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If you like Wind Turbines........

If you like Wind Turbines........


Postby Fife Flyer » Tue Dec 30, 2014 9:45 pm

Route description: Blackhope Scar and the Moorfoots

Grahams included on this walk: Blackhope Scar

Donalds included on this walk: Blackhope Scar, Bowbeat Hill, Dundreich

Date walked: 30/12/2014

Time taken: 5.5 hours

Distance: 18 km

Ascent: 540m

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you will love this walk, you are so close to these huge contraptions you can even touch them and get your photo taken at the front door :lol: On the flipside, if you are allergic to turbines you will have to plan your route very carefully :lol: :lol:


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I wasn't planning to fit in another walk before the end of the year, but Mrs F was planning to go to Edinburgh for a shopping wander, now as much as I love shopping (tongue embedded firmly in cheek), I quickly checked the forecast and things were looking promising, so an executive decision was reached the hills beckoned. Next, where do I fancy, Munro's and Corbett's would involve a bit of driving so Donald's would be the target and because I wasn't driving as far I would have more time outdoors :wink:
Checked the WH Donald map and decided to venture down to the Moorfoot Hills which as it transpires are less than an hour door to door :clap:
Once I had advertised my plan on WH Karen popped up out of the woodwork and volunteered to accompany me as she hadn't been out for months and was itching to get some fresh air. I PM'd her and we met up at the Park & Ride at Straiton (near IKEA) and both jumped into my car.
The informal parking area at the start of the walk is big enough for about 6 cars, if the grassy area isn't too soggy :lol:

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Parking area

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Self explanatory

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Sign at the car park, you are parked right next to Gladhouse Reservoir


We set off at about 9.15am, weather was dry and a bit blowy and this was one the few walks where I have had my gloves on all day, either it was a bit cooler or I am getting a bit wimpish :lol:
Initially you follow the road which takes you to Moorfoot Farm and then the track which heads almost due south towards the hills. The track is littered with puddles which were covered with a deceptive thick layer of ice, the plan was to follow the WH which had been downloaded onto my phone. When we left the track and headed uphill, the ascent was quite a shock to the system, quite steep but as with all smaller hills you know the pain won't last too long :wink:

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Karen enjoying her first ascent for a wee while

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Looking back towards Gladhouse Reservoir

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Anyone able to tell me what this strange circular walled space is used for?

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Looking back downhill

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Karen enjoying giving her lungs a bit of a workout, note the offroad vehicular track that we were loosely following


The walk up to Blackhope Scar was a bit of a faff, we seemed to be wandering all over the moorland and although we were scanning all the horizons, we weren't overly confident which rounded top would be our first destination :roll: We consulted the map a couple of times to try and get our bearings but rolling hills are featureless, the only saving grace were the wind turbines - you won't hear me saying that too often :lol: As they were marked on the OS map we could then confirm we were heading in the correct direction.
Shortly after we spotted the long line of fence posts that we knew headed up toward the summit, so it was just a matter of keeping them on our left hand side, which wasn't difficult, however the terrain underfoot was far from ideal, undulating, peat hags & lot's of squelchiness, however most of the damp bits were frozen over, had they not been frozen we would have taken much, much longer :lol:

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The landrover tracks as you can see very icy

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Grouse Butts, we passed 6 of them

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The fence to follow

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Looking across to Dundreich

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The summit trig of Blackhope Scar


Eventually the Trig came into view and to touch it would involve climbing a fence or two if you fancied, the Trig is located very close the junction of 3 fences :shock:
Next target was Bowbeat Hill, once again we followed a fence line, keeping the fence on our right this time, similar terrain underfoot much squelchiness, but as were descending it didn't seem too bad :lol:

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A sample shot of what to expect underfoot


The slight descent was dominated by the large turbines that were looming large and getting bigger with every step :D Once we reached the foot of the first turbine the track created to erect these "green machines" made the going underfoot much easier :lol:
If you are squeamish and allergic to wind turbines you will need to scroll down a bit :lol: :lol:

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Another nearby wind farm

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Another wind farm on the horizon

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The wind farm we would be mingling amongst

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If you look very carefully you may spot Karen, just in front of the wee house thing

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The previous photo zoomed

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For the turbine spotters - here is a map of the farm


