The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Friday, 10 March 2017

Black Hill and Scald Law

Black Hill (NT188632; 501m) and Scald Law (NT192611; 579m)

I’d not even looked at a weather forecast for yesterday, much less considered any potential hills, as I had expected us to spend a good chunk of the day loitering around a caravan workshop in Livingston*. As things turned out, we were free to go by 9.30am, and found ourselves with a blue-skied day and absolutely no plans.

What to do in such a situation? Well, repair to the nearest supermarket, obviously! (Obvious to us, anyway, as supermarkets generally have level car parks, generously sized parking spaces and, most importantly on this occasion, they sell croissant).

The map was considered over second breakfast, whereupon Bertie’s nose was pointed towards the Pentland Hills, via the worst quality road that we’ve driven in a long time. The hastily-made plan was Black Hill and Scald Law.

Arriving in the Threipmuir Reservoir car park, lunch became our first priority (yes, lunchtime already; second breakfast had been a prolonged affair), but by early afternoon off we strode towards our first objective, which was set off nicely across the reservoir:


There may well be a path up all or most of this hill, but after following a well-trodden line for a short while we struck off uphill and from there just followed trods through the heather until there was no more uphill to be had, and a surprisingly small cairn was found:


The views over Edinburgh and the Firth of Forth were clear, as well as towards our next objective (the lump on the right in this snap):


A reasonably straight line was taken to pick up the good path which runs from Bavelaw to Penicuik and from the col it was a simple ascent up to Scald Law, passing  on our way a chap making hard work of pushing his mountain bike up; his companion waited for him on the top:


Our return route saw us skirt around the end of Black Hill, but otherwise was a repetition of our outward route. Given an earlier start we probably would have made a circuit by nipping over East Kip and West Kip, but we hadn’t, so we didn’t.

It was still the perfect day for a walk as we returned to the (now largely empty) car park having walked 8.2 miles with around 600m of ascent.


(*A week or so ago, I noticed a fault on Bertie’s bed, the nature of which suggested it needed looking at sooner rather than later. An appointment was thus made at Knowepark Caravans in Livingston for next Tuesday, but they’d agreed that, if we popped by on Thursday morning this week then they would have a quick look to try to work out what was causing the problem.

We were outside an hour before they opened, with the expectation of sitting around for at least a couple of hours after opening before they even squeezed us in. To our surprise, they made Bertie’s bed their first job and we were on our way again by 9.30 (unfortunately, without the bed being fixed and with next Tuesday’s appointment cancelled because they didn’t have, and couldn’t get in time, the part required, but at least with confirmation of what the problem is and with instructions as to how to fix it ourselves once we get hold of the part).)

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