Sunday, 17 November 2019

A day of heavy rain showers, lack of visibility combined with steep ascents and descents identified the latest Biggar Ramblers walk led by Brian Henry. On 26th September 3 dedicated walkers set out from the NTS car park at the Grey Mare's Tail to climb to Lochcraig Head and White Coomb. The ascent up past the tail was straightforward amidst the rain with a pair of peregrine falcons flying overhead. Then walking along the Tail Burn the group tried to identify a crossing point for the return. The burn was in spate and only a deep water wade with risk of deeper immersion being possible the decision was made for an alternative route off.

Walking around Loch Skeen past and through the many peat bogs the ascent of Lochcraig Head started and it was a laborious pull up with a few 'let's look at the view stops!' At the top of Lochcraig Head there was a superb view to Loch Skeen and beyond marred by the sheets of rain crossing the loch. Continuing on over Firthybrig Head and Firthhope Rig with accompanying squalls and dry spells along with several wheatears the summit of White Coomb was reached.

Having made the decision not to return across the Tail Burn the group set off for Carrifran Gans as the alternate route off. Walking to the next summit the twin peaks of Saddle Yolk could be seen through the cloud. It was known the descent off Carrifrans Gans would be steep but no one in the group anticipated the actual steepness of the only way down. It was believed to be the first time the walkers have used the fence to give support on a descent that had to be negotiated with care. Eventually after 8 miles and 6 hours walking the Moffat road was reached and a return to the start.

Durisdeer is a lovely place to walk even without the incentive of church hall afternoon teas! On Sunday 29th of September 10 members of the Biggar Ramblers met up to do two walks starting from this little jewel of a village that nestles among the impressive Southern Upland hills. The hill walkers headed up Durisdeer Rig then tackled Skaw'd Law and Glenleith Fell before dropping down to the bothy in Glenaggart where the rendezvous with the rest of the walkers was timed to perfection! The lower level group had walked up Glenaggart to the vantage point overlooking Kettleton Reservoir. After exchanging tories of the respective exploits over a picnic lunch at the bothy they all made their way back down the valley to the village. Both groups had covered almost exactly the same distance of 6.75 miles.