Hills: Comb Law, Rodger Law, Ballencleuch Law, Scawd Law, Wedder Law, Gana Hill and Earncraig Hill
Date: Saturday 24th September 2011
Company: Just myself
Distance: 23.5km, Ascent: 980m
Time: 7 Hrs

I set off this morning to ascend the Daer Donalds.
Having previously climbed Queensberry, this left me with seven to ascend today.

On departing Sanquhar, the weather was nice and sunny. On arriving at the Daer Reservoir the weather was not so good.
I was optimistic though as forecasts suggested the weather would improve.

I parked next to the bridge beside the house at Kirkhope Cleuch.
I decided to undertake an anti-clockwise circuit of these hills.

Click here to see a map of the route undertaken

House at Kirkhope Cleuch:

Within five minutes of setting off, my feet were wet - the initial walk alongside the dyke was very wet today.

Comb Law from start of walk:

Looking back along dyke towards Daer Reservoir:

The ascent of Comb Law was quite straight-forward. I crossed the dyke at a broken section and climbed over a wooden gate to save clambering over the barbed-wire fence.

Looking back towards Daer Reservoir from slopes of Comb Law:

I reached the featureless summit of Comb Law fifty-five minutes after setting-off. Comb Law is a Donald and New Donald.

Featureless summit area of Comb Law:

From the summit of Comb Law, I followed the fence towards Hirstane Rig.

Rodger Law from Comb Law:

View back to Comb Law from cairn on Hirstane Rig:

From Hirstane Rig, I made my way to the col between Rodger Law and Ballencleuch Law. From the col, I made my way to Rodger Law.

Just before the trig point there were a number of bits of metal. I assume there was a transmitter on this hill at one point in time.

Approaching summit of Rodger Law:

Rodger Law is the only one of these seven hills with a trig point. Rodger Law is a New Donald.

Summit trig point of Rodger Law:

From Rodger Law the ascent to the summit of Ballencleuch Law was short and easy. Ballencleuch Law is allegedly only 1m higher than Rodger Law.

Ballencleuch Law from Rodger Law:

Looking back to Rodger Law from Ballencleuch Law:

The walk from Rodger Law to Ballencleuch Law was mainly in clag. During this part of the walk, I began to hear lots of gunfire – not good walking hills in clag with gunfire sounding close-by!

I continued on to the summit of Ballencleuch Law, which is marked by a collection of tied fenceposts. Ballencleuch Law is a Graham, Marilyn, HuMP, Donald and New Donald.

Summit sticks and stones of Ballencleuch Law:

As the gunfire seemed to be coming from lower down in the coire, I decided to continue on sticking to the ridge. From Ballencleuch Law, I made my way across to Scaw'd Law.

Scaw'd Law from Ballencleuch Law:

Looking back to Ballencleuch Law from col:

I wasn't quite sure where the highest point was so I walked about in an attempt to cover all the high points. This was one of three summits today where I felt the accuracy of the Database of British Hills ten-figure grid reference was a bit dubious.

Scawd Law is a Donald and New Donald.

Summit area of Scaw'd Law:

From Scaw'd Law, I made my way towards the good quality land-rover track. On the track, I met a couple of walkers and we stopped and had a good natter.

Near the summit of Wedder Law, I could make out a number of parked vehicles. Great! - would I be turned back by shooters?

Wedder Law from Scaw'd Law:

Following the land-rover track towards Wedder Law:

Small hut at col between Scaw'd Law and Wedder Law:

Looking back to Scawd Law from Wedder Law:

On reaching the cars, I met a couple of the grouse shooters. They were pleasant and didn't seem to have a problem with walkers. The shooting was taking place on Sheil Dod.

Grouse-shooting 4x4s just below summit of Wedder Law:

The summit area of Wedder Law is quite flat so it was a bit difficult to determine the highest point – so again I walked about a bit. Wedder Law is a HuMP, Donald and New Donald.

Featureless summit area of Wedder Law:

The walk across to Gana Hill took a bit longer.

Gana Hill from Wedder Law:

On reaching the col, I made my way up past some grouse butts before abandoning the fence and heading more directly towards the summit.

Ascending past the Grouse butts on Gana Hill:

Looking back to Wedder Law from Gana Hill:

From Gana Hill, I got my first decent views of Queensberry.

Looking towards Queensberry from cairns on Gana Hil:

Gana Hill is a HuMP, Donald and New Donald.

View towards Daer Reservoir from summit of Gana Hill:

At the summit of Gana Hill, I realised that it was going to be quite a long walk back.

A long way back to the Daer Reservoir, and still one hill to go:

Next I made my way to the final hill of the day Earncraig Hill.

Earncraig Hill from Gana Hill:

The ascent of Earncraig Hill was definitely the steepest part of the day. Not difficult, but my legs did notice the incline.

Following the dyke up Earncraig Hill:

Steep ascent of Earncraig Hill:

Looking back to Gana Hill from Earncraig Hill:

I was happy to have reached the summit of my seventh New Donald and was really glad that I didn't have to also ascend Queensberry . Earncraig Hill is a HuMP, Donald and New Donald.

Summit area of Earncraig Hill:

Queensberry from summit of Earncraig Hill:

It was my intention to descend via Lamb Hill, however, when I saw the number of peat hags on it I come up with a plan B – to descend Whiteside Hill instead.

Descending Whiteside Hill towards Daerhead:

The downside to my Plan B, was that I had an unbridged crossing of the Daer Water. I probably spent five or ten minutes looking for a way across before I decided sod-it and just ran through as quickly as I could.

Bit of a shame that Daerhead is so dilapidated.


The walk out back to the car was quite pleasant.

Circular dyke:

Daer Water with Kirkhope and Crookburn in distance:

On reaching the Daer reservoir, I saw an Osprey hunting over the loch and then over land. I tried to get a photo but it was too far away.

Daer Reservoir:

By the time I reached the car, my feet were a bit sore but I was happy with a good day out.