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A Bag of Ettricks
by laconic surf » Mon Mar 19, 2012 12:45 am
Route description: Ettrick Hills horseshoe
Grahams included on this walk: Capel Fell, Ettrick Pen
Donalds included on this walk: Bodesbeck Law, Capel Fell, Ettrick Pen, Loch Fell, Wind Fell
Date walked: 17/03/2012
Time taken: 5 hours
Distance: 17 km1 person thinks this report is great. Register or Login free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).
A beautiful saturday morning and a drive down into the heart of the borders to walk the Ettrick Horseshoe. No other cars at the start, just me and the hills. The walk began to ascend immediately though the forest until the path emerges above the tree tops and the first donald of the day, Bodesbeck Law comes into view.
The path was already pretty boggy, not helped by the amount of rainfall from the previous day. The views open up almost immediately. There is a summit cairn at the top which can only be reached by walking through a broken section in the wall and then climbing over the fence. The views were just spectacular...
From here it was a case of following the wall down off Bodesbeck Law, along several tops before arriving at the foot of the Graham, Capel Fell. Once at the top, it offered great views to Croft Head. The summit is marked by a simple broken post.
Was just about ready for lunch but the top of Capel Fell was too boggy to sit anywhere so decided to head off downhill towards Wind Fell. Another steep descent led to a large area of peat hags. Here there is the opportunity to cross a stile over the fence and into Dumfries and Galloway to circle round them - is it just me or is everyone else treating the hags with more reverence after jonny616's recent report?
Don't be tempted to cross too early - i tried this and had to beat a hasty retreat as I started sinking! I skirted right round to the foot of Wind Fell's neighbour Loch Fell and began to climb this before crossing over to Wind Fell, when a wee bell rang somewhere in my mind. A quick check on WH via the phone confirmed it - Loch Fell is a donald not listed on this walk even though your at the foot of it! Quick detour to the summit and the only trig point of the day. Back down and then the slog up Wind Fell. Another bog fest at the top here, again just a stick in a peat hag to mark the high point. A quick tap with the pole and I was off again to search for somewhere perchable for lunch
Ettrick pen was now in sight but at the top of Hopetoun Craig set back from the path was a lovely cairn - and a great spot for lunch (finally!)
The pull up to Ettrick pen was a tough one as the toll from the previous hills set in. At the top here is an ancient cairn showing its age
From here the path stops so a wee bit of navigation is required to head west. The hill descends very steeply as a path through the trees becomes apparant ahead and the outline of Over Phawhope Bothy can be seen. A lovely path alongside a fast flowing burn leads to the bothy where I popped in for a quick rest and refreshment and sign the visitors book.
From here the Southern Upland Way is picked up, through a deserted farmhouse and back to the start. A really great day to be outdoors, sun shining, hills to climb, beautiful scenery. What more can you ask for?
by Higherthanhigh » Mon Mar 19, 2012 7:47 pm
Well done on a good day out
by laconic surf » Mon Mar 19, 2012 9:44 pm
Higherthanhigh wrote:Nice report. That's quite a collection of hills in one trip! I was there end of last year and completely missed Loch Fell until I got home and realised it was a donald - gutted
I know, it's nice to go for one walk and be able to tick off multiple hills - particularly when the weather was this nice
morag1 wrote:So you've given up on Edinburgh then
Well done on a good day out
Never give up on Edinburgh Needed to climb higher hills, which meant leaving the Lothians! I'm planning on doing my first munro in 6 weeks so getting some serious miles and hills in between now and then
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