The summit, otherwise known as the highest bit on Bowbeat Hill was a complete non event which involved leaving the track and going up the tussocky grass to what looked like the highest spot and then returning back to the track.
After saying goodbye to the green machines it was back to the normality of underfoot squelchiness, once again we weren't overly sure which rounded hump was the summit of Dundreich so we just headed uphill following the WH route. After a wee while the summit Trig appeared on the horizon and the views as suggested on the WH route were the best of the day :clap:

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The view towards the Pentlands

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Portmore Reservoir

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Gladhouse Reservoir


The route down the hillside from Dundreich was the best underfoot conditions (apart from the tracks) and it helped that we could see and knew where we were heading :lol: Naturally there was a patch of bracken which I duly waded through as that is very familiar territory and no walk would be complete without bracken :lol: :lol:
A big thanks to Karen for being an excellent walking companion (again), thoroughly enjoyed the day and hopefully once the schools are back I will be venturing out again and probably heading south :wink: Next.
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Fife Flyer
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Re: If you like Wind Turbines........

Postby jepsonscotland » Tue Dec 30, 2014 10:27 pm

Nice one mate. :clap:
You don't have to be high up to have a good day. :wink:

As for turbines, I do hope 'our Rod' doesn't see this!!!!!!! :lol: :lol:
I'm with him on the matter, I abhor them!

Great to see K back on the hill, hope to catch up with you both soon. :D

Chris
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Re: If you like Wind Turbines........

Postby Backpacker » Tue Dec 30, 2014 10:31 pm

Good report, just a pity I'm stuck at work and typically, I'm in Glencoe this weekend and the weather looks a bit hit and miss.

Hopefully get back out with you guys in the New Year
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Re: If you like Wind Turbines........

Postby Gordie12 » Tue Dec 30, 2014 10:49 pm

Must admit FF, this is a part of the world I have never walked in.

Looked like you had a good day.

If you enjoy walking through windmill farms take a peep at Steele's Knowe in the Ochils.
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Re: If you like Wind Turbines........

Postby Fife Flyer » Thu Jan 01, 2015 8:20 pm

jepsonscotland wrote:Nice one mate. :clap: You don't have to be high up to have a good day. :wink:
As for turbines, I do hope 'our Rod' doesn't see this!!!!!!! :lol: :lol: I'm with him on the matter, I abhor them!

Great to see K back on the hill, hope to catch up with you both soon. :D Chris


Thanks Chris, see you soon :wink:

Backpacker wrote:Good report, just a pity I'm stuck at work and typically, I'm in Glencoe this weekend and the weather looks a bit hit and miss. Hopefully get back out with you guys in the New Year


Thanks Gary, good luck in Glencoe :wink:

Gordie12 wrote:Must admit FF, this is a part of the world I have never walked in. Looked like you had a good day. If you enjoy walking through windmill farms take a peep at Steele's Knowe in the Ochils.


Will maybe nip across to Steele's Knowe in the near future and see if the wind farm there will convert me into being 'greener' :lol:
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Re: If you like Wind Turbines........

Postby The Rodmiester » Thu Jan 01, 2015 10:59 pm

Seen it, Aghhhhhhhhhhhhhh :crazy: :crazy:
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Re: If you like Wind Turbines........

Postby rockhopper » Fri Jan 02, 2015 5:54 pm

Looks good especially for shorter winter days - have enjoyed a few trips south recently but haven't been to this bit yet. Guess we're starting to get used to seeing turbines all over the place :roll: - cheers :)
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Re: If you like Wind Turbines........

Postby kmai1961 » Sun Jan 04, 2015 3:41 pm

Thanks, Martin. It was a grand day out, wind turbines notwithstanding.
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atop Dundreich
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Re: If you like Wind Turbines........

Postby malky_c » Sun Jan 04, 2015 5:57 pm

I have to say it was the endless peat hags and slop that was putting me off Blackhope Scar rather than the turbines (in fact I think high moorland close to the central belt is the best place for them). I stood on Windlestraw Law looking over this way at the beginning of August and I just couldn't muster up the enthusiasm to go up Blackhope as well :lol: .

Happily your way from the north looks more pleasant and interesting, so I might yet get around to this one in 2015 :) .
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