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Photo frenzy on a perfect day up Duncolm

Photo frenzy on a perfect day up Duncolm


Postby Chris Mac » Tue Mar 27, 2018 1:32 pm

Route description: Duncolm and the Slacks, Old Kilpatrick

Sub 2000' hills included on this walk: Duncolm

Date walked: 19/03/2018

Time taken: 4.3 hours

Distance: 15.1 km

Ascent: 661m

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After an overnight in London for a 40th on the Saturday night I had wisely taken the Monday off work and as I sat on the train back on Sunday afternoon and the surrounding landscape got increasingly hilly the further north I travelled away from the flatlands, my thoughts turned to where to go for a walk the next day and what conditions would be like, especially important considering it snowed the whole weekend in London...

I would have to do a drop off and collect around College hours so the closer I chose the longer i'd get out on the hills. With a few handy local Sub2000 Marillyn's still on the list and good visibility on a nice day forecast I settled on Duncolm, long awaited and only a quick half hour drive to Old Kilpatrick from Glasgow.

I already had some routes pre-planned and on the phone and would try a circuit of Loch Humphrey to take in a few Tumps & Humps so it would be a longer variant of the WH route. Going clockwise I would first head for Craigarestie, then via Darny Caip head for Fynloch Hill, go up the three Duncolms and finish with The Slacks and a quick downward descent back to the start.

After the drop off was made I headed straight for my usual roll stop in the West End en route and after breakfast was over I soon found myself at the Kilpatrick Hills car park saddling up for the walk.

Two guys passed me as I sorted out the camera then headed down hill to go through the underpass and follow the signs, it's an easy start:
ImageDSC_1513 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Head left, follow the road:
ImageDSC_1514 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Right at the sign:
ImageDSC_1518 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

As the ascent started up the long straight road the guys who were just ahead of me had stopped to say hello to the local horses. I got chatting to them as we went up the way, they were locals from Clydebank and i'd end up blethering with them and doing the first section of the walk in their company:
ImageDSC_1524 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

We shared a few walking stories and had a good laugh on the way as the views opened up behind to Glasgow and south and west along the River Clyde:
ImageDSC_1526 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Misty Law, the Hill of Stake and other Clyde Muirshiel hills to the south west:
ImageDSC_1528 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

A guy jogged past us on the way as we continued on our way uphill chatting, before we realised we had caught up to him as he hadn't lasted long jogging uphill! :D
ImageDSC_1530 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Conditions were superb and we were all taking off gloves and hats in no time as the views continued to improve:
ImageDSC_1531 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Erskine Bridge:
ImageDSC_1533 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

West along the Clyde with Dumbarton Rock peeping out mid right and Port Glasgow and Greenock in the distance:
ImageDSC_1537 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

The mouth of the mighty River Clyde:
ImageDSC_1538 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

At the end of the long uphill straight the road turns right and into a track as we pass the Slacks on the right and head towards Loch Humphrey:
ImageDSC_1541 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

The Loch, Fynloch Hill back right and the three summit hill-fort mounds of Duncolm, i'll follow the track around to the trees to the far left:
ImageDSC_1546 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

The two locals are heading this way too to go for a path to the crags and quarry then down into Dumbarton, the good forestry track makes for quick progress:
ImageDSC_1549 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

ImageDSC_1550 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

While walking and talking I neglect to realise i've actually walked past Creigarestie as we head towards Brown Hill where i'll be taking a path off to the right:
ImageDSC_1556 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Exactly where the map indicates I say cheerio to the lads and thank them for the local knowledge and good chat, then turn right and follow a completely snow covered and almost invisible path through the woods:
ImageDSC_1561 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Proper adventure time begins, this is why I love exploring and hill walking as I proceed along a hidden snow path, dunk my boot in a hidden stream bog, traverse a fallen tree...
ImageDSC_1567 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

The lack of vegetation on the snow has been my path indicator so far as I go over lots of dinfferent animal tracks, deer and what looks like foxes:
ImageDSC_1583 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

On my left and to the north the big hills of Loch Lomond and Arrochar show their snowy peaks off in front of a blue sky background, I'm going to end up with a lot of photos today by the looks of it... :roll:
ImageDSC_1586 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

The forest path soon rises to the summit of Daney Caip with gate and beyond the Balquhidder and Strahyre hills:
ImageDSC_1591 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

On my right are Earl's Seat, Fyn Loch and Fynloch Hill, i'll head straight for the loch as it looks the easiest route:
ImageDSC_1592 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Darny Caip is a godo viewpoint but directly north is Doughnot Hill which looks even better, tempting me over but I decide to leaveit for another day and return visit. It makes a nice foreground for the view of Ben Lomond directly behind it anyway:
ImageDSC_1601 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

The big 5 of Crianlarich from Beinn Chabhair on the left to Stob Binnein on the right:
ImageDSC_1602 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Strathyre Corbetts and Munros to the north east:
ImageDSC_1606 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

I find a faint ATV track and cross the tussocks towards Fyn Loch:
ImageDSC_1615 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Fynloch Hill across the frozen loch:
ImageDSC_1626 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

ImageDSC_1632 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

I turn right and head around Fyn Loch towards the summit of the hill:
ImageDSC_1643 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

ImageDSC_1646 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

A path appears:
ImageDSC_1651 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Looking back at the route travelled with the Loch Lomond Grahams in the distance to the west:
ImageDSC_1653 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

What a day:
ImageDSC_1655 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

I didn't realise at the time but at the head of Loch Lomond inbetween Ben Vane and Ben Vorlich the snow covered mountain in the far distance is Ben Starav way up at Loch Etive! :shock:
ImageDSC_1664 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Big hills and Ben Venue:
ImageDSC_1679 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Strathyre hills again:
ImageDSC_1682 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

I approach the final ascent of Fyn Loch hill and head up the snowy section:
ImageDSC_1698 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

ImageDSC_1728 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Made it, Tump 1 for the day and Duncolm and Middle Duncolm now up ahead:
ImageDSC_1732 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

The view of Glasgow is a good one but will be better from the Slacks a little later on:
ImageDSC_1738 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

I make my move down and alongside the smaller summits towards Duncolm:
ImageDSC_1744 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

In the distance on the left is Auchineden Hill and the Whangie:
ImageDSC_1751 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

I veer to the north of the summit to try and find the path and end up following snowy footsteps to the top:
ImageDSC_1767 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

ImageDSC_1775 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

ImageDSC_1783 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Made it, time to soak in the view starting with Stirlingshire and Auchineden Hill:
ImageDSC_1786 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Earl's Seat and tops which I walked back at the start of December in similar frosty but clear conditions:
ImageDSC_1795 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Kilsyth Hills:
ImageDSC_1797 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Cochno Loch and Cochno Hill with Glasgow to the south:
ImageDSC_1803 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

ImageDSC_1805 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Glasgow and The Slacks:
ImageDSC_1810 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Despite the sunshine it was awfy chilly at the summit so I attached the zoom lens and took photos until my hands went numb. Time for a closer look starting with the Whangie:
ImageDSC_1853 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Earl's Seat:
ImageDSC_1860 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

ImageDSC_1864 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Dumgoyne:
ImageDSC_1869 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Meikle Bin and Cort-ma Law:
ImageDSC_1872 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Meikle Bin is a brilliant viewpoint:
ImageDSC_1873 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Cort-ma Law:
ImageDSC_1879 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Cochno Loch:
ImageDSC_1903 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

To the south east Tinto appears in the background of the City Centre, a PCL in line and heading right over the Eastern Necropolis according to Harry Bell's enjoyable research:
ImageDSC_1927 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

South west at Glasgow Airport a plane is taking off:
ImageDSC_1985 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Directly west are Misty Law and the Hill of Stake with Goatfell, Beinn Tarsuinn, Cir Mhor and Caisteal Abhail peaking out from Arran beyond the summits:
ImageDSC_2040 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

ImageDSC_2043 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

ImageDSC_2048 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Now for the main event as I turn to the north and Loch Lomond, first up Fynloch Hill from the other side:
ImageDSC_2051 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

The summit tree of Darny Caip:
ImageDSC_2054 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Towards the Clyde, Kilcreggan and Dunoon:
ImageDSC_2059 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Cruach Neuran:
ImageDSC_2061 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Beinn Mhor:
ImageDSC_2074 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Beinn Bheula:
ImageDSC_2089 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Beinn Chaorach and Glen Finlas:
ImageDSC_2093 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Cnoc Coinnich, Beinn Eich and Doune Hill:
ImageDSC_2106 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Beinn an Lochain, Mid Hill [Beinn Dubh], Ben Arthur and Beinn Ime:
ImageDSC_2111 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Beinn Ime and Beinn Narnain:
ImageDSC_2127 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Ben Vane and Loch Lomond:
ImageDSC_2133 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

What a view, I still can't get over seeing Ben Starav in the distance:
ImageDSC_2135 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Ben Starav, Ben Vorlich and Loch Lomond:
ImageDSC_2138 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Ben Lomond in full glory:
ImageDSC_2143 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Loch Lomond:
ImageDSC_2152 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Beinn Chabhair, An Caisteal and Beinn a' Chroin:
ImageDSC_2162 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

The Crianlarich 5:
ImageDSC_2166 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Cruach Ardrain:
ImageDSC_2173 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Stob Binnein:
ImageDSC_2175 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Ben Venue:
ImageDSC_2182 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Continuing round towards the north east, Benvane now in view:
ImageDSC_2189 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

And Ben Ledi, you owe me a view Ledi... i'll be back!
ImageDSC_2196 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Beinn Each, Stuc a' Chroin and Ben Vorlich:
ImageDSC_2206 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Even further along is Ben Chonzie:
ImageDSC_2216 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Satisfied with my view to the north I decide to head directly for The Slacks via Berry Bank due to running short on time to pick up from College later on, cursing Derek Richardson for being a tw*t and vandal:
ImageDSC_2226 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

The Slacks to the south, but first a quick walk to Middle and Little Duncolm:
ImageDSC_2231 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

ImageDSC_2232 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

In no time at all i'm on the wee Duncolm and head for Berry Bank after a look back:
ImageDSC_2246 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

I find a way up to the top of Berry Bank:
ImageDSC_2257 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

The three summits:
ImageDSC_2263 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

In my haste I am now off piste but I carefully pick my way towards the Slacks and veer right to find the route of least ascent:
ImageDSC_2267 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Glasgow getting closer...
ImageDSC_2270 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Summit ahoy... now to negotiate the way ahead:
ImageDSC_2274 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Greenside Reservoir:
ImageDSC_2275 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

I made it to a track and followed that slightly south west, then climbed over a few fences to reach the main path up to The Slacks, first left then right:
ImageDSC_2278 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Soon be there, turn left at the top:
ImageDSC_2280 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

With the final ascent done the trig point comes into view:
ImageDSC_2288 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

ImageDSC_2295 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Well it may not have been the easiest route but it was fast and got me here directly, looking back at the summits and route taken:
ImageDSC_2297 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Now it's time for a good look at Glasgow before I head back down to Old Kilpatrick:
ImageDSC_2308 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

ImageDSC_2313 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Tinto Hill, the City Centre and West End all lined up:
ImageDSC_2343 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Hart Fell on the Horizon as I look south east to south west:
ImageDSC_2347 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Govan, Ibrox, Cathkin Braes and EK back right:
ImageDSC_2349 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Take off:
ImageDSC_2369 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Ailsa Craig can just be made out in the distance to the south west:
ImageDSC_2377 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

A quick look back at Duncolm:
ImageDSC_2410 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Glasgow City Centre and distant Culter Fell:
ImageDSC_2419 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Satisfied and conscious of the time I set off for the quick descent route straight down off The Slacks...
ImageDSC_2444 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

...ensuring I go over the "Stile to nowhere" of course: :wink:
ImageDSC_2446 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

I follow the path straight down towards the Erskine Bridge:
ImageDSC_2468 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

One last look at Glasgow and the Clyde Valley:
ImageDSC_2469 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Heading straight down isn't too steep and takes no time at all as I approach the road up taken at the start of the walk:
ImageDSC_2484 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Why indeed...
ImageDSC_2485 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

I rushed back to the car once on tarmac again and made haste back to Glasgow to make my pick up which I was delayed with unfortunately but it was hard to drag myself off the Kilpatrick Hills on a day like today. There is still a lot to explore up there and i'm looking forward to returning at some point as the views of the bigger hills to the north and Glasgow to the south are superb.

It was also the perfect remedy after a weekend in the flat southern lands of London and I felt like I was back to normal again, even with slightly stiff legs for a few days after.

