At last, I get to see Loch Skeen...sort of!

Route: Grey Mare's Tail and Loch Skeen

Donalds: Lochcraig Head

Date walked: 15/08/2013

Time taken: 4.5 hours

Distance: 9.6km

I've driven along this road loads of times, and although I'd stopped at the car park at the foot of the Grey Mares Tail, I hadn't ventured far up the path, it had become one of those walks I REALLY wanted to do but, although it's right on my doorstep (compared to most of the other walks I've done), I just never got round to it...until last Thursday!
The forecast was for light, intermittent showers...sounds ok!....so off we went!
As soon as we reached the car park, I was having doubts about the accuracy of the forecast, it was raining, not heavy but that persistent, soaking kind of rain, and the cloud was hanging around the top of the valley, so on with the (not very, as I soon found out!) waterproofs, and we set off up the path. It's quite steep to begin with, and we were soon into the low cloud and hopes of any decent views were dashed. We did see one of the Peregrines flying away from the crags and into the valley, and a couple of Ravens were cronking overhead as we reached the level part of the path. Loch Skeen came into view after about an hour (I'm guessing as I wasn't timing myself at this point!), I was hoping for a good view of the crags of Lochcraig Head at the north end of the loch, but twas not to be.
The Tail Burn at the car park.
The Grey Mares Tail..and some cloud!
The path still climbing, just not as steep now!
A smaller fall at the top of the path.
The path had leveled off.
Loch Skeen and Mid Craig

The plan for the day was to head anticlockwise around the loch taking in Lochcraig Head and White Coomb, so when we reached the end of the good path by the lochside, we headed over towards the fence to follow that to the summit. I'd read that this part of the walk was boggy, so we picked our way across the hags reaching the fence and staying fairly dry...for the time being!
Neil negotiating the peat hags.
Following the fence/dyke.
The path beside the fence becomes pretty steep and I had to stop every few minutes for a breather, but it meant we'd gained height quickly and we soon found ourselves at the wee cairn at the top of Lochcraig Head, the views were non existent, and the rain, which hadn't let up at all, had got heavier and a good wind had got up, so after a quick pic, we headed down.
Neil at the top of Lochcraig Head.
We were still optimistic about ticking off White Coomb, unfortunately, by now the lack of waterproofing on my "waterproofs" was obvious, the heavy rain had soaked through and every item of clothing was soaked, my boots were also sodden and my feet were squishing about in their own personal puddles inside my boots, but I kept going, "It's only water" I told myself, but that only works for so long and I eventually thought "Sod this!I just want to get back to the car and have something to eat without getting soaked!" we found the path that led to Mid Craig, and we followed that down to the burn at the end of Loch Skeen, and crossed, why I used the stepping stones I don't know, I'd have been quicker wading across, it wouldn't have made any difference to how wet I was!
Neil crossing the burn, the rain had got on my camera lens!
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Wild goats on the path.
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Looking down to the carpark.
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Looking west along the valley.
We rejoined the path and made our way down to the carpark, and home! We will be back to finish what we started, and tick off White Coomb, hopefully the weather will be better!
PS Must remember to get a new pair of boots and a bottle of industrial strength Nikwax before my next outing!

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Comments: 1

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Attachment(s) Munros: Ben Vorlich (Loch Earn), Stùc a' Chròin
Date walked: 21/07/2013
Distance: 13.5km
Ascent: 1145m
Comments: 5
Views: 5664

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Attachment(s) Munros: Beinn Narnain
Corbetts: The Cobbler
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Attachment(s) Munros: Ben Vane
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Ascent: 930m
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Attachment(s) Munros: Meall nan Tarmachan
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Ascent: 768m
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Attachment(s) Sub 2000s: Black Hill (Borders)
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Ascent: 314m
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Attachment(s) Date walked: 20/01/2013
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Attachment(s) Munros: Ben Lomond
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Attachment(s) Munros: Ben Vorlich (Loch Earn), Stùc a' Chròin
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Distance: 13.5km
Ascent: 1145m
Comments: 1
Views: 2393

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Attachment(s) Munros: Beinn Ghlas, Ben Lawers
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User avatar
Location: Scottish Borders
Interests: Birding, walking, sleeping! Eating and drinking as well!
Activity: Bird-watcher
Mountain: The Cobbler
Gear: My binoculars
Member: RSPB

Munros: 12
Corbetts: 3
Grahams: 2
Donalds: 5
Sub 2000: 5

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Distance: 78.58 km
Ascent: 3553m
Munros: 5
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Trips: 10
Distance: 131.4 km
Ascent: 7618m
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Joined: May 02, 2012
Last visited: Oct 21, 2021
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