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)

Simm (2190S - 2533E,W &S)
Munro Top (227)
Murdo (443)
Corbett (221)

Corbett Top of Munro (???)
Corbett Top of Corbett (???)
Graham (219)
Graham Top of Munro (???)
Graham Top of Corbett (???)
Graham Top of Graham (???)
Donald (89)
Donald Top (51)
New Donald (118)
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)
S: Scotland. 
E,W&S:England,Wales & Scotland

Other walks on this trip
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

GPX can be downloaded from

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