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Friday, 24 February 2017

The Broughton Marilyns

Walk Summary
First summit of Clover Law on left, higher snow covered summits
in distance from walkers car park near Shepherds Cottage.
Not quite the winter mountaineering I had planned for this trip when I first polled the hill walking community to share the cost of a mountain guide to be roped up on an icy ridge between Munros. Or in the absence of company - donning crampons and ice axe attempting less challenging Munro routes within my own skill set and capabilities.
Plan was to head for Schiehallion but following Storm Doris, abandoned that idea due to unlikelihood of van being able to navigate minor road to car park on way to Strath Fionan. So Plan B or is it C or even D to base myself at Crianlarich YH and do maybe Beinn Ime, Vorlich & Narmain has also been abandoned due to wife's ill health back home. Was just a cold that we both acquired from our gran-daughter but where mine seems to have been blown away somewhere in the Pentland Hills, hers seemed to be taking a real hold, not clearing up and clearly in need of some TLC form yours truly.
Immensely disappointing but hey ho - "A man's got a do what a man's gotta do". Not sure how many winters I have to go out above the Munro snowline but this ain't going to be one of them.
As it turned out Doris managed a massive dump of snow south of Edinburgh including the Broughton Hills and provided some challenging winter conditions which in essence encapsulated everything I get out of hill walking:-
  • Purpose - Well it is a walk with defined objectives in terms of route to follow and peaks to visit.
  • Challenge - At 11 miles planned with over 1100m of ascent certainly qualifies in my book as something that is challenging enough. The route included all three Marilyns all of which are above 500m and therefore Donald Deweys as well as four further 500m summits making seven Donald Deweys in all.
  • Adventure - Not in the terms of being life threatening but in terms of not knowing for sure the outcome, especially with the inclusion of knee deep snow for much of the route, though in many ways the snow helped by infilling the gaps between the heather on the steep(ish) descents It has to be said however that the the horseshoe nature of the route left a simple escape route by descending left at any point down to The John Buchan Way, mitigating much of the risk
  • Fulfilment - In some respects the fulfilment part is well "self fulfilling" but is simply a specific days planned route within a particular trip plan which is just one of many trips for the year ahead all geared to completing a larger more challenging task of visiting all 1556 GB Marilyns, over the coming years. Therein lies the scope and scale of the purpose which offers the probability of not completing where success is not guaranteed and no chance of fulfilment without a lot of hard work, focus and commitment.
Shepherd hut at Stobo Hopehead on way down Penvalla.
Overlooked by Green Law and Broughton Heights.
Starting late meant daylight hours were limited and actually involved some decision making to take place for me to ignore my rule to be always heading down hill before it got dark. Experience built up over recent years enabled me to weigh up the situation and complete the final Marilyn as dusk was falling whilst obviously feeling really tired. On the face of it fool hardy but in my mind no.
Returning to the van wet and tired with enough energy, after fuelling up at Moffat chippy, to drive home overnight.
Because of horse shoe nature of route plenty of options for exit route down to John Buchan Way from most peaks at any time but not required.Overall achieved ambitious route more or less as planned except for easier ascent following wall then path through heather to fence west of Clover Law and a more direct descent down Trahenna Hill. 


Walk Statistics
Walk Date - 24 February 2017
Walkers - Steve Smith

Accommodation - Edinburgh Caravan Club Site, Edinburgh,
Start Point - Walker's car park near Shepherds Cottage (NT 11958 37441)
Start Time - 11:07
Finish Point Walker's car park near Shepherds Cottage (NT 11958 37441)
Finish Time- 18:04
Total Duration - 6hrs 57mins 
Overall Average pace - 1.45mph
Total Distance Walked - 10.07 miles
Total Height Ascended - 1070.21metres


Peaks visited
Munro (282)

NONE
Simm (2190S - 2533E,W &S)
NONE
Munro Top (227)
NONE
Murdo (443)
NONE
Corbett (221)

NONE
Corbett Top of Munro (???)
NONE
Corbett Top of Corbett (???)
NONE
Graham (219)
NONE
Graham Top of Munro (???)
NONE
Graham Top of Corbett (???)
NONE
Graham Top of Graham (???)
NONE
Donald (89)
NONE
Donald Top (51)
NONE
New Donald (118)
NONE
Marilyn (1218S - 1556E,W&S))
Broughton Heights [Pyked Stane Hill] (84S - 326E,W&S)
Penvalla (85S - 327E,W&S)
Trahenna Hill (86S - 328E,W&S)

Hump (2168S - 2976E,W&S)
Broughton Heights [Pyked Stane Hill] (99S - 416E,W&S)
Penvalla (100S - 417E,W&S)
Trahenna Hill (101S - 418E,W&S)
Donald Dewey (248)
Green Law (29)
Broughton Heights [Pyked Stane Hill] (30)
Brown Dod (31)
Ladyurd Hill (32)
Penvalla (33)
Hammer Head (34)
Trahenna Hill (35)
Historic County Tops (49E - 93E,W&S)
NONE
S: Scotland. 
E,W&S:England,Wales & Scotland

