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Moffat Hills experts?

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Can anyone in the know tell me if there's a reasonably gentle way up out of the head of the Carrifran Glen to the tops? Either in the White Coomb direction or more towards the west? Priest Gill maybe? I'm picturing steep tussocks and new-growth woods (which is great, but maybe not to walk through). Be good if there was a path not marked on the map...

Similar question for Black Hope. Other than the Swatte Fell ridge, are there any other nice ways up out of the head of the glen?

I may have kids in tow, so keen not to get too arduous/boggy/steep/exploratory...

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 DaveHK 10:55 Wed
In reply to Dan Bailey - UKHillwalking.com:

Not really answering your question but...

I've not been up it but looking down Priest's Gill I don't think it's somewhere I'd want to go with kids. 

If you've not been up Saddle Yoke, that's quite an interesting walk, I went up the ridge to the SW of the Spoon Burn.

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 Lankyman 11:36 Wed
In reply to Dan Bailey - UKHillwalking.com:

It's 20 years ago since but we descended into Blackhope by Whirly Gill after a Swatte/Hartfell walk. I don't recall any problems coming down so you're probably OK going up. It's an impressive valley. Don't think I've been along Carrifran? When we came off White Combe it was down the east ridge I think.

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 Mike-W-99 12:33 Wed
In reply to Dan Bailey - UKHillwalking.com:

Hi dan, it’s pretty rough having traversed over the top of it from white coomb. If you get lucky you may come across traces of where they left markers for the new forest planting.

we contoured round from carrifran gans to raven crag I’ll double check the photos and report back if anything stands out looking path shaped from the Glen.

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In reply to Dan Bailey - UKHillwalking.com:

Brilliant, thanks all. Probably one to check out minus kids first

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 Iain Thow 21:24 Wed
In reply to Dan Bailey - UKHillwalking.com:

Hi Dan, I'm certainly no expert but I've done a few things there. The south ridge of Carrifran from the foot of the glen is awful, new planting, random pits and jungle, don't do it. I've also been up the middle ridge of Swatte Fell from Blackhope (not as awful but still not great, would be nice in good snow). Hang Gill low down on Swatte Fell was a pleasant accessible easy clamber, barely scrambling. Second the suggestion of the Saddle Yoke ridge up from the foot of Blackhope if you haven't done it, it's lovely. Also the stream going up NE from the head of Blackhope looks nice (and easy). 

If you're poking about with kids in that area have you been to Dobb's Linn? 197158, cut across from the top of the road at Birkhill for an easily gained good view and with a bit more effort you can contour round to it (quite steep). Excellent fall, fossils, a cave and ruin that was a covenanter hideout and a legend of a duel with the devil. Going up from the bottom might be an adventure?

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 DaveHK 23:09 Wed
In reply to Iain Thow:

>  Excellent fall, fossils, a cave and ruin that was a covenanter hideout and a legend of a duel with the devil. Going up from the bottom might be an adventure?

​​​​​​Never mind kids that sounds pretty good to this middle aged man!

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 Lankyman 09:19 Thu
In reply to DaveHK:

The whole area is well worth exploring. We used to stop off to/from the Highlands to do whatever seemed good. Why it isn't a National Park is a mystery to me. A couple of years ago I had a few days dodging showers over the pass by St Mary's Loch and down the Yarrow Valley. Must get back when all this covid bolleaux is over!

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In reply to Iain Thow:

Thanks, that looks brilliant!

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 DaveHK 09:27 Thu
In reply to Lankyman:

> The whole area is well worth exploring. We used to stop off to/from the Highlands to do whatever seemed good. Why it isn't a National Park is a mystery to me. 

My inlaws live in Strathaven so I've popped down from time to time whilst visiting them. I also did the OMM there in 2015 and passed through lots of interesting country without taking it all on board (shit weather, head down, glued to the map...) so decided I had to go back and check it out!

It won't be a NP because hardly anyone goes there!

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 Lankyman 11:46 Thu
In reply to DaveHK:

> It won't be a NP because hardly anyone goes there!

That's an increasingly desirable quality, especially these days! It's also been noticed by the wind farm builders who've increasingly sought out these less well known places. Thankfully, they seem to have stayed away from the main Moffat hills so far. Each trip around the Borders does seem to reveal more turbines though.

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 DaveHK 11:49 Thu
In reply to Lankyman:

The Monadhliath has been destroyed by a combo of shooting estate and windfarm. I can see the necessity of the latter but it's still visually grim.

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 el diablo 17:05 Thu
In reply to Dan Bailey - UKHillwalking.com:

Apologies Dan, I think that was me that inadvertently hit the dislike icon. No dislike intended!

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 Bob Kemp 18:07 Thu
In reply to el diablo:

You can click again to remove the dislike. 

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 el diablo 22:22 Thu
In reply to Bob Kemp:

> You can click again to remove the dislike. 

Who knew? I do now. Thanks

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