Windlestraw in the Snow

This post is not published on the Walkhighlands forum
Attachment(s) Grahams: Windlestraw Law
Donalds: Windlestraw Law
Date walked: 05/12/2021
Distance: 7.6km
Ascent: 427m
Views: 1

Tinto with alternative return

Route: Tinto from the north

Grahams: Tinto
Donalds: Tinto

Date walked: 21/11/2021

Time taken: 3 hours

Distance: 9.2km

Ascent: 596m

It was a cold and frosty November morning when we arrived in the Tinto Hill car park, to the north of the hill itself. The car thermometer said it was 1 degree C outside, so it would likely dip below freezing as we climbed. It was also clear, dry and with little wind, at this altitude at least. It promised to be a fine walking day indeed. The sizeable car park was already about two thirds full, and the sheep on this part of the hill were clearly used to visitors. This wouldn't be any lonely walk in the wilderness.

Filling car park and nonchalant sheep

The sun was low and the frost remained abundant anywhere its rays didn't reach.

You wouldn't think it was nearly 10am already

However, the path was wide and the way was clear as we set out on the gently climbing first stage.

The way to Tinto, with the large bronze age summit cairn visible

As the path got steeper we entered into the shadow of the hill. Looking back, the rings of the ancient fort remains that we had passed a few minutes ago were now clearly visible just beyond the edge of the shadow.

Looking back north over the fort remains

Icy puddles on the path up Totherin Hill

Passing the summit of Totherin, the views opened out across the Clyde valley towards the Moorfoots and Culter Fells.


The next stage was up a broad section off small, loose rock. The is apparently caused by the erosive effect of freezing and thawing. No doubt aided by many thousand walking boots.


At a fork, we took the right-hand path along the edge of Maurice's Cleuch.

Looking NW down Maurice's Cleuch

Solar effects near the top of Maurice's Cleuch

At the top of the cleuch we followed the fence up towards Tinto summit.

Looking east across the Clyde and Biggar towards the Culter Fells

NE towards the Pentland Hills

NW towards Lanark

Soon we reached the cairn, frost-bitten and supporting a more modern view indicator, easily the largest cairn we've ever seen. There were a fair few other walkers there as well. In fact it was easily the busiest summit we've seen since Schiehallion about 14 months previously.

Tinto cairn

Looking south over Dungavel Hill and the Lowther Hills

The wind, which hadn't been a bother on the way up, really made itself felt at the summit. We sat in the lee of the wind on the south side of the cairn for a snack. Even so, it was too cold to stay still for long, and we were soon on our way down.

SE towards Culter Fells. I assume this was once a wall.

The Clyde to the east of Tinto

The cairn from the east side

Casting long shadows

We headed back down the main path, and were soon out of the wind again. At the fork we took the higher eastern path this time, bypassing Maurice's Cleuch.

A ghostly figure by the side of the path

We briefly rejoined the upward path heading down to Totherin Hill. From here could be seen the path we'd decided to return by, instead of following the main one all the way back down. It cut across the north side of Totherin Hill, past a pond and round the smaller Park Knowe.

Spying a quieter, if longer way back

Leaving the main path to take the less trodden right-hand path

Heather and frost


Rounding Totherin to see the pond, many sheep and Park Knowe


Following the path over a gate and round to the north of the pond, we gave the sheep grazing here a wide berth so as not to cause a stampede.

Part of what I assume to be a sheep skull

Following the path around the base of Park Knowe, we got a good look at the sheep in the adjoining field. They were a breed I'd never before encountered, and singular in appearance with barrel bodies and pig-like snouts.

A face only a mother could love

Turning north-west we headed towards a plantation of trees.

Phone held high to thwart attempted photo-bombing

Following the edge of the trees we heard the call of raptors, and looking up could see three circling high above. The ground was quite boggy here as we made our way back to the main path at the car park gate.


This had been the driest walk in weeks (the final boggy bits notwithstanding), and the brightest. Even with more cloud coming over now it was still sunny. And a shorter walk than usual meant we would be back in Edinburgh in good time for lunch!

Click to mark this as a great report. Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).

Windy White Coomb

Attachment(s) Corbetts: White Coomb
Donalds: Lochcraig Head , White Coomb
Date walked: 07/11/2021
Distance: 13.5km
Ascent: 804m
Views: 68

Monamenach with alternative return

Attachment(s) Corbetts: Monamenach
Date walked: 23/10/2021
Distance: 5.9km
Ascent: 466m
Views: 113

Broad Law and Muckle Cleuch

Attachment(s) Corbetts: Broad Law
Donalds: Broad Law
Date walked: 10/10/2021
Ascent: 500m
Views: 122

Culter Fell and Kings Beck

Attachment(s) Grahams: Culter Fell
Donalds: Culter Fell
Date walked: 26/09/2021
Distance: 8.2km
Ascent: 575m
Views: 153

Innerdownie off the core path

Attachment(s) Donalds: Innerdownie
Date walked: 12/09/2021
Distance: 10.7km
Ascent: 539m
Views: 126

Meikle Says Law, land of grouse and sheep

Attachment(s) Sub 2000s: Meikle Says Law
Date walked: 15/08/2021
Distance: 10km
Ascent: 263m
Views: 102

Brown Dod, Dundreich and Jeffries Corse from Portmore

Attachment(s) Donalds: Dundreich
Date walked: 08/08/2021
Distance: 12.2km
Ascent: 575m
Views: 206

Mount Blair with Alternative Return

Attachment(s) Grahams: Mount Blair
Date walked: 31/07/2021
Distance: 4.5km
Ascent: 388m
Views: 178


Munros: 1
Corbetts: 3
Grahams: 5
Donalds: 9
Sub 2000: 10
Islands: 9

Filter reports



Trips: 13
Distance: 94.05 km
Ascent: 5968m
Corbetts: 3
Grahams: 4
Donalds: 8
Sub2000s: 4


Trips: 1
Distance: 5.25 km

Joined: Apr 22, 2015
Last visited: Dec 08, 2021
Total posts: 14 | Search posts