Sunday 21st June 2009
Weather/Conditions: Low cloud (base c. 300m) and a little wind at the top - enough to keep the midges off. We camped on the summit but it wasn't too cold at all. had some rain during the night.
Distance/Ascent/Time: 3km / 400m / 1h up
We left the Dumgoyne Distillery around about 9.30pm, carrying the gear we'd need for the night. The midges were out in force, but a breeze at higher altitudes saw to that. The night was calm, not at all cold and our progress steady. Higher up, we went into the cloud and lights from surrounding villages and cars would come in and out of view as the cloud shifted. We'd found a jacket abandoned on the hillside, thinking it had been perhaps dropped. There was a phone and other valuables in it so figured we'd best make sure it gets beck to whoever dropped it. After all, who would be up Dumgoyne at this time? Five minutes later, a girl descended ahead of us and it was hers. It wasn't a bit awkward trying to explain why we had her jacket on us...
When we reached the summit, it was getting dark so we pitched our tents right away. I had my Mountain Hardware Sprite 1 which fits one only, so Steve brought along his own. My main reason for coming was to try out the little Sprite, so two tents would have to do. We walked around the summit region sometimes, but it was dark, misty and an odd place to be. Sometimes it felt like the only things that existed were us and this little platform of ground.
Once the tents were pitched and our gear was sorted out, there was nothing left to do. Both in our own tents, tiredness crept upon us and we both fell asleep. I slept rather well that night and didn't wake up. Steve, on the other hand, apparently didn't sleep too well...
I woke up early, got out of my tent to another day of cloud. There had been some rain during the night which led me to wipe some of the rain off my tent. That was okay in theory but as I wiped the rain off the sheets, I heard a snap and saw that one of the tent poles had given in. Now a projection cutting into the outer sheet, the pole looked like it could rip the tent material. I disassembled the tent rather quickly then inspected the damage. I told Steve (who was awake now) of my problem and that we'd have to go. For now at least, I couldn't have the tent pitched.
We packed up and left the summit, descending beneath the cloud and back to the car. Later in the day, I went back to Cotswolds Outdoor where I purchased the tent, and to my delight walked out the store with a brand new tent pole. Here's hoping the same doesn't happen to this tent pole. I'll be carrying a roll of duct tape with me wherever I pitch, just in case...
Update 20th January 2010: 6 months on and my new tent pole still hasn't snapped.
Update 17 April 2017 - eight years on and I'm still using this tent! Must have easily spent over 100 nights in it now. One of the pole connectors did come apart in the end but I now carry a little metal sleeve to 'patch' over the break - it owes me nothing now.