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Dun Rig and Birkscairn Hill

Dun Rig and Birkscairn Hill


Postby nigheandonn » Mon Aug 10, 2015 6:55 pm

Grahams included on this walk: Dun Rig

Donalds included on this walk: Birkscairn Hill, Dun Rig

Date walked: 05/07/2015

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This was really supposed to be a Munro day - they're strictly rationed again - but with a forecast for cold and rain and cloud everywhere further north there didn't seem to be much point setting out that way, and I ended up heading back to Peebles - a bit later than intended - as it had one of the best forecasts I could find, as well as decent Sunday buses.

It took a surprisingly long time to get out of the outskirts of Peebles - I hadn't realised there was so much of it before - but eventually the houses ran out and I came to the point where the track of the old drove splits from the estate road to Haystoun, and headed uphill.

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Signposts

It was a nice green rising path, with a nice wall to follow, and good views back over the river and down the valleys where the roads ran.

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Newby Kips and Cademuir

The path dodged the first small hill, which seemed like a good idea - enough climbing later.

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The path climbing

As the path climbed further it became a bit less green and more heathery, but the views into the horseshoe of hills were improving - first up the Waddenshope Burn towards Hundleshope Heights, and then right up Glen Sax itself. It was a fairly steady climb but fairly gentle, without any really steep bits.

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Hundleshope Heights

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Glen Sax

Over Kirkhope Law the path ran alongside a forest plantation, and occasionally some of the trees had escaped and were setting up as small Christmas trees on the other side of the fence.

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Kirkhope Law

The path rose a bit more steeply to the summit of Birkscairn Hill, and it began to spit with rain, and then to pour. It didn't look like it could stay heavy for long, and it didn't, but it was miserable while it lasted.

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Birkscairn Hill summit

The whole horseshoe was starting to look like a long way, especially now I was wet, so I was sorting out my plans - I could quite easily cut down from Dun Rig to the valley today, and that would leave me a nice round for another time, up the way I should have come down, and down over Canada Hill from Stob Law.

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Looking to the head of the valley

Up above Birkscairn Law the path split off down to the Yarrow valley, and the sign told me that I had come quite a long way, and made me realise where I was, looking down more or less parallel to where I'd come up the week before.

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Parting of the ways

The ridge path got surprisingly worse after that - I was expecting the summit route to be more popular than the pass between valleys, really, but it all ended up as a bit of a boggy mess.

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Bog cotton and Stake Law

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Dun Rig

Towards the summit the path improved a bit again. The trig point was sitting a bit oddly on a kind of pillow of short green grass, distinct from the rough darker grass all around, but I couldn't really see why.

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Summit in sight

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Dun Rig summit

It was easier to come down than I had thought it might be, following the long spur of the hill, with a path part of the way down, and decent ground underfoot, until I met the valley track. There was no point in hurrying, because I was never going to catch the bus at 7 and never going to miss the one at 9, and the sun shone, and it was all just nice.

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Finding a way down

The track was badly arranged, from my point of view, because it forded the burn twice - first over one of two tributaries just before they joined, and then back over the main stream. The first was stepping-stone-able, but the second was a shoes off job - at least there was nice grass along the path on the other side to dry off again.

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View down Glen Sax

Glensax looked from the map like an inhabited place, which would have made it an oddly lonely setting for somewhere that was really so close to the town. But although it was clearly a working valley, the house turned out to be - not a ruin yet, but the start of one, which seemed a shame when so much work had obviously gone into it at one time, with most of it decorative wood that looked more Norwegian than Scottish.

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Old house at Glensax

The rest of the valley was just a nice green wander out, on a much nicer day than it had looked like turning out earlier, eventually coming to the farms at the mouth of the valley and the tiny lake belonging to the big house, which I was quite jealous of.

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Looking back up the valley

Back on the edge of Peebles I came in more or less the way I'd gone out and up over the footbridge to the main street, this time with plenty of time for dinner and beer before getting the bus home.


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nigheandonn
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