit and an actual proper cairn with a big stick in it. Nice! I ate the last of my pork pie, as the wildlife tried to tuck into me! Didn't hang around long, approx 10km back to the car from here. Slightly boggy across Lamb Hill but easy enough to get to Daerhead. Although I almost ended up in the ford, thankfully my walking poles helped keep my balance. Good track around Little Hill but had to shepherd some cows out the way so that I could progress! Back to the car, heading out along the reservoir when I saw the same golden eagle from first thing this morning. I don't know too much about birds but it was clearly enjoying itself sitting on the telegraph pole by the side of the road. A fine sight to finish the walk on!

Place for at least 2 cars at Kirkhope Cleuch

Comb Law awaits

Comb Law summit across to that hill wi the golf ball on it, Lowther Hill.

Ahead to Ballencleuch Hill


Ballencleuch Hill summit

Ahead to Scaw'd Law

Scaw'd Law first summit. What's this box for?

Head through the gate to pick up the track that will take you to Wedder Law

pretty good track, get your energy back for the bogs to come!

Sheep house

Interior could do with decorating

Wedder Law looking toward Shiel Dod

Gana Hill

Sorry about the quality but I though I should attempt a pic

Track on top of Gana Hill

Earncraig Hill, darn that barbed wire. But fair enough that wall needs protecting.

Sorry for the HDR but this was the only way to show the cairn at Queensberry.

Wind Farm!

Abandoned Daerhead

Back to the car - finally!
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Munro compleatist
Posts: 64
Munros:147   Corbetts:18
Fionas:16   Donalds:25
Sub 2000:17   Hewitts:67
Joined: Dec 13, 2011

Re: 7 Donalds from Daer Reservoir

Postby gmr82 » Fri Sep 26, 2014 1:11 pm

Great stuff, glad my report was handy! What a day you had in comparison. Even that photo of the walk on the ATV track to Comb Law looks so much drier than when I walked it! Lovely to see this area with clear skies though also sad to see it looks like the cairn on the top of Gana has now been lost during the ongoing track construction.

I also initially took the left fork, along the east of the reservoir :crazy: , which was absolutely choc-a-bloc of hares running in front of the car!
Mountain Walker
Posts: 299
Munros:27   Corbetts:7
Fionas:21   Donalds:51
Sub 2000:39   Hewitts:1
Joined: Sep 9, 2012
Location: Edinburgh

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