Wisp Hill (595m)
I started the walk up Wisp Hill at 11.15 am from a layby on the A7 just north of Ewesless Farm. I took a short walk along the road before hopping over the fence and climbing the open slopes. It was a beautiful sunny and cold morning but I was out of condition after the Christmas break and I was soon feeling hot and out of breath. Initially the climb was steep but views opened up to Roan Fell, Ellson Fell, Cauldcleuch Head and the valley of Ewes Water. In addition Pikethaw Hill looked impressive and its large cairn was clearly visible. When I reached Whin Fell there was a breathtaking view of the Ettrick and Moffat Hills covered in snow, and Wisp Hill finally cam into view. The upper part of Wisp Hill and Pikethaw Hill were covered in either snow or hoar frost, it was difficult to tell. From Whin Fell it was a short climb to the trig point on Wisp Hill, which I reached at 12.25 pm. The panorama taht met me was fantastic. I was especially drawn to the views of The Cheviot, the Eildon Hills and the white line of the Ettrick and Moffat Hills. I attempted to take photos but the temperature was so low that my batteries kept running down, even the new ones. I had to blow on them to regenerate them each time they failed, so it took me about 20 minutes to take all the photos I wanted. Once I'd taken all my photos I descended to Ewenhope Fell and then to Ewes Doors, the pass between Wisp Hill and Pikethaw Hill. I had a quick 15 minutes break for lunch here.
Pikethaw Hill (564m)
After lunch I ascended the north east ridge of Pikethaw Hill. This was a steep climb but gave good views back to Wisp Hill, and I reached the large cairn on the summit at 2.05 pm. The view was similar to that from Wisp Hill but I stayed until 2.20 pm, hardly able to tear myself away from the wonderful vista. I descended the north west ridge down to Ewes Water and followed a path toward Eweslees Farm. Wisp Hill and Frodaaw Height rose steeply to my left and right and straight ahead rose Crude Hill. Near the farm the path disappeared but the correct way was obvious and clear track soon appeared. The track went through the farmyard, where there was a barking sheepdog. I went through the adjacent field to avoid the dog and then had a short but scary walk along the A7 back to the car. I reached the car at 3.35 pm, meaning that the whole walk had taken 4 hours and 20 minutes. I felt that this wasn't bad considering my lack of fitness.
Link to Photoalbum