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Up Southern Lands

Up Southern Lands


Postby martin.h » Sun Nov 02, 2014 10:54 pm

Route description: White Coomb by the Grey Mare's Tail

Corbetts included on this walk: White Coomb

Donalds included on this walk: Lochcraig Head , Molls Cleuch Dod, White Coomb

Date walked: 01/11/2014

Time taken: 5 hours

Distance: 13.5 km

Ascent: 751m

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This was another planned weekend in Scotland, but instead of the mad rush up to the Highlands we've tried on a couple of occasions over the last twelve months, we thought the Southern uplands would be a nice midway destination and not too far to go on a Friday teatime after work.
I've often said to Denise whilst driving up and down the M74 that I fancy an experimental foray into the hills around the Moffat area to see if it would be a viable alternative to the Lakes.
We decided on White Coomb and, with it, a couple of Donalds, just to see if we could improve our Corbett and Donald count over the winter months, and not having many of each, this part of Scotland provides enough entertainment to keep us going and we'd have somewhere new to visit.
We travelled up to the Dumfries Travelodge on Friday t.time and found it only took us 2 3/4 hrs, not bad considering it takes about 2 1/4 hrs to get to Keswick for us, so an extra half hour gives us a whole new playground, ooo goody!!
Saturday dawned breezy and overcast but the forecast was for improving conditions with the weather closing in again around mid-afternoon, the WH route description states this walk takes between 4-6 hrs so plenty of time if we get away walking around 9 to 9:30 ish.
We got to the Grey Mares Tail car park at 9:15 paid our fee (2 Quid all day, bargain!) and were off by 9:25. just right.
It's a good walk up above Tail Burn with good views of the Grey Mares Tail waterfall, there was a lot of water in the burn so it made the waterfall that bit more spectacular. Soon we arrived at Loch Skene which is a lovely place, nice and quiet with good views of most of the days walk. We tried to pick up the fence too soon and found ourselves bog hopping towards it, it would have been better to walk on the Loch shore to approx midway and then make a beeline for the fence/wall, looking from above it may have been drier.
Lochcraig Head from Loch Skene is a steep pull up but it's soon done with and from the cairn the view onto White Coomb gives you an idea of the walk ahead, our day was overcast and very windy but on a nice summers day I can imagine this route is very pleasant. From the summit of Lochcraig Head simply follow the wall all the way to White Coomb, we diverted to Molls Cleuch Dod, again, following the wall but it's only a half hour diversion from the walls junction there and back, even in the strongish wind. Once back at the junction the walk over to White Coomb takes 40 minutes, again, following the wall/fence. The cairn on White Coomb is about 100m away from the wall but there are several paths worn, so finding the cairn in mist would be no problem even if it's a bit featureless up here.
The way down follows the wall all the way back to Tail Burn, it's a bit steep in parts but the only hazard is the slippy boggy bits. Crossing the burn was entertaining, we walked a good way up towards Loch Skene before we found a suitable place to cross, anybody reading this, it's probably easier to take your boots off and paddle across rather than walk most of the way up to the Loch and it would be alot easier with less water.
Back at the car at 2:15, had something to eat as it was a bit exposed and windy on the tops, by the time we set off towards Moffat it had started to lash it down so we couldn't have timed it better.
We really enjoyed these hills and they are well placed for a weekend for us, so we're planning our next visit, just hoping for a bit less wind.
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A well organised car park although quiet to-day I can imagine it's tricky to find a spot on a busy summers day

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Steep sided hills, very impressive, you don't see this from the motorway.

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Nice view of the waterfall, it's worth seeking this one out, if there's more water in this over winter, especially after a decent thaw, I bet it's spectacular.

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Denise and The Grey Mares Tail.

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The upper part of a series of waterfalls, not too long after here you arrive at Loch Skene

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Loch Skene with Lochcraig Head behind and Mid Craig to the left

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Denise on Lochcraig Head.

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Loch Skene from Lochcraig Head

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View over to White Coomb from Lochcraig Head, It looks a bit moody but that was the temperament of the day

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This was the view of Loch Skene from the junction in the walls before we headed off to Molls Cleuch Dod

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Denise on Molls Cleuch Dod, the smaller of the two cairns is the summit but we went to both just in case.

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The view to White Coomb from Molls, the hills don't look quite as spectacular once on the ridges between them.

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Lochcraig Head from on the way round to White Coomb

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The ever present wall, on towards White Coomb, it's quite comforting to have this with you, no mistakes can be made.

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Saddle Yoke and Upper Saddle Yoke from on the way to White Coomb.

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And finally we get there, Denise by the cairn on White coomb, a really pleasant walk and well worth the time.

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View over to our first from our last of the day.

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On the way down, steady, but slippery underfoot.

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It gets steeper, briefly, about half way down so care is needed, the only real problem being how wet underfoot it is.

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Local residents, the wild goats, I had read they were there but didn't expect to see them.

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Wouldn't like to get on the wrong side of him, you'd certainly get the point if you did.

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Views on the way down.

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And the way we'd been

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Back down the path towards the start of the walk.

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Back at the car and, again, the steep sides of the hills around us. A great part Scotland and close enough for us to get better aquainted
User avatar
martin.h
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 531
Munros:209   Corbetts:17
Grahams:10   Donalds:7
Sub 2000:2   Hewitts:146
Wainwrights:214   Islands:23
Joined: Jul 31, 2011
Location: Halifax, West Yorkshire
Walk wish-list

Re: Up Southern Lands

Postby Beaner001 » Mon Nov 03, 2014 10:21 am

Nice one Marts and Denise, amazing, it's prob as close for you to get to as is for me if not closer given the better roads :shock:
I need to get going with some Corbetts, very rewarding hills in their own right.
Cheers
User avatar
Beaner001
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 755
Munros:235   Corbetts:28
Grahams:3   
Sub 2000:5   Hewitts:2
Wainwrights:1   
Joined: Sep 17, 2013
Location: Aberdeenshire

Re: Up Southern Lands

Postby martin.h » Thu Nov 06, 2014 7:52 pm

Beaner001 wrote:Nice one Marts and Denise, amazing, it's prob as close for you to get to as is for me if not closer given the better roads :shock:
I need to get going with some Corbetts, very rewarding hills in their own right.
Cheers

Thanks Matthew, these are nice hills, ideal for long walks for you, Roy and Lochy. We're having a go at Corbett's, Donalds etc because there's so much to go at and we don't want to miss out on some of the variety these mountains can give us, I think we'll save the Munro's for the longer day's next year. Thanks for reading and take care.
User avatar
martin.h
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 531
Munros:209   Corbetts:17
Grahams:10   Donalds:7
Sub 2000:2   Hewitts:146
Wainwrights:214   Islands:23
Joined: Jul 31, 2011
Location: Halifax, West Yorkshire
Walk wish-list

Re: Up Southern Lands

Postby Fife Flyer » Thu Nov 06, 2014 10:28 pm

Nice one Martin, enjoyed reading that :clap:

Will hopefully be heading down that way in the near future :wink:
Thanks for posting :wink:
User avatar
Fife Flyer
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 2371
Munros:181   Corbetts:40
Grahams:16   Donalds:20
Sub 2000:120   Hewitts:2
Islands:5
Joined: May 15, 2013
Location: Guess?

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