Monday had the best forecast of the whole week and the sun was shining, so off I went to to walk over a Pentland or three before the promised showers arrived later in the day. It had been a year or two since I'd been over the Kips from Threipmuir so I decided to take that route and view the destruction reported on in the WH forum in General discussion, 'Pentland destruction' -
https://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/Forum/viewtopic.php?Z=1&t=84689&st=0&sk=t&sd=aI arrived in the Threipmuir car park at about 10am and was soon on my slippery way along the road towards Bavelaw Castle, after overnight frost had left icy patches on the road. As I climbed the hill and took the right turn to follow the Red Road a chill wind blew. I did wonder if lulled by the previous months of warm weather I'd not worn enough layers. I found that a brisk pace kept me warm enough and the wind discouraged me from stopping. As the path turned to head for West Kip the destruction was mostly hidden by a covering of snow though it was still very obvious. A strip right beside the fence had not been churned up and had been well used by other walkers - and me. As I neared West Kip I saw one lass sliding down its slopes several times on a small plastic 'tray'. I almost had to kick steps in the snow on the way up and found it easier to choose areas of snow-clad vegetation when heading downhill. Soft snow on top of muddy paths made for uncertain footing. Between East Kip and Scald Law there was another bulldozed morass then a well-trodden and, at times, icy path up to the Scald Law trig point. Downhill from there was easy through snow-covered heather and the route down to The Howe was mostly snow-free. From there other surprises were a bridge and then some stepping stones as I started through Green Cleugh, then new deer fencing to both sides after passing Black Hill. Most of the enclosed area has been extensively planted with saplings by the landowner. The route has been recently improved with former boggy sections now overlaid by a good path. As I approached Bavelaw Castle I felt a few drops of rain and turning round saw a low cloud sweeping over the hills behind me. I counted myself lucky to have missed the shower as I walked back the last now ice-free kilometre in the sun. It had been a busy day for a weekday with the car park half full. I must have met about thirty walkers, cyclists and dog walkers on my circuit. I chatted to several who had decided, as I had, that the day was just too good to miss and the rest of the week was not going to be good hill-walking weather.
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Warning Please note that hillwalking when there is snow lying requires an ice-axe, crampons and the knowledge, experience and skill to use them correctly. Summer routes may not be viable or appropriate in winter. See winter information on our skills and safety pages for more information.