Dumfoyn - 426m
Dumgoyne - 427m
Tuesday 2nd June 2009
Weather/Conditions: Sunny initially. Clouded over slightly by Slackdhu and completely overcast by Dumgoyne. Moderate temperatures with some wind, plus the ground was extremely dry owing to four and a half days of sun splitting skies previously.
Distance/Ascent/Time: 9km / 620m / 2h 35m
I started walking at Strathblane, preferring a walk in the evening over the afternoon as it was the fifth day of warm weather and midday was always swelteringly hot. I enjoy the relative coolness of morning and evening and set out at 7.40pm. The sprouting bracken on Slackdhu offered a new route finding challenge and to the west, the haze blocked most views. I came with the hope of photographing the sunset, but thicker cloud overhead signalled the coming of less favourable conditions. I wondered which way the weather turned, but knew I'd carry on regardless even if it didn't go in my favour. Then, half way to the top of Slackdhu, I spotted another person on the same face as I, perhaps 200 metres to the west. I'd never seen anyone up here before and it almost seemed odd that they should be. As I climbed, they remained at a similar altitude to myself and this confirmed to me they were indeed climbing. With personal competitiveness at work, I attempted to keep ahead, for no real reason other than to see whether I could...
Laden with walking gear, a camera and two lenses it was naturally harder to keep up with someone who appeared to be carrying nothing. I ascended via. my own steep route (I'd first climbed this way on April 25th) and flew up without a single fear of the heights. I was accustomed to the exposure, but this confidence led me to exert myself beyond comfortable limits - enough to induce queasiness. Slackdhu's plateau offered me a comfortable walk, because I was already exhausted. Just ahead, the person I'd seen climbing arrived the summit. I wasn't far behind him, although he left in the opposite direction before I caught up.
Dumfoyn and Dumgoyne
Having taken a few minutes to rest on Slackdhu, it was evident that the weather conditions weren't what I'd hoped for. Earl's Seat wasn't visible and the cloud was only building. I hadn't a hope of catching the sunset, but I also couldn't sit around forever only to have nothing in return. Instead, I continued to Dumfoyn, figuring that a far more satisfying evening could be had by making a roundtrip from Slackdhu to Dumgoyne. Beneath Dumfoyn, at Cauldhame Glen, I saw to my first wild Golden Eagle. Years ago I may have seen one, but in recent memory it was my first. It was entirely unexpected. Such unpredictability is one of the beauties of hillwalking, and as the eagle glided downstream, it was almost out of sight before I had a chance to take the camera out. Such is always the case with wildlife, and the one picture I got is below, centre.
From Cauldhame Glen it was a brief pull up to Dumfoyn. With thoughts of sunset now out of my head, I decided to walk onwards to Dumgoyne. I left Dumfoyn and climbed Dumgoynes scree gully, gaining altitude rapidly. Like before, I didn't find the exposure a problem and the climb was also physically easier than I'd previously thought. I arrived on Dumgoyne 15 minutes after leaving Dumfoyn.
The weather on Dumgoyne was dull, so I left with the intention of catching the 10.40pm bus. I held a moderate pace down to Cantywheery and then along to Strathblane via. the private road. I arrived at the bus stop in good time to catch the bus home.
The weather was nothing like I'd hoped, and my target was to do some photography. But small events such as the eagle was something worth seeing and testing myself over the two Duns is always always an interesting challenge. I didn't get what I'd gone for, but a hillwalk is never boring and like all others, this one had it's own special 'moments'.
(0.00) 7.40pm Strathblane
(0.45) 8.25pm Slackdhu
(1.17) 8.57pm Dumfoyn
(1.32) 9.12pm Dumgoyne
(2.35) 10.15pm Strathblane