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Two Galloway sub 2000s from the A7

Two Galloway sub 2000s from the A7


Postby PeteR » Mon Mar 04, 2019 11:21 pm

Sub 2000' hills included on this walk: Pikethaw Hill, Wisp Hill

Date walked: 17/02/2019

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This was a Sunday walk, so I wasn’t looking for anything too long. The forecast wasn’t ideal, with a bit of wind and possibly some rain. I’d had my eye on two steepish looking sub 2000s near to Mosspaul, north of Langholm. Pikethaw Hill and Wisp Hill.

Accepting the parking issues that can be encountered I think they are usually accessed from Eweslees Farm. I’d noticed on Google Earth there was parking a little south of the usual start, near the junction signposting Hermitage Castle. My original route plan would have seen me heading south for about half a mile, to pick up an ATV track which would have taken me up on to Upper Hill. Anyone who has visited the A7 though will know that it’s a busy road, even on a Sunday :shock: Having parked up a quick look at the direct route persuaded me it would be a worth giving that a go, rather than chance my life walking along the road if I didn’t need to.

ImageP1060930 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr
And he's off.........straight up this from the roadside

The direct route was.......slow.......quite painful, given I was lung busting from the off........and slow (oh, have I mentioned that already?) :lol: I can only imagine what passing traffic made of this numpty breathing out of his bottom while slogging his way up a steep slope :lol:

ImageP1060933 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr
Followed this track as it traversed from left to right

ImageP1060935 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr
Took the opportunity to take some photos of the views on the steep climb up

ImageP1060943 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr
Some nice trees to show off the abgle of ascent once it started to ease off a little

After the initial climb I followed an ATV track to the right, where it intersected with a fence line coming up from the Hermitage Castle junction. From here the gradient up on to Upper Hill eased a fair bit although it was boggy and lumpy for the most part. I won’t lie either, the route from Upper Hill to Dan’s Hags and on to Frodaw Height wasn’t the most pleasant experience.............tough going over the lumpy ground hugging the fence line and doing my best to avoid the boggiest of the bog where I could.

ImageP1060944 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr
Quite a bit of this on the route, lumpy, bumpy, boggy and at times a bit of hard work

Had an early view of my second hill, Wisp Hill, on the climb up which looked an awfully long way away at the time. Hitting Dan’s Hags also gave an enticing view of Pikethaw Hill too, although the going never got any easier as I headed to the summit.

ImageP1060950 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr
Early distant view of Pikethaw as I arrived on Dan's Hags

ImageP1060954 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr
Both my targets lais out in front of me

Met the only other person on the day as he was heading off Pikethaw and I was traipsing (more stumbling) along from Frodaw Height. The wind was pretty keen and I was looking forward to the chance of getting some relief hunkered down at the substantial summit cairn, when I eventually made it.

ImageP1060961 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr
Zooming in on my fellow hillwalker sat on Pikethaw

ImageP1060975 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr
Approaching the first summit of the day

ImageP1060981 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr
View to Wisp Hill from Pikethaw summit

I spent a few moments on the summit, but it was a bit chilly so felt it sensible to get a move on rather than hang around. It’s a descent decent off the hill toward the saddle with Ewenshope Fell and eventually Wisp Hill. As with many of these lowland hills the drop off one hill and climb up to the next can be quite steep and the climb I had to come to achieve my second hill was there, front of view, all the way down off Pikethaw.

It wasn’t an unenjoyable drop down off the hill though. Once at the saddle I broke the climb up on to Wisp Hill in to a number of different short stages. Climb to a fixed point, or an apparent levelling, and then take a breather (some additional breathers may have been enjoyed en climb) and then fix the next point and repeat. It doesn’t necessarily mean I get there any faster :lol: , but does help me with the mental battle. Bite size chunks are definitely easier to cope with than looking at the full climb ahead of me and losing my focus.

ImageP1060999 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr
Wisp Hill on my way down off Pikethaw

ImageP1070006 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr
Bitesize chunks on the climb up on to Wisp Hill

ImageP1070017 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr
Looking back to Pikethaw as I closed in on Wisp Hill summit

Eventually I arrived at the trig on Wisp Hill and the climbing was over. It was still cloudy, but by now breaks were appearing. I’d decided to drop off the hill toward Eweslees Farm via Whin Fell. A lovely genteel drop back down to the A7 after the slog up the steep slope at the start. Enjoyed the view back toward Pikethaw and the view back down the valley, where I could appreciate the steepness of my initial climb earlier in the day.

ImageP1070021 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr
Wisp Hill summit

ImageP1070027 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr
View across the A7 toward Ellson Fell

ImageP1070037 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr
View heading down off Whin Fell

ImageP1070043 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr
Eweslees Farm

ImageP1070046 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr
View back to my initial ascent, with the white blob of my car in the layby

Once back at the road it was then a case of taking my life in my hands and walking back toward the car.

ImageP1070055 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr
Back along the A7 to the car

A short walk perhaps, but ideal for one of those not so good weather days that can happen every now and then.


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

User avatar
PeteR
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 2048
Munros:282   Corbetts:158
Grahams:89   Donalds:89
Sub 2000:176   Hewitts:3
Islands:9
Joined: Jan 27, 2010
Location: North Ayrshire

Re: Two Galloway sub 2000s from the A7

Postby Fife Flyer » Tue Mar 05, 2019 9:45 pm

Nice one Pete and up to your usual standard.
Your route was 'interesting' and curiously longer and more dangerous than mine, I remember the initial ascent as that was where I was assaulted by a barbed wire fence.
User avatar
Fife Flyer
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 2377
Munros:191   Corbetts:41
Grahams:16   Donalds:20
Sub 2000:120   Hewitts:2
Islands:5
Joined: May 15, 2013
Location: Guess?

Re: Two Galloway sub 2000s from the A7

Postby PeteR » Wed Mar 06, 2019 12:04 am

Fife Flyer wrote:Nice one Pete and up to your usual standard.
Your route was 'interesting' and curiously longer and more dangerous than mine, I remember the initial ascent as that was where I was assaulted by a barbed wire fence.


Thanks Martin. My next report is drafted and will be a brief by comparison to this one (once I get to post it) :lol:

I don't recall any barbed wire fences on my route, which was just as well, as I have form with that stuff :shock: A good little circuit though
User avatar
PeteR
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 2048
Munros:282   Corbetts:158
Grahams:89   Donalds:89
Sub 2000:176   Hewitts:3
Islands:9
Joined: Jan 27, 2010
Location: North Ayrshire

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