Monday, 26 January 2015

Broad Law

Drive to start point
Hart Fell from A701
Driving along the A701 from Moffat to Broad Law, walk start point between Talla Reservoir and Meggat Water I looked to the right and realised I could see Hart Fell for the first time this trip. This is in spite of going up it three days ago in less than what could be described as clear weather.
The Thursdays ascent route is clearly visible heading towards Hart Fell Spa then heading up Well Rig from Hart Spa Burn on the right. On to Arthurs Seat and finally to Hart Fell Summit.
On the right the descent route is also visible down Lochan Burn, left of the woods near Newton Farm Cottage and rejoining the Old Edinburgh Road at Ericstane, bottom left corner.
Tweedsmuir from A701
The pretty hamlet of Tweedsmuir marked the point to exit the A701 and head down the single track road to Talla Reservoir where once again I was prompted to stop the van to simply record the scenery.
Sight of the road up the side of Linnfoot also confirmed my decision to start closer to Meggat Water rather than at Tulla Linnfoots and steep climb up Coddleteth Hill or long hike up afore mentioned road.
Sometimes the journey is as good as the actual walk.
On right is Hart Fell Spa ascending to Well Rig on to Authurs Seat then Hart Fell summit.
Descent route on left down Lochan Burn and Ericstane bottom left.
Click on photograph for more photos taken on journey to walk start 
Walk Summary
Today's route went exactly as planned visiting all three planned peaks, in fact it went better than planned by starting closer to Wylies Hill resulted in all planned peaks being visited but in a shorter distance.
In spite of the late start, still managed to cover more than 6½ miles in just under 3½ hours. There is nothing more satisfying than completing a tough challenging walk in excess of 10 miles and finishing as daylight disappears, but sometimes it is great to finish mid afternoon and be home and showered with time to spare. Today was just such a day.
The only disappointing being that I was less than 450m away from Mathieside cairn and did not realise it was listed in the DoBIH & hill-bagging without paying it a visit. I cannot imagine I will be returning for that one isolated hill, unless I start including ex-Donald Tops as peaks to visit.

Walk Statistics
Walk Date - 26 January 2015
Walkers - Steve Smith

Accommodation - 
Howslack Farm Caravan Club (CL) Campsite
Start Point - 396m spot height near corrugated metal hut (GR - NT 15837 20540)
Start Time - 10:59
Finish Point 
396m spot height near corrugated metal hut (GR - NT 15837 20540)
Finish Time - 14:22
Duration - 3hrs 23mins
Average pace - 1.94mph
Distance Walked - 6.57miles
Height Ascended - 599.60metres


Other walks on this trip
2014
January

23rd Hart Fell
24th White Coomb
26th Broad Law
27th Capel Fell

Peaks visited
Munro (282)

NONE
Murdo (443)

NONE
Corbett (221)

Broad Law (9)
Graham (224)

NONE
Marilyn (1218S - 1552E,W&S))

Broad Law (38S - 119E,W&S)
Hump (2168S - 2976E,W&S)

Broad Law (49S - 183E,W&S)
Donald Dewey (248)

Wylies Hill (4)
S: Scotland. 
E,W&S:England,Wales & Scotland

Route
GPX can be downloaded from www.shareyouradventure.com

Walk Description
Wylies Hill
Not a lot to say about ascent up Wylies Hill other than it only took half an hour from revised walk start point. This made it feel even more like a cheat but as I am fast coming to realise you do not need to be involved in an adventure or difficult route every time you go out. While the planned route straight up the south ridge looked quite steep and lacking a worn path there is a natural line to follow from the tin hut near the 396m spot height on a diagonal traverse up the west side ascending out of Muckle Clough  to the low point between the 532m spot height and the 609m summit.
No summit marker to speak of but the view to the east over Meggat Water is well worth a look.

Broad Law
From Wylies Hill the route to the NW and Broad Law looked straight forward enough. A reasonable amount of descent to the bealach then a steady ascent to the summit heading for porridge cairn. Shortly after the cairn you will see the fence over to your left that leads to Broad Law summit but I tended to stay on the high line  straight for the fence corner, trig point and summit cairn. The only thing of note was the increasing amount of snow and ice as the ascent increased.   The dry conditions and strong winds meant the snow was quite powdery and blown in to drifts exposing ice lying on frozen ground making me wonder if it was worth putting on crampons. I resisted the urge and they remained shiny and unused in my back pack.

Talla Cleuch Head
Meeting a fellow peak bagger on Broad Law summit confirmed I was not alone enjoying hills at there very best. The wind was particularly strong and visibility had diminished, but there is something about ignoring these conditions with you back to the wind discussing routes and taking each others photos. His start point was near Megget Stone on the cattle grid and was going to return back along the fence and not bothering with either of the other two hills on my route.
He set off before me leaving me to enjoy the moment in solitude before following him south along the west side of the fence to Cairn Law in varying depths of snow that had drifted along the fence line.
Heading south I could see the mass of Talla Cleuch Head to my right. It is only about 2km in a direct line from Broad Law, but without doubt the best rout is following the fence to Cairn Law then turn right at the fence following it west all the way to Talla Cleuch Head summit. 3 miles in total but much easier walking with out unnecessary descent followed by re ascent.
If I had started at the original planned point I would just have to descend down Codleteth Hill following Codleteth Burn to Talla Linnfoots. Whereas the route back to van will be retracing my steps, albeit on the other side of the fence to maintain the illusion of a circular walk, back to Cairn Law. From Cairn Law I stayed high going around the source of Little Cleuch returning to the van over Clews Hill. 
Yes a short(ish) walk but one I am pleased with considering what seem like relatively benign winter conditions, but conditions not everyone is either prepared or capable of going out in. Nearly 7 miles in under 3½ hours, and 3 summits visited including the 3rd and final Corbett in area 28, 3 of only 7 Corbetts south of Glasgow.



Lesson
This was the second day I had cut the walk short due to adverse conditions. Not a bad thing it is always important to recognise when you are near your limits and take appropriate action. i.e. get off the hill back to transport or base as quickly and as safely as possible.

More Photographs
Meggatt Reservoir from Wylies Hill summit
Click on photograph to view slide-show


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