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The misty mountains - Donald Day at Talla

The misty mountains - Donald Day at Talla


Postby Jaxter » Mon Oct 23, 2017 5:25 pm

Corbetts included on this walk: White Coomb

Donalds included on this walk: Cape Law, Erie Hill , Garelet Dod, Lochcraig Head , Molls Cleuch Dod, White Coomb

Date walked: 22/10/2017

Time taken: 6 hours

Distance: 23.3 km

Ascent: 1452m

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Does anyone else have those days when they just don’t want to deal with people? That was me on Sunday…. Despite several offers of other trips North, I opted to head South where the weather looked to be better. More on that later…. :roll:

I arrived at the tip of the Talla reservoir and found a parking spot just next to the footbridge. The river looked pretty mental :shock:
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Although the rain had stopped, it was fairly windy so layers went on before crossing the footbridge and heading up the steep end of Garelet Hill. It was 11 o clock which gave me about 7 hours of daylight; more than enough unless something went badly wrong :lol:

Looking back down towards Colonel Mustard and the farm
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I followed the fenceposts which bypassed the summit of Garelet Hill. I passed a television aerial :shock:
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The views behind me seemed to be opening out a little – a good sign 8)
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However….as I climbed higher I was into the cloud, where I would stay for a long time :lol: The fenceposts led me along the ridge towards Erie Hill. As I got closer it started to loom out of the mist, looking..eerie :wink:
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A short pull upwards later I was on the summit of Erie Hill
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It was windy and my 6th sense wasn’t telling me the cloud was about to clear so I continued onwards. At the bealach I did get a view down towards Fruid Reservoir and Erie Hill almost poking out of the cloud
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It was easy walking, again following fenceposts over Common Law and deviating from the fenceposts for the final ascent to Garelet Dod. However….as I reached the top it started raining and the wind had picked up even more than before….
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I ducked out of the wind (well, I tried to) and got my waterproof trousers on. Hoping for just a brief shower I walked back to the safety of the fenceposts and followed them along the ridge.

Gameshope Loch appeared out of the mist
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Onwards….
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Before the ascent to Din Law was a drop where it was interesting and rocky and I didn’t take a photo because it was chucking down and all windy :lol:

I continued over Din Law before the fenceposts bent again towards Cape Law which I reached after crossing “The Spout”

Cape Law summit
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From here it was a long trek out to White Coomb which involved crossing “Rotten Bottom” which I could only imagine would be fairly moist after the recent (and current) rainfall :shock:

Coming off Cape Law the rain eased and it seemed to almost be clearing as I approached Rotten Bottom…
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Looking ahead I could see Games Castle across Rotten Bottom. I was about to find out how wet it was… :shock:
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The answer was…very. I had stopped caring about dry feet long ago as my boots had started leaking before Erie Hill, but as I headed into the marsh I sunk enough that the water went over my boots. As I walked further across, I regularly started being knee-deep. Again, not a massive problem, only annoying. However I came to a dodgy looking bit which I gingerly stuck a pole into….the pole was entirely submerged :shock: I was sinking….it was time to abort :lol:

Due to my anti-people mood, I had told no one where I was, and was very aware of this as I skirted around the worst of the bog and avoided doing any actual swimming :lol:

The worst of the bog was now past and I squelched my way past Games Castle and followed the fence up towards Firthhope Rig.

As I climbed some of the crags towards Carifran were visible
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Safely across, looking back across Rotten Bottom :lol:
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At Firthhope Rig I turned right along the fenceposts for an easy climb to White Coomb; both a Corbett and a Donald. This should have been a great viewpoint, but it wasn’t. It was incredibly windy but dry, and the conveniently placed cairn provided somewhere to shelter a camera :lol:
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From here it was an easy walk back to Firthhope Rig where it promptly started raining and I struggled to get my leg over the style (blame Fencing the other night :lol: ) I followed the ridge over Donald’s Cleuch Head (I love the names in the Borders :lol: ) to Firthybrig Head. Here was decision time – did I make the diversion to Lochcraig Head? I’d kick myself if I didn’t, I had plenty of light and my knee felt fine, so I made it over the fence and down the steep and slippy hill towards Talla Nick. It almost appeared to be clearing again here and I was naively hopeful of views from the top….however it wasn’t to be.

