Conic Hill - 361m
Monday 21st November 2011

Weather/Conditions: Murky weather up top with some wind - but nice views of Loch Lomond
Distance/Ascent/Time: 4.6km / 350m / 2h 15m
Accompanying: Steve

This was a nice walk with Steve. Some months earlier, Steve and I had tried to climb Conic Hill, but we failed even before we reached the bottom. I'd cycled to Balmaha from home with the intention of meeting Steve who would drive there. One hundred metres short of Balmaha, I got a call on my mobile: Steve had crashed the car at Croftamie. Correction: it was dad's car, and it was also a write off. Not good.

This time I drove, as I'd since gained my driving license. The weather was pretty murky outside, so when Steve and I got to Balmaha we first went for a meal - it tasted good, but all I remember was how the tomato soup tasted way too strong.

But we got our stuff together and set off up the hill. A good path leads out of Balmaha and the forests around here are nice too. Some of the trees are very mature and low angled sunlight cast through the trees, highlighting spots of gold on an otherwise dark forest floor. (The real black metal look...)

Above the trees, the light across Loch Lomond was just stunning - we got a real sense we were sitting smack on the Highland Boundary Line as the tree-studded islands rolled off into the loch, the sun behind to provide contrast. I've also never seen so much conglomerate rock on a hill - I assume this has something to do with being on the Highland Boundary but I don't have an explanation as of yet.

Higher up, cloud rolled in and we saw very little until we came across the distinctive, compact summit cairn. It's quite an unassuming place and we rested in the murk with the breeze and total calm.

On our way back, I spotted a wee creature as in the 2nd last photograph, and managed to drive home without writing off a car. I noticed that this was my first visit to this side of Conic Hill in seven years - I climbed Conic Hill from the other direction in 2010, but the Balmaha approach felt as though I'd never been there, and it's always refreshing to go back to an old haunt with new eyes.

Times (Time relative to 0.00)
(0.00) 1.55pm Balmaha
(1.20) 3.00pm Conic Hill
(2.15) 3.45pm Balmaha

Written: 2012-02-16