Report by Graeme Brown
A Christmas/ New Year run in the Pentlands starting at Carlops is becoming something of a regular fixture for folks in the EAC endurance section. The length of the run, at just over two hours, and the type of terrain make this an ideal outing for runners with varying levels of experience in the hills. Indeed it can provide a good introduction to the hills for those with little or no experience as the present author was fortunate to discover last year. This year though I was joined by five experienced companions who were well within their comfort zones on a run of this length.
The route taken this year and last is basically a big loop starting and finishing at Carlops and taking in some varied terrain in what is a less well known part of the Pentlands. From Carlops the route we follow goes towards the SW for a couple of kilometres before curving round into the drainage of the Lyne Water and heading towards Baddinsgill Farm and reservoir.
From Baddinsgill our route heads along an old drove road towards Cauldstane Slap following the course of the race with the same name. Previous trips to these parts had resulted in all concerned coming back covered in mud. Mud wasn’t the hazard today though as overnight temperatures of -5 degrees or below had frozen everything solid with the various large puddles turning into mini skating rinks. Even the boggy bit on the lower slopes of East Cairn Hill was frozen solid a factor which made for a much more pleasant start to the ascent. We stopped on the summit of East Cairn only long enough for a quick photo before heading off towards the Bore Stane. The return leg to Carlops went quite quickly with only short pauses to examine some strange frosty inscriptions written on the styles by one of our number who had gone on ahead. Although the frost on the treads was scuffed and starting to melt in the sun we could just make out the letters ‘HBT Rules’. Surely not…
All told this was a fun day out in the hills. I am also very happy to report that this trip is only one of a number of excellent hill runs that I’ve had over the past couple of months courtesy of our hill running group. Our numbers are small but growing all the time as more people get to hear about our activities. A weekly roundup of what training and longer runs are happening is provided by email list and anyone interested in getting added to the list should get in touch with Jonathan Whitehead.