A long drive but a grand hill White Coomb, The Grey Mares Tail in the sun on the way South! 

I am heading down to visit the Grandchildren and decided that a visit to White Coomb near Moffat it is another Corbett not ticked and was a hill I needed to get done. I am sure I had done it on my time at RAF Leuchars Mountain Rescue Team in Fife. Anyway I had definitely climbed the waterfall the famous Grey Mares Tail that guards the Glen onto the hill many years ago with the team in the mid 80’s. This ice climb does not get climbed that often as it takes about two weeks of very cold temperatures for climbable ice to form. Anyway I could not remember if I had climbed it had to be done as I would see what the memory recalled.

 

It is a long 4 hour drive from home and the hills on the way down had some fresh snow on the tops, the hills were looking great. Then it was down the A9 you get off the M74 at Junction 15 for Moffat and the Car park about 10 miles away below White Coomb. I had forgotten how stunning a place this is and the drive  of the main road is a grand journey. It is a tight road so I took it easy and enjoyed the scenery! It is very like the Lake District not far away and without the crowds and in the sun wonderful.


On arrival there were a few cars I was in no rush and had a chat with the man from National Trust and got all the local information. There was a peregrine  about so I informen that I should keep my eyes open also various goats that live locally were also around. It will be  busy later as many stop here and walk up the steep path to get views of the waterfall a constant companion. On the steep cliffs about there are a few scare plants safe from most predators but all the way up the noise and views of the waterfall is stunning. It was great to some people out  enjoying this place and the path is good but it is not the place to have a slip!

It is easy to see how Grey Mare’s Tail got its name as you gaze at the tall, thin line of white frothing water.The waterfall plunges 60 metres down into the Moffat Water Valley, a landscape created by glacial erosion over millions of years.

Grey Mare’s Tail is the 5 th highest waterfall in the UK and a superb example of a hanging valley and is important for its rare upland plants and wildlife. The area boasts a rich human history as well, dating back to at least the Iron Age. It has strong links to the 17th-century Covenanters, who used Watch Knowe as a lookout point in the valley to keep an eye out for government troops.

Grey Mare’s Tail is a superb example of a hanging valley and is important for its rare upland plants and wildlife. The area boasts a rich human history as well, dating back to at least the Iron Age. It has strong links to the 17th-century Covenanters, who used Watch Knowe as a lookout point in the valley to keep an eye out for government troops.

The parking was a £3 charge the National Trust of Scotland  look after the site and there’s lots of information on the waterfall and the area.


Once you reach the top of the waterfall you keep stopping for the views there was no one else about and the path was dry and easy walking in my new hill trainers. I was still lackind in energy on the hill after the weekend of not feeling well.

New trainers lightweight for the summer.

The route is well maintained and lovely walking and I went over several tops that seemed very familiar I had been here before in my RAF Leuchars days. We used to train with the local civilian Mountain Rescue Team MOFFAT , Tweed Valley and Galloway MRT. It was all so needed in 1988 when the Lockerbie Disaster occurred. These Teams and the great people did so much in that tragic time and have a huge place in my heart.

Summit of White Coomb

I was soon on the summit of White Coomb at 821 metres was bitter cold but the views were great. I could see my old haunt of Galloway where my mountaineering started with my family and the Boys Brigade great days on the Merrick and Coserine. I stopped further down the hill in the sun out of the wind and took it all in. The new footwear was great as it can be a steep hill in places and I was soon on the path and heading back down via the waterfall.

The car park was busy and there was a bus full of visitors so the peace was shattered but it was warm and an easy wander down the steep path. It was a quick change a drink then head off. I stopped in Lockerbie and visited the Memorial to the Lockerbie Disaster. It was one of the few times that I have been and the first in the Spring. It is a moving place and such a loss of life that we still have no brought anyone to justice for it is shameful.

A special place and a lovely day on the hills now try to find a bed for the night! Looks like Gretna  as no one is answering their phones?

On the way off.

I booked into a Travel in and had a shower then a quick watch of the TV then sleep onwards tomorrow,

About heavywhalley.MBE

After dinner speaker Lecturer and Mountain Rescue Specialist. Environmentalist. Spent 36 years with RAF Mountain Rescue and 4 years with a civilian Team . Still an active Mountaineer and loves the wild places.
This entry was posted in Corbetts, Enviroment, Equipment, mountain safety, Mountaineering, Weather, Wildlife. Bookmark the permalink.

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