Other walks on this trip
2017
February
17th North Berwick Law
18th Scald Law & Black Hill
19th Mendick Hill, Black Mount & Broomy Law
20th Whitehope and the Windlestraw Laws
21st East Cairn Hill
22nd Wether Law & Allermuir Hill
23rd Broughton Marilyns


Route
GPX can be downloaded from


More Photographs
Tinto from Clover Law
Click on photograph to view slide-show

Monday, 20 February 2017

Whitehope & Windlestraw Laws

Walk Summary
The first and as it will turn out the only time we will venture above 2000' during this weeks trip with Simon, Marilyn bagging in Area 28 south of Edinburgh.
Simon is just a blur vaulting across Glentress Burn
The plan was to park near Blackhopebyre and after going up Windlestraw Law and it's nearby SW Top to then pick off the nearby Whitehope Law on the other side of the road with a short up and downer.
With Windlestraw Law being the main Marilyn above 2000' and hence a Graham, as well as a Donald it occurred to me on the journey to the start point we might not feel like doing the second part of the walk. Easily sorted do it first - that way there will be no chance that what although not a Marilyn, with it's higher than 2000' height and 66m prominence makes it a Donald, New Donald, Graham Top and of course a Simm, we would be leaving it unclimbed.

Following a late start to avoid bad weather forecast in the morning, which did not really materialise, parked in the layby on B709 north of Hillside Know just south of planned start point at Blackhopebyre. The route up Whitehope Law started with a mildly exciting vault across Glentress Water, followed by steep ascent up SE slope, concluded by a long trudge across heather to summit marked by small cairn near bend in fence.
Don't be seduced right up any stalker's paths.
Stay on muddy shooters track
all the way to fence and Windlestraw Law summit
Descended by following fence NE and turning right at first fence junction down Kitty's Clench Burn. From return to 
Blackhopebyre we took the shooters track up Glentress Rig which actually goes all the way Windlestraw summit. We were actually seduced on to what looked a more direct route down a gamekeepers path which left us in the middle of heather and a trudge back to the track adjacent a fence we should have stayed on in the first place. Very windy on the top with summit being SW of fence junction and SW of trig pillar beyond fence junction.
Straight forward navigation in to a strong wind following fence to the SW Top. Rather than return along ascent route took direct route off Bareback Knowe [Windlestraw Law SW Top]  heading downhill and NW. By now it was turning dark but apart from continuing to head down we were given the occasional clue we were heading in the right direction by cars passing below behind Hillside Knowe.
So having started with a mildly exciting vault across Glentress Water ended with a hint of jeopardy descending in the dark. Not really to the experienced hill-bagger, but all part of what is banked over time building up to allow you to deal with anything unexpected. Ably coped with by Simon on what is his first week peak bagging and more pertinently his 4th consecutive days walking, knees aching a bit but other than that coping admirably.

Walk Statistics
Walk Date - 24 February 2017
Walkers - Steve Smith

Accommodation - Edinburgh Caravan Club Site, Edinburgh,
Start Point - Walker's car park near Shepherds Cottage (NT 11958 37441)
Start Time - 11:07
Finish Point Walker's car park near Shepherds Cottage (NT 11958 37441)
Finish Time- 18:04
Total Duration - 6hrs 57mins 
Overall Average pace - 1.45mph
Total Distance Walked - 10.07 miles
Total Height Ascended - 1070.21metres


Peaks visited
Munro (282)

NONE
Simm (2190S - 2533E,W &S)
Whitehope Law (88S - 420E,W&S)
Windlestraw Law (89S - 421E,W&S)
Munro Top (227)
NONE
Murdo (443)
NONE
Corbett (221)

NONE
Corbett Top of Munro (???)
NONE
Corbett Top of Corbett (???)
NONE
Graham (219)
Windlestraw Law (5)
Graham Top (777)
Whitehope Law (13)
Graham Top of Munro (???)
NONE
Graham Top of Corbett (???)
NONE
Graham Top of Graham (???)
Whitehope Law (6)
Donald (89)
Whitehope Law (13)
Windlestraw Law (14)
Donald Top (51)
Bareback Knowe [Windlestraw Law SW Top] (8)
New Donald (118)
Whitehope Law (17)
Windlestraw Law (18)
Marilyn (1218S - 1556E,W&S))
Windlestraw Law (80S - 322E,W&S)
Hump (2168S - 2976E,W&S)
Windlestraw Law (95S - 412E,W&S)
Donald Dewey (248)
NONE
Historic County Tops (49E - 93E,W&S)
NONE
S: Scotland. 
E,W&S:England,Wales & Scotland

