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Scottish Borders visit


Horrible… so horrible I will be forced to use a four letter word… bike

Spent an extended Easter weekend a couple of years back knocking off all the G/SB summits - this was the least enjoyable.

I used my mountain bike on a few of them to great effect.


Yeah, I had that… not for long though!


Wow! That’s how you break stuff… nasty! Glad you got out OK.


Harsh! The downhill return was quite pleasant. Perhaps you would benefit from a liberal application of chammy cream to improve your enjoyment of cycling? :nerd_face:


Yes, the downhill run on the rough forestry road was white knuckle, and it cost me a rear inner tube… just enough air left in the tyre to get me to the gate shown in Andrew’s video…

73 Phil


Which other ones are good for cycling? I can probably get a day pass if I can take my mountain bike mad 15yr old



Peel Fell possible on mostly forest track - hide and lock your bike up before leaving the woods for the final ascent on foot. I walked it though due to the puncture on the Sighty Crag track which I repaired at the end of the day Paul when I got back to Bellingham.

73 Phil


Winter Fell in SP
Green Lowther in GM/SS
Rogan’s Seat in NP (though reports say the game keepers frown on bikes).

I’ve also done a few down south that would be easy on mountain bikes

It all depends how hard core he is (and whether you have to keep up with him!)


I have done, tho not necessarily for SOTA:-
High Vinnals, WB-012, miles of track and adjacent HEMA, Bringewood, HWB-005, also; much used.
Aconbury, WB-024, not very exciting.
Pen-y-Garn, MW-004.
There are many other suitable GW summits which I have not done, being not much of a mountain biker. eg Carnedd Wen, MW-012 (from South unless you fancy starting with a rather brisk ford).



I posted an account of the ascent of the notorious Sighty Crag (SB-005) and promised some photos so here they are inserted in some of the previous text: We somehow found the right route through the trees which led to the fence corner where the barbed wire had been removed. Any celebrations were swiftly cancelled when I attempted the steep small slope in high heather and large hidden boulders - and holes.

The second attempt involved the help of the fence and ‘I’m not coming down this way’ thoughts. …Eventually the ground flattened and we plodded on with compass and GPS

We surveyed the far slope and chose a route (the right hand of the two green ‘tracks’ (ie marsh) I believe) and when walking up this I noticed some feathers (not for the squeamish) and then looked closer
Undaunted we plodded on and discussed which group of boulders were the right ones on the distant skyline (the middle ones). These heights were reached eventually
and some rather pleasant rocks provided a much needed wind break

My location was, inevitably rather more exposed ![DSCI2322|375x500]
We then had to retrace our route across the head of the stream - which we did rather accurately (thanks to the GPS) and had a surprise well the feathers were still there so it was the same spot but the rest wasn’t! We had seen and heard no sign of any hawks or other raptors - was it a fox we had disturbed? Whatever it was, it didn’t want us to interrupt again! Our new route (don’t forget the ‘I’m not coming back this way’ thoughts) involved following the stream down and somehow dealing with following it when it went into quite a deep ravine (I get vertigo) - this required thought!
We wanted to reach the trees just visible at the top left… When we got a bit closer to the top of the rough slope down to the fence there was a slight path which we walked and slid down and reached the fence crossing at the corner once more.
The barbed wire has been removed on the section at the very corner. We then had only an hour or so of flattish track which was very muddy in places thanks to the recent logging (which was still going on as we walked back down to the car).

If you are thinking of visiting then it isn’t that fearsome (a spot of training on Mid Hill in Northern Ireland (GI/ AH-006) might help but we didn’t find any break in the barbed wire there and had to use our thick pipe lagging) and there are obviously a few different approaches - so different that I wonder if we are all actually ascending the same hill! Just keep a careful watch out for any hungry predators - and the odd deep hole!

Viki M6BWA


Brings back great memories… not


I see you managed to catch him on camera😁…thanks Rod for all the contacts…nice report Viki and well done both.

73 Allan


Just for reference Mid Hill is GI/AH-006

Victor GI4ONL


Not a fox - either a sparrowhawk or a buzzard looking at the mess it made.


Yes, I agree Barry - it definitely would be a raptor, but probably a Goshawk or even more likely a Peregrin Falcon. Sparrowhawks tend to go for smaller birds as they are a lighter built raptor. Buzzards are generally lazy and go for slower moving things like young rabbits and voles (and they will even eat worms). I recall seeing a family of Buzzards when we set off up Cairn Hill GM/SS-194 and wondered how the area was able to support more than the usual one or two birds that you usually see. We found out on the ascent as we had to avoid treading on countless voles running through the grass. As for the disappearing carcass, well that could have been a fox looting the kill after the bird had had its fill.

The photographs reminded me of the slog across to the summit. The description of the route up and down pretty much fitted with what I recall as well, so I won’t be disappointed if I do go back. :wink:

73, Gerald G4OIG


I think you may be right, not sure which raptors are around that hill. Sparrowhawks do like pigeons though, easy to pluck - nobody wants to know the rest of their unsavoury habits though :frowning:


Well Goshawks are rare as rocking horse droppings. I’ve only seen one in recent years which was when Paul and I activated White Coomb GM/SS-030. It was a few miles from Moffat in a wooded section of the A708.which really surprised me as they generally keep well away from human habitation. The previous sighting of one was at Kielder when I was biking there with the family quite a few years ago. They are usually woodland hunters which makes me favour the Peregrin as being the killer in this instance. Oh the things we discuss here…


Thanks Victor, I have corrected the error. It was rather late when I finished the account and I didn’t check the reference - I just relied on a (faulty) memory that told me it was quite a tough walk. I notice that that hill isn’t very popular either and has only been visited by Caroline and Martyn (MI3ZCB and MI1MAJ) during the last year or so.

I’m interested in the identification of the victim - we thought it might have been a common gull from the wing markings but not sure the curved beak looks right. Looking at the legs and feet would have helped but not sure they were available for inspection! Anyone like to hazard a guess as to how recently the kill had taken place? We certainly saw no sign of any bird (or animal) being disturbed by our imminent arrival but we were moving fairly slowly so there would have been plenty of time to scuttle into the heather without being spotted.
73 Viki M6BWA


A sparrow hawk has taken a pigeon in our garden more than once (not the same pigeon :wink:) and left the remains in a simillar state.
I walked up to investigate on one occasion, and the hawk stared me out from a couple of metres away - it wasn’t going to move until it had taken what it wanted, and I wasn’t going any closer as it looked un-nervingly fierce!

So - I doubt whether you frightened it away, I guess it had finished and gone, and I’d suspect a fox cleared up…

Adrian G4AZS


Herring Gull…adult…grey with tipped wings…head looks right…that’s only a guess ? Similar markings to the Common gull as well?