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White Coomb and Lochcraig Head

White Coomb and Lochcraig Head


Postby Avocetboy » Sun Apr 12, 2015 11:50 am

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

Corbetts included on this walk: White Coomb

Donalds included on this walk: Lochcraig Head , White Coomb

Date walked: 10/04/2015

Time taken: 3.5 hours

Distance: 12.6 km

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Another meeting in Scotland and, therefore, another opportunity to bag some hills. I have spent years driving back and forth to Scotland and my favourite stretch of the journey has always been between Annandale services and Abingdon with the motorway sweeping through the pine clad hills. A quick look at the Walk Highlands walks in this area suggested either White Coomb or Hart Fell. Both Corbetts and achievable in the time frame I was working too. I decided to go for White Coomb as the Gray Mares Tail appeared to be worth a closer look.

Plan was to work from home in the morning and set off up North just before lunch and aim to be at the NT car park at 4.00pm. Journey up was in full sun, and I pulled up at exactly 4.00pm, with Boy Vertiginous directly behind me, who had managed to schedule his day to meet up with me and not miss the opportunity of a few hills on a gorgeous afternoon.

The weather was warm and windless, with a slight hazyiness as we set off up the excellent path past the waterfalls. We passed many families on the way down who must have spent a glorious afternoon at Loch Skeen. After 20 minutes or so the path levelled out and and we kept an eye out for the wall, which would lead us up to White Coomb. I had decided to do the route Clockwise, to ensure we made the summit of White Coomb if fading light meant we would be unable to complete the full horseshoe. BV found a suitable place to cross the burn. I followed his lead and promptly slipped on a rock in my new boots, giving both feet a thorough soaking. No the best start!

We followed the path next to the wall until it reached Rough Craigs. The wall stops here and its a case of picking a route up the heather clad crags. Followed a sheep track for a short distance before deciding to go straight up, pulling my self up with handfuls of heather, until it levelled out again. From here it was a steady walk, once again following the wall, until we reached the summit, 1 1/2 hours after setting off. Hazy views all round and down to Loch Skeen and not a soul in site. We had the hills to ourselves.

We had hoped to be back at the cars for about 7.00pm and took the decision that now we were up on the high ground, we should be able to complete the circuit. We set off towards Firthhope Rig, with excellent views towards Under Saddle Yoke and its impressive looking ridge. From here we headed off over Donald Cleuch Head towards the Lochcraig Head and its cliffs descending down to Loch Skeen. At Firthyrighead, we descended a large bank of snow before ascending up the rock strewn slope of Lochcraighead. We made he summit at 6.15 and enjoyed the fantastic views down to Loch Skeen.

From here it was a case of descending the (very) steep slope back down to the eastern side of Loch Skeen. The path here is particularly boggy. We spent some time at the end of Loch Skeen where the tail burn exits and then headed back down past the waterfalls, diverting off the path to see the falls at close hand.

We arrived back at the car at 7.15, just short of 8 miles in 3 1/4 hours.

An excellent walk in a beautiful and seemingly remote part of the Lowlands. Plenty of photos, but the lighting was not at its best for photography.

Grey Mares Tail from the start
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The view back to the car
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Goats!
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Crossing the burn (wet feet)
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1st sight of White Coomb
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Rough Craigs
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View towards Lochcraig Head
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White Comb summit
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Under Saddle Yoke
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Snow Bank
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Loch Skeen on way up Lochcraig Head
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Loch Skeen from the summit of Lochcraig Head
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Descent (looking back up)
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Across Loch Skeen
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and again
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Falls on way down
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and again
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From the car park looking east down the valley
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Avocetboy
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 358
Munros:55   Corbetts:20
Grahams:7   Donalds:9
Sub 2000:7   Hewitts:16
Wainwrights:14   Islands:7
Joined: Feb 6, 2011
Location: Boston, Lincolnshire

Re: White Coomb and Lochcraig Head

Postby BoyVertiginous » Sun Apr 12, 2015 10:32 pm

Excellent idea, AB, glad I was able to make it along. Enjoyed this one way more than I thought I might. Hart Fell & co next in early May, good training for Knoydart.

Cheers :clap:
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BoyVertiginous
Hill Bagger
 
Posts: 1229
Munros:192   Corbetts:65
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Sub 2000:41   Hewitts:7
Wainwrights:14   Islands:17
Joined: Jun 14, 2011
Location: california

Re: White Coomb and Lochcraig Head

Postby rockhopper » Sun Apr 12, 2015 11:46 pm

Enjoyed that - as you say, it is a good walk with some interesting features incl the loch and the waterfall - cheers :)
User avatar
rockhopper
 
Posts: 6479
Munros:282   Corbetts:207
Grahams:63   Donalds:89
Sub 2000:9   Hewitts:2
Wainwrights:3   Islands:19
Joined: Jun 1, 2009
Location: Glasgow

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