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Culter Fell and Chapelgill Hill

Culter Fell and Chapelgill Hill


Postby thepigguy » Fri Aug 28, 2020 3:49 pm

Grahams included on this walk: Culter Fell

Donalds included on this walk: Chapelgill Hill, Culter Fell

Date walked: 13/08/2020

Time taken: 4.5 hours

Distance: 11.8 km

Ascent: 717m

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Two days after toiling up Tinto on a breathless afternoon, I was again driving through Biggar, this time planning to tackle Culter Fell, which turned out to be a big improvement on its near-neighbour.

The best and worst thing about being in the early stages of a hill-walking adventure is the sheer number of options open to you, so I'd spent ages looking at maps and reports before reckoning Culter Fell would be a good target, probably with Chapelgill Hill as an add-on. Then I had to decide on a start from the north at Culter Allers or the south-east at Glenkirk, finally opting for the easier drive to the first.

Parking up near the end of the public road, I was glad the thunderstorms over Lothian and the Borders had cleared the air and I made my way up the glen in warm sunshine taking a turn to the left by a stand of trees where a track starts the climb up Culter Fell.

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Parking spot near Culter Allers

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Looking up the glen with Ward Law and (apparently) Hungry Knees on the right

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The way forward is clear as Fell Shin comes into view


The track heads up alongside a burn, so it was time to turn off and head over to the line of grouse butts where a path took me uphill. It's steep, but pretty easy going (and far more pleasant than the track up Tinto) so I gained height quickly, soon arriving at a cairn which commanded excellent views.

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The view back from the lower slopes of Fell Shin.

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Zoomed to Tinto, which was covered in cloud most of the day

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Heading up Fell Shin

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Hudderstone and a few of the many windmills in this part of the world

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The walk levels out towards the top of Culter Fell


Just over an hour and 20 minutes after leaving the car, I reached the trig at the top of Culter Fell, unfortunately now covered in cloud. Dawdling over tea and a biscuit, I briefly considered changing my plan and heading to Gathersnow Hill and completing the circuit round Coomb Hill, Hillshaw Head, Coomb Dod, but in the end stuck with my original plan.

I headed down steeply, following the fence towards the peat hags on Glenharvie Moss, crossing the fence and taking a small diversion, losing some height to follow an ATV track around the boggy ground.

culter12.jpg
Summit trig on cloudy Culter Fell.
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culter13.jpg
Peat hags ahoy! Coming down off Culter Fell.


Chapelgill Hill was covered in cloud for most of the day, although it looked fine, covered in purple heather. I made my way slowly up to the top, pausing for tea at the cairn a few yards from the actual, unmarked summit.

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Probably the best view of Chapelgill Hill throughout the day

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Looking back to Culter Fell

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Cairn on Chapelgill Hill, looking towards the actual summit


I doubled back and then found a good spot to cross the fence and follow a rough path to Birnie's Bowrock, intending to climb the Donald Top Cardon Hill, but it was completely covered in cloud so I invoked the little-known SMC rule "if you can't see it you can't bag it" and turned round. I'll visit Cardon Hill if I get anywhere near to "compleating" the Donalds.

culter18.jpg
Cardon Hill is in there somewhere - and it can wait for another day.


I made my way back to Glenharvie Moss and it was reasonably easy to cut across the peat hags to pick up a track heading towards Tippet Knowe. After about half-a-mile of descent, the track carries on along the ridge, but I took a path down Juniper Knowe which brought me out on the road near the foot of Fell Shin and a short distance from the car.

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Tippet Knowe

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Juniper Knowe, heading back to the road

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Culter Fell
thepigguy
Walker
 
Posts: 38
Munros:3   Corbetts:1
Grahams:4   Donalds:11
Sub 2000:31   Hewitts:2
Islands:18
Joined: Jul 7, 2017
Location: Westray, Orkney

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