Other walks on this trip
2017
February
17th North Berwick Law
18th Scald Law & Black Hill
19th Mendick Hill, Black Mount & Broomy Law
20th Whitehope and the Windlestraw Laws
21st East Cairn Hill
22nd Wether Law & Allermuir Hill
23rd Broughton Marilyns


Route
GPX can be downloaded from
More Photographs
Looking down on Blackhopebyre after initial steep ascent up Whitehope Law
Click on photograph to view slide-show

Monday, 23 January 2017

Andrewhinney Ridge

Walk Summary
Yours truly posing on the Donald Dewey - Nowtrig Head
with Marilyn completer Jenny Hatfield 
The Andrewhinney Ridge.
Sounds like a classic route if not it should be. I have had an idea to walk along this ridge since first spotting it from White Comb back in January 2015 and was disappointed to have touched only one end of it neglecting the southerly peaks when, for some reason I cannot remember, I chose to approach Capel Fell from the Southern Upland Way also back in January 2015.
For my next visit back in December 2015 I had devised a circular walk starting from Grey Mare's Tail Waterfall car park but that did not include White Shank and Smidhope Hill. Bad weather, flooded roads and not enough time prevented an attempt on that trip so I resolved to return at some future unspecified date, away from the short winter days, still starting from Grey Mare's Tail Waterfall, but after a nights wild camp to also include White Shank and Smidhope Hill thereby completing all hills along the ridge.
So when Rick Salter suggested an end to end using two cars all these problems disappeared and set the scene for a veritable Donald fest and Graham Top Bonanza involving a total of ten summits eight of which are Simms. Other than suggesting to leave one of the cars at Selcoth Fish Farm I was pleased to leave the route planning to Rick hoping to learn something from both his and his partner Jenny Hatfield's extensive experience gained as the two most recent Marilynists (or are they Marilyneers). Either way they have completed all 1556 GB Marilyns back in September 2016. Only the 9th and 10th people to achieve this, the first couple and for Jenny the notable achievement of being the first lady.
Just the one Marilyn I thought but was surprised to hear Rick suggest doing Capel Fell.

"I've already done that one" said I. 
Rick & jen complete their summit rituals on Capel Fell
Makes my log on www.peakhunter.com look weak
But of course so have Rick & Jen. Apart from the reasoning to do it anyway, because it was there and because it would add to the years bagging total under www.hill-bagging.co.uk algorithms the method in the 'madness' was that it left the option open, if we made good enough progress, to carry on up West Knowe towards Ettrick Pen. In reality a totally unrealistic plan with day light hours available, but one which the optimist in me readily accepted. In hindsight I get the impression Jenny just went along with this knowing there would not be enough time but left it for us boys to work out for ourselves.
As mentioned earlier leaving my van at Selcoth Fish Farm, little known and not marked on map but remember sign saying was OK after Capel Fell descent, we set off together in one vehicle to Birkhill. Again not marked parking but enough room for one vehicle near farm buildings. With chatting, the ascent up to Herman Law went really quick and apart from the low cloud was an ideal day in with good company. The rest of the day was just a matter of following the fence along the rounded ridge to Bodesbeck Law. From there we could have carried on following the fence to White Shank, however we were all keen to pick off the Donald Dewey Pot Law for little extra navigation work  and very little extra ascent/re- ascent. Like the English/Welsh Deweys not doing the Scottish Donald Deweys but in reality I am, suspect the same is the case for Rick & Jen.
After stopping for a quick snack at the sheepfold in the col NW of Potburn we returned to the fence via Potburn Rig having decided there would not be enough time for West Knowe etc.
After Capel Fell we briefly split up so Rick & Jen could descend via the 2nd Donald Dewey of the day - Broken Back. As for me I had already been to Broken Back so descended via Sailfoot Law, who knows one day I may be looking to complete the sub-Donald Deweys!!!
In my opinion a Classic Route, including Pot Law & Broken back a total of twelve summits.
The true classic route though would include the Etrick Pen ridge and five extra summits. No surprises that was the route used by Mr Hillbagger himself, Rob Woodhall way back in August 1991 logged under RHW "Horseshoe of all the Ettrick Donalds from Ettrick Pen to Herman Law"

Walk Statistics
Walk Date - 23 January 2017
Walkers - Steve Smith

Accommodation - Moffat Caravan & Camping Club site, Moffatt
Start Point - Roadside near Birkhill farm entrance (NT 20152 15877)
Start Time - 10:12
Finish Point Fish Farm at foot  of Sailfoot. (NT 13811 07800)
Finish Time- 17:00
Total Duration - 6hrs 48mins 
Overall Average pace - 1.74mph
Total Distance Walked - 11.85 miles
Total Height Ascended - 1034.72metres


Peaks visited
Munro (282)

