Grahams: Windlestraw Law.
Time: 4 hours, 10 minutes.
Weather: Showery, breezy lower down.
The same drill as last weekend - half a decent day forecast, which deteriorated as it approached. We had arranged to meet up with David on Sunday, so regardless, we were going to go somewhere. Innerleithen was chosen as the spot, and Windlestraw Law the hill. As the weather looked better in the afternoon, we stopped in at my sister's place just outside Edinburgh on the way over.
We arrived a bit late, and David was ready to go for a change . Shortly before 1pm we set off up the glen to the east of Walkerburn. This was David's choice of route - he only wanted to go up Windlestraw Law this way, and it was the only hill in the vicinity that he hadn't been up. Jackie hadn't been up it either, and my previous visit from Blackhopebyre hadn't been overly inspiring. I have to admit this had never been on any list of hills to go up again, but that was as much to do with living a long way away from it previously.
Almost taking a wrong turning, we followed a muddy track up the glen until it met a better one. None of this would be especially muddy normally but it had been pretty wet lately. There were showers on and off, and we took shelter next to the track to have some lunch.
Up the glen
Caberstonegrains appeared to be inhabited while Seathope was more likely a holiday home. Beyond this we opted to keep down in the glen as it was quite breezy, and took the more eastern option to get on Seathope Rig. We crossed the burn only to cross it back again only a few minutes later.
Crossing the Seathope Burn...
...just to cross back again!
Jackie was really struggling at this point - she wasn't feeling herself for some reason, and we hadn't even reached the steepest part yet. She decided to carry on, and an unmarked track zigzagged back south to get us on Seathope Rig. The cunning of this route could be seen - on a hill mainly consisting of heather and peat hag, this route was on short grass all the way to the plateau. After a steepening, the way ahead levelled out and it was an easy, if chilly walk to the trig point.
Other summit of Windlestraw
In fact it had probably been windier at a couple of points down in the glen, and wasn't that bad, although we were largely in the cloud. David wanted to return by the ridge to the west of our glen, but given Jackie was feeling rough, we opted to retrace our steps and said goodbye to David.
Looking back down Gate Hope
On the descent to the glen, there was more sun visible to the east and the Lammermuirs and Eildon Hills could be made out. To the west, what little snow remained was sculpted into a short length of cornice - a sign that there had been a fair stack of snow up here until recently.
Back down the Gate Hope
We retreated by much the same route as we had come up, and at a reasonable pace. The rain came on and off until the end, when it gave us an extra heavy shower just to soak us before the car. Despite moving at a reasonable pace, David had beat us and left before we got back to the road (he only left 5 minutes before we got back, it turned out).
We had hoped to nip up Whitehope Law while in the area, but we were no longer in the mood and the rain bucketed down over the next hour anyway as we returned via Edinburgh. Not a bad afternoon out, but as usual neither as long or dramatic as our original plans!
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