Well Hill, Penbane, Black Hill & Capel Hill

Sub 2000s: Well Hill

Date walked: 27/03/2022

Time taken: 4 hours

Distance: 9.3km

Ascent: 690m

The day was set fair so it was an early start (very early with the clocks going forward) down the M74 to take on some new hills in an area I haven't been for a while. I parked in a lay-by on the A702 just past the regional boundary signs. It was a steep start up beside the fence on Caplaw Rig but I gained height quickly and Well Hill soon came into view.
Well Hill from Caplaw Rig
When the gradient eased, I stepped over to the left side of the fence as the ground was better and there was a more distinct ATV track which wound through some peat hags. It was a straightforward and pleasant route following this fence all the way to the summit. I had thought about doing this hill and then driving round to Daer to have a walk up Hods Hill but when I looked at my map I saw that there were 3 Tumps (Penvane, Black Hill and Capel Hill) close by and that I could make a good circuit, especially when the route over to Penvane looked so tempting.
On Well Hill looking over to Penvane and Black Hill
I went down quite steeply from Well Hill to follow a fence-line which contoured the south side of Turn Hill and then went down quite steeply again to Glenbo Hass. From here I followed an ATV track up the north ridge of Penvane to reach the small cairn at the top, where I lay down in the sunshine for a break and some sustenance.
On the summit of Penvane looking back to Well Hill
I went back down to the Hass and looked up at the bulk of Black Hill, which looked like quite an ascent. However, it proved to be much easier than it looked and I was soon standing by the summit trig enjoying the view over the Lowther Hills.
On the summit of Black Hill looking over to the Lowther Hills
Descending Black Hill looking over Penbane (R), Well Hill (C) and Capel Hill (L)
Here, I had a look at the map again and and a look over to Capel Hill and I also considered how I might get back to the car from there. I devised a plan and set off back down to the Hass. I contoured on the north side of Turn Hill above the pretty dramatic Capel Cleuch and once high enough, crossed over and made the final ascent on to the top of Capel Hill.
Contouring to Capel Hill
Capel Cleuch
On Capel Hill looking back at Penvane and Black Hill
From here though, things did not quite go to plan: I thought I might be able to head off down the northern slopes to the road but when I reached Warlish Craig I realised the hillside was too steep and craggy to make a safe descent. So, I had to backtrack up the Lavern Burn, cross it above the gorge and head up the western slopes of Caplaw Rig.
Looking back at Capel Hill
I must admit to being rather fatigued by this point but there was no point being angry with myself so I just plodded up until I reached the fence and then headed back down the steep (but manageable) slope to the road, my knees complaining all the way. Back at the car, I reflected on what a good walk this had been and how I hadn't seen a soul all day and how silent it had been. Certainly an area I will return to.

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rob munbett

User avatar
Activity: Hill Bagger
Pub: a good malt in a hostel
Mountain: An Teallach
Place: Kintail
Gear: my Hilleberg tent
Member: none
Ideal day out: A good hill on a clear winter's day on crisp snow - then back for venison, dark ale and a good malt with friends

Munros: 257
Corbetts: 133
Grahams: 69
Donalds: 52
Wainwrights: 40
Hewitts: 30
Sub 2000: 97

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Joined: Jan 23, 2013
Last visited: May 11, 2022
Total posts: 192 | Search posts