Winter is on its way

The first snow has fallen and all over the country crampons are being sharpened and skis waxed in preparation for the new season. Hill tracks and paths up in the Pentlands were frozen hard today although there was no snow.

Track and autumn trees

Monks Road track between Balerno and Nine Mile Burn

The autumn leaves were looking fantastic in the low morning sun although it definitely felt more like winter thanks to the chill northerly wind and hard ground. We headed out on a variation of one of the ‘hill’ routes in the Scottish Trail Running guidebook. Starting at Red Moss Nature Reserve above Balerno we climbed ‘Exponential Hill’ then took the grassy track signed to Nine Mile Burn. This track was once used by monks travelling from their hospice on the south side of the Pentlands to Queensferry and the abbey at Dumfermline. Unlike the monks we were looking for hilltops and a circular route so we turned off their track to climb West Kip, East Kip and Scald Law. Dropping down to The Howe and following the trail through Green Cleugh brought us back to Bavelaw and Red Moss. With clear skies and bright sunshine it was a great day to be out in the hills.

East Kip from West Kip

East Kip from the top of West Kip

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