I'll be lucky if I get such good conditions when I do return to the Kilpatrick Hills again in the future, but with plenty of it still to explore and conveniently close to Glasgow it may not be long before I go for a walk up to Cochno Hill and Loch for an even better view of the city, hopefully meeting some more friendly locals for some banter. I'm already looking forward to returning!
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Chris Mac
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Re: Photo frenzy on a perfect day up Duncolm

Postby Jfluitsma » Tue Mar 27, 2018 5:28 pm

Thanks for the report. I am planning to walk Earl’s seat and Duncolm end of April. I was wondering about the snow levels, your photo’s are a great help for this.
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Re: Photo frenzy on a perfect day up Duncolm

Postby Chris Mac » Wed Mar 28, 2018 4:04 pm

Jfluitsma wrote:Thanks for the report. I am planning to walk Earl’s seat and Duncolm end of April. I was wondering about the snow levels, your photo’s are a great help for this.

You're welcome although when I drove into work this morning there was very little snow on the Campsies and Kilpatrick Hills, I imagine there will be even less or none at all by the end of April. Probably best to keep an eye on the forecast nearer the time.

If you would like me to give you an update at the end of next month (I can see both hills easily from where I stay) then just let me know and i'll advise you on the conditions. Cheers!
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Chris Mac
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Re: Photo frenzy on a perfect day up Duncolm

Postby the_running_man » Wed Mar 28, 2018 9:17 pm

Great photos. I used to run up there often when I lived in Clydebank and used to enjoy taking time on Duncolm to enjoy the views towards Loch Lomond etc.
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the_running_man
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Re: Photo frenzy on a perfect day up Duncolm

Postby PeteR » Wed Mar 28, 2018 9:54 pm

Wow, you certainly got the best from this hill :clap:

It often amazes me just how much you can see from these smaller hills in and around Glasgow :D And you certainly captured them superbly
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PeteR
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Re: Photo frenzy on a perfect day up Duncolm

Postby Jfluitsma » Thu Mar 29, 2018 5:52 pm

Chris Mac wrote:
Jfluitsma wrote:If you would like me to give you an update at the end of next month (I can see both hills easily from where I stay) then just let me know and i'll advise you on the conditions. Cheers!

Hi Chris, an update and other advise would be great. We travel to Glasgow the 26th and have plans for Earl’s seat on the 27th and Kilpatrick on the 28th.

Jan
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Re: Photo frenzy on a perfect day up Duncolm

Postby Chris Mac » Fri Apr 06, 2018 7:12 pm

the_running_man wrote:Great photos. I used to run up there often when I lived in Clydebank and used to enjoy taking time on Duncolm to enjoy the views towards Loch Lomond etc.

Thanks, yeah it's a great walk and surprisingly large hill to explore with lots of interesting places and summits to visit with superb views all around. We couldn't help but laugh at the jogger that flew past us only to stop towards the end of the long initial ascent road to go at walking pace, obviously he needs a bit more practice on the hilly section! :lol:

The two guys I walked the start with were from Clydebank and brand new. I got the impression they walk up their regularly but they rarely do the summit of Duncolm, which they pronounced "Duncom" a bit faster than I do and a bit like how you would say Duncan. I've been pronouncing it Dun-comb.... :crazy:

PeteR wrote:Wow, you certainly got the best from this hill :clap:

It often amazes me just how much you can see from these smaller hills in and around Glasgow :D And you certainly captured them superbly

Cheers, I've been quite lucky with my walk days recently, conditions were superb. So far any of the smaller hills just north of Glasgow and Stirling have proven to have some of the best views of the whole central belt, from Arran to Edinburgh east and west, to the Southern Highlands mountain vista to the north with civilisation and cities to the south backed by rolling Lanarkshire, Pentland and Borders hills.

I've only got a few more main summits to do in the hills north of Glasgow but i'm already looking forward to return visits to them all to explore new glens, forests and summits, we're so lucky having them on our doorstep. They are worth saving for a clear day. I'm finding it hard to pick a favourite (although Dumyat on Sunday there was amazing), they all have great views. For the best view of Glasgow you can't beat Cathkin Braes if you ask me, well worth a visit, the city looks superb with the highlands and closer Sub2000 hills in the background.

Jfluitsma wrote:Hi Chris, an update and other advise would be great. We travel to Glasgow the 26th and have plans for Earl’s seat on the 27th and Kilpatrick on the 28th.

Jan

Hi Jan, after a recent snow fall the Campsie Fells had a fair covering of snow but most of it melted away today while the Kilpatrick Hills were pretty clear. I'll pm you another update nearer to your visit at the end of the month so you know nearer the time what conditions are likely to be like for your walks.
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Location: Glasgow

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