Saturday 9th May 2009
Weather/Conditions: Fairly saturated ground due to persistent rainfall earlier in the day. On the ascent, we had clear skies with some light cloud but the sun had already dipped behind clouds at the horizon, so no sun. We stayed at the summit where a light (and very cold) wind blew until we left and descended in the growing darkness with light cloud overhead.
Distance/Ascent/Time: 3km / 400m / 2h 05m
I hadn't taken everything though: I had my camera, (I always have my camera) two fleeces, gloves, a survival bag and a torch. I had no idea what we could climb before the light disappeared but I ran it past Steve and we decided to go to the Glengoyne Distillery and find a route up from there. Prior to this walk I'd never taken this route or been on this side of the hill, so we were taking our chances a little.
We left the distillery at 8.50pm, and it took no time at all to find the start. But from the lay-by opposite the distillery, we walked along the road in the direction of Glasgow and the first field was the way up. Stiles took us over the fences and a rough path could be made out all the way up. To our backs, the sunset was fading.
We climbed for 40 minutes, arriving at the top at 9.30pm. it had been slightly steeper on the way up, but there had been ample light. There was nobody else on Dumgoyne at this time and it was very silent, very peaceful. Nice to be able to share the moment. We sat and talked for the next 45 minutes, freezing ourselves to death (although the survival bag came in handy) but watching the sky grow darker and the stars coming out. We left as the light had almost disappeared and descended by torchlight. It was exhilarating, and enjoyable for it was my first time being on the hills in such darkness. I reckon on a calm night it would be easy to camp up on the hills, but that's something else to consider for the summer.
We arrived back at the car at 10.55pm, and headed off home. We had had plenty of opportunities to go over on ankles I guess, but everything had gone smoothly, even for a walk that had been born out of a moment of madness...