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Report on Pentlands
9 January 2011

Today's Craggy Crew - Irene, Mark, Robin and Michael B.

With all the snow around for the past month we felt it was time for our annual winter outing to the Pentlands and surprisingly this was a first for Robin and Michael.

We parked at Flotterstone Carpark which was easy to reach from the motorway and only 1 hour 30 minutes from my house. As on previous visits it was really cold when we got out of the car here and wondered if it is ever warm on the east coast.

As we headed up Turnhouse Hill we could hear the sound of gunfire from the Army's firing range on Castlelaw Hill nearby. Quite strange being so close to a popular area for hillwalkers and outdoor enthusiasts.

It was bitterly cold and the wind was picking up. We had a brief snow shower then the clouds disappeared, sun came out and were blessed with brilliant views. We could clearly see Bass Rock and the Forth bridges. We were overtaken by numerous folk out running in the snow...mad! We also saw a few skiers and a guy carrying a snowboard on his rucksack. Even though the wind became quite brisk when we headed up Carnethy Hill(573m), Mark and I managed to get our first chance at sledging using our bivvi bags. It was comical watching Mark chase his bivvi bag when blew away.

After a brief stop for lunch we headed off to Scald Law(579m) which is the highest peak in the Pentlands. We took our customary summit photo and decided to drop down to The Howe. Coming off Scald Law in the snow makes for an easy decent. Mark and I at this point decided to get the bivvy bags out again for some sledging. Michael and Robin were too sensible and chose to watch instead. Mark unexpectedly ended up going downhill head first! When it was my turn I caught my thumb on something and it bent back causing some discomfort.

We got to The Howe and continued along the road past the frozen Loganlea and Glencorse Reserviours. At last we were sheltered from the freezing cold wind. Robin, Michael and I had worn our spikes for a good part of the day and found them beneficial on hard packed snow and ice.....well worth the money.

Back at the car after 5 hours 30 minutes in an area that is always worth a visit. Off to the Flotterstone Inn nearby for a drink before heading home. My thumb was still aching and swelling was becoming obvious. Surely I had just staved it and it would be better tomorrow.

Monday 10th January - update on thumb.

Really painful, hand swollen and bruised. Off to A&E for Xray in the morning. Thumb broken and plastercast applied to thumb, hand and arm to immobilise it. If anything it gave my workmates a good laugh when they realised what I had done.....that's the caring nurses I work with!!! Would I go sledging again???? You bet I will!

Irene Cahill

heading to Turnhouse Hill
the first climb
Carnethy Hill
Penicuik in the distance
heading up Scald Law
looking back to Carnethy Hill
Scald Law summit
East or West Kip
Passing Loganlea Reserviour

Photos: Irene Cahill

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