One pm in January is maybe not the best time to be setting off on the hill, but with no particular rush and the distraction of some excellent pies in Biggar, this was the best Terence and I could manage.
We commenced our walk from the car park along the glen from Broughton Place and immediately struck up hill to the south east, passing through a couple of fields of sheep to reach the fence following the ridge to the Summit. Beinn, who had been on his lead up to this point was released and enjoyed himself playing in the fresh snow as we made our way north east into the cloud, though never wandering far and being attentive to my commands being the well trained collie he is. Reaching the plateau north east of the summit, we crossed the fence, dropping height at first before rising again to the summit itself.
We were all somewhat surprised to see a small tent and a radio array at the top - though maybe not quite as surprised as the occupant when Beinn stuck his head in the tent - tail wagging on the exposed end! All was well though, and we struck up a conversation with the very comfortable looking radio amateur who was participating in 'Summits on the Air,' the name of which I have hopefully got right. Remarkably, before talking to us he had been talking - or whatever the correct term is for radio amateur communication - to someone in Switzerland.
Leaving him to his past-time we returned to the plateau and continued north east over the 537m top before dropping to a col, above which we found an excellent sheltered spot in what seemed to be a small quarry (from which the stone for the dyke had presumably been taken, to consume pie number two. Our original plan had been to cross to Penvalla, and maybe even Wether Law, but with the cloud still sitting at about 500m and a cold wind blowing we decided to curtail the walk, instead continuing over Hammer Head before descending its south west ridge to join the path leading back to the car park.
A short day - especially as we seemed to spend as long standing talking or eating pets as walking - but four new summits in three days wasn't a bad start to the year.
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Warning Please note that hillwalking when there is snow lying requires an ice-axe, crampons and the knowledge, experience and skill to use them correctly. Summer routes may not be viable or appropriate in winter. See winter information on our skills and safety pages for more information.