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Friday, 20 March 2009

The Mosspaul Marilyns
















And finally it was Thursday.
This walk bags three Marylins around the Mosspaul Hotel -Wisp Hill Pikethaw Hill and Ellson Fell.
After a perishing cold night (where’s me new sleeping bag?), we pitched up near the Mosspaul Hotel just on the Dumfries/Borders boundary and stomped off up the enormous 350 metre climb on to the top of Wisp Hill. At 595 metres, this was the sudden summit of today’s walk, for the next top – just a little bit South (ish) was the 564 metre top of Pikethaw Hill. 600 metres of up in just 4 km so far. This is thigh-bustin stuff. But not to be deterred by mere muscle pain – we tripped lightly over Frodaw Height and Dan’s Hags for the knee-bustingly steep 200 metre drop from Upper Hill to the old toll house in the valley bottom.
Roughly at this point, Mike discovered an easier way back to Mosspaul and declared his intention to follow it. Me, being equally as determined as stupid, plumped for the return over Ellson Fell and Carlin Tooth – a further calf-numbing climb of about another 400 metres – making (in English) a total of nine miles and 3600 feet of climbing.
Many will consider this to be a weak effort, I have no doubt.
Actually, it wasn’t too bad really. It’s a cracking walk with big views and we had a fab and sunny day for it.
This is just like the Lake District, but without the people.
Home in an hour and a half through Hawick and down the empty A68, which is an hour quicker than the way I came…. Visitors to this area should be aware that there’s not much traffic in an evening, mid week in March…

8 comments:

Martin Rye said...

What a fantastic place. You had some good walking there. When is that sleeping bag coming? Did you take my advice?

mike knipe said...

Yes Martin, its a cracking place. All the pubs are closed, but nevertheless....
I'm expecting the sleeping bag sometime in April and..er...as far as the bag's concerned, I have to admit that I didnt follow anybody's advice, although everything that people said did put me on the scent of my final choice. (more of which later....)They don't like you to fondle the bags too much in Cotswold by the way. Jealousy, probably, I expect.

beatingthebounds said...

You're right - this area looks great - how come I've never been there?

mike knipe said...

I suppose that if you're going to Scotland, you carry on North till you get to big hills. These ones are only relatively high...
Good place for an alternative to a Lake District bank holiday, though.

Phil said...

Thanks Mike - this is an undiscovered gem. I had to use Memory map to even find it!

mike knipe said...

Thats OK, Phil. They're not that good, really, as hills, I mean. The scale's all wrong. I wouldn't want to encourage people to go to all the effort.... I mean, its a long way, after all and we wouldn't want the place to get crowded and covered in litter... and they're a bit boggy in parts, to be honest; and steep... don't talk to me about steep.... and there's no paths y'know....

Phreerunner said...

More Marilyns....
Do I detect a man desperate to escape from The Corridor of Obscurity?

mike knipe said...

Actually, Martin, this was the second time I'd done this little round, so, unfortunately no new Marilyn ticks for me - still in the cellar of despondency or the back garden of something beginning with "G". I did bag 4 new HuMPS, though.
But I'm hoping to get a couple of new Marilyn ticks in Section 27 in a couple of weeks whilst doing a TGO dry (hah!) run...