Thursday, 24 March 2011

Funny old game, hillwalking.

Those of you who are studying this blog for a doctoral thesis will recall my recent sally up Tillicoultry Glen. About January, I think. Yes, the one with the cloud inversion picture.

I made it to within half a mile of the col/beallach/watershed thing and then retreated. It was officially declared a "Good Day" - children were given a day off school and bunting was hung across streets. Some time later, i tried to improve upon this performance, but couldn't manage any further than the zig-zags. This was a "Bad Day" - there was much foul language and cat kicking. The Board of Inquiry set up to investigate this debacle eventually reported that it was probably due to the respiratory infection which went on to devastate the world of outdoor blogging.

Yesterday, it was decided, was to be the occasion of Round 3. The forecast was for a dull start. but becoming brighter in the afternoon, which was a good excuse for a late start. - it was 12.15 as i passed the Clock Mill.
The objectives were
  1. Go for a walk
  2. Enjoy a day out in the hills
  3. Have a bit of a workout to improve my fitness
  4. Go past my previous high point
I don't have one of these yellow things that everyone you meet on the hill these days seems to carry, but the primitive combination of map and watch seemed to indicate that I was going well for the first hour. The next hour was not so good, and I was feeling my legs. (I think that this is still legal in Scotland).. I was seriously considering the possibility of not reaching my previous high point. About a couple of hundred yards short, I was about to turn back - it's purely symbolic, nothing to prove etc.

I pushed on, however, and took another photo from the same spot in the interest of symmetry  . It was then a question of going on a few yards further to set the target for the next time. And then a few yards more. And then,strangely, my legs started to feel better and i started to stride out a bit. And I was enjoying myself again. And then the sun came out. And there I was at the top of the pass.


Andrew Gannel Hill

I wandered about a bit, identified the tracks for Kings Seat and Andrew Gannel hills for future reference, orientated myself with the compass. And  then set off back down quite pleased with the afternoons work.A couple of slips and stumbles on the descent reminded me that that the connection between my feet and my brain is pretty tenuous these days.


  1. Wah-hey! That seems like progress to me. Will the bunting be given a day-off and the children hung across the streets?

  2. Haven't decided yet. I may pardon a few prisoners.