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Bloodybush Edge: one for the purists

Bloodybush Edge: one for the purists


Postby OpenC » Sun Mar 15, 2015 12:22 pm

Hewitts included on this walk: Bloodybush Edge

Date walked: 14/03/2015

Time taken: 4

Distance: 16 km

Ascent: 700m

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I'd been discussing possible ascents of two of the most remote Cheviot summits, Bloodybush Edge and Cushat Law with Guinnessman (albeit on another forum), and living just half an hour from Barrowburn in the Coquet Valley, I thought I'd give it a go from that direction. I've now approached it from most directions and much as I love the solitude of the central reaches of my beloved, boggy Cheviots it's still not, in all honesty, one I can recommend to polite company. One for the purists, I would say.

I parked up at the Trows/Rowhope road end and wandered up the ten or fifteen minutes of road that brings you to where the track branches off for Windy Gyle direct. Was unusual not to be heading up there, I think this is the first time I've ever used the continuing road (part of the Pennine Cycle Path) as an ascent route, although I've come down it many times.
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The road makes light of the lengthy walk in, it's all very easy and a decent gradient. Some nice views as well, although this is not one of them :)
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This is approaching Hazely Law and one of the most important crossroads in the Cheviots, where Clennell Street (an ancient road between Scotland and England) crosses the road I'm on.
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The view to Shillhope Law from the crossroads. The path coming down the hill was my descent route (although I just dropped straight off the hill down to it), and is the remains of Clennell Street.
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Uswayford and Bloodybush Edge behind it. It's not much of a hill, despite the evocative name. No blood, no bushes, a long way from anything which could reasonably be described as an "edge".
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The climb was pathless, boggy, purgatorial and horrific, although mercifully only 200m or so. Constant battle between feet and bogs to retain possession of my boots.
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The one thing I will say for the hill is that it's the best place to see how Cheviot and Hedgehope are connected, and to view Comb Fell between them as an actual hill in its own right.
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Summit trig point with Windy Gyle behind; this is also the best place to appreciate the infinitely more appealing Windy Gyle in its true stature, it's a hill which is hard to get a look at from elsewere in the National Park. I had been considering pushing on to Cushat Law but in the end decided not to; I know the terrain isn't any better and neither are the views :)
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Instead, I came back over Yarnspath Law to descend to Clennell Street. There is a path down in this direction which skirts the forest as far as the track up from Whiteburnshank, and while the path is occassionally good (and definitely better than picking your way through tussocky bogs), it still looks like this a lot of the time.
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Windy Gyle and the descent to Clennell Street, and the burn that runs alongside. A lovely spot on a day with more sun than this one. Streams in the Cheviots always look black; the water is (usually) very clear but full of suspended peat particles that make it look dark even on a bright day. Makes it taste funny as well :)
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All in all, no surprise that it's one of the most infrequently visited tops in the Cheviots given its ultra-remote location and lack of good paths, and I really couldn't recommend it to anyone but the most ardent list-ticker (does it even appear on any lists? who knows). About 10 miles but not that much ascent, probably around 700m if that. Would be better on a good day; today wasn't great for pictures under a dull grey sky that constantly threatened rain (which mercifully never came). Also, it'd be easy to bolt Cushat Law onto the trip and starting here is almost certainly the best way to do it given the track which makes the walk-in an easy one.

Still, it's always nice to be out and it keeps me in shape for Scotland :)
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Last edited by OpenC on Sun Mar 15, 2015 7:43 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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OpenC
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Re: Bloodybush Edge: one for the purists

Postby johnkaysleftleg » Sun Mar 15, 2015 5:57 pm

An informative report. Bloodybush Edge is a Hewitt, looks like it would give the North Pennines a run for its money bog wise.
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Re: Bloodybush Edge: one for the purists

Postby OpenC » Sun Mar 15, 2015 7:03 pm

johnkaysleftleg wrote:An informative report. Bloodybush Edge is a Hewitt, looks like it would give the North Pennines a run for its money bog wise.


Aye. In the Northern vernacular, it's really bloody filthy. I'm starting to think I was a bit hard on it; it's one of those hills where the walk is good but the summit is nothing special, and I can think of a lot more hills which fit that mould exactly :)
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Re: Bloodybush Edge: one for the purists

Postby Guinessman » Sun Mar 15, 2015 7:19 pm

thanks for posting OC, looks like I made the right choice last Tuesday. Think I will save these hills for the winter when there's frost in the ground-if I can get the car up the valley!

Cant believe the amount of bog, I honestly didn't experience that much on the Schil and the Cheviot.
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Re: Bloodybush Edge: one for the purists

Postby trailmasher » Sun Mar 15, 2015 8:24 pm

Great pictures and story of a bleak landscape and yes, one to do in either drought or freezing conditions.
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Re: Bloodybush Edge: one for the purists

Postby ChrisW » Mon Mar 16, 2015 1:50 am

Really enjoyed this OpenC, maybe more than you did by the sound of it :lol: I love the desolate look of the place (great pics), it's one I would have enjoyed when I was home in the UK. Generally speaking, if there's nobody else around I'll be liking it more and more :wink:
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Re: Bloodybush Edge: one for the purists

Postby OpenC » Mon Mar 16, 2015 6:31 am

Thanks :) That's something else I forgot to point out, actually. Number of other people encountered during my four hours on the hill: precisely zero, not even farmers or other walkers off in the distance. Nobody at all.
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Re: Bloodybush Edge: one for the purists

Postby johnkaysleftleg » Mon Mar 16, 2015 10:28 am

OpenC wrote:it's one of those hills where the walk is good but the summit is nothing special, and I can think of a lot more hills which fit that mould exactly :)


I would tend to agree, it's very rare that the best view point in the summit. I do intend on completing the Cheviot Hewitts one day and I think Bloodybush edge will be done via this route, probably crosses less bog than from the east.
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Re: Bloodybush Edge: one for the purists

Postby OpenC » Tue Mar 17, 2015 7:48 pm

johnkaysleftleg wrote:
I would tend to agree, it's very rare that the best view point in the summit. I do intend on completing the Cheviot Hewitts one day and I think Bloodybush edge will be done via this route, probably crosses less bog than from the east.


Definitely; I've been up both ways and while approaching from the East over Cushat Law is a shorter way to get the two done, it's less interesting and the terrain is the worst I know in the Cheviots; hidden peat holes all the way, the sort that you drop into up to your hip and that make you think you might never see your dogs again. Not to be recommended. Certainly the bog on this route is more honest and upfront about itself, it doesn't try to hide :)
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