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]

Wednesday, 1 May 2019

Wednesday 1 May - Ward Law (NT262159; 594m)

When we drove into the Ettrick area a couple of days ago, I had six unbagged Marilyns thereabouts. However, because one of those hills, Ettrick Pen, sits in a more remote spot and because I ran out of time to put much thought into the most sensible logistics for that hill, I decided not to tackle it on this trip. Over the last couple of days I questioned that decision and as of yesterday evening my plan for today was to cycle the 8-miles to Over Pawhope bothy, nip up and down it, and cycle back again.

That plan persisted until I woke to the sound of rain this morning. When two hours later it was still pattering away I decided that Ettrick Pen can sensibly be tackled from the west and thus it could be missed out on this trip without causing us to have to go too far out of our way at some point in the future. Ward Law thus got reinstated as today's objective.

In two minds whether to go straight up its nearest flank or take the longer way via Ettrick church, I finally opted for the latter, which proved to be a relatively easy route as the entire hillside is being grazed by sheep and cattle.

It's a big cairn on the summit - the stile over the deer fence gives scale.

And the photo of me in front of a section of the cairn makes it look like I'm in front of a wall


I couldn't be doing with taking such an indirect route back down, so made a circuit by taking the line I'd rejected for my ascent. My conclusion at the bottom was that it would have made a perfectly acceptable ascent route, with any extra steepness and rough stuff being cancelled out by the shorter distance.

One of the white flashes down there is Bertie.


I'm pleased to report that cladding myself in full Paramo worked wonders: the rain held off for the entire time I was out. In fact, I got very acceptable conditions, with a scant breeze, clear tops (Ward Law's summit had been covered in cloud earlier) and a pleasant temperature.

The stats: a few yards under 4 miles, with 360m ascent.

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