The steep ascent wasn’t as bad as it had looked and I found a large cairn to the right of the fenceposts.
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Studying the map it seemed that the actual summit was further to the left….crossing the fence and landing in a puddle, I struggled along into the wind and made my way along to a very small and easily missed cairn. Looking back I thought it probably was higher. Glad to have made the effort (and even more glad to be walking away from the wind) I made my way back and then back down and up to Firthybrig Head. Here it started raining more heavily and I plodded my way along towards Molls Cleuch Dod, my final summit of the day. It was a very easy walk to this final summit and my face describes the weather at this point :lol:

Molls Cleuch Dod
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I could see a wee cairn about 50m away so popped over just in case….again it did seem to be higher so worth the effort :lol:

The rain was now horrible – the wind had picked up so much it was hard to walk and it was blowing the rain into my face and trying to blow my hat off. I’m aware that the pink hat and red jacket is a crime against fashion, but it was keeping me nice and warm :lol:

I headed downhill in a vaguely diagonal line to meet up with fenceposts leading down towards the Games Hope Linns.
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Once the gradient had eased I crossed the fence with as much dignity as I could muster and headed over relatively easy but very squishy ground. I was now largely out of the cloud and could see a nice looking track on the other side of the burn….however, a quick look at the burn suggested that crossing was going to be impossible.
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Down at the burn, my assessment was correct. Nae chance :lol:
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However, it seemed other people had had similar problems as there were smatterings of a path along the side of the very impressive river :shock:
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Reaching the Gameshope Bothy I met the track marked on the map. Huzzah :D Unfortunately I was unable to cross the river to have a wee look in the bothy!
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But it looked very inviting 8)
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Now on a track, the walking was now easy. The rain was on and off as I walked down the glen but at least I was relatively sheltered from the wind.

Looking back up the glen
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Looks like this may have been a bridge at some point :shock:
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It was a lovely glen though, lots of impressive water features and pine trees too.
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The last section was quite muddy as I walked past farm buildings and other detritus and after another shower I was glad to be back at the car, where I de-mudded myself and stripped off all my wet clothes :lol:

The Talla Reservoir looked deceptively serene
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Not quite the forecast I’d hoped for but was exactly what I needed – a day entirely on my own where I could plod along in my own misty wonderland 8) :D


Talla Donalds.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts

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Jaxter
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Re: The misty mountains - Donald Day at Talla

Postby PeteR » Mon Oct 23, 2017 6:07 pm

That's a fair old circuit, especially given the weather wasn't great.

There's something about the Donalds though.......great for traipsing around :D
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Re: The misty mountains - Donald Day at Talla

Postby iangpark » Mon Oct 23, 2017 10:23 pm

I've been planing out a similar circuit for when I eventually make it over that way, although I'll be staying at Gameshope and doing the more easterly hills the next day. Looks like you made quick work of it - shame about the weather. Don't think I could muster up the courage to do those hills in those conditions! Well done!
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Re: The misty mountains - Donald Day at Talla

Postby apollo0815 » Tue Oct 24, 2017 8:27 am

Nice report, Jaxter. For situations like the bog test I can only recommend having a dog on a lead with you.
Once, while walking on Mull, one of our dogs disappeared very suddenly into a waterhole, which had been hidden under a layer of what looked like perfectly walkable grass. ( she emerged again, unscathed but very suprised, wet and muddy :)
Since then I am very careful about what "grass" I step on:)
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Re: The misty mountains - Donald Day at Talla

Postby Jaxter » Tue Oct 24, 2017 8:58 am

PeteR wrote:That's a fair old circuit, especially given the weather wasn't great.

There's something about the Donalds though.......great for traipsing around :D

Cheers! Sometimes I actually find it easier when I can’t see as I concentrate more on where I’m going. When there’s views I can get excited and wander off :lol: But you’re right, they’re fantastic when you just want to plod for a few hours 8)



iangpark wrote:I've been planing out a similar circuit for when I eventually make it over that way, although I'll be staying at Gameshope and doing the more easterly hills the next day. Looks like you made quick work of it - shame about the weather. Don't think I could muster up the courage to do those hills in those conditions! Well done!

