Took advantage of a slight rise in temperatures and the promise of sunshine to climb Conic Hill last Sunday. After a slow and slippy drive to Balmaha it was on with the boots and gaters for the short 400 metre climb. Although the car park had a few cars the hill was pretty deserted and we only saw two other chaps all day who had abandoned their climb up Ben Lomond. At lower levels there was a bit of a thaw on and the snow was quite wet and slippy. After a half hour we had left that behind and were in to the actual climb. Proper snow!
It didn’t take long until we got to the top of the first summit – Conic is actual three small summits and as we clambered on the sun came out and gave us some glorious views of Loch Lomond, the Arrochar Alps and Ben Lomond.
Despite the sun and the thaw at lower levels it was f-f-freezing at the top. A pretty brisk wind meant we didn’t hang around for long at the top and we walked down a bit to have some lunch. After a quick soup we decided not to clamber over the hill again but head further down the slope as we’d surely find a path. Wrong. We found a very old wood and a peat bog so not the best decision we’d ever made. Hence the RunKeeper map showing a circular route that doesn’t really exist.
Speaking of RunKeeper, two little titbits. Runkeeper Pro is currently free for the month of January on both iOS and Android platforms. Highly recommended and is constantly being improved by the development team. Secondly, I forgot I had switched on RunKeeper Live a couple of months. What this means is that at the start of the walk a tweet is sent out and people can watch you walk live online. Updates seem to be every 10 seconds or so and looks to have worked pretty well. Got a few bizarre tweets when I checked twitter after the walk 🙂
The full set of pics from the walk is as usual on Flickr including the panorama above which came out quite well.
The weather has been pretty cold and snowy recently but I’ve tried to not let it get in the way of getting out and about. Yes – it’s another one of those self righteous “I’ve been out walking again while you’ve been sat on your ass” posts.
A couple of weeks ago there was a fresh snowfall in Glasgow so I walked down to Kelvingrove Park to take some winter pic’s before the thaw kicked in. I wasn’t the only one with that idea as the park had loads of people in it, mostly taking pictures. The one’s I’m most pleased with? First up is this robin. I was pre-occupied with the ducks struggling against the flow in the Kelvin, a far cry from their more sedate duck pond which was frozen over. