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Bonny Broughton Hills (and some Donalds)

Bonny Broughton Hills (and some Donalds)

Postby weaselmaster » Mon Dec 04, 2017 12:23 pm

Corbetts included on this walk: Hart Fell

Donalds included on this walk: Black Law, Greenside Law, Hart Fell, Swatte Fell, Under Saddle Yoke

Sub 2000' hills included on this walk: Broughton Heights, Penvalla, Trahenna Hill

Date walked: 03/12/2017

Time taken: 16.75 hours

Distance: 53.6 km

Ascent: 3331m

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After last weekend's cold and snow, I resolved to go to the warmer south for this weekend's hills - pick off a few more of my remaining Donalds and some Marilyns. Pity no-one told the weather :lol: We set off on Thursday afternoon to make for the Meggat, where we've wild-camped several times before, then spend the other 2 nights at Beattock Campsite. Signs up in Moffat saying the A702 was closed during the day - that posed a problem for us...hmmm. We might have to do a rethink. Anyway we drove along the side of the Meggat Reservoir with the temperature below freezing and ice across the road. Our camp spot was vacant but boy was it chilly - I had to hammer the pegs through a couple of inches of frozen ground. A night for sleeping with a hat on :D

Friday: Greenside Law & Black Law

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

We were able to leave from the camping spot - and therefore leave the tent up with the car next to it. We started off up the track by the Cramalt Burn, meeting a man trying to operate a digger to make a drainage trench at the start of it - he was giving up as the ground was so hard. It was a beautiful day, clear pale blue sky, snow on top of the more western hills and best of all, bogs and peat hags frozen solid :wink: The track takes a gentle line up towards Notman Law - Dollar Law looking very white over to our left. Allison was well thrilled to be able to add a Donald Top to her collection :wink: From here, over frozen bog to Greenside Law, then down towards Foulbrig then Black Law by Redsike Head. The summit of Black Law is almost a kilometre away to the NE from the southern cairn - last time round we approached from Blackhouse Heights. We halted for lunch - a lot of snow on the Cheviots, by the look of things. Onwards to Deer Law and descent by Broomy Law - some nice views over the Meggat as we walked the couple of miles back along the road. It was only around 3pm when we got back to the tent - we sat outside for a bit, chatting to some walkers who were returning to their car before the cold drove us back inside for an early tea.

Frosty start
ImageDSC00091 by Al, on Flickr

Blue Skies over Talla Linnfoots
ImageDSC00092 by Al, on Flickr

Track to Notman's Law
ImageDSC00093 by Al, on Flickr

Dollar Law looking white
ImageDSC00094 by Al, on Flickr

Towards Broad Cairn
ImageDSC00095 by Al, on Flickr

Notman's to Greenside
ImageDSC00097 by Al, on Flickr

Frozen bog/hags - yay!
ImageDSC00100 by Al, on Flickr

Towards Black Law
ImageDSC00101 by Al, on Flickr

Deer Law
ImageDSC00105 by Al, on Flickr

Meggat reservoir
ImageDSC00109 by Al, on Flickr
ImageDSC00111 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC00112 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC00113 by Al, on Flickr

Saturday: Under Saddle Yoke/Hartfell/Swatte Fell then Watch Knowe

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

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

We packed up the tent and set off to Capelgill Farm to undertake the Hartfell Circuit. Cloud was sitting along the tops of the hills and it was a poorer day than Friday, some thawing had taken place, with the car thermometer saying 5 degrees. I was hoping the bogs would remain frozen, remembering how soggy it gets in the central part of this circuit. Steep, steady ascent up Peat Hill then Under Saddle Yoke, patches of snow and ice to be negotiated. The crags over on our left looked far more formidable than one expects from Donalds - brooding and impressive. We reached the twin tops of Yoke before setting off into clag. Last time we did this circuit (clockwise) we included White Coomb, which must add almost 5 miles to the route. Not today! We found an ATV track with a set of footprints in the snow patches that headed north from Redgill Crags towards Hartfell Rig and which led us easily to the rather barren summit of Hartfell.

Under Saddle Yoke
ImageDSC00117 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC00119 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC00120 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC00124 by Al, on Flickr

Towards Hartfell Rig
ImageDSC00126 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC00127 by Al, on Flickr

We sat and had lunch and were joined by a family of 4 who had presumably come up from the west as they were heading towards Whitehope Knowe. Our route took us down the fenceline to Falcon Crag, then a deviation to the summit of Swatte Fell before dropping down along the Hang Burn and back to the farm - very steep at the last section. It was only 2.15pm and plenty time left to nip along to the Grey Mare's Tail car park and pick up Watch Knowe, my penultimate Simm in this area. The route was up the recently repaired track to Loch Skeen, where we met Stephen Kerr, fresh from Overphawhope Bothy. Near the loch we left the track and headed over Bran Law to the summit of Watch Knowe - a fine viewpoint. Some delicate pinky clouds over the hills as we descended, water gushing down the Mare's Tail. Decided against heading to Beattock campsite for one night - instead drove back along to the Meggat, hoping that out previous pitch would be free. And free it was - but only just - we'd no sooner parked the car and got the tent out to pitch when a camper van drove down, saw us and did an about-turn.

Swatte Fell
ImageDSC00130 by Al, on Flickr

Under Saddle Yoke
ImageDSC00131 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC00134 by Al, on Flickr

Watch Knowe
ImageDSC00135 by Al, on Flickr

Grey Mare's Tail
ImageDSC00136 by Al, on Flickr

Watch Knowe
ImageDSC00139 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC00140 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC00142 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC00143 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC00144 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC00146 by Al, on Flickr

Sunday - Broughton Heights Circuit

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

A chance to incorporate 3 Marilyns into one loop, not to be sniffed at. I'd been in the area quite recently climbing the Drumelzier Hills- this group sits just to the north of them. We parked up at Broughton Place where there's a walkers' car parking area past the rather impressive tower house of the farm. Another splendid day with blue skies, much milder than the last few days. I'd cribbed a route from Rob Munbett and we set off clockwise along an increasingly muddy track, past Clover Law on our left. There are a couple of fine seats commemorating Professor & Mrs Elliot who had the farm build in the Arts & Crafts style by Basil Spence in the pre-WW2 years. After some time the line of Broughton Heights came into view - with a cluster of folk around the cairn in the far distance. I suspected they may be pagans carrying out some arcane Tweedale sun worship, but it transpired that they were walkers, a whole 2 dozen of them.

ImageDSC00147 by Al, on Flickr

View South
ImageDSC00149 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC00150 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC00151 by Al, on Flickr

Past Clover Law
ImageDSC00152 by Al, on Flickr

Broughton Heights
ImageDSC00153 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC00154 by Al, on Flickr

The ascent to the cairn was over short grass and easy going. We caught up with some of the stragglers during the descent to Brown Dodd and overtook the rest on Flint Hill, where they'd stopped for an early lunch, to the chagrin of one of the older walkers in the party whom we heard grumble "are we having another stop?" We dropped down then up steeply to Ladyurd Hill where we found a sheltered spot for lunch ourselves. Down again then up - in true Donalds fashion to our second Marilyn of the day, Penvalla. We deviated from the route by heading straight off Mid Hill and making for an ATV track that ascended the shoulder of Trahenna, by way of Hog Knowe. This was a more gradual ascent for tired legs. Up to the summit, good views back over the circuit then back down to the car.

Towards Penvalla
ImageDSC00155 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC00157 by Al, on Flickr

The way we've come
ImageDSC00158 by Al, on Flickr

Pano of the circuit from Broughton to Penvalla
ImageDSC00161 by Al, on Flickr

Towards Trahenna
ImageDSC00162 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC00163 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC00165 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC00167 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC00168 by Al, on Flickr
User avatar
Hill Bagger
Posts: 1956
Munros:237   Corbetts:67
Grahams:78   Donalds:89
Sub 2000:383   Hewitts:31
Wainwrights:15   Islands:28
Joined: Aug 22, 2012
Location: Greenock

Re: Bonny Broughton Hills (and some Donalds)

Postby Guinessman » Mon Dec 04, 2017 8:26 pm

Al and Alison nice to meet yourselves, and thanks for the mention, looks as though the end of the day was better than earlier.

Looks as though Sunday was a good day, unfortunately I had to go home on the sat.

I've used the very same pitch on that picnic site for 2 nights about 3 weeks ago and strangely enough a van turned up just as it was getting dark ,saw the tent and left!
User avatar
Posts: 1082
Munros:282   Corbetts:52
Grahams:27   Donalds:89
Wainwrights:214   Islands:15
Joined: Dec 28, 2009
Location: NW Durham

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