The Hen Hole
Tue 14th July 2015
The group met up at Hethpool Carpark the end of the public road and the start of the private road up College Valley. Mike had four car passes so after a little jiggling about we all set of for Mountholly (which is a private Youth Hostel). On getting out of the cars we could see rain coming up the valley so the sensible ones waterproofed up the others very quickly followed suit as it started to rain quite hard. Walking on a good track we had only managed 300m or so before the rain stopped.
Just after Seddum Sike we left the footpath and continued to walk very gently uphill alongside the side The College Burn. Turn a sharp corner we had our first look up the Henhole, from here the going became a lot harder. At some mysterious point Mike decided it was time to cross over the burn and walk up the east bank. No one fell in but it was close thing for one or two.
At first the going was not too bad but then had to climb round the first of a number of waterfalls. Fortunately the wind was on our backs and if not a help at least did not make the walk/dog scramble harder. Eventually we crested the last waterfall and could look back down the way we had come an unbelievable inspiring view as by now we were high enough to look over the border ridge across the Tweed Valley to the Southern Uplands. More importantly it was lunch stop 1.
After lunch we continued to follow the burn until it split in to three at this point we now climbed out of the Henhole up a very steep gully before reaching a point where it levelled off somewhat but we continued uphill to Auchope Cairn. Although very windy the views made the effort worth it. As it was so windy it was decided to descend to the refuge hut and have lunch stop 2 there. After a steep descent following the Pennine Way down off Auchope Cairn we arrived at the Refuge Hut and lunch stop 2.
After lunch we had an easy descent down Red Gribs back to the point we had left the footpath to head for the Henhole. Now an easy amble brought us back to the cars and after a careful drive down to the valley we reached the rest of the cars in the carpark.
A good day was had by all (even Mike enjoyed it). The weather after the initial down pour improved throughout the rest of the day so it was really pleasant to be out and about.