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A Winter Search for the Source(s) of the Clyde
by DougT » Sat Mar 07, 2015 7:20 pm
Donalds included on this walk: Gana Hill, Wedder Law
Date walked: 01/02/2015
Time taken: 9 hours
Distance: 24 km
Ascent: 300m3 people think this report is great. Register or Login free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).
As usual, Walkhighlands for parking advice. Kirkhope Cleuch was the popular choice halfway down the west side of the Daer reservoir, but there was a lot of lying snow, and while the road to the water works at the dam is always kept clear (they seem to have their own plough/gritter), the road off to the right and up the hill to Kirkhope is not. It looked pretty icy up ahead (you could see the sun reflecting off the ice from way back), so we parked at the junction knowing that would be another 5K onto the planned distance, and taking care to point downhill a bit so we weren’t going to get stuck.
Parking there turned out to be a good decision.
No chance of the car getting up there
We set off about 11am. The walking was a mixture of mainly firm grippy powder and very occasional and sudden sheets of ice where field runoff had frozen plus some deep drifts.
Mrs T has a habit of falling into any drifts or icy boggy bits that are about, but of course It’s my fault - she says I weaken the ice/snow if I'm in front.
Advanced drift negotiation with Gana Hill (right), Queensberry (left) in the background
The hares don't hang around long to get their picture taken
Embossed powder hare prints
The plan was to stop off where the Daer and the Thick Cleuch meet – where Tom Weir ‘took a loup’ over the Clyde on his way to Leadhills, and then head up Shiel Dod, Wedder Law, cross Thick Cleuch Moss and come back down via Gana Hill.
Sitting on the fence where the Daer meets the Thick Cleuch - Tom Weir's vote for Source of the Clyde
The extra 5K at the start made the difference though and I felt it was getting too dark to take the extra time up to Gana Hill, so we returned down the largely frozen Thick Cleuch by moonlight and head torch.
Mrs T providing scale to the Aerial shot over Thick Cleuch Moss
Before GPS, there was the moon
Back to the car about 8pm. Minus 5 and boot laces frozen solid. Not a soul did we meet in the 9 hours. A far cry from a typical Ben Lomond walk.
In fact, over the 3 other walks I did over January and February while filming in the area, I didn’t meet a single person. Hares, Buzzards, Grouse, but no people. See below for some more shots from the other walks, two of which started from the Dumfries side of the hills at Garroch Farm near Thornhill.
The Great Divide and Watershed on Gana Hill - To the left of the fence, Lanarkshire, the Gana Burn, and the Clyde. To the right, the Kenriva Burn, Dumfries and Galloway and the Annan
Drifted Snow on Shiel Rig by Sartorial Pictures, on Flickr
Criffel by Sartorial Pictures, on Flickr
Skiddaw in Alpenglow by Sartorial Pictures, on Flickr
And to see the movie with the results of all 4 walks, and some earlier shots around the falls at New Lanark, Google or search Youtube for Sources of the Clyde Trailer. Wish me luck with the main feature
by Fife Flyer » Sat Mar 07, 2015 7:28 pm
Interesting topic & enjoyed reading that, I have often driven down the Biggar road (A702) to join the M74 and the Clyde looks fairly wide at Abington
Thanks for posting
by kevsbald » Sat Mar 07, 2015 10:59 pm
by Beaner001 » Mon Mar 09, 2015 2:20 pm
by larry groo » Mon Mar 09, 2015 3:29 pm
- Posts: 536
- Joined: Apr 19, 2010
- Location: Angus
by meangarry » Tue Mar 10, 2015 6:08 pm
by DougT » Wed Mar 11, 2015 1:15 am
meangarry wrote:I'm sure there is a wee song about the sources of the annan, tweed and clyde all springing from the same hill side? An old chap I know who used to do alot of walking and had a hand in the setting up of the Annandale way told me it was clydes burn NT0012159 that was the source of the clyde. I thought it was generally accepted to be at the meeting of the daer and potrail. Anyways still a cracking quiet wild spot to explore. Great pics too.
Thanks all for your kind comments - yes that rhyme appears in a few places and is also mentioned by Tom in that Weir's Way episode -
'Annan. Tweed. and Clyde
Rise a' out o' ae hill-side;
Tweed ran, Annan wan,
Clyde fell. and broke its neck owre Corra Linn.'
Clydes Burn and the Little Clyde peel off too early to be a real contender, I think. The Clyde first appears on the map at Watermeetings - where as you say the Daer and the Potrail and the Glenochar Burn meet, but for the real source I'd always go for the farthest distance and that means back through Daer Reservoir and beyond (just as you have to go past Lake Victoria to get to the source of the Nile ) past the Daer Thick Cleuch junction and its the Gana Burn on Gana Hill that I reckon has best claim. That makes sense to me also for maps/boundaries - that's where Lanarkshire has always stopped and theres always been a bit sticking out into Dumfriesshire on the map to acknowledge the furthest reach of the Clyde catchment.
by DougT » Wed Mar 11, 2015 1:21 am
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