No sheep, no cattle, no ticks - no farmer

Sub 2000s: Pikethaw Hill, Wisp Hill

Date walked: 02/06/2022

Distance: 10km

Ascent: 670m

I could add to the title - not my favourite hills and never again! But that’s too negative - on the upside, I had a fabulous day and completed two hills that were on my wish list.
These two had been our target on Friday 13th (May) - maybe we should have taken more note of the date - but after parking safely (on wide verge, not blocking visibility, and then setting off up the hill, avoiding a lower field with sheep and lambs), we were accosted by the farmer. He had spotted us from the farm, and, on his trials bike, intercepted us part way up the slope. Quite aggressively he told us to get off the hill (sheep still lambing higher up he said). We immediately retraced our steps and went off to walk on Roan Fell instead.
Final map.jpg
Approximate route - does not show all my zig zags on the steeper slopes!!

So today I parked, where he had recommended, in the lay-by near Fiddleton, just south of the road signposted for Hermitage Castle. From there, it was a steep pull up to Upper Hill, but at least the bracken was still low so less chance (fingers crossed) of ticks hitching a ride and meal.
On the way uo.jpg
Followed the line of wire fence, crossed at this gate then up the fence line on the left

Following the fence line, my route led over Dan’s Hags, Frodaw Height and so to Pikethaw Cairn.
Cotton grass.jpg
Happy that the slope has eased - but not so easy underfoot!

I was horribly slow over this section (the clue is in the word ‘Hags”) with tussocks, some bog and old heather. Cotton grass dancing in the breeze and more Cloudberry in flower than I have seen for a long time. Not many birds about - skylarks, meadow pipits, a buzzard and a pair of crows. No sheep.
Cloudberry among the cotton grass. Tormentil also flowering in drier places

Still hand railing the fence …….

Nice cairn on Pikethaw - have to take a photo. Views a bit hazy.

The drop down to Ewes Doors seemed endless, then it was up to Ewenshope Fell and Wisp Hill, the going underfoot much kinder now. View were good - I was amazed that Arthur’s Seat was visible for much of the way, as well as the Eildons and then south to the Solway and Lake District.
Trig point on Wisp

First time I’ve seen a noice like this - maybe trig points aren’t redundant after all?

Heading south from Wisp Hill, I descended over Whin Fell and then steeply down, aiming for a diagonal route to hit the track at the line of pylons. Lots of zig zags down the steeper slopes!
Looking south down the Ewes Water and A7. Centre of the photo, the hillside with a few trees - my line of ascent up the slope to the right. Short but brutal.

I followed this for a short way before, gathering all my wits, finally walking beside the A7. Maybe because it was a holiday weekend, or maybe as this was now later in the afternoon, the road was thankfully quiet. I did have just over a kilometre back to the car, but it was with good visibility and a verge (unlike stretches of the A7 just to the north). That said, this is not a route I would recommend.
Sad really, our visit on Friday 13th was the first time in over 50 years of being in the hills that I have ever experienced such aggression. Avoiding the farmer undoubtedly influenced my route today - although I kept a good distance from sheep (and the farm), initially the noise of a motorbike made me jump - until I realised the sound was coming up from the A7.
Maybe the best way to do these two hills from the east would be with two cars - one parked near Mosspaul and the other at Fiddleton? I’m just happy to have walked there, and won’t be going back.

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Roan Fell - Plan B

This post is not published on the Walkhighlands forum
Attachment(s) Sub 2000s: Roan Fell
Date walked: 13/05/2022
Distance: 10.1km
Ascent: 377m
Views: 31

Calkin Rig - go now, more forestry planned

Attachment(s) Sub 2000s: Calkin Rig
Date walked: 01/05/2022
Distance: 8.7km
Ascent: 366m
Comments: 3
Views: 1221

Bliss in Galloway

Attachment(s) Sub 2000s: Bengray, Cairnharrow
Date walked: 29/04/2022
Distance: 11.19km
Ascent: 620m
Views: 253

Creag Bheag - a little gem

This post is not published on the Walkhighlands forum
Attachment(s) Sub 2000s: Creag Bheag (Kingussie)
Date walked: 22/04/2022
Distance: 6.69km
Ascent: 271m
Views: 40

Blaeloch Hill

This post is not published on the Walkhighlands forum
Attachment(s) Sub 2000s: Blaeloch Hill
Date walked: 17/04/2022
Distance: 7.25km
Ascent: 230m
Views: 41

Spring in my step

Attachment(s) Sub 2000s: Blackwood Hill
Date walked: 27/03/2022
Distance: 6.67km
Ascent: 285m
Views: 198

More haste, less speed

This post is not published on the Walkhighlands forum
Attachment(s) Sub 2000s: Dumglow
Date walked: 13/03/2022
Distance: 5.1km
Views: 64

The 'Newtons' - best traverse of the Ochils

Attachment(s) Date walked: 04/08/2019
Distance: 6.5km
Views: 671

First balloons of the year

This post is not published on the Walkhighlands forum
Attachment(s) Sub 2000s: Hill of Garvock, Strathfinella Hill
Date walked: 03/01/2019
Distance: 8.7km
Ascent: 339m
Views: 367


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Activity: Wanderer
Place: Elphin
Gear: Walking poles

Munros: 237
Corbetts: 32
Grahams: 70
Donalds: 89
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Sub 2000: 138
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Joined: Sep 16, 2012
Last visited: Jun 16, 2022
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