Thursday, 5 January 2012

The Ochils and Dumyat Direct

I slipped up today. The weather has been so bad lately that when I awoke at 6am to the sound of the wind and rain on my window pane, I had no plans for walking. Then around 10am it was obvious today was going to be different. The sun came out and soon it was wall to wall blue sky.

I grabbed my boots and decided on a short walk up my favourite local hill. Dumyat is only 418m high but the views from the top are as good as many 3000ft'er. I wanted to try the path I saw on the eastern slopes from Menstrie when I walked up Colsnaur last week but then decided to park at Blairlogie and take the direct route up the front of the hill and return by the Menstrie path.

If it wasn't for the cold, I could have thought it was spring as I headed for the start of Warlock Glen

Even the broom was fooled by the blue sky and opened its yellow flowers

Its a steep walk going up Dumyat by this way but it has the advantage that very few people come up this route so the feeling of isolation is there and Im only minutes from the house.

Height is gained very quickly and soon views open up over the Wallace Monument to the west and Menstrie to the east

I was sheltered from the north winds too and enjoyed a spot of lunch at the little burn as it babbled its way down the glen

By following the burn, the front of Dumyat is not as steep as it first appears from the road but it also has a good gradient so it is not too boggy underfoot.

Then the gradient eases a bit as Warlock Glen passes between Castlelaw and Dumyat summit. The crags are steep on either side making the location feel far more remote that it is.

The atmosphere was very clear today and I got great views over to Grangemounth and the Firth of Forth, then all the way to Edinburgh.

Not far from the end of the glen there is a steep narrow gully on the right hand crags. I chose to summit by scrambling up it but its a far easier walk countining up the glen.

It was very wet in the gully and not that enjoyable a route. Last time I went this way it was dry and far more pleasant.

Once out the slimy gully, I was only minutes to the summit cairns and the cold north wind. It was still blowing hard at the top.

New snow has fallen on the hills to the north west and they looked very inviting under the blue sky. Its a panorama made from two photos and will get a little larger if you click on it.

I then descended by the eastern slopes towards Menstrie. As I dropped in height I could see the flooding beside Alva where the river Devon had burst its banks. Not surprising, after all the storms we have had of late.

I then walked back to the carpark by following the Dumyat Farm road which traverses the lower slopes of Dumyat back to Blairlogie. It was a short walk and only took a couple of hours but it was lovely to be out under blue sky again :-D

My first walk of 2012 and most enjoyable it was too.. so far .. early retirement is far better that working for a living :-D

1 comment:

blueskyscotland said...

For its height its one of the best hills in Scotland.A favourite walk of mine too.