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Post Wedding Donald Speed Round

Post Wedding Donald Speed Round


Postby Jaxter » Fri Jun 30, 2017 11:56 pm

Grahams included on this walk: Capel Fell, Croft Head

Donalds included on this walk: Capel Fell, Croft Head, Loch Fell, Wind Fell

Date walked: 03/06/2017

Time taken: 4 hours

Distance: 15.81 km

Ascent: 1103m

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A wedding just outside Moffat brought me painfully close to hills and it seemed a shame not to climb something afterwards. I arrived at the fish farm and found somewhere to park before doing a classy change from little black dress to more comfortable walking attire in the car :lol:

I booted up quickly as it was chilly in the wind. I headed off across the bridge and towards the track. Turning left just before the house I followed the forestry track upwards. It was easy walking and I covered distance quickly.

The hills the other side of the road looked fantastic and I looked forward to climbing them.
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The track was a long way around and I did think of cutting cross country but it seemed easier just to do the distance. Reaching the end of the track i found an ATV track which led me to the top of Capel Fell.

Views opening out towards the summit
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The summit was unmarked but was a good viewpoint and allowed me to get my bearings of the round.

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I also looked out to Ettrick Pen and decided that it might be a hill for another day as it was already 6.30! Leaving that decision until Wind Fell, I followed the fenceposts downhill towards the bealach where I bog hopped across some squishy peat hags before following the fence back uphill and to the left.

Friendly Bealach
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The top of Wind Fell was like it said on the tin, and it was a chilly wind too. At least this summit was semi marked with a couple of broken fenceposts.

Windy Wind Fell
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Ettrick Pen from Wind Fell
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I looked across to Ettrick Pen. I reckoned it would probably take me an hour to get there and back and it was already quite late. For once I decided to be sensible and headed back the way I'd come until the fence split. Here I continued to the bealach and started heading up Loch Fell. It was a bit damp here and I was regretting leaving my gaiters in the car as my socks were getting wet!

Interesting bealach
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Underfoot conditions aside it was an easy stroll up to the summit of Loch Fell where I was greeted by a trig point!

Ettrick Pen looked even further away now!
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Route ahead
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Looming weather
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It was chilly so time to add more layers before heading off. The sky was getting very dark and I had a feeling the weather was closing in. I followed the fence towards Croft Head.

Looking ahead to an obvious path up Croft Head
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Soon I was heading very steeply downhill and beginning to wonder if there wasn't an easier route....
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Sure enough after crossing the fence and heading diagonally towards the sheep Pen I noticed a couple of cairns and a path which looked a much more sensible gradient. Ah well.... :roll:

Safely down I crossed the Southern Upland Way and made for the obvious zig zags up Cat Shoulder. Unfortunately I left the path for a photo....

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...and returned to the wrong one which was heading down the valley. I soon realised my mistake and had to do a bit of off-roading to get back to the zig zags. Numpty again... :lol:

Sheep pen
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The zig zags made for a very easy ascent and before long I was on the ridge.
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From here it was a simple task of following the fenceposts along to the summit, marked only by the meeting of 4 fences. However the dark skies had passed and it was a beautiful evening; the views were excellent.

Lowther Hill on the horizon
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Looking back
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From here I had a choice of retracing my steps down the zig zags or following the fenceposts more steeply downhill. I have a dislike of retracing steps so chose the direct route. It turned out to be more of a gradient than expected but made it safely down to the valley path.

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It was a wee bit squishy and I decided to cross over when I could to walk down the easier track the other side of the river.

Looking back up the glen
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It was an easy walk out and got me back to the car in just under 4 hours. It was nearly 9.30 so I'd made it back in daylight...but only just!!

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The midges were out so I very quickly debooted and got on the road, getting home just ahead of 11. At least the roads were clear by then!!


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User avatar
Jaxter
Wanderer
 
Posts: 1367
Munros:205   Corbetts:125
Grahams:61   Donalds:46
Sub 2000:88   Hewitts:60
Wainwrights:69   Islands:26
Joined: Aug 8, 2011
Location: Glasgow

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