NONE
Simm (2190S - 2533E,W &)
Herman Law (81S - 413E,W&S)
Andrewhinney Hill (82 - 414E,W&S)
Bell Craig (83S - 415E,W&S)
Mid Rig (84S - 416E,W&S)
Nowtrig Head (85S - 417E,W&S)
Bodesbeck Law (86S - 418E,W&S)
Smidhope Hill (87S - 419E,W&S)
Capel Fell (69S - 301E,W&S) (first visited 27 January 2017)
Munro Top (227)
NONE
Murdo (443)
NONE
Corbett (221)

NONE
Corbett Top of Munro (???)
NONE
Corbett Top of Corbett (???)
NONE
Graham (219)
Andrewhinney Hill (4)
Capel Fell (1) (first visited 27 January 2017)
Graham Top of Munro (???)
NONE
Graham Top of Corbett (???)
NONE
Graham Top of Graham (???)
Herman Law (1)
Bell Craig (2)
Mid Rig (3)
Bodesbeck Law (4)
Smidhope Hill (5)
Donald (89)
Herman Law (9)
Andrewhinney Hill (10)
Bell Craig (11)
Bodesbeck Law (12)
Capel Fell (6) (first visited 27 January 2017)
Donald Top (51)
Trowgrain Middle (4)
Mid Rig (5)
White Shank (6)
Smidhope Hill (7)
New Donald (118)
Herman Law (11)
Andrewhinney Hill (12)
Bell Craig (13)
Mid Rig (14)
Bodesbeck Law (15)
Smidhope Hill (16)
Capel Fell (7) (first visited 27 January 2017)
Marilyn (1218S - 1556E,W&S))
Andrewhinney Hill (64S - 305E,W&S)
Capel Fell (39S - 120E,W&S)
Hump (2168S - 2976E,W&S)

Andrewhinney Hill (80S - 396E,W&S)
Bodesbeck Law (81S - 397E,W&S)
Capel Fell (50S - 184E,W&S) (first visited 27 January 2017)
Donald Dewey (248)
Nowtrig Head (19)
Pot Law(20)
Historic County Tops (49E - 93E,W&S)
NONE
S: Scotland. 
E,W&S:England,Wales & Scotland

Other walks on this trip
2017
January
19th Peel Fell & Larriston Fells
20th Blackwood Hill & Roan Fell
21st Cauldcleuch Head & Greatmoor Hill
23rd Andrewhinney Ridge
24th White Meldon & Cademuir Hill
25th Meigle Hill, Black Hill & Eildon Mid Hill
29th Moncrieffe Hill
February
03rd Long Crag


Route
GPX can be downloaded from
More Photographs
Good company provided by Rick Salter & Jenny Hatfield. Marilynists or are they Marilyneers.
Either way they have both completed all 15556 GB Marilyns
Click on photograph to view slide-show

Saturday, 21 January 2017

Cauldcleuch Head & Greatmoor Hill

Walk Summary
Greatmoor Hill ahead. End of track on SE flank of Balderston
Hill. Through gate and head diagonally right to fence
So pleased I did not stick to yesterday's plan and walk this route yesterday. Again had planned 3 routes but only had time for two so after Blackwood Hill chose Roan Fell in what were really dreary conditions with low cloud and very damp almost drizzle.
What a difference a day makes with weather being bright and sunny showing off verdant green pastures, ochre/gold hill tops and crisp blue skies.
Ideal hill walking conditions allowing me to attempt route without having to lug  heavy backpack loaded with survival gear.

At nearly 9 miles including two Marilyns, one of which is a Grahamwith no running water off the tops to be found  should have taken some water with me for hydration and aid to digest "Scooby Snacks". Must admit was starting to feel really tired on descent of Cauldcleuch Head, which involved a fair bit of re-ascent over unclassified hills (fail to qualify under 30m TUMP prominence criteria) of Muckle Land Knowe towards Little Land Knowe, Crossbow Hill, Hind Knowe and Dod Hill. It did occur to me to suggest a new category called sub-TUMPs however this has already been suggested and rejected by the Hill-bagging fraternity under the amusing acronym STUMP!
A cracking circular easy to navigate route basically hand-railing the wire fence all the way round.
Weather also provided ideal conditions for photos providing a great photo commentary of the route. In addition freezing temperatures helped by hardening the ground mitigating what would have been extremely boggy conditions particularly on approach to and descent from Coldcleuch Head summit


Walk Statistics
Walk Date - 21 January 2017
Walkers - Steve Smith

Accommodation - Lidalia Caravan Club Affiliated Site, Newcastleton
Start Point - Roadside grass area at west end of passing place east of Braidlie Farm (NY 47724 96652)
Start Time - 10:06
Finish Point Roadside grass area at west end of passing place east of Braidlie Farm (NY 47724 96652)
Finish Time- 14:18
Total Duration - 4hrs 12mins 
Overall Average pace - 2.09mph
Total Distance Walked - 8.78 miles
Total Height Ascended - 662.90metres


