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Report on Dalveen Pass
24 January 2009   (4663 views)

BREAKING NEWS - Kevin Duff To Represent Scotland in the ?Waterproof Trouser Luge? at the Winter Olympics

A beautiful Winter morning as we set off for the Dalveen Pass between Wanlockhead and Durisdeer? on the drive up the road the scenery was magnificent with the high tops of the hills covered in snow. Boots on for Kevin, Mark, Alison, Sean and Chris at the layby, then we headed for the gate which led us to the upland track. After an initial steep climb up Comb Head we hit the snow line ? then a steady climb up through the snow to the ?Golf Ball? on top of Lowther Hill ? the sun came out and blue skies appeared.
Lunch at the ?Golf Ball,? then thaw out the hands and off over the crispy snow to Wether Hill ? a further descent to Windy Hill led us to the Luge course ? Sean led the way ? his ample posterior smoothing the course for the followers ? at this stage Mr Duff didn?t want to get his trousers wet so he decided to don his ?rapid speed waterproofs? ? the take off was magnificent, with a bump over hidden rocks, he took a twist and a shimmy on the way down to a perfect controlled landing! (magnificent ? if only I?d had a video camera!- I haven?t laughed so much since Bryon Smee caught himself in an electric fence!).
Then we faced the steep climb up Steygail (Chris decided to make life difficult for himself and chose the almost vertical ?all fours? face of the hill ? made more exciting by the layer of soft snow!) ? the rest of us just ?cruised ? up the sheer face to reach the top ? where Sean displayed his artistic side and produced a Snow Angel.
A meander down through some more snow ? with time for some ?bum sledging? led us to Dalveen Farm. Back up the road to the cars ? (with the bonus of finding some interesting literature in the ditch) - a great winter day out in the hills was had by all.

Dalveen revisited 2 weeks later

Mark decided to retrace his steps from the previous 2 weeks and take Irene along with him. More snow was forecast to come in mid afternoon but there was not as much lying than there was on the last trip.

It was freezing getting out of the car but within 10 minutes of climbing uphill we were beginning to feel the heat. We took a slightly different direction following a faint track then headed up to the cairn at Comb Head that the previous party missed. Mark said this was much easier than last time. So onwards and upwards until we reached Lowther Hill. The visibility was poor by this time and Mark assured Irene that the "golfball" was only 100 yards ahead. Then lo and behold, out of the mist it suddenly appeared like some alien spacecraft. Spooky!!! As there was no-one at home we sheltered in a doorway for lunch.

The decent from Lowther Hill was so quick and easy to Wether Hill. This is when the snow came on at 2:30pm as forecasted. We then had a steep ascent to Steygail which got the heart pumping then we headed carefully down to Upper Dalveen House which is being renovated. Crossed the burn then up a steep embankment holding on to the fence until we reached the road. Mark was making comments to Irene at this point that she looked like an old woman whilst trying to get up this slope as he tried to hit her with snowballs.......brave man!!!!

One thing that was very noticible on this trip was the amount of rabbits on every hillside. They stood out against the snow then when they heard us coming they took off at full speed. We have never seen so many before.

Another great day out thanks to Mark!

Mark Kinnon and Irene Cahill

do they know where to go
Kevin Chris Mark and Alison
help stop me
Alison and others
snowy view
Dalveen Pass
Dalveen Pass revisited
Ninja at the golfball
Irene on Steygail
Mark second time round
Mark again
Mark posing again

Photos: Sean Graham and Irene Cahill

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Mountaineering Council of Scotland
Scottish Youth Hostels Association

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