Dumgoyne - 427m
Dumfoyn - 426m
Garloch Hill - 543m

Sunday 2nd September 2007

Weather/Conditions: Cumulus with blue sky, cool temperatures and a little wind mostly, more at the summits. There was a lot of blue sky at some points.
Distance/Ascent/Time: 12km / 600m / 4h 10m
Accompanying: Solo


I climbed these hills alone; starting out from Strathblane beside the newsagents where mum dropped me off. All the summits I climbed on this day can be seen as subsidiary tops of Earl's Seat, which lies behind on the plateau. My route went around the front of this plateau.

I had an enjoyable walk up the private road that led from Strathblane and turned off at the gate. I followed a less established path up the side of the hill and past the forests. I stopped at the river by Craigbrock Wood to take a few shots when I realised I'd lost the path. Without anything to follow I cut my own route through shoulder high bracken around the side of Dumfoyn. Descending a bit, I stumbled across the path - I couldn't be sure how I had lost it. I followed it up the side of Dumgoyne, a hill that although small, was steeper than I remember. It could be because I was on my own and my levels of cautiousness were raised, I'm not sure.

Although after an hour and ten minutes walking, I was on top of Dumgoyne. It was windy up at the top but still a very nice day and I felt like stopping. It was pretty packed so I had a look around the summit area and went down to the scree slope that Uncle Stephen and I descended last time I was here. It looked really rather steep and it seemed insane I'd descended by it before. I didn't remember Dumgoyne ever being so steep. (Edit 2008-10-26: I eventually descended this scree alone during June '08. A definite progression, I understood my limits better by that point.)


After no more than five minutes at the summit of Dumgoyne, I left and cautiously stepped down the path, sometimes on hands and feet. When I reached the bottom, I felt like going back to Strathblane. I was already tired and the idea of climbing another steep slope didn't appeal to me at all. Still, I decided to go for it. I made my own route up Dumfoyn which was also very steep at times, but climbed onto a shallower section which led to the top. I reached the summit about 45 minutes after reaching Dumgoyne's summit, which wasn't too bad. I took one or two photos at the top and went on. A ridge leading north took me to the plateau without losing too much altitude.

Garloch Hill and to Slackdhu

By this time the tiredness was gone, and things were working out well. I had Mike Oldfield's "Ommadawn" on for a while although I never felt music "fitted" properly. It was shaping up to be a great walk, and I found the silence and absence other people odd. The wind kept me cool under the sun, and I went to the top of the Garloch Hill cairn, passed over the undulating ground of the "Clachertyfarlie Knowes" (Eh...?) before crossing across west-to-east over to Slackdhu. The walk couldn't be more perfect. There was no concept of going up, hitting a summit and descending. It was just me, in a place void of any other human life. I felt definite elation, and I was enjoying myself hugely. I didn't care about peak bagging and pre-occupied by walking, I cared about little - an excellent way to be.

When I reached Slackdhu I didn't bother going to its' top. I did see another person far away on the moor and besides the distant figures on Dumgoyne that was all I'd seen. Instead of stopping, I continued over the top of the Black Craig cliffs, trying to find a route down into Strathblane. I came across an aggressive bunch of cows and their calves but they were avoided and all was fine. I found a route down after a long search across the mountain and eventually descended into Strathblane. That was its' own challenge: walking through farmland, forests and coming across back gardens. I phoned mum to pick me up, and I followed the river back. At the bridge, I climbed up the bank and walked back down the private road where mum was waiting for me. (5.57pm)

Addition 2017-03-14 - the cows on the Slackdhu plateau was actually a pretty scary encounter which I downplayed in the text above. I'd got too close to the calves and had an adult acting incredibly aggressively. I backed off and nothing happened, but even still... I didn't go to the top of Slackdhu as there was a walker sitting on the summit who might have seen me and I was just too embarrassed!

Written: October 2007
Edited: 2008-06-28