Thursday, 3 December 2015

Law Kneis & Ward Law

Walk summary
Heading up Ward Law, into the wind and wet driving snow
Four Marilyns around Ettrick excluding Ettrick Pen
Planned to do all 4 in one day based in Ettrick but decided to attempt from Moffat on a day when rain forecast by 11.
Set off still hoping to do all 4 but be satisfied with 3. Would save the shortest, Turner Cleuch Law, at 1.44 miles until last so not too much of an issue even if raining and getting dark.
During first walk up Knies Law rain was holding off conditions ideal for walking - cool and cloudy with clear summits so had thoughts about doing all 4. By finish of walk had it had begun to rain and I was well and truly soaked, so quick change into dry clothes in van as well as bowl of hot soup would prepare me for the next walk up Ward Law.
The rain continued during drive to Scabcleuch Farm and it was at this point with the extended lunch to get warm and dry I began to think 4 Marilyns for the day was a tad ambitious.
By the end of the 02nd walk and nearly 6 miles walked rather than the planned 4 miles, walking the final mile in torrential rain along road from James Hogg Memorial back to van I abandoned any idea of a third walk and the days 3rd Marilyn - 2 soakings in one day is enough for anyone, especially when it is nearly 5pm and the last of the daylight has disappeared.
Peaks visited
Munro (282)
Murdo (443)

Corbett (221)

Graham (224)

Marilyn (1218S - 1552E,W&S)

Kneis Law (53S - 175E,W&S)
Ward Law (54S - 176E,W&S)
Hump (2168S - 2976E,W&S)

Kneis Law (66S - 252E,W&S)
Ward Law (67S - 253E,W&S)
Donald Dewey (248)
Ward Law (12)
S: Scotland. 
E,W&S:England,Wales & Scotland

Other walks on this trip
25th Whitfell & Black Combe
26th Whitbarrow, Gummer's Howe & Top o'Selside
28th Dodd (Lorton)
29th Birkside & Hunt Laws
01st The Wiss
02nd Hods Law & surrounding Donald Deweys
03rd Law Kneis & Ward Law
06th Croft Head & Scaw'd Law
08th Four Marilyns between Moffatt and Berwick
10th The 100th English Marilyn

Walk Statistics
Walk Date - 03 December 2015
Walkers - Steve Smith

 -  Moffat Camping and Caravanning Club Site
Start Point - Various. See maps below

Finish Point Various. See maps below
Total Duration - 4hrs 46mins 
Overall Average pace - 2.01mph
Total Distance Walked - 9.57 miles
Total Height Ascended - 907.40 metres

Law Kneis
Wedder Law half way up Law Kneis
Click on photograph to view slide-show
GPX can be downloaded from
4.07 miles, 449.67m ascent.
Start point was as planned opposite convenient footbridge just south of Deephope, however with lack of marked tracks due to forest harvesting at lower levels it would really have been better access to the lower forest track by driving slightly further past Angecroft Cottages and parking in marked car park at NT27990 13067. 
Heading straight up through the harvested forest to reach the higher track below Deephope Hill I still managed to pick the wrong forest track which took me to the south of Gateclough Hill rather than the north. Once mistake was realised it was a sharp turn left through forest and up to fence along which Law Kneis summit can be found adjacent to a lone juvenile tree on the south side of the forest boundary. Route home was via Mountcommon Hill. Only a TUMP but one which had not been logged on hill-bagging before so off I heads south west down hill towards the 426m spot height then up the boggy firebreak to the unmarked summit at the junction of another firebreak which happens to be a much steeper descent to the forest track.
Once again did not find forest break to take me down to lower track so retraced ascent route below Deephope Hill back to van.
Ward Law
Ward Law summit. A worthy cairn
Click on photograph to view slide-show
GPX can be downloaded from
5.50 miles, 457.73m ascent. 
A straight forward and easy to navigate start up the Southern Upland Way from Scabcluech Farm as far as Shiel Sike where there is an easy crossing of Scabcleuch Burn in spite of it being quite fast flowing and full due to the increasing rain. On the way to Ward Law I decided to pick off Craig Law, again only a TUMP but hard to ignore as it was so close, even though rain was getting heavy driven by a strong back wind.
From there it was a descent and crossing of Clark Sike and following Clark Cleuch north until a suitable crossing point was found.
From there head uphill and east until reaching the fence which you can handrail to the right to find the summit and Jubilee Cairn.
A worthy cairn that was worth photographing in spite of the difficulty making the touch screen work in the driving snow which was now about ankle deep at 500m.
It was also getting dark and time I was off the hill. Plan was to retrace footsteps and go back the way i Came but without visiting Craig Hill again.
Plan was revised when the driving snow forced me off bearing further south than planned resulting in me taking the longer but by now easier route following Kirk Burn towards Ettrick.
Due to it being dark I missed the crossing over Kirk Burn at Kirkburn House and ended up reaching the road near the school east of the James Hogg memorial and a long walk back to the van in pouring rain.

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