The Vault Regulars

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Moffat to Peebles. Arrival and Day1

The area locating Moffat and Peebles is the Scottish Borders or Reiver country. 
I was going to join a small group of folk whom i had only got to know through blogging apart from Judith from Wirral whom i didn’t know.
The plan was to meet up in Peebles friday night, have a beer or two, camp at Rosetta camp site and then drive to Moffat on the saturday morning leaving a car in Peebles for the return journey.
Rosetta campsite
A swift walk into Peebles, a few beers in the Bridge Inn and a good meal in the Italian restaurant next door concluded Friday night.
The drive into Moffat, quickly over and through beautiful scenery. This is not an area i know at all and so there was much to discover. Mike as ever the tour guide and lots of info about seismology and the names of the passing tops and glens.

Parked in a busy Moffat market place, it was nice to see a place which invites you to park for free, we could feel tummy rumbling and low and behold a cafe called The Rumbling Tum.
Breakfasts demolished and gear donned we set off through Moffat to pick up the Southern Upland way.
At the first Southern Upland Way guide post we passed Knipe Towers. Locally known as Dumcrief Estate.
From here the SUW as i will now abbreviate the name, is a very pleasant meander through woodland, farmland and forestry plantations.
The miles on the forestry roads are tough on the feet with them being rough stones, man made for the transportation of logging trucks.
At one point we seemed to have a "where are we now" moment! But it turned out that our track had left the 1:25,000 map and we soon realised the route.
At this point we decided to stop for a lunch break as plenty of good water was flowing.
Louise and Laura nearly had there gear run over by a women RAC rally driver practicing coming home from the supermarket in her 4 x 4. This laughing lady had no intention of allowing more than 2 seconds to shift the gear before shooting past in a cloud of dust. 
The path was rising gradually and once through the very pretty glen up to Ettrick Head we had a 90 deg turn to follow the fence line up to Capel Fell at 678 metres. This was the first close contours of the day and it took it’s toll with being so warm.
This was our start of a lovely ridge line which we would remain on for today and most of tomorrow.
We got our breath back and looking North set off for the next few tops. Smidhope Hill 644 m, White Shank 622m and finally for the day Fauldside Hill 568m. 
From here we were looking for a place to camp so headed off for what looked like a water source at the head of Bodesbeck Burn.
On the way down to the Bealach i spot this little beauty asleep in the grass. Mike told us it was the rare 4 eyed red tipped moth but on closer inspection, ie the internet, it turned out to be a female Emperor moth.
The bealach reached, the water source was not evident, Mike went one way, i went the other. Mike found a small stream about 500m away and so camp 1 was pitched at the first likely spot.
The site was a bit bumpy but good enough and whilst Mike went to fill his water bottle i investigated a clump of forestry 100m away from the tent and found a nice running slate stream. Now marked on the map for future reference.

It didn’t take long after meals were eaten for Mike to start filling the glens with ZZZZZ’s and some singing in between.

The others chatted for a little while but it wasn’t long before we joined Mike in the evening chorus.
The sky was clear and the moon full and so bright. 

It got cold, although not freezing, it woke me a few times and the last time i looked it was 3 celsius. It could have dropped a degree cooler later but i felt the cold in my -3 bag.
What a fantastic day we had.
My counter said 11.4 miles and 2700of up’s. I like Mikes better.


Mike Knipe said...

What we need is a distance/ascent scattergram.
..looking forward to the rest of the tale.....

AlanR said...

Sounds a good idea. I think i will be a bit out because i only used the plotted route info and not actual. I’m sticking with yours. Ha.

Off to do Salford trail pt4 now, so day 2 will have to wait.

-maria- said...

Nice to hear you enjoyed your trip! Based on other blogs you all had a good time. Looking forward to reading the rest of the story.

AlanR said...

Maria, The trip could not have been planned or executed better. Everything went well for us. Wish all walks were like this one.

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