Auchineden Hill - 357m
Saturday 20th December 2008

Weather/Conditions: A nice day and warm for December. Light, 'hazy' cloud with sun and some wind.
Distance/Ascent/Time:5km / 170m / c. 2h
Accompanying: Alone

This was another nice walk up Auchineden Hill and was the first time I'd been here in a while. The last time was in July '08 but with nothing to do on the first day of holidays, Dad and I headed here. The morning so far had been quite nice with plenty of blue skies outside. Even though a front was forecast to have come in by midday, it didn't arrive as soon as expected and we drove out to the Queens View car park and set off. The visibility was worse than I'd hoped for, with streaks of snow on the distant Arrochar Alps just visible. Although there were views, the air was murky and it was hard to see anything north of Ben Lomond. There would be no clear views of the distant hills today.

We climbed the slope above the car park and beyond that, headed up past the stile and straight up onto the high moorland. There is apparently an open crack in the ground up here that runs parallel to the cliffs run below it - it's something that will have to be investigated another day. We headed across the top to the cairn and then onwards to the summit trig point. A light but chilling wind was blowing from the south west and although mild, I'd woken up in the morning feeling rubbish. At such times, being warm is preferable but it wasn't too cold a wind and wasn't much of a bother. When we arrived at the top, I got a photo of myself standing on the trig point in direct comparison to a photo that had been taken of me in 1997, standing on the same trig point at six or seven years of age. Now at seventeen, it portrayed a nice idea of things going "full-circle".

We then headed down to The Whangie which we only visited briefly - with no food on us, we both felt the desire to get back to the car. My plan was to do some more photography - something which I've taken to doing, but the views weren't too good and the light was flat. We took the path around the side of the hill, heading back to the car park and by time we'd arrived there, the skies had significantly clouded over. It only turned darker grey as we drove home, and it rained for the rest of the evening just as forecasters as said it would. Still, it was a very mild day for December.

Written: 2008-12-20