Quiet Sunday in the Pentlands
January 13th 2008
The trad Sunday run didn’t quite work out, in a massive
SW wind, understatement, with Carnethies ending up on different hills. Over
to you Nigel.
I went from Red Moss. The winds on top of West Kip were up to 65mph. They may
have been even higher as I couldn't hold the anenometer very high off the ground
- I was on my knees and holding on with the other hand to avoid getting blown
off the top.
After that I had a hard fall on South Black Hill and hurt my arm. After a minute
or two of excruciating pain it seemed that nothing was broken so I decided to
carry on. I fell a couple more times coming off Scald Law as my legs disappeared
up to the knees in snow drifts - fortunately not on my sore arm.
At the top of Carnethy my hat blew off, just after I had measured a 60mph gust.
That was even though it was pulled down over my ears and halfway down my neck.
Further on I found a sick sheep near the foot of Black Hill so that had to be
reported to the Pentland Rangers. Coming along the top of Threipmuir dam was
exciting as big waves were crashing against the dam wall and sending spray up
onto the path along the top.
Having failed to meet up with Nigel I headed
from the Steading. Bad enough on Allermuir, by Castle Law the wind was psyching
on the summits, couldn’t see, couldn’t stand. That ol’ red flag was ripping its
heart out. Were any other madpersons up on the hill?
I also had weather problems on Sunday. I went from Red Moss (about 12:30)
and had a similar experience on West Kip. On the way up West Kip running
was impossible and it was almost all fours on the top. For a moment on the
way down the east side I was pinned down at the edge unable to stand up
without being blown down the slope. Between East Kip and Scald Law I met Shane,
Frankie and Juliet on their Carnethy 5 recce - not an ideal day to get a feel
for the route.
Scald Law and Carnethy were also real slogs against the wind. Being behind
time because of this and not wanting to slog my way up Turnhouse as well, I
cut my run short. On the col between Carnethy and Turnhouse I took one of
the paths round the North edge of Turnhouse. On this route I normally come
out at the road opposite Logan Cottage. A quick paddle across the Logan
Burn takes me to the path between Bells Hill and Black Hill (Den's Cleugh)
and then round the north edge of Black Hill back to Red Moss.
Yes dear reader, you may have already spotted the flaw in the above route
plan. The normally trickling, ankle deep Logan Burn was a raging torrent.
I should have worked this out in advance but didn't. My first reaction was
"no way" but then I thought I could see a possible crossing point slightly
downstream. I dipped one leg in to test the depth but when I was in to my
thigh and still hadn't found the bottom I knew that the only option was
another detour on the rough pathless side of the burn back to the bridge.
(Bit lost in editing added back now). Nigel continues
had to come off the dam to the lower path early leading me straight into the
and most frightening
event of the day. Below the spillway I heard a tinkling sound behind me. I turned
to see a hail of broken glass flying through the air towards me. I was only
by one or two small pieces. It turned out that the wind was breaking up ice on
the reservoir then lifting it up over the top of the spillway. Being showered
high-speed shards of broken ice was a new hill hazard for me and
distinctly unnerving. At head height, some of the pieces were 8 or 9 inches
across, and moving fast in a gale,
I'd rather not imagine being hit by one of those."