Peaks visited
Munro (282)

NONE
Simm (2190)
Cauldcleuch Head (80)
Munro (227)
NONE
Murdo (443)
NONE
Corbett (221)

NONE
Corbett Top of Munro (???)
NONE
Corbett Top of Corbett (???)
NONE
Graham (219)
Cauldcleuch Head (3)
Graham Top of Munro (???)
NONE
Graham Top of Corbett (???)
NONE
Graham Top of Graham (???)
NONE
Donald (89)
Cauldcleuch Head (8)
Donald Top (51)
NONE
New Donald (118)
Cauldcleuch Head (10)
Marilyn (1218S - 1552E,W&S))
Greatmoor Hill (64S - 305E,W&S)
Cauldcleuch Head (65S - 306E,W&S)
Hump (2168S - 2976E,W&S)

Greatmoor Hill (77S - 393E,W&S)
Cauldcleuch Head (78S - 394E,W&S)
Donald Dewey (248)
Greatmoor Hill (16S)
Historic County Tops (49E - 93E,W&S)
NONE
S: Scotland. 
E,W&S:England,Wales & Scotland

Other walks on this trip
2017
January
19th Peel Fell & Larriston Fells
20th Blackwood Hill & Roan Fell
21st Cauldcleuch Head & Greatmoor Hill
23rd Andrewhinney Ridge
24th White Meldon & Cademuir Hill
25th Meigle Hill, Black Hill & Eildon Mid Hill
29th Moncrieffe Hill
February
03rd Long Crag


Route
GPX can be downloaded from
More Photographs
Route from Greatmoor Hill summit to Cauldcleuch Head summit
Click on photograph to view slide-show

Thursday, 19 January 2017

Area 28 Marilyns around Newcastleton & Melrose

Trip summary
At times it seems there is always a reason not to go away on a trip as originally planned, but this time there was. So the three week plan from 04 January picking off Long Fell & Tinside Rigg, thereby completing the English & Welsh Nuttalls (again) on the way north, then bagging 49 hills in Area 28 of which 23 are Marilyns has became -  the one week plan starting from 19 January around Newcastleton doing as many Marilyns on the original plan and seeing how far I get.
Well here I am on 26 January at the end of the trip squeezing out six walking days, albeit the last 2 days involved only short walks and a latish start and just the 1 rest day on day 4, managed a total of 27 hills and 14 Marilyns including  one repeat on Capel Fell, first walked January 2015. Must say I am very pleased with that though I do not think I can extrapolate these figures and expect to do 42 Marilyns in  three weeks.
Because I only had 7 walking days I probably missed out on a rest day walking 6 days in total. Rest days are always an important part of any of my plans, strategically placed depending on the intensity of walks to aid recovery and ensure the necessary strength and endurance for subsequent walks. It seems two rest days out of seven works best for me but having exactly a seven walking day trip tempted me to make do with one rest day. The outcome was that start times became progressively later as the week went on and perhaps I could have managed one more day even if it involved another late start. But that would have been it and definitely would have needed more than 1 day recovery time to take on a significant walk involving a  Munro or indeed something like the Andrewhinney Ridge involving the full day in excess of 10 miles and more than 1000m of ascent.
There it is again that magic rule of thumb. Any walk over 5/6 hours with a greater ratio of 100 metres  per mile is a tough walk.
Day 01 Thursday 19 January 2017
Three Marilyns planned today on this the first day of a Marilyn bagging trip north of the border based at Lidalia Touring Caravan Park. Just so happens that the first Marilyn was Peel Fell and just on or just over the other side of the border in England. Both Peel Fell and Sighty Crag are fairly remote by English standards so it made sense to pick both of these summits up even though they were not on the original plan. The other two Marilyns planned were Larriston Fells and Blackwood Hill. Though having told myself if I was not down Larriston Fell by 3pm and returning back at van at 15:15 I stuck to my word and returned back to the campsite. Correct decision but setting the scene for the trip seemingly being one hill short each day. Maybe something to do with too ambitious a plan combined with adding the two extra hills of Peel Fell and Sighty Crag
Walk Statistics
Walk Date - 19 January 2017
Walkers - Steve Smith
Accommodation - Lidalia Caravan Club Affiliated Site, Newcastleton
Start Point - Various (see maps below)
Finish Point - Various (see maps below)
Total Duration - 4hrs 51mins
Overall Average pace - 2.38mph
Total Distance Walked - 11.53 miles
Total Height Ascended - 846.72metres

