Dumyat April 2013
Helen Rose Hill Diary
Dumyat is the rocky little cub of the Ochils, far lower than the main range but packed with character. It has a superb position on the fringe of the range overlooking Stirling and the Central Belt; the views are superb in all directions. We started from the Square in the pretty village of Blairlogie as the car park at the usual starting point was closed for building work. It was a pleasant walk from the village alongside the forest and on to more open countryside. It was late winter and there was snow on the higher slopes. It was cold and crisp during the earlier part of the walk.
The path continued over some little scrambles on to a more exposed line going towards the midpoint. As it was dry and clear and we had gained some height we had a tea stop enjoying the views to the south, the Wallace monument and the inevitable distillery as Scotland is the home of malt whisky. This hill is only 1500 feet but has all the characteristics of a much bigger mountain with steep crags and a classic pyramid shape. We continued upwards with the usual banter as we were a small group but then the weather turned colder and it started to snow. By the time we reached the summit it was a full scale blizzard and whiteout, something usually only experienced on much higher mountains. At the trig point I turned round and Alison’s jacket was completely iced up at the front as were her spectacles. My hair had frozen strands on the fringe! Fortunately we were all well equipped for the weather. With no visible markers, David had to use the GPS and compass to find the descent route as it was a circular walk of seven miles.
We descended into the blizzard on the snow and finally reached a wide track under the hill. We left the track for a lunch stop as the sun was now shining and it had stopped snowing. The views were not so good here as we were in the lee of the hill. Just as we left the lunch spot, the hail stones came on and we had to walk sideways as it was stinging on the face but we were on a wide track. Eventually we reached the farm and looked into the barn where there were newborn Highland calves. Highland Cattle are fairly common in Scotland and look very beautiful. We have a herd of them in Glasgow at Pollok Country Park.
We carried along the path back to the starting point in the snow but the weather was now calm and clear. The trip ended with a visit to the pub at Menstrie for a post walk libation. I thoroughly enjoyed Dumyat especially in challenging weather as I like a battle with nature and felt invigorated. It was my first walk in snow since I broke my leg and I was pleased I managed it so well. Dumyat is very similar to Dumgoyne, a hill in the Campsies near Glasgow. I recently climbed Dumgoyne as I wanted to go up a hill before having the metal plate removed from the leg which was broken and met my anaesthetist for the coming operation on the top of the hill. Pure coincidence!
Thanks to David Traynor for leading the walk.
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This section: Helen Rose Hillwalking Diary
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