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Windlestraw Law trade route

Windlestraw Law trade route

Postby thepigguy » Fri Jul 31, 2020 3:40 pm

Grahams included on this walk: Windlestraw Law

Donalds included on this walk: Windlestraw Law

Date walked: 08/03/2020

Time taken: 3.25 hours

Distance: 10.96 km

Ascent: 478m

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I didn't have a lot of time to spare while on a visit to Edinburgh to see my son and daughter, but I thought a Sunday afternoon following the SMC route around Windlestraw Law, Bareback Knowe and Whitehope Law would be about right.

I won't go into huge detail - the route is very simple, I parked just south of Blackhopebyre, walked north along the road and then turned east and took the track up the hillside.

Looking towards Blackhopebyre from the parking spot

Easy going on the track at first

For about a mile the going is very pleasant - who doesn't like a grassy track?

It was nice, quick ascent up Glentress Rig, but snowmelt and the tracks of a massive all-terrain vehicle I'd seen parked at the farm made the going increasingly difficult as I made my way up Wallet Knowe and by the time I was level with the grouse butts the track itself was impassable.

It's getting tricky


Still, it was straightforward making my way up by the grouse butts, then following the fence up towards the summit of Windlestraw Law, cutting across to the trig point which may or may not be the highest point (the other contender being about 20m along the fence).

Following the fence up Windlestraw Law

Trig at/near the top of Windlestraw Law - classic Moorfoots

Next bit was to nip over to Bareback Knowe - my first Donald Top. This was the best part of the walk and all too short. Tracks and paths eased the way, although I decided to skirt round a large patch of snow just below the top. The cairn on Bareback Knowe is large, reasonably dry and gives much better views than the top of Windlestraw Law so, despite the chilly wind, I hung around for a while, drinking tea, wandering around and generally wishing I'd followed the Walkhighlands route from Innerleithen.

Bareback Knowe cairn

1000495 (1).jpg
Zoomed to the Eildons

Does anyone take selfies on a Donald Top? They do now.

I spent about ten minutes wondering whether to stick to the SMC route and head down Bareback Knowe, but it looked tussocky with large snowy patches of unpredictable depth much of the way down so I decided to double back, visiting the solar weather/wind/whatever thingy on the way.

Normally I'd expect plans for a new wind farm, but this has been here a long while

As I battled through the bogs again, the sun came out, but the clock was ticking and even a quick up and down of Whitehope Law felt a bit much - that's a quickie for another day.

1000483 (1).jpg
Whitehope Law from Wallet Knowe

Glentress Water on the way back to the car
Posts: 52
Munros:3   Corbetts:2
Grahams:4   Donalds:14
Sub 2000:34   Hewitts:5
Joined: Jul 7, 2017
Location: Westray, Orkney

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