Wednesday, 12 April 2017
Grey Mare’s Tail Camping
Following on from the previous post, the whole point of this little trip was to have a night’s camping somewhere in ther Moffat hills. The bagging stuff was just to make the long journey up to Castle Greytowers a bit more productive, hence the diversion via Galloway.
So, me and the dog eventually turned up somewhere near Carstairs Junction, and, the very next day, were transported off to the visitor car park at the foot of Grey Mare’s Tail waterfall. #1 Daughter then abandoned us to our fate with a promise to return the next day at half past two.
The path up to Loch Skeen from the car park is both very busy and very steep and the penalties for tripping up over a tourist having an angina attack is a long, tumbling slide to the burn far below. I mean far, far below and, with disappointing results as far as the hope of survival is concerned.
Ultimately we sweated and heaved our way up to the spectacularly beautiful corrie holding the Very Lovely Loch Skeen and a short exploration of it’s Southern shore produced a wide but slightly soggy grassy platform amongst all the tilted heather and tussocks. Had we explored quite a bit further, we would have found a lovely flat delta with a nice little stream of fresh water at the head of the loch. But we made do with our spot, which was quite nice anyway.
Crowds flocked to the other side of the loch but only a small family of Belgians explored as far as our camp, apart from hillwalkers who were climbing up and down the rocky ridge of Mid Craig behind us.
After a brew and a bit of a lounge about, we set off up the same ridge and headed to the top of Mid Craig, followed by a tramp over gentle slopes to Firthope Rig and then to the 821 metre Corbett of White Combe, descending grass which has too many contours than is reasonable for grassy slopes to have, back to the tents in time for tea.
It had been a more or less cloudless day of blue skies and a bright, moonlit night followed.
In the morning, a slow breakfast was followed by a quick bag of the 605 metre Watch Knowe and the long descent back to Car Park central where we had a chat with the National Trust (Scotland) peeps who were keen to find out where we’d been all night.
And, once #1 daughter had arrived to collect us, it was all over. We’d covered about 10 miles and 3000 feet of up.
I used Dawn’s Hillberg Enan, my own Akto having gone to Nottingham for a holiday. I put extra guys on the ends of the Enan for additional stability. It was quite windy at times and, hence, no condensation at all. The Enan is stable but the mesh door on the inner is a bit draughty round the Trossachs. LTD noticed nothing of this since he was snoring under my down jacket and cuddling up to a sigg bottle full of hot water inside 2 red socks. Soft git.