Upper Ward Mountaineering Club
Walk Report - January 2014
UMC – January 2014
Bodesbeck Ridge - Moffatdale
The January club walk took the group to an old stomping ground in the Southern Uplands, close to the scene of the club’s inaugural walk 40 years ago in 1974, although this time the route was on Bodesbeck Ridge on the east flank of Moffatdale directly opposite the Grey Mare’s Tail and the Moffat Hills where the founding members initiated the Upperward Mountaineering Club. The 10km long ridge includes 8 separate tops including four Donalds. The 17 members attending had hoped for clear skies to appreciate the excellent views over the valley towards the Moffat Hills and beyond, however, although the day stayed dry, the low mist meant that views were non-existent.
The route started at Birkhill Cottage on the A708 and took the group quickly up the steep hillside onto the first top of the day at Herman Law (614m) which is marked only by a meeting point for 3 fences. All the guidebooks suggest that the route is easily found by “just following the fence” – however there are numerous diversions in the fences that could be followed so care is essential, especially in conditions of low visibility. The fence to be followed is in fact the boundary between Borders Region and Dumfries and Galloway.
From Herman Law the ridge continues southwest to Trowgrain Middle (627m), which at least had a sizeable cairn to mark the summit, before passing over Mid Rig (644m) and then Andrewhinney Hill the second Donald of the day and the highest point on the ridge at 677m. Of the remaining 4 tops on the ridge, only the remaining two are named on the OS map – Bell Craig (623m) and the final Donald, Bodesbeck Law (665m). The other two are only given as spot heights.
From Bodesbeck Law a good path took the group back to the A708 where we had left a car at the start of the day to enable us to collect the remaining cars parked at Birkhill.
The next meeting of the club will be the Ceilidh organised as part of the 40th anniversary celebrations and held on February 8th in Carluke, with the next walk being the Newtonmore trip on the following weekend.
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