Thursday, 24 March 2016

23 March Culter Fell

Alan, Davie C, Davie Mc, Gus, Ian, Jim, Jimmy, Kenny T, Paul, Rex & Robert

What can be said of this walk that hasn’t already been said before in these pages? Culter Fell in the hills of south Lanarkshire is one of those hills which, if the air is clear provides extensive and special views of the border hills and river valleys. It would remain to be seen if today’s walk would provide such views for the day was overcast and a damp clag hung in the air as we gathered in Darvel to car share through to Lanarkshire.
For today’s outing eleven of us made the trip through to the Culter valley just south of Biggar. There a cold southerly wind greeted us, a southerly wind that blew off snow and cut through to the bone. So, well wrapped against this blast we set off for the base of the hill. In common with the hills of this area Culter Fell start with its steepest ascent. This would sort the men from the even older men. Jimmy, who had recent chest infection, struggled on this steep section and, no matter how many ‘view stops’ sere called he continually brought up the rear. At the top of this steep we sat down for coffee and to wait for the struggling one.
            While we sat and took in what view the clag offered us and tried to shelter from the strong, biting wind, Jimmy decide to plod on at his own pace knowing that we would all catch him up. He was joined by Robert and the two Davies and a schism took place. We watched as the four took off upward into that bitter, piercing wind. That was the last we saw of them until the summit was reached.
            When the grassy summit of the hill was reached there was no sign of the errant four. They were eventually found ensconced on the leeward side, the Peeblesshire side, of the summit having lunch. We joined them. What a disappointment the day was proving. The bitter wind meant that there was no great hanging about on the summit, just enough for a bite of lunch and a well-earned rest. Not that hanging about would have done us any good today for the damp clag that filled the air restricted any viewing to around the three to four mile mark and the only distinct landmark was Tinto. And there was that bloody wind.
            The descent of the hill was a lot faster than the ascent for we now faced into the wind and it stung into our faces, numbing noses and watering eyes. Down we came as fast as we could to the Culter reservoir. (As for the struggling one? He came down that slope as fast as any of us and faster than most. We think he was just playing for sympathy on the ascent.) Here at last we were out of the main blast and the air was relatively mild. We could now take our time. An afternoon halt was called on the face of the dam and a relaxed coffee was taken.
            The walk down the road back to the transport was a delight. Any residual breeze was now on the back and the road sloped gently downwards. We arrived at the cars three and a half hours after we had left them happy with the day’s effort but disappointed in the views from the top. Bob's pictures below sum up the day. Still, next time………..

FRT was taken in Stra’ven in a pub that the scribe has forgotten the name of but I’m sure that somebody will remind us.

PS. The abbreviation FRT stands for Fluid Replacement Therapy a term coined by us many years ago to refer to (And justify? - Ed) the enjoyable hour or so spent in the pub at the end of a walk replacing the fluids lost on the day’s outing.


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