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Plan B for Nutberry Hill

Plan B for Nutberry Hill

Postby McMole » Wed Oct 02, 2019 7:56 pm

Sub 2000' hills included on this walk: Nutberry Hill

Date walked: 19/09/2019

Time taken: 3.9 hours

Distance: 14.2 km

Ascent: 350m

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When I set out I knew that I was relying on today's hill being unpopular. From other reports and Streetview I had seen that there was room for only one car to park at the start of the track to Priesthope, and there did not appear to be anywhere nearby for another. As half-expected, when I arrived I saw a car already parked by the Martyr's Grave signpost. If I'd done more research I'd have found reports of walkers driving about a mile up that track to park in a quarry below Priesthope, but I hadn't, so I didn't.
Nutberry Hill route s.gif
As I mentioned in a previous report - always have a Plan B! I drove on about a mile to a layby capable of taking a couple of cars by the start of a track that heads eastward beside the Dippal Burn towards Nutberry Hill. Unlike the first track this one is gated and padlocked.
P1030753 s.JPG
Middlefield Law from near the beginning of the track with my car parked on the main road at far left
Apart from missing the Martyr's Grave, my route B proved a good alternative. For the first section up to and past the single storey building at Dippal it was a more substantial track than I expected. Almost worthy of a windfarm.
P1030751 s.JPG
P1030754 s.JPG
The only animals seen the whole day were sheep with a large proportion of them black.
P1030745 s.JPG
Nutberry Hill on the horizon from near the end of the track with a bird trap visible in the centre
The track was still good when it ended after almost 4km. From the end of the track the direction, if not the route, was obvious - just head for the gap in the trees on the horizon. A boggy path took me past a decrepit bird trap and onto what soon turned out to be a pathless hillside well endowed with tussocks.
P1030734 s.JPG
The disused bird trap
Even the sheep had left it pathless. That gave slower going to the fence from Priesthill Height that crossed the gap between the banks of trees. I followed the fence to its corner where I hoped to find a path coming from the Priesthill direction. I found one there on the other side of the fence.
P1030744b s.JPG
The 'path' leading from the fence to the forest road
Perhaps more of a trampled groove in the vegetation than a path it ran up to meet the forest road shown on the 1:25000 OS map about where 'Quarry (dis)' is marked.
P1030743 s.JPG
The forest road and quarry
I chose to follow the forest road north until it started to run downhill. There I followed a vague groove in the vegetation to the left of what appeared to be a shallow drainage channel running towards the trig point. Not the best of paths, but better than the previous tussocks.
P1030739 s.JPG
Whitelee Wind Farm from the trig point
P1030741 s.JPG
Middlefield Law from the summit
The summit area provides a fine outlook - especially of Whitelee Wind Farm! Turning further west the cairn on top of MIddlefield Law could be clearly seen. The trig point was 7km and a bit under two hours from the road, but it is clearly not the summit. That is reported to be about 50cm higher and is a shallow dome of moor centred about 37m away to the SE at NS 74360 33855. There was a cool breeze at the top so I carried on walking and came across what must be the usual route.
P1030742 s.JPG
The ATV track heading to the top
What appeared to be an ATV track ran along the summit ridge and ended at the quarry I'd ignored earlier. Definitely better than my uphill route. Once back at the fence I looked for a less tussocky way back to the track. After heading past another even more decrepit bird trap I came across a sheep track that guided me relatively painlessly most of the way.
Nutberry summit route s.gif
More detailed plot of my route near the summit
Afterwards as I drove south I noticed that the Priesthill car park was still occupied. I hadn't seen anyone on the hill so I guess the other walkers were having a more leisurely walk and, no doubt, spending time studying John Brown's grave.
Posts: 181
Munros:141   Corbetts:50
Grahams:40   Donalds:89
Sub 2000:143   Hewitts:25
Joined: Mar 25, 2016

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