Overton Muir - 304m
Friday 28th February 2014

Weather/Conditions: Dry, bit windy, but very wet underfoot - missed the actual path on the way up and ended up staying to the crest thus going through bog.
Distance/Ascent/Time: 4.1km / 200m / 55m
Accompanying: Alone

This day was interesting because I ended up doing all sorts of things, motoring around the Loch Lomond area. Not only was I out to find a hill to climb, but I also wanted to go check out some rock climbing above Loch Lomond. I drove up to Tarbet early, but felt so wrecked that I felt it too early for climbing. I needed something to wake me up, so I took a trip around to Butterbridge, passing Andy's van en route. Realising the burger van was open (godsend!) I got some rolls and enjoyed the sun rising over Glen Croe.

I needed a hill to wake me up, so I parked below Stob Coire Creagach and started up its huge southern slope. Funnily enough, I didn't go too far, as when I 'woke up', I felt no compulsion to go higher. I yearned a bit for the days when reaching the summit meant everything. I wondered if I'd lost it for good. But then, my head had switched gear - I was in rock climbing mode. I mentally switch between this and hillwalking, and when my mind is in one, it can't think of the other. With mist down on the summit of Stob Coire Creagach, I knew I wouldn't get the all-important summit panorama anyway, and time spent here could also be spent on the cliff. So I, not without hesitation, turned around and went back to the car.

I drove around to Loch Lomond and spent a while hanging off a cliff, having a look at damp holds, but crucially discovering some new sequences. With a several hours of daylight left, I still needed my "new February summit", and with that I drove south in the direction of the easiest hill I could think of - a moor above Balloch. I admit, I picked it because it was the easiest hill I could do in an afternoon.

I drove down Loch Lomond, past Balloch, then nearly ended up off the road at the mega-sharp Renton turn-off. Oops. Watch that one. Then a turn off at up a minor road led to some steep bends and the high moors above the town. I parked in at the edge of a private track and headed off up the moor in search of the summit trig.

This little patch of ground reminds me of the Manchester moors. Overton Muir is geographically not in the Highlands and doesn't share that same character. It is instead a heavily worked moor, of quarries, tracks and pylons, and the rusted tones of heathland.

Having taken a direct route up the crest of the hill, I arrived at the trig, got a 360 panorama and continued to the 303m north point, just for completeness. With that done, I took a drier route down the track, and back to the car. I'd been everywhere I'd wished to on this day - it was a varied one for sure. I made it to Stob Coire Creagach a few months later, and that time I got a couple of massive panoramas. In September I did the more prominent hill to the north, Ben Bowie.

360° Panorama

Overton Muir
Times (Time relative to 0.00)
(2.00) 3.35pmCarman Muir, 155m
(0.25) 4.00pm Overton Muir
(0.55) 4.30pmCarman Muir, 155m

Written: 2015-11-13