Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Kilsyth Hills and Meikle Bin

I love Mondays now that I am not working, especially when the weather is good. The weekend walkers have long gone home and I have the hills to myself again.

There was a freezing cold high pressure area over the Kilsyth hills and although I was at the top of Meikle Bin in November, I was robbed of the views when the mist descended as I left the forest road, heading for the top. I thought it was time to try again and see the views. It was a good hill to push Holly the dog that little bit further.

As I drove past Loch Carron, Meikle Bin looked very attractive covered in snow. I mused as I thought it a good test to see how Holly would handle the white stuff without crampons.

I parked at the west end of the loch and started walking along the forest road towards the hill. It looked very distant and high from this angle but in reality, a return walk is around 6.5 miles and it is only 1870ft high.

There was a hard frost on the grass at loch level but not a breath of wind. I listened to some birds singing happily in the trees. Another month and it would be nesting time again

When the forest road left the loch and started climbing, I came across the snow level and walking was a little difficult as it had been compacted into ice by the many weekend walkers. I chose to walk on the grass verge rather than risk a slip on the road. I was happy with the thought that the normal bog fest through the woods before emerging onto the open hillside would be frozen solid, and easy going.

It was a truelly beautiful day for a walk. The cold air was very clear and as I started up the open hillside, I could see Loch Lomond behind me, with Ben Lomond and the arrochar Alps, all the way round to Stobinian and Ben More were covered in snow

I could see from tracks that a few weekend walkers had used crampons and wondered how I would get on without them on the ice slopes. It was no problem as long as I kept off the compressed snow of the path. The snow was about nine inches deep but Holly had no problems with it as it could support her weight without falling though. She took a great interest on the aircraft wreckage near the summit.

Then we were at the summit, which was as bald of snow as myself and Holly are of hair. I thought I would have great views from the top this time round.

I looked south expecting to see the high rise flats of Glasgow but all I saw was... mist. The valley was full of it so I guess the people of Glasgow were not having such a good Monday as me, especially if they were working. I could see the huge windfarm on the high plains of the Eaglesham Moors beyond Glasgow. Not one blade was turning.

The mist streched along the central belt to Grangemouth. Its chimneys were still belching out the waste smog from the oil refinery so something was working.

It was clear views all the way to the north east over a frozen Loch Carron. I could see the Ochil hills and Lewis Hill above North Third, all recent walks in this blog.

From horizon to horizon I could see distant hills covered in white snow and wind generators.

Not one of them were earning any money as they were all stationary in the windless atmosphere. I didn't earn a penny either but at least I had a great Monday :-D

It was also Holly's longest walk and she managed just fine..its now time to get her going some decent walks. She has to earn her keep :-D


blueskyscotland said...

By chance I was up Lewis hill myself Donny that same day as its one of the few I had still to do and was an easy one to limp up.Great wee hill and fine views.Loads of Ice in the shade on the minor roads around Carron Bridge.Best day of the week by miles.

Donny Wilcox said...

Yup..Monday was a great day and glad you got up Lewis Hill.

Im hoping I can persuade Douglas to go up somewhere like that soon :-D