Slackdhu - 496m
Dumfoyn - 426m

Dumgoyne - 427m

Tuesday 25th August 2009

Weather/Conditions: Sunny with cumulus cloud and blue sky. Very windy at 400m and above, with 5-10 spots of rain along the way (although it never actually rained properly)
Distance/Ascent/Time: 8.9km / 620m / 2h 25m
Accompanying: Alone

This was a nice trip to the Campsies, over some very familiar hills following a route I've walked before. Still, there's always new interest to be found in the place, and it was a nice afternoon out, given that I wanted a hillwalk but stay local.


I began walking at Strathblane, following the familiar route up onto Slackdhu. I'd been this way many times now and it was now a very familiar route. Common to all ascents is the slog up from Slackdhu's lower slopes, but because my earlier ascents had been in the springtime, there wasn't the maze of dense bracken I'd now have to negotiate.

I'd decided to follow my usual grassy ramp up the south face to gain quick access to Slackdhu's summit, but route finding could be a problem. I'd have to get through the bracken and also make sure that cows and highland cattle could be passed without getting aggressive. I had planned to bring a family friends dog along today but I was now glad I didn't. It wouldn't be the first time I'd been chased by aggressive cows and the time before wasn't pleasant at all.

I followed a stream up the face which allowed me to avoid most of the bracken. It took me most of the way up to the crags, and then as I approached the steep ramp up to the summit plateau, the wind began to pick up. By the time I was climbing the steepest slopes, the wind was rocketing up from beneath me and being released out over the plateau above. In contrast to my first time on this route, the exposure was extremely easy to deal with and there was no anxiety or fear whatsoever. It was just extremely enjoyable to feel the rhythm of the climbing and feel the wind blasting over the escarpment. I always enjoy such routes.

Slackdhu to Dumgoyne

I then emerged onto the plateau and came to Slackdhu's summit a few minutes later. I stopped briefly before heading onwards, because I intended to catch the 3.05 bus in Blanefield. It was a quick walk down Slackdhu's slopes, then across to the base of Dumfoyn and up it. I climbed Dumfoyn in fairly quick time, although the ascent wasn't too high. Once at it's summit, (1.45pm) I took a pause for a minute or two, hoping to get to Dumgoyne now as soon as possible. If I missed that bus, then I'd have an hour to wait for the next one and I didn't want to have to wait.

So at 1.48pm, I ran down Dumfoyn, reaching the bottom two minutes later. I then began the climb back up Dumgoyne via. it's scree and made good time there too. The scree looked a lot less fearsome from below, and it was another enjoyable, easy scramble up to the top of Dumgoyne where I arrived at 2.01pm - 13 minutes after leaving Dumfoyn.


I took a five minute break on top of Dumgoyne. But the next thing on my mind was to get back, so I headed down the east slopes, holding a fast pace since I needed to get back. I then followed the path which contoured the side of Dumfoyn and followed it down, past the forest to the track below. It was now a long way back to Strathblane, but now knowing that I'd make the bus, it was a primarily pleasant walk.

I arrived at the Strathblane monument at 2.50pm, meaning the whole route took 2 hours 25 minutes. That took ten minutes off my previous best time. I caught the bus from Strathblane at 3.05pm, and I got home sometime later.

Overall, it was a nice walk - exciting at times, hard work at others. There was always variation though. While descending Dumgoyne, I saw some kind of bird of prey which didn't move until I was right beside it (the fright...!) as well as a grouse ten minutes later. The route is always a nice one to do if there's a few hours spare, and it's always good to have hills close to hand.

Times (Time relative to 0.00)
(0.00) 12.25pm Strathblane
(0.55) 1.20pm Slackdhu
(1.20) 1.45pm Dumfoyn
(1.35) 2.00pm Dumgoyne
(2.25) 2.50pm Strathblane
Written: 2009-08-25