Tuesday, 23 February 2010

The milder side of mountaineering.

The milder side eh?

I was all ready to get out at the weekend with the new bivy but ,as it is often prone to do, life kind of just got in the way. No matter though, the weather was gorgeous and Louise's pal Molly was up for a visit so that was all the excuse we needed for a day trip to show a tourist just how beautiful this bonny wee country can be. It wasn't even a disaster when some pillock forgot the camera he deliberately left out so he wouldn't forget.

We decided to get out of the city and head for the Loch Lomond area. We rose fairly early considering the two bottles of red that had been drunk the previous night and made our way along the all too familiar M8, over the Erskine Bridge and past the Kilpatricks to the the big roundabout at Balloch. Auto pilot nearly had me going straight through but I remembered at the last second and turned right. Past the stinky Macdonalds and then it was open country for the rest of the day.

It wasn't long before we parked in the big car park in the centre of Balmaha which was surprisingly empty given the weather. Setting off up through the woods towards Conic hill it was nice to just wander and dilly dally for a change. Pointing my iPhone (no camera remember) at the views and any interesting stuff I could see.

We emerged from the trees and gained a little height to where the vistas opened up. The water of Loch Lomond took on a calmness I have never seen here before. The water was so smooth and glass like we could see the reflection of the clouds and hills in it. I got to remembering the last time I was here, trudging past with my WHW pack on and cursing my burst feet. It was fun then but this was an utter joy. Sometimes it really is good to slow down and take a look at things from a more relaxed point of view.

Gradually we we meandered up the final slopes to the summit at a dizzying 361 metres. We lingered for a while until the crowd left and we had the summit to ourselves before the next party arrived. Sitting quietly on the top, drinking in the views our thoughts (or at least mine anyway) gradually turned to the food and drink served down at the Oak Tree Inn back at the bottom.

After refuelling with an "Oak Tree Burger" We decided that the day was still young and so we went for a wander along the shores of the Loch. My rock skimming technique has improved too. 9 skips according to Louise although I'm sure I counted at least 20.

It might not have been a "big" day out by normal standards around here but everyone was completely worn out and dozed off on the way home...except me of course I was driving! I waited till I was safely back on the couch before sneaking 40 winks.


  1. Are those girls wearing natural fibres? Insanity I tell thee... ;-)

  2. Looks like the iPhone didn't do too bad on the photie front.

    Conic Hill is just the ticket for recharging the hill batteries when you don't have the time/energy for the full monty. Ben An is another one that does it too but there's no pub at the bottom of that one ;-)

  3. Very nice photies from the iPhone, and written in a amusing way - great stuff!

  4. Mcalisterium, aye there were even jeans on but don't tell mountain safety man ;o)

    Blondy, I've still to do Ben An. I'm saving it up for when an easy hill day is required.

    Thanks Hendrik, I was genuinely surprised at how well some of the pics turned out on the iPhone.


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