After a few weeks of lowland walking it was time to hit some hills again. Dumgoyne was the hill chosen today as it’s not too difficult a climb but gives a good workout for more serious climbs in the next few weeks. Dumgoyne is 1,280 ft. high and one of the hills in the Campsies. It is situated above the Glengoyne Distillery on the A81. Tours can be made around the distillery and some samples of whisky tasted, but this should be left for after the walk.
The climb can be approached by a path to the right of the distillery or by walking up the small road to the left of it, near the lay-by. The climb up Dumgoyne takes about one hour, but as it is a very steep and strenuous climb, a degree of fitness is required. On our walk today it was cloudy, but the ground was reasonably dry and this helped us keep out footing on the climb.
The small steps which had been worn into the ground by the thousands of walkers who frequent this hill were of great assistance in the ascent. There were quite a few other people out walking, and the hill seemed quite busy at times. Although much of the climb was on grass, there were some rocky sections, but nothing too difficult, and as the rock was dry, it helped us keep our footing. The view was not great because of the cloud, but as our objective was to increase our fitness rather than taking in the view, this did not really matter too much.
We had to stop a few times for a rest on the ascent until we reached the final part of the climb, which turned out to be much steeper than the rest of it. As we were climbing the final section, a fell runner came running down it, oblivious to the severity of the descent. Arriving at the top, we were surprised to see a number of people there and we chatted to them for a while before heading towards Earl’s Seat.
If the climb up the hill was steep, the descent can only be described as ‘precipitous’. It was rocky, and the earth was quite loose in places. As I uttered the words “the descent is not too bad” I lost my footing and slid quite a distance down the side of the hill until I managed to stop myself on a large clump of grass. My companions descended the hill in a more leisurely fashion before we continued our walk to Earl’s Seat. This part of the walk was much easier than the climb up Dumgoyne and we were able to walk at a much faster pace. The mist was coming down, but it was not as bad as it had been when we were on the climb to Lecket Hill at the beginning of February.
The ground was boggy in places, but could easily be avoided most of the time. There were some small climbs, but they were fairly easy compared to the climb up Dumgoyne and it was not long before we approached Garloch Hill, with Earl’s Seat to the right of it.
Before the ascent of Earl’s Seat we had to climb over a fence and over some boggy ground which was a much worse than anything we had encountered earlier, but as we had got this far, we were not turning back. We eventually got over this boggy section and started the final ascent to Earl’s Seat. About 15 minutes later we were at the top. The mist was getting quite thick now so we started our return journey to Dumgoyne. We retraced our way back to Dumgoyne Hill, but instead of climbing it, took a path around the side of the hill and made the final descent to the distillery. Hopefully the next time we do this walk the weather will be much better.