Ach weather....an excuse to go back some day :wink: Hope you manage to get across the river, looked near impossible with that much rain :shock:




apollo0815 wrote:Nice report, Jaxter. For situations like the bog test I can only recommend having a dog on a lead with you.
Once, while walking on Mull, one of our dogs disappeared very suddenly into a waterhole, which had been hidden under a layer of what looked like perfectly walkable grass. ( she emerged again, unscathed but very suprised, wet and muddy :)
Since then I am very careful about what "grass" I step on:)

:lol: :lol: :lol: that sounds like a plan! I walk with poles on my physios advice and generally find them a necessary nuisance, but very useful for testing bogs...if it’s over pole height it’s time to abort :lol:
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Re: The misty mountains - Donald Day at Talla

Postby Mal Grey » Tue Oct 24, 2017 5:54 pm

Another good 'un...


Does anyone else have those days when they just don’t want to deal with people?


Only 7 days a week or so..... :lol: Warning; it gets worse as you get older!!!! :D For me, drifting solo in the canoe where nobody else can get to does the job....as the hills are a little further away.
Actually, most of the time I love the company, especially when its a smallish group and I don't need to start worrying about whether everybody is OK, as I tend to in a big group. But at least once a week, I need ME time...
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Re: The misty mountains - Donald Day at Talla

Postby Jaxter » Wed Oct 25, 2017 9:51 am

Mal Grey wrote:Another good 'un...


Does anyone else have those days when they just don’t want to deal with people?


Only 7 days a week or so..... :lol: Warning; it gets worse as you get older!!!! :D For me, drifting solo in the canoe where nobody else can get to does the job....as the hills are a little further away.
Actually, most of the time I love the company, especially when its a smallish group and I don't need to start worrying about whether everybody is OK, as I tend to in a big group. But at least once a week, I need ME time...

Glad I'm no the only one :lol: I love remote hills where you meet fewer people. Always nice to bump into others occasionally mind but I enjoy the solitude :wink: I do enjoy company too....but I think I have to be in the right mood for it 8)
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Re: The misty mountains - Donald Day at Talla

Postby walkingpoles » Wed Oct 25, 2017 4:51 pm

Bad weather is no counterindication for a top quality mountain day. I enjoyed your report. Looks like a great bothy.

Does anyone else have those days when they just don’t want to deal with people?


Welcome to the club. From the occasional lone hikers one meets out there, most seem to replenish their batteries happily in bog and mist. Also a lot easier to organise than walking in deserts or visiting the far north or far south (which is fab, too. Penguins rock;).
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Re: The misty mountains - Donald Day at Talla

Postby past my sell by date » Thu Nov 02, 2017 10:29 pm

You do get Everywhere Jaxter - good for you :clap: :)
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Re: The misty mountains - Donald Day at Talla

Postby Jaxter » Fri Nov 03, 2017 3:39 pm

walkingpoles wrote:Bad weather is no counterindication for a top quality mountain day. I enjoyed your report. Looks like a great bothy.

Does anyone else have those days when they just don’t want to deal with people?


Welcome to the club. From the occasional lone hikers one meets out there, most seem to replenish their batteries happily in bog and mist. Also a lot easier to organise than walking in deserts or visiting the far north or far south (which is fab, too. Penguins rock;).

Couldn't agree more! On all counts - yes penguins are awesome 8) 8)



past my sell by date wrote:You do get Everywhere Jaxter - good for you :clap: :)

Just trying to follow the weather :lol:
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Re: The misty mountains - Donald Day at Talla

Postby Fife Flyer » Sat Nov 04, 2017 10:42 pm

Nice one Jackie :clap:
I had much better weather when I did the round and did it in the opposite direction, the final descent certainly gave me fabulous views.
Cracking group of hills.
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Re: The misty mountains - Donald Day at Talla

Postby Jaxter » Mon Nov 06, 2017 10:21 pm

Fife Flyer wrote:Nice one Jackie :clap:
I had much better weather when I did the round and did it in the opposite direction, the final descent certainly gave me fabulous views.
Cracking group of hills.

Cheers Martin :D Shame I missed out on views but these hills are so great because they're within easy reach :D
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