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Graham, Donald and Louise

Graham, Donald and Louise

Postby superstar_tradesman » Mon Oct 19, 2015 3:05 pm

Grahams included on this walk: Green Lowther

Donalds included on this walk: Dun Law, East Mount Lowther, Green Lowther, Lousie Wood Law, Lowther Hill

Date walked: 18/10/2015

Time taken: 4.1 hours

Distance: 15.4 km

Ascent: 780m

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A really good day's walking on a bright October Sunday in a bit of Scotland I didn't know well at all as a walker. Climbed with my dad, and we had two cars, which allowed us to plot a linear walk that took in all the Donalds on the ridge between Wanlockhead and the Dalveen Pass and Daer Water valley. The only constraint was getting back to the car in time for me to make an 8pm flight from Edinburgh Airport to London…

We left one car beside the B7040 Elvanfoot road, a few hundred yards west of North Shortcleuch farm, and parked the other on the old railway at Wanlockhead just beside where the road up Lowther Hill leaves the B797. We started off contouring along the railway to pick up the Southern Upland Way above the village. We branched off the tarred road higher up the hill and contoured round to the Lowther Hill/East Mount Lowther bealach, then easy walking up to the viewfinder at the top of East Mount Lowther (about 50 minutes after starting). A terrific vista over Nithsdale, south to the Solway Firth, SW to the Galloway Hills, and NW to a hazy Arran in the distance.

2015-10-18 13.04.41 small.jpg
Lowther Hill and its concrete football, from East Mount Lowther

We retraced our steps to the bealach and followed the fence up to regain the road, but we minimised walking on the road and follow the SUW to the top of Lowther Hill with its giant concrete football and shed for air traffic control monitoring. Probably the strangest summit I've ever stood on in Scotland—we couldn't see a cairn or any indication of the top, but you're not going to miss the summit with all the other decorations there!

2015-10-18 13.27.31 small.jpg
Looking back down to Wanlockhead from the Lowther Hill Road

The route to Green Lowther is a fast tramp along another surfaced road, a ridge walk unlike any other, passing more space hardware on the way, until we reached the collection of ironmongery and a trig point at the top of Green Lowther, with its vista of windmills (about 1h 45 after we started). The little green and white oases of Wanlockhead and Leadhills really stood out amongst the bare rusty orange slopes as far as the eye could see, with the hummocks of the old mining areas down below us.

2015-10-18 13.41.15 small.jpg
The road to Green Lowther

The ridge east towards Dun Law was lovely short grass, only a faint occasional path, but fast walking all the way to the top (2h 45 mins total). Dun Law's cairn was tiny, consisting of four lumps of quartz (well, white rocks :) ) which could easily have been moved had we decided to change the location of the summit.

2015-10-18 14.56.16 small.jpg
The Dun Law cairn; a more modest summit indicator…

Lousie Wood Law (I'm signed up to the "let's call it Louise Wood Law movement") looked quite far away, but we thought we had time, and as it turned out, we were on the top only 35 minutes after Dun Law, even with an unexpectedly steep drop to the bealach just below 500m, and equally steep rise again. Louise's hill has a trig point close to a bend in the fence and the leftovers of a stone wall, so no missing that summit! Then we descended north to the valley to pick up a path to South Shortcleuch farm, then the track up to the B7040 and W back to the second car. A cracking walk, and surprisingly, we had the hills to ourselves.

And then, about 4 hours later, I passed back over the hills in an Easyjet plane headed for Stansted Airport :)

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Mountain Walker
Posts: 126
Munros:170   Corbetts:31
Grahams:16   Donalds:21
Sub 2000:82   Hewitts:3
Wainwrights:1   Islands:19
Joined: Jun 6, 2013
Location: Northeast Fife

Re: Graham, Donald and Louise

Postby jackfrost » Sun Dec 20, 2015 6:19 pm

Didn't realise you'd done this. I did similar on my own in June but went over Thirstane Hill aswell, with a bike to get back to the car. http://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=52751
Mountain Walker
Posts: 185
Munros:282   Corbetts:153
Grahams:32   Donalds:53
Sub 2000:38   Hewitts:19
Wainwrights:25   Islands:38
Joined: Oct 31, 2011

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