Peaks visited
Marilyns (175E, 1218S - 1556E,W&S)
Peel Fell (120E - 301E,W&S)
Larriston Fells (61S - 302E,W&S)
Deweys (180E - 421E&W)
Peel Fell (58E - 124E&W)
Donald Deweys (248S)
Larriston Fells (14S)
HuMPs (444E, 2168S - 2975EW&S)
Peel Fell (165E - 389E,W&S)
Larriston Fells (74S - 390E,W&S)
Historic County Tops (413E - 93E,W&S)
NONE
W: Wales. 
E,W: England & Wales. 
E,W&S:England,Wales & Scotland

Peel Fell
Approaching from the SW and approx ½ hour after emerging
from plantation - Peel Fell summit comes in to view

Click on photograph to view slide-show

GPX can be downloaded from

www.shareyouradventure.com
5.89 miles, 437.94m ascent, Start Time 09:52am, Finish Time 12:16pm, 2 hours 24 minutes, 2.45 mph
Convenient parking in layby opposite forestry road NW of Kittythirst Cottage (NY 60832 96437). 2.7 mile route planned straight up and return by same route. Slight detour on ascent by incorrectly sticking to main path and heading for Deadwater Fell, having been seduced by the golf ball/radio station visible off to the right. Error soon corrected returning to planned track by taking alternative forest track heading NE.
Returned planned ascent route though do have mixed feelings about not picking off the Dewey 
Deadwater Fell and the sub-Dewey Mid Fell. But here to do Marilyns and wanted to give myself the chance to complete two remaining Marilyns despite the late start and short daylight hours.
Larriston Fells
Larriston Fell trig pillar
visible from Cairn on 500m contour ring to the SW

Click on photograph to view slide-show

GPX can be downloaded from

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5.64 miles, 408.78m ascent, Start Time 12:48pm, Finish Time 15:15pm, 2 hours 27 minutes, 2.30 mph
Parked off road along fence near forestry road entrance opposite Hewsbridge Cottage (NY 53690 93184). Straight forward up and down route to radio station near 482m spot height though did miss first firebreak above harvested part of plantation, then on to summit and trig pillar via 500m contour ring. No obvious path from radio station so descended following a track heading east from the trig pillar. Did not go in the direction required so cut NW through grassy hillside that had been prepared for tree planting by some massive dibber.

Day 02 Friday 20 January 2017
Just two walks planned today but increased to three to include Blackwood Hill which I did not have time for yesterday. Thing is if I am going to have any chance of including the extra walk without compromising the two already planned I really must get an earlier start. I did not so although only the one walk not completed it was the one with two Marilyns, so after two days now two Marilyns behind schedule. 
Walk Statistics
Walk Date - 20 January 2017
Walkers - Steve Smith

Accommodation - Lidalia Caravan Club Affiliated Site, Newcastleton
Start Point - Various (see maps below)
Finish Point - Various (see maps below)
Total Duration - 4hrs 53mins
Overall Average pace - 2.44mph
Total Distance Walked - 11.91 miles
Total Height Ascended - 794.44metres
Peaks visited
Marilyns (1218S - 1556E,W&S)
Blackwood Hill (62S - 303E,W&S)
Roan Fell (63S - 304E,W&S)
Donald Deweys (248S)
Roan Fell (15S)
HuMPs (2168W - 2975EW&S)
Blackwood Hill (75S - 391E,W&S)
Roan Fell [Mynydd Eppynt] (76S - 392E,W&S)
Historic County Tops (413E - 93E,W&S)
NONE
W: Wales. 
E,W: England & Wales. 
E,W&S:England,Wales & Scotland

Blackwood Hill
Arnton Fell trig pillar.
Just a short diversion 1 mile to the SE from Blackwood Hill summit

Click on photograph to view slide-show

GPX can be downloaded from

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4.54 miles, 330.37m ascent, Start Time 09:58am, Finish Time 11:58am, 2 hours 00 minutes, 2.27 mph
Start point at entrance to forestry track near Taylor's Cleuch on Steele Road (NY 53208 93833) just round corner from start point for Larriston Fell so would have been ideal to do as a separate walk on same day. Walked north up forest track through harvested plantation following it to the right where it picks up dismantled railway bed. Turned left off track at Bught Knowe heading up hill looking for fire break to gain summit ridge. Nothing obvious but found gap in trees more or less where shown on map which leads to forest boundary approx. 400m south of summit. Followed fence to summit where met a farmer on his quad bike who told me summit was at trig on Arnton Fell. Hill-bagging tells me it is not the summit but being so close took the opportunity to bag the trig pillar just over 1 mile to SW along fence from Blackwood Hill summit.
Descending from trig pillar to the SE picking up plantation boundary made for a preferred circular walk and return to van.
Roan Fell
Roan Fell access over bridge to Twiselehope Farm
visible through trees centre left

