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1 post • Page 1 of 1
Old Kilpatrick, Duncolm and... The Whangie?
by Marty_JG » Sat Oct 05, 2019 4:45 am
Route description: Duncolm and the Slacks, Old Kilpatrick
Sub 2000' hills included on this walk: Duncolm
Date walked: 04/10/2019
Time taken: 8 hours
Distance: 23 km
Ascent: 830m2 people think this report is great. Register or Login free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).
I haven't made many Walk Reports as I haven't done very much, and I can't imagine anyone needs Yet Another Report of the more-common hillocks I've done so far (Cobbler, Goatfell, etc.) by main or second-main paths, and I don't have a nice enough camera to make photography the focus. However, I do want to revisit my first Walk Highlands report. I tackled Duncolm & The Slacks and tried to find a slightly different route to the other reports; well over the last couple of days I did the same except this time I wandered a bit further up and got to The Whangie. Almost everyone who goes up to The Whangie does so from the car park, and I've done that too, but as glorious as the rocks up there are it's a very mundane quick nip up and down.
I'm going to keep the report brief, this is hardly a hard & glorious adventure, but it might give a trudger who wants to revisit The Whangie an idea about perhaps taking a longer route.
I actually did this over two days, spending the night on Auchineden Peak. In fact my real motivation for the walk was to have an easy and accessible overnighter wildcamp in the Kilpatrick Braes with my cockapoo Pixie, her first ever night in a tent. She's a lovely dog but I wasn't certain how she'd take to camping so didn't want to go anywhere too remote. Looking at Garmin's Basecamp for inspiration it seemed to me The Whangie was well within marching distance of Duncolm. There are a lot of places you can start from but Old Kilpatrick is as good a starting point as any; it has an adjacent train station or car access via Great Western Road with plenty of parking.
I turned out to be an 8 hour round trip. I'm not the fastest walker, I had a dog to manage, and I had my camping rucksack on, even so my times were Old Kilpatrick to Duncolm in 2 hours, and Duncolm to The Whangie in 2 hours. It was marshy and boggy terrain throughout some of it very deep mud - usually around forestry commission gate bottlenecks.
It was very easy to navigate except at two points. First, at the bottom of Duncolm where you cross a flattened section of drystone wall there is a faint trail ahead; this seems to be mainly used by people fishing Burncrooks - I took this on the approach run and lost sight of the trail a couple of times and had to wade through scrub. To the right is a more defined trail that goes along the drystone wall and found this on the return route. The other (only slightly) problematic section was finding the trails up Auchineden Hill opposite the Burncrooks woods, they're not on (my old) OS maps and only the more challenging one was on my out-of-date OSM. So again, I took the (slightly) more interesting, less-defined route up and the easier route in return. I had intended to travel clockwise around Burncrooks Reservoir on the return, utilising the John Muir Way, but the forest was closed for work. It's supposedly reopening at the end of the month.
Not sure what else to say, you guys don't need a blow-by-blow. The Whangie seems the most interesting day-accessible feature from Old Kilpatrick. Turning NW from Burncrooks the Ishneich and other waterfalls look like they might make a good target. I might do another two-day trek and have a camp up there. Oh, the other thing I noticed was... Duncolm. I walk the dog up the Slacks most weeks and it's not impressive, not worth a glance, but from the north it stands out more assertively on the horizon. Of course, standing on Duncolm (or Auchineden) and looking north give some glorious views of the Arrochar Alps, Ben Lomond, etc.
Other than that it was very quiet indeed, had everything as far as the eye could see to myself. It was a good call to spend a bit of time getting a good pitch and tension on the tent, it rained heavily all night with strong winds for most of it. The tent was noisy - think rain on a drum skin - but otherwise fine. Pixie was sceptical about settling down in a tent but petting and calm voice work got her into a nice snooze. The Merchant Gourmet packet of grains I got were amazingly delicious, easily the best prepack camping-handy food I've ever had and probably the best £1 meal of my life (albeit with some shredded mini-Babybel and diced salami added).
The GPX file is the two day stitched together with a couple of backtracked look/see distractions deleted. I'll put a few picture in but they're from an ancient phone and pretty grim quality.
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