Dumgoyne - 427m
Tuesday 16th August 2011

Weather/Conditions: Darkness! Moon and city lights to light the way, so that I used the torch for all of ten seconds to see inside my bag. Wind at the top.
Distance/Ascent/Time: 3.4km / 400m / 1h 15m
Accompanying: Alone

Dumgoyne, once more.

I climbed this one on a total whim, and in the wee hours of the morning. I couldn't sleep, so took Steve's car keys just short of 3am and drove out through Bardowie to Strathblane. Listening to Immortal's Tyrants is my main memory of driving through the twisted roads, although my whole objective seemed rather abstract in the dark of night.

I parked at Glengoyne, where the parking remains awful - the old car park has been rebuilt and is, for the meantime, off bounds. I parked in the entrance to the distillery. Surely they wouldn't mind at this time in the morning?

I started walking in the dim light, leaving the bright floodlights of the distillery behind. I marched uphill impatiently, and keen on making upward progress. For the most part, the path strikes directly up the hill, but near the top the path levels out to a terrace contouring the steep slope. In my opinion, this is where Dumgoyne really comes into it's own. This is the part that I always love - the lights of Glasgow burst into full view, you become established on the summit ridge and the wind tends to blow a bit harder too. It's the first place that I felt exposed - not in terms of height, but just in the sense of being out alone on a mountain in the middle of the night, with the wind rushing by and cities and towns brightly lit but sleeping.

The summit followed soon after, where I stood getting cold with the camera mounted on the tripod. I had made a point of not using a torch on the climb up, but I needed it to find things in my bag. I put the torch away and descended by city and moonlight. I sometimes think to myself that I should do more night walking. I can tell I don't do so much nowadays because when I do, it still reminds me of the night walks I did in 2009. They were the big ones - Ciste Dhubh, Beinn a' Bheithir, Meall Ghaordaidh... All good fun, all fondly remembered.

My car was still there when I returned - still in the way of the entrance. I chatted to a guy working at the distillery for a few minutes and then got on my way, parking up at home and crawling into bed...

Times (Time relative to 0.00)
(0.00) 3.15am Glengoyne distillery
(0.40) 3.55am Dumgoyne
(1.15) 4.30am Glengoyne distillery

Written: 2011-09-16