Tuesday, 27 December 2011

The Ochils, Colsnaur and Bengengie Hills

I hope you all had a great Xmas and Santa brought you everything you asked for. I had a good one and had my Xmas dinner at my moms.

I have a confession to make. I am a chocoholic. Yup.. its similar to an alchoholic except for me, it is chocolate binging that I do. I just cant help myself if someone buys me chocolates, I will eat the lot at once.

Yesterday I was on my own and started a little comfort eating to compensate. Before I knew where I was, I was feeling sick, hyper and a little depressed from the sugar spike of eating a large box of Ferrero Chocolates in one sitting. Ok, Im aware of the risk of diabeties by binge eating sugar but they were delicious :-D

I went to bed feeling very guilty and promised to walk them off today, so I was up at dawn and walking the Ochils. I managed a 7 mile hike over some summits that I have not been on before, before the sugar spike was gone.

I started in the village of Menstrie and started walking up the landrover track while the locals still slept.

I got a new view of Dumyat from this angle and saw a path going up from this side. I noted it for a future walk.

The track twists its way quite steeply up the hillside and soon views across to Longannet Power Station and the River Forth came into view. The lights of Grangemouth Oil Refinery twinkled in the background reminding me I was still in central Scotland

I left the landrover track after a mile or so and soon topped my first summit of Myreton Hill at 384m high. It offered a good view over Alva

And also over the river Forth with the two Kincardine Bridges in front of Grangemouth

There is a fair drop from the top of Myreton Hill before starting the ascent of Colsnaur. I normally dont like dips in hillwalks but I was soon on the upward path again, driven forward by the sugar surpluss circulating in my blood. Once above the summit of Myreton, the sun almost shone and spotlit the polution at Cowie. I wondered if the locals had a hangover below that fog ?

It seemed to take forever but I eventually topped the summit of Colsnaur at 553meters. There is a cairn and a little corrie on the top. I sheltered from the cold in the corrie and ate an egg sandwich. I couldnt help but notice that all the snow on Ben Vorlich and Ben Ledi was now gone.

As I digested my lunch I looked towards Bengengie Hill. It didn't look too much further but I knew I couldn't walk as the crow flies, simply because there is a deep ravine of Balquharn Burn that needs traversing.

The egg sandwich gave me the energy to get to Bengengie at 565 meters high and I was soon looking back towards Colsnaur.

I paused to look down Alva Glen which is another favourite walk of mine. I had wanted to climb Bengengie from Alva Glen for quite a few years but was always put off by the steep slopes. Now.. thanks to a box of chocolates ..and my addiction... I had found the energie to walk the long way round.

I returned the same way and just as I arrived home, the rain started. Not that I cared, because I had thoroughly enjoyed my walk.

Im sitting looking at another box of chocolates as I write this ............


blueskyscotland said...

The glens and ridges of the Ochils take some beating.Nice photographs.the one near Cowie looks like old faithfull in full flow.

Russell said...

I was going up Dumyat from Menstrie as you were going up Colsnaur. I was enjoying the walk thoroughly until a runner coming down the way answered my cheery "hello" by remarking that I was out of breath and had only just started the walk.The cheeky bugger was less than half my age. All that was hurt was my pride as yesterday was the 155th time I had gone up Dumyat this year. However, what if I had been a hillwalking novice? A comment like this would have been just the thing to put me off. See Christmas spirit! See arrogant young fellrunners!
Sorry for this rant but I feel much better now. Have a happy New Year.

Douglas Wilcox said...

Hi Donald, that looks like a great day, I wish I could get up hills like that.

Russell, Although I never ran uphills, I used to run doewn hills. Now my knees are knackered. It will be interesting if the rude runner is able to carry on enjoying the hills like you do. :o)

Donny Wilcox said...

Hi again Alex.. I too have a soft spot for the Ochils ..especially with the cost of petrol :-o

Thanks for dropping in Russell..and I know how you feel. I usually meet them on the roads..or pushing in front of queues .. but fortunately not so often on the hills. As my brother Douglas says.. we are lucky we can still do what we do.

Good to see you around too Douglas..I will see you on 2nd at Ayr..have a great new year