Stronend - 511m
Saturday 9th August 2014

Weather/Conditions: Nice summer weather, colder on top. Good sunset.
Distance/Ascent/Time: 6.6km / 400m / 2h 30m
Accompanying: Alone

Stronend is one of the Campsies, and a hill I've known for years. The day I went up it, I was in an indifferent mood. I knew I wanted to spend the evening out, but I didn't know where. I packed gear and headed in the car. My mood took me to the Crow Road and over the top. Cairnoch Hill? Maybe. The sun was setting already, a pretty beautiful evening. Stronend popped into mind. Maybe a touch tight for time, but I'd give it a go.

It almost amazes me I've known of this hill for so long yet never been up it, especially the amount I've walked above Strathblane. But there you go. I parked at Culcreuch with a wedding in full swing and headed off up the tracks out the back. The sunset was bloody good, and I realised while I climbed that I was cutting it fine with the sun sinking rapidly behind the Highland hills. Not that it mattered, really. But the feeling of oncoming darkness did give a gentle intensity as I breached the plateau then raced along the top.

I took a few moments on top, thrilled that by looking closely I could see Ben Cruachan peering over the hills, just the summit itself. It seemed a long way off, another world really. The inspiration was there. The hills will continue.

And in a rising moon, I headed back the way I came, in the dim of a summer twilight. I reached the car at very last light, a party in full groove by this point at the castle... I snuck out the car park and headed off home.


Stronend 360°

Ceann Reamhar
Times (Time relative to 0.00)
(0.00) c. 7.35pm Culcreuch
(1.45) 9.20pm Stronend
(2.30) 10.05pm Culcreuch

Written: 2016-09-13