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7.37 miles, 464.07m ascent,  Start Time 12:49pm, Finish Time 15:42pm, 2 hours 53 minutes, 2.56 mph
Parked on roadside at entrance to Twiselehope Farm (NY 45111 96794) following access drive to farm then beyond up track between Ewe Hill on left and Carlintooth Rig on right to fence and 551m spot height at Hartsgart Fell.
Expected a mini Kinder Scout experience from here following fence to summit, however thanks to our shooting friends a rough composite mud/stone track been laid following fence line to summit and ¾ mile beyond to the trig pillar.
Absolute blessing given terrain and poor visibility of the day.
Descended via same route until taking small diversion to the right off track on way down from Roan Fell to pick off Ewe Hill then continuing over the top, dropping below cloud line and returning to van after crossing burn over bridge spotted on ascent.
Could have quite easily picked off Donald Dewey - Din Fell before Ewe Hill by following fence north from track. Unfortunately did not.  
Day 03 Saturday 21 January 2017
First multi-Marilyn day up Cauldcleuch Head & Greatmoor Hill and first time ventured above 2000' north of the border since Croft Head back in December 2015
Ellson Fell
Bright late afternoon sunshine in January
heading up Ellson Fell South Top centre left

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7.37 miles, 464.07m ascent,  Start Time 12:49pm, Finish Time 15:42pm, 2 hours 53 minutes, 2.56 mph
A quick short walk squeezed in at the end of a short winter day after Cauldcleuch Head & Greatmoor Hill. Short drive along road from Braidlie and Hermitage Castle. Parked on grass at back of passing place east of over Carsemungo Sike. Straight in to ascent up March Shank to first summit when notice cloud starting to gather around Ellson Fell. Bright sunshine, blue skies and ochre ground cover is soon replaced by low cloud by the time the first summit of  Ellson Fell South Top is reached. Descend summit following path to NE down to saddle and on to Ellson Fell summit approached from the SE. No time to hang around in fog head back and down seeking descent route down southern tongue until clear cloud line where can see van parked below. Plan was to return over Tup Knowe but did not fancy the steep ascent up north side so continued heading down following Carsemungo Sike to the west of Tup Knowe back to the van
Day 04 Sunday 22 January 2017
Well earned rest day and transfer from Lidalia Caravan Club Affiliated Site, Newcastleton to Moffat Caravan & Camping Club site, Moffat.
Day 05 Monday 23 January 2017
Just the one new Marilyn which happens to venture above 2000' and into Graham and Donald hill categories. Chance to tick off 12 summits along The Andrewhinney Ridge facilitated by an end to end walk in the good company of Marilyn completers Rick Salter and Jenny Hatfield.
Really should team up with fellow hill baggers more often.

Day 06 Tuesday 24 January 2017

Moving day again today and after yesterdays exertions on the longest walk of the trip so far along The Andrewhinney Ridge was tempted to make this a rest day. However would have been a waste of time, diesel and opportunity if I did not pick off White Meldon, Cademuir Hill and Eildon Mid Hill whilst passing on the journey from Moffat to Galashiels. Managed the first two with relatively short walks and was still on for Eildon Mid Hill but after its dark conical shaddow looming over Galashiels on from the westerly approach along the A6091 decided to leave it for another day.
Walk Statistics
Walk Date - 24 January 2017
Walkers - Steve Smith

Accommodation - Gibson Park Caravan Club Site, Melrose
Start Point - Various (see maps below)
Finish Point Various (see maps below)
Total Duration - 1hrs 48mins 
Overall Average pace - 1.82mph
Total Distance Walked - 3.27 miles
Total Height Ascended - 391.75metres


Peaks visited
Marilyns (1218S - 1556E,W&S)
Meldon Hill (68S - 309E,W&S)
Cademuir Hill (69S - 310E,W&S)
Donald Deweys (248S)
NONE
HuMPs (2168W - 2975EW&S)
Meldon Hill (82S - 398E,W&S)
Cademuir Hill (83S - 399E,W&S)
Historic County Tops (413E - 93E,W&S)
NONE
S: Scotland
E,W&S:England,Wales & Scotland


White Meldon
Looking south along Meldon Burn between Black Meldon and
South Hill Head from descent down White Meldon
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1.70 miles, 210.36m ascent,  Start Time 12:54pm, Finish Time 13:48pm, 0 hours 54 minutes, 1.89 mph
After turning left off the A72 and driving north up the road alongside Meldon Burn decided to stop and park off road at the picnic spot SW and in sight of White Meldon rather than driving further and parking near the cattle grid to its west. Having first walked away from White Meldon to find the bridge over Meldon Burn. Eventually found a vague path heading towards summit that turned east parallel the summit Continued following the track expecting it to turn left which it did leading to summit cairn and high point which is actually the trig pillar slightly east of the cairn. Could have returned the same way but left summit heading west following path through heather and down fairly steep descent to cattle grid, original planned start point where there is in fact parking and a public toilet. 
Cademuir Hill
Looking towards Peebles descending through tree stumps
on descent down Cademuir Hill

