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Knock opportunity

Knock opportunity

Postby litljortindan » Wed Jan 20, 2016 5:12 pm

Sub 2000' hills included on this walk: Knock Hill

Date walked: 19/01/2016

Time taken: 2.25 hours

Distance: 4 km

Ascent: 290m

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Didn't think I'd ever re-visit this hill but anxiety about icy roads elsewhere plus the relatively unusual snow topping meant it became an obvious choice. I'd been put off first time round by the squelchy, eroded path but the frozen ground promised a more enjoyable ascent and so it proved.
Decided to park near the main road -just enough space at the end of a driveway off to the right of the lane up. Didn't feel confident in the all weather tyres managing well on the untreated ice rink ahead but I did see folk driving there later, albeit after some gritting.
Microspikes on from the start and I made my way easily over the icy surface for the first kilometre of road walking. Not too many problems over the foot of the hill either though I still opted for the heather to the left to avoid the worst of the ruts.
I'd had a slight recurrence of back problems at the end of December so this was a bit of a fitness test as well as a walk. This time round though the pain and stiffness had gone within four days and I was feeling good. Still, I did labour a bit on the steeper mid section. Also, I lost a microspike. I'm guessing that was in the heather where a buckle could easily have been undone. No matter, I managed fine without though it was still reassuring to have the other one. I did notice things getting a bit slippier and stupidly thought of the microspikes balling up. Looked done and found, of course, that the balling was in fact absence.
Knock Hill is a dome or pudding shape so, of course, the angle relents a bit before the top. Got my breath back and had a pleasant stroll over the windless summit area. The cloud was breaking as forecast and there was a nice wintry light to the west with Tap o' Noth and Rinnes catching the eye through the relative gloom on the horizon. Good views all round though to make up for the less than joyous ascent.
Descent was very easy and speedy on the springy heather and thereafter it was just a matter of keeping to the right of the path and road to aid my unmicrospiked right foot.

ImageDSCN9053 by John Little, on Flickr
ImageDSCN9059 by John Little, on Flickr
ImageDSCN9071 by John Little, on Flickr
ImageDSCN9072 by John Little, on Flickr
ImageDSCN9080 by John Little, on Flickr
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