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Gear test (an excuse for a short walk, whatever the weather)

Gear test (an excuse for a short walk, whatever the weather)

Postby Jaywizz » Sun Jan 11, 2015 10:04 pm

Sub 2000' hills included on this walk: Black Hill (Borders)

Date walked: 10/01/2015

Time taken: 1 hours

Distance: 2.8 km

Ascent: 178m

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Not the best of weathers to be heading for the hills - but, having pored over maps all week, and with increasing cabin fever/itchy feet, I was keen to make the most of the day, even if meant only a short walk. This was certainly a good day to test the winter gear - strong winds, stronger gusts and driving snow showers.

Black_Hill.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts

I parked at the gate (room for a couple of cars) and followed the waymarked path (very muddy) which avoids the buildings, and then swings right after the loose boxes. Leaving the shelter of the hedges and ignoring the waymark post, I continued along the grassy track, gradually climbing up the western slope. Turning from the shelter of the trees, and with a strong wind pushing me into the hill, I began a straight ascent over grass and occasional small scree towards the trig point, avoiding the gorse bushes and bracken to my right. Only moment of panic was when the wind dropped suddenly and I felt I was going to fall head over heels backwards! (I had had to brace so hard against the wind pushing me into the hill!!) Nearing the trig point, the wind was too strong for me to appreciate the earthworks - it was a case of head down and then shelter briefly in a small hollow just below the summit. A struggle to take a few photos and then, with snow clouds sweeping in from the west, time to beat a retreat.
Trig point.jpg
Too windy to even try and stand by the trig point!

Keeping just below the ridge, I followed the green track northwards off the ridge. The snow hit just as I reached the waymark pole, but rather than turning along the track (into the teeth of the storm) I tried to find some shelter along the edge of the forest.
In the blizzard.jpg
Blizzard sweeping over the hill

With the strength of the wind, the snow didn't last long - just great to be warm, waterproof and totally happy in my gear - I followed the waymarked path and then, in back in the shelter of the hedges, retraced my steps back to the car.
Looking back.jpg
Looking back to the hill from near the gate - it had been clear of snow when I set out!

A great short walk. Now to plan some more short ones as this weather is forecast to continue for the next week or so.
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Re: Gear test (an excuse for a short walk, whatever the weat

Postby Silverhill » Sun Jan 11, 2015 10:41 pm

I'm glad the gear held out. I hope you will be able to get out for those short walks next week. Nothing wrong with them, it's better than sitting indoors! :D
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