Archive for May 2nd, 2011

May 2, 2011

Desiccated on the Southern Uplands

by backpackingbongos

I got back late last night after a cracking weekend backpacking the empty hills close to Moffat.  This is a great landscape to emerse yourself in for a few days and a place to escape the Bank holiday crowds.  If these hills were south of the border they would be a National park and absolutely heaving with people, instead they were almost deserted this weekend.

Sunny weather was forecast so a high level route was planned and walked, but I did not count on the effects of this weekends wind.  It was absolutely ferocious at times and made walking hard work.  On the last evening I pitched my tent in a sheltered sheep fold and strolled to the top of a nearby hill.  The wind was so strong I had to lie-down a few times as I thought that I would be lifted off my feet and deposited in the next valley.  My heart was pounding as I struggled to make my way down again, it absolutely bloody terrified me as a clung to a fence for safety!  With all the sun and dry wind I am now feeling positively desiccated.

I am pleased that I managed 38 miles with 3000 metres of ascent in three and a bit days on mostly pathless terrain, as I wanted to test out my knees before the TGO challenge.  They did pretty well, only complaining at the end of each day or on particularly long descents.  If you want a high level route this is one to do as I did not drop below 450 metres for 28 miles.

It was great that on Saturday morning Pete from Writes of Way and his wife Fiona joined me for a couple of hours, Dougal their labrador puppy in tow.  Excellent company before they peeled off to return to their car.

Anyway a full write up later on in the week.  The following photo of me struggling up yet another steep grassy hill was kindly donated by Pete.