Could be slowing down?

Sub 2000s: Benarty Hill, Cairnie Hill, East Lomond, Largo Law, Mount Hill, Norman's Law , West Lomond

Date walked: 07/09/2019

Distance: 23km

Ascent: 1180m

Three and a half years ago I climbed all the Fife Marilyns in a day, and as I intend climbing someone's final Munro next Saturday, thought it would be good training to use the wonderful weather of Sept 7th to see if I could still do it now I am 80. R said he would come too, but agreed there might not be enough daylight hours to do them at his pace (though I’m sure he could do them) so just did small walks to make sure that he was back when I was. It was great having someone else to do the driving, as I didn’t have to keep switching between shoes and boots, and I could eat going along.
We did it the other way round from last time. For details of lengths and height, see last time’s report, as except for Benarty, Norman’s Law and West Lomond, I did them all the same way, namely, the easiest


The sunrise was pretty poor as apart from a few sunblocking clouds on the horizon, there were none to be seen. Seemed great weather was to follow.

Largo Law

Nothing was stirring except for the horses

Last time 1 hour 30 mins, this time 1 hour 40 mins

I put the extra 10 mins down to the fact that the dry weather had turned the surface of the path up the hill into what felt like ball bearings, and although there was snow last time, the grass was shorter and I had been able to descend speedily in long wide zig zags, whereas this time the long grass concealed everything and it seemed safer to shuffle back down on the path.

We had breakfast around our normal time in a Cupar Car Park which has a loo.

Mount Hill


Last time 50 minutes, this time 55 mins. This time I put the extra time down to fiddling around with my mobile phone and failing to get a signal to post a Weather Watchers picture.

Cairnie Hill


This is the only hill which doesn’t have a trig point for a selfie. The only rock meant the summit was in direct line with the sun. Last time 40 minutes, this time an hour. Although I managed to send a Weather Watcher Picture, it can’t have taken 20 minutes. I was less certain of the route this time as so many new bulldozed racks have appeared since last time. I came across a pheasant pen. They really must breed them to be stupid. A female pheasant was trying to get back into its pen, presumably because of the food, but had no clue that she must fly high enough to avoid the fence and kept hurtling into it. I came to the conclusion I must be slowing down. Back at the car R was listening to The Unfinished Symphony. I hoped it wouldn't be an omen. He still can't get out of his head the words that an US friend said he was taught at school to help him remember it. You sing along "This is the symphony ..that Schubert wrote and never finished." He said "I've got lots more if you want". "No, no, no, no.no! " said R "You've already ruined one tune for me."

Norman’s Law


Last time I had headed diagonally across the field from the gate to the summit and had got entangled with barbed wired, so this time I walked down the path to where it meets the wall surrounding the hill, and went up a track which emerges between the two summits and climbs to the top. I also took some Weather Watcher pictures, but don’t think that this can entirely explain the increase of time from 30 minutes to a full hour.

East Lomond


Last time I took 40 minutes and this time 45. This wasn’t bad considering I tried and failed to post a Weather Watcher Picture and got a small boy to take my picture. He was part of a family whose small daughter asked my name. When I told her, she said “I’m Chloe and these are my bothers and this is Alex.” “Since when have I stopped being daddy and become Alex?” asked her father. I suggested that when she introduced me to an adult, she would give the name that an adult would expect to hear, but of course if she introduced him to a friend, she would say “This is my Daddy.” “That’s RIGHT!!!” said Chloe. They were off to camp in a camp site below, and were the first people I had met so far.

West Lomond


Last time the snow really impeded me and I took 2 hours 15 minutes. This time, instead of going up the front, I went round to the side and climbed steeply up the first path I found. I still couldn’t get a signal for a Weather Watcher picture and sat chatting on the summit and eating a tangerine for a while. I asked a kind man if he would take my picture. he has noww lived near for 5 years and this is the first time he has been up. Two boys had reached the summit before their Mum. I asked them if hill walking was their thing, or if it was their Mum’s thing. “Mum’s thing.” “So if you could choose, what would you be doing?” “At home with my X-box.” Hooray for Mum.
I took 2 hours 20 minutes, which wasn’t bad considering it was my sixth hill rather than my second. I was rather disappointed not to meet a penguin like last time, but you can’t have everything.


Benarty Hill


This time it was a substantial change of route, instead of parking by the RSPB centre, we drove to the Ballingry side of the hill parking at NT152960 and I climbed it up the steep steps and walked across the moor at the top. This route change meant I did 2.4 miles instead of 3.4 but the height was about 100 foot less. I climbed it in 1 hour 21 mins as opposed to 1 hour 41 mins. You can get up steps at quite a speed singing "This is the symphony that Schubert wrote and never finished."

R drove nearly 100 miles, I walked about 14.5 miles and climbed 3956 feet. We set off from home at 6.30 a.m. and I crawled out of the car at 8.15 p.m. I’m sure all the people who were still strolling around thought “That old woman probably has a zimmer for walking."

All in all, I have to confess, I am getting slower, but only marginally .

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User avatar
Location: Fife
Activity: Mountain Walker
Mountain: Last one climbed
Place: Home
Gear: Headtorch
Member: MCofS, NT, RHB
Camera: Panasonic Lumix TZ90
Ideal day out: A few new hills in (mostly) sunshine in (mostly) good company...and an eagle or two.
Ambition: Lifelong hill walking.

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