Ochil Workout

Donalds: King's Seat Hill, Tarmangie Hill

Date walked: 16/10/2020

Time taken: 5 hours

Distance: 10.7km

Ascent: 775m

I don't get out to the hills as often as I would like, and at my age, the very little amount of hill fitness you think you have gained, soon feels as if it is draining away day by day when you go just a week or so without getting out. It's amazing how quick I go from feeling like "I'm a hillwalker" to " I used to be a hillwalker. Now I just make do watching other people hillwalking on social media."
Needing to get out but not having the time to travel far, I looked to the relatively nearby, but sometimes under appreciated, Ochils to get me moving again.
I had only ever been on the western end of the range, Dumyat many times and Ben Cleuch at least three (but could be four. I can't remember), so opted for a good circular walk from Dollar that would include 5 summits, Bank Hill, King's Seat, Tarmangie Hill, Whitewisp Hill and Saddle Hill, the 2nd and 3rd of which are Donalds. The schools were off, so grandson Matthew would be able to accompany me.
Great thing about the Ochils for me, is that a little over 30 mins from leaving home, we were parked up at the small parking area beside Castle Campbell in Dollar.
1 Dollar Glen.jpg
In Dollar Glen.

2 The smallest summit Bank Hill.jpg
The smallest summit of Bank Hill.
The walk itself is straightforward, from a beginning in Dollar Glen, then an ascent over Bank Hill to the highest summit of King's Seat.
Looking onwards towards King's Seat.
4 Memorial plaque for lost RAF pilots..jpg
Memorial plaque for lost RAF fighter pilots.
Although slightly misty, there was good views over the Eastern Central belt and West Lomond in Fife.
6 Looking over towards the Lomond Hills..jpg
Looking over towards the Lomond Hills.
Summit of King's Seat.

From King's Seat we headed north and began the descent into the eerily named Glen of Sorrow, crossed the Burn of Sorrow and turned North East to gain the summit of the second Donald, Tarmangie Hill where we had our longest break.
View from Tarmangie Hill.
King's Seat from Tarmangie Hill.
The path to Whitewisp Hill from Tarmangie Hill summit.
Matthew at Tarmangie Hill summit.
Tarmangie Hill double selfie.

It was then an easy stroll along to Whitewisp Hill. At this junction it would be possible to make an out and back visit to another Donald, Innerdownie, but I decided to leave that for a later date.
Next was a descent onto the lower summit of Saddle Hill and from there, there is a steep pathless descent back towards Dollar Glen and Castle Campbell. This was so steep that I went down it with sideward steps, but Matthew found it easier to slide down on his bum :lol:.
Waterfall in Dollar Glen.
Castle Campbell.

After a wee check of Castle Campbell (which, considering that is relatively close to my home, I'm ashamed to say I did not know was there till I researched this walk) we were soon back at the car.
For me, this walk proved you don't have to head to the glamour hills and ranges, to get a good, enjoyable, workout. OK, it was a Friday, not the weekend, but the schools were off and we only met one family group of father, mother and daughter who came from the other direction, on the summit of Tarmangie Hill. I bet that wasn't the case on Conic, Ben A'an etc. Also with a little "of piste" exploration during the walk, these hills gave us an ascent of 2,540ft, which is nearly 650ft more than the 3 Munros on the west side of Glenshee :D. I know my winter limitations, so I will definitely be keeping some of the other Ochils summits in mind, to save me from calling a complete halt to my walking during winter and to help keep me ticking over.

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Activity: Mountain Walker

Munros: 63
Corbetts: 5
Grahams: 3
Donalds: 4
Sub 2000: 7

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Distance: 137.5 km
Ascent: 10450m
Munros: 22
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Last visited: Oct 31, 2020
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