Mostly, this is random stories from my various trips as I collect them, but I've a wee backlog to get through too and those will pop up occasionally.

Feel free to leave comments.

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Boots on again

I've been a bit lazy, not posting up here. I was going to do an end-of-year round-up but every time I thought about it I got a bit depressed that I'd actually done so little. My mind has therefore started to focus more on plans for 2013. First priority is getting Mim up Mount Toubkal in April. With this in mind, the hiking boots are getting a good airing again and we are starting to explore some more local routes just as we did this time last year. One issue with this is that I do like my loops. For some reason, I just hate doing there-and-back routes even though logic suggests you have a different view in each direction. As a result, we are often forced to make our way across heather bogs in search of a path that will take up back to our starting point.

After a bit of internet searching I was lucky enough to find a nice loop in the Manor Hills just south of Broughton. Leaving from the tiny hamlet of Drumelzier we made decent time on a good landrover track up to Pyketone Hill whereupon the low cloud dropped a little and left us without any view at the summit. Dropping down on to the Theives Road it started to clear, though there was little time to stop and take in our surroundings given the very cold breeze. We followed the fence line up to Long Grain Knowe and Middle Hill before dropping over Glenstivon Dod where we managed to find a little shelter from the wind long enough to have some hot juice and a sandwich. From there it was a simple walk up to Drumelzier Law and then we followed the ridge line all the way back to Finglen Rig and back to the valley.

A very pleasant walk out and a wee bit longer than we've been doing recently. The Theives Road looks like an interesting through route that I must look into a bit more.

In the cloud on Pykestone Rig


Poor Middle Hill doesn't even get a cairn!

A random cairn on the way to Glenstivon Dod

Dropping down for a bit of shelter - at least the sky was clearing

Another random cairn. Quartzite blocks very bright against the dark heather.

Mim about to "top" Drumelzier Hill

A better day than it was when we started - and all (mostly) downhill from here!