Auchineden Hill - 357m
Friday 31st December 2011

Weather/Conditions: Mild day with cold wind and a little snow on the ground. Lots of cloud and high winds on surrounding mountains to make some awesome cloudscapes.
Distance/Ascent/Time: 4.4km / 190m / 1h 40m
Accompanying: Dad

In the same fashion as 2009, I ended the year on Auchineden Hill. And as 2009, I had climbed 99 mountains by Hogmanay. So it was fitting on this day to go to Auchineden Hill with dad to do my 100th before the New Year kicked off.

The weather couldn't have been more different to a year previously. Last years harsh winter saw snowy mountains bathe among endless days of sunlight. Last 31st, the Campsie Fells turned purple and pink in the sunset and a huge full moon rose in the east as we drove home. It was magical.

The crazy thing about this 31st December was that the cold weather had come and gone! We'd had weeks of stupidly cold weather starting late-November and now it had warmed up. The weather this day wasn't so good either with a lot of cloud in the skies, moving fast with high winds to propel it.

It was certainly a day to stay low, I though.

The summit itself was cold and we met a group of four plus babies up there. I got a summit shot of them. With me in shorts it was no wonder I was cold, but we didn't go to the Whangie either. It was just to cold and damp to bother, for a piece of rock architecture I've been to many times before. But s for the hill itself, it was a joy and a pleasure to do my 100th, as hard as that was to comprehend at that moment standing on the the top.

On the way down, dad and I returned over the plateau, looking for a hidden crack in the ground, a small version of the Whangie. Dad found this with a friend years ago when he was in his teens, and told me about it just a couple of years ago. I found it in November 2009 and remembered it's approximate location. So we went looking, scouring the hillside above the cliffs. In the end, the aerial view provided by Google Maps on a smartphone helped us find it. And because it takes the form of a cleft five foot in depth, hidden by grass and heater, we got pictures of ourselves inside, heads poking out the top.

So that was it! Last hill of the year, for another year...

Times (Time relative to 0.00)
(0.00) 1.20pm Car park
(0.50) 2.10pm Auchineden Hill
(1.40) 3.00pm Car park
Written: 2011-01-15