The preparations had been made. All contingencies had been allowed for. Nothing could go wrong.
As I strolled up to the University, it seemed as if it was going to be the type of day for which the phrase "Joys of Spring" had been coined. Geese and swans honked overhead and a host of smaller, yappy type, birds were getting their two cents in as well.It was warm, but with the kind of early morning haze which often burns off as the day progresses.
Attentive followers of the blog (are there any other kind ?) will recall that previous attempts on the "Big One" had been made from the East. These , however, had been merely cunning feints and, as a student of Sun TzuI had always planned that the final assault would come from the West.
So Silver Glen it was, once more.
The elevenses boulder. I checked carefully for cups and rings, but all I could see was some wine stains and a few traces of bear poo.
These haul roads are only marginally beneficial to walkers, but seem to be extremely popular with these good people
Unfortunately, when I reached the gate where the path leads up Ben Ever I had just missed a rickshaw, and rather than wait an hour for the next one I decided to walk up. As I gained height, the wind started to get up, and visibility dropped.
When I was last up Ben Ever in September, there were spectacular views of the Southern Highlands, but on this occasion even the view of Wood Hill was murky.
Onward and upward however, and from the fence which leads up to Ben Cleuch's summit ridge I got my first view of the Burnhouse Hill Environmental Improvement scheme. (Pic is deliberately poor quality to avoid causing apoplexy in sensitive readers)
Not much to see from the indicator.(Experienced mountain photographers will recognise the slight angle to the pic caused by the photographer leaning into the wind.)
The famous shelter cairn at the trig pillar, with recent enhancements.
The Law looking rather menacing in the haze.
Rocky outcrop at the top of Andrew Gannel Hill
Now back to the preparation bit. Those who have read the "Funny old game" post might have been wondering what I was doing at Maddy Moss after trekking up Tilly Glen a few weeks ago. Well, I can now reveal that I was stashing the descent mechanism for this summit push.
You didn't think I was going to walk all the way down now, did you ?
On the way down Upper Mill Street, I passed a building called The Woolpack which had a sign outside proclaiming it to be Camera Approved. An ideal opportunity, I thought as I pushed open the door, to brush up on my photographic skills (OK, OK, I know). Imagine my dismay when I gazed into the dimly lit room to hear the rattle of dominoes from the corner ; the sounds of men's laughter came from the other corner ; a middle-aged woman bursting out of a tight top caught my eye and smiled.and I was overcome by the disgusting stench of hops. I closed the door quickly. Must have misread the sign.
Now that I am back home and off the oxygen and the drip, I can look forward to the pleasure of ticking my lists..As a recent convert to baggery ( well, yesterday, actually) I'm not sure what it all means but I seem to have scored 1D, 2DTs, 2GTGs, 1G, 1MA, 1CHH and 1CUU. Good, eh ? I'll have them all finished in no time. Plus of course, I did Ben Ever twice, so I have one to swopsie. 1 Cairnsmore of Carsphairn for 2 Ben Evers and a Bobby Charlton ? Just popping up to the loft now for my Ian Allan books and a ruler and biro (ask your grandad !)
Best Bar Band in The World. And having seen them put Fresno Ca. to the torch in the late eighties, who am I to disagree ?