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South Esk Valley and The Kipps - but not Blackhope Scar!

South Esk Valley and The Kipps - but not Blackhope Scar!

Postby dickens96 » Sat Oct 03, 2015 7:24 pm

Route description: Blackhope Scar and the Moorfoots

Date walked: 03/10/2015

Time taken: 4 hours

Distance: 11.5 km

Ascent: 542m

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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.
The Moorfoot Farm road

Followed the start of the route mentioned here, heading towards the South Esk River valley on the farm track
The South Esk valley

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 :D
Hirendean Castle and Hill


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
The South Esk - just a stream here really

This is a lovely path - heads up the valley past sheepfolds

Sheepfolds galore - well there are lots of sheep!

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

The path up Clinty Cleugh

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.
Blackhope Scar from the Kipps - separated by some yeuchy ground!

Good views from The Kipps though - if it had been clearer would have been better as there was fog around on the Forth.
Looking North from The Kipps - you can see the haar 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.
Gladhouse Reservoir

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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Posts: 61
Munros:2   Corbetts:2
Grahams:4   Donalds:13
Sub 2000:15   
Joined: Aug 28, 2011
Location: Dirleton, East Lothian

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