Having missed most of a great potential walking week with work commitments, I thought Friday was a day for Ben Ledi. However on the way back from Aberdeen on the Thursday evening I realised I had driven for three hours each day since Monday, so the thought of doing another three hours in the car to get there and back didn't appeal. So I decided to go nearer home and venture in the Moorfoots again, with half a notion to get up Blackhope Scar and add another Graham to my total.
Parked at the parking area South of Gladhouse Reservoir on the road to Moorfoot Farm, and walked along the road to the farm.
Followed the start of the route mentioned here, heading towards the South Esk River valley on the farm track
I strayed off the path to go up to see Hirendean Castle - I can see why the built the 14th century peel tower here as you get a great 3G signal there
The route described here suggests heading up Hirendean Hill - but I took one look at it and decided I didnt feel that energetic for a steep ascent, so I returned to the farm track that makes its way up through the South Esk valley
This is a lovely path - heads up the valley past sheepfolds
I then turned North East at NT 3000451206 and followed the track up Clinty Cleugh - its a good path half grass, half stone and makes for a gradual ascent at a steady degree up on to the ridge
After a few turns you get to the top at the bealach between The Kipps (542 mtrs) and Blackhope Scar. I headed over to the fence line that takes you up onto the latter, but after sinking knee deep in peat haggs on really boggy and tussocky ground after 1 kilometre or so I reached the "ah shite" point and decided it wasnt fun any more and had had enough. I retraced my steps to the tiny summit cairn of The Kipps and had my pork pies before returning down the way I came.
Good views from The Kipps though - if it had been clearer would have been better as there was fog around on the Forth.
Really enjoyed the walk down as the sun had come out - so peaceful and quiet with just me and hundreds of sheep. Stopped to have a look at Gladhouse Reservoir at the end.
I would recommend this walk - and the route I took makes for an easy way up onto the Moorfoots. I guess I could have come down over Hirendean Hill but did'nt fancy the steep descent either. I liked the look of Dundreich across the valley and I'll be back to do that hill too soon. the route I took would be fantastic in snow, and I guess a lot easier up on the tops.
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Warning Please note that hillwalking when there is snow lying requires an ice-axe, crampons and the knowledge, experience and skill to use them correctly. Summer routes may not be viable or appropriate in winter. See winter information on our skills and safety pages for more information.