Date: Wednesday 14th October 2009
Company: Just me
Time: 4Hrs 10Mins
I set off from home at 5.30 this morning with the intention of walking the ridge of Donalds from Herman Law to Bodesbeck Law. After five hours of driving, I reached the Grey Mare Tail car park where unfortunately I could see nothing except mist. I decided to abandon plan A, as when I do these hills I would like to see a view across to the Grey Mare Tail waterfall. Instead I carried on driving to Moffat, across to Beattock and then along the minor road as far as Earshaig.
I parked at Earshaig where there is a large car park that could potentially take several dozen cars.
(There are a couple of parking spaces 1km further on at Kinnelhead, but last time I was here there were cows standing in the spaces)
Large car park at Earshaig:
Earshaig trails sign:
The first kilometre from Earshaig to Kinnelhead is along tarmac road. On reaching the bridge there are a couple of Right of Way signs - Right of Way to Queensberry and Public footpaths to Ae village, Closeburnmill and Branrig.
Bridge at Kinnelhead:
After a few hundred metres of walking alongside the Kinnel water, follow the Rights of Way signs through a gate.
Right of way to Queensberry and Ae village:
I attempted Queensberry from Earshaig in April this year with my dog Beinn. We didn't get to the top as we were chased off the hill by thunder and lightning and was also charged at by a cow. (I had Beinn on his extending lead. I went left, Beinn went right, it ran between us and tripped and fell over his lead. We were really lucky!)
Today there were cows again in the same place on the Right of Way. However, instead of running at me some run away and some just stopped and stared. Must have been Beinn
they didn’t like.
After passing the cows, I followed the track as far as Lochanhead.
Track leading to Lochanhead:
On reaching Lochanhead, I went through a gate to the right of the house and a few hundred metres further on through another gate beside the Lochan burn.
I crossed the Lochan burn and then followed the line of trees and fence for over two kilometres. This section of the walk was very wet underfoot. Squelch, squelch, with every step.
A bit wet underfoot:
Following the tree-line to Pot of Ae:
Spotted a web while walking through the mist and bog.
While walking along, I noticed that I was very near NT000000. I therefore got my
GPS out and headed for NT0000000000. Found it, but was disappointed that it was
just another patch of wet grass.
Interesting grid reference (NT0000000000):
On reaching the end of the forest, I changed direction to climb the final grassy slopes of Queensberry.
Final ascent to Queensberry:
Gate just before summit:
Large summit cairn of Queensberry:
Large stone shelter at summit of Queensberry:
Impressive large cairn and shelter at the summit, but somewhat surprising that there were no real paths up there.
I descended via the same route. Have posted a few more photos from during the descent, as the mist did occasionally lift.
Looking back towards Queensberry from edge of forest:
Looking back to Queensberry, Mount Glass and Harestanes Heights:
Looking back from Lochan Burn:
Looking back from track leading out from Lochanhead to Kinnelhead: