Dumgoyne - 427m
Monday 7th November 2011

Weather/Conditions: Ridiculous... Twilight, low cloud, blue, pink, orange, red, black, white and everything else in between.
Distance/Ascent/Time: 3.6km / 400m / 1h 05m
Accompanying: Alone

I hadn't planned to climb Dumgoyne. I'd done the seven Munros of Lawers in the morning, spending all day high above clouds which covered all of Scotland below 1000 feet. The hills had seemed easy for their tally of seven, but they still tired me. I drove home via. Loch Lubnaig with legs of lead. The mist persisted.

The idea of Dumgoyne came quickly. What a stupid idea... And when I looked a the clock and did the figures - I might just make the summit for sunset! A sunset, with these clouds and conditions. That would be something special.

My legs were heavy. But 'omg' - what a plan. How couldn't I?

I parked in at Glengoyne Distillery and held a fast pace. I was just late enough that I couldn't hang around. I slogged up through the mist knowing what was waiting just above a thin veil of mist. I dragged myself upward accordingly.

I was interested to notice that as tired I was, I experienced a vast increase in fitness. Though my legs were two lead weights, I could easier sustain a far higher work rate. It was a surprise to feel this and I began to enjoy pushing it.

I emerged above the cloud, and I'd missed sunset by minutes. It didn't matter though. I found myself in a place of vivid colour and immense volume. Inversions have the effect of detaching you from the valley. The Moon hung in the eastern sky. I reached the summit in 25 minutes - I thought I was tired?!

It was the quality of light that got me the most. I've never seen this kind of light in living memory and I had to pinch myself: Remember this is unique. Remember every moment. It was cotton wool cloud if there ever was. On the summit I phoned home and updated my progress: On the summit of Dumgoyne must have been the last place they expected me. But, I said, I'd be home straight after.

Otherwise, I can only let the pictures speak for themselves. How do you describe this?

After some time, I reluctantly descended. I paused at the edge of the boiling cloud (and there was an edge). I took last photos and a last quiet thanks before descending into grim mist. Night fell and hillside gave way to trees looming from dim light. Hard of sight, I slipped and slid all over the place, back to the car.

What contrasting worlds...

360° Panorama

Times (Time relative to 0.00)
(0.00) 4.10pm Distillery
(0.25) 4.35pm Dumgoyne
(1.05) 5.15pm Distillery

Written: 2011-11-08