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1.57 miles, 181.39m ascent,  Start Time 14:19pm, Finish Time 15:13pm, 0 hours 54 minutes, 1.74 mph
Just a short up and down route planned from Cademuir car park just south of Peebles. Forestry harvesting disrupted that plan but was still able to find remnants of original firebreak to reach summit rim. From there it was a case of finding best route through tree stumps to summit which was in progress of being turned in to a picnic sight. Decided to descend following newly constructed path to afore mentioned picnic area but very soon it started heading NW away from where I wanted to be. Maybe it does loop round to return to forest track back to car park but decided not to chance it and cut through trees downhill to pick up track and return to van.
Day 07 Wednesday 25 January 2017
Last day bagging before driving to Edinburgh tomorrow and picking up my darling Gina from Edinburgh station .
Three hills planned today to bring trip total to 13 and GB Marilyn total to 313; Meigle Hill, Black Hill & Eildon Mid Hill.
Long way short of monthly total of 30 to be on schedule to complete 300 Marilyns by the end of the year but hey ho just need to do 47 next month. Joking - like I said before it is not a race or a treadmill, but if you do not set a target of some description life just passes you by.

Walk Statistics
Walk Date - 25 January 2017
Walkers - Steve Smith

Accommodation - Gibson Park Caravan Club Site, Melrose
Start Point - Various (see maps below)
Finish Point Various (see maps below)
Total Duration - 4hrs 21mins 
Overall Average pace - 1.94mph
Total Distance Walked - 8.44 miles
Total Height Ascended - 839.08metres


Peaks visited
Marilyns (1218S - 1556E,W&S)
Meigle Hill (70S - 311E,W&S)
Black Hill (71S - 312E,W&S)
Eildon Mid Hill (72S - 313E,W&S)
Donald Deweys (248S)
NONE
HuMPs (2168W - 2975EW&S)
Meigle Hill (84S - 400E,W&S)
Black Hill (85S - 401E,W&S)
Eildon Mid Hill (86S - 402E,W&S)
Historic County Tops (413E - 93E,W&S)
NONE
S: Scotland 
E,W&S:England,Wales & Scotland


Meigle Hill
Beautiful winter colours on descent down Meigle Hill
looking across to Mains Hill

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3.47 miles, 279.53m ascent,  Start Time 11:21am, Finish Time 12:55pm, 1 hours 34 minutes, 2.21 mph
Starting from car park/layby near Torwoodlee Burial Ground headed towards Clovenwoods along footpath at side of road. Unsure about access through Meigl Farm tried to gain hill and open country through new housing estate and although found gate at end of path at side of house, it was locked and not really suitable to climb over. So returned to farm and found what is probably intended access to hill. Farm track loops west and south leading to summit but took more direct route thogh open gates across fields. Summit is just beyond NE of radio mastsnear wall and trig pillar. Shorter return route by following wall to NE of trig pillar more or less directly down back to layby and van on A72
Black Hill
Black Hill from walk start point at entrance of permissive path
to Cowdenknowes Mains

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1.70 miles, 175.10m ascent,  Start Time 13:29pm, Finish Time 14:25pm, 0 hours 56 minutes, 1.82 mph
Quite a distinctive prominant hill. Parked on Earlsdon Road offroad at entrance to permissive path signed to Black Hill. Looks like it is provided by land owner to avoid using private access to Cowdenknowe Mains on the other side of trees. Well signed right up to base of hill but did not see any further signs.
Continued around western flank expecting to find path turning left directly up hill. Did not find one so turned left anyway finding route with least gradient through dead fern, may be thicker in summer. Did find a track spiralling around ancient ramparts and found way to trig point and grassy summit. attempted to find path down but nothing really obvious so simply headed down (fairly steep in places avoiding thick bracken) in direction of known track back to Cowdenknowe Mains then back to van.
Eildon Mid Hill
Towards the sunset and Eildon Mid Hill
from Eildon Hill North

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3.27 miles, 384.45m ascent,  Start Time 15:04pm, Finish Time 16:55pm, 1 hours 51 minutes, 1.77 mph
No direct access on to B6359 from A6091 other than from Melrose. Parked on Dingleton Road near Eildon Walk.
Followed St. Cuthbert's Walk down alley and up steep steps continuing to follow it to bwlch between Eildon Hill North and Eildon Mid Hill. Although only a TUMP could not resist going to Eildon Hill North first. More or less a there and back divertion before continuing up steep sides of Eildon Mid Hill. Choice of routes, I took the left fork rewarding me with a silhouette view of trig pillar and toposcope as I emerged on the summit looking towards the setting sun. Returned to Dingleton Road via he golf course without any issues. Due to late hour nobody playing golf or indeed in clubhouse but do not anticipate a problem if stick to clearly marked path around NE side of course.