Ascent of Black Hill on 2020-07-21

Climber: James Stone

Others in Party:Julie Stone
Date:Tuesday, July 21, 2020
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Black Hill
    Elevation:1644 ft / 501 m

Ascent Trip Report

Started from Flotterstone where there is a public car park. It was very busy even for a Tuesday.

The route took us up Turnhouse Hill, Carnethy Hill, Scald Law, down to The Howe and around to Green Cleugh where we found tracks that made the crossing of the moorland to Black Hill easier than expected.

The whole of the section to The Howe was quite busy as might be expected from the full car park. The Pentland Hills are popular with Edinburgh folk. I had never seen so many mountain bikers. I have admired these hills many times from my visits to Edinburgh and its vicinity over the years. But this was my first foray into them. Scald Law is a fine hill looking with views mainly to the west and south.

Two members of the party left me at Black Hill, returning down to Glencorse Reservoir via the vehicle track shown on the map. There are also tracks unmarked on the maps a-plenty in the Pentlands and Black Hill was no exception. The one that my companions took down continues NNE from Black Hill's summit (marked with a pile of stones and a brick). It is a bit soft at first but improves as height is lost. I followed it and it took me past grouse butts and eventually down to the col between Black Hill and Bell's Hill. Here there is yet another unmarked track that would lead you to Glencorse Reservoir or to Threipmuir Reservoir as you choose.

On the descent off Black Hill I had seen two paths leading up the slope of Bell's Hill. The western one aims straight for Maiden's Cleugh on the other side of Bell's Hill. I took the other one which led to its summit. From that point there was then another path that led down to the aforementioned Maiden's Cleugh.

From there the path continues up over Harbour Hill, then down to Phantom's Cleugh and up again to Capelaw Hill with its strange metal erection. There is then a short drop to a stile before a final rise to Allermuir Hill. Allermuir Hill has good views over Edinburgh and is perhaps the best viewpoint of this particular round. A viewfinder there assists with identifying features. Today I was able to make out a lot of the southern Highlands, the Fife hills, down the coast to North Berwick Law and the many hills of the Southern Uplands.

The return included a detour over Castlelaw Hill which is right on the boundary of a military firing range. On most of this final section it is possible to follow a gravel motor track. This leads to Castlelaw and then (following signs) a path took me across the fields to the Glencorse Reservoir road and back to the start point.

20km and over 1400m of ascent.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:761 ft / 231 m
    Route Conditions:
Unmaintained Trail, Open Country
    Gear Used:
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:761 ft / 231 m
    Start Trailhead:883 ft / 269 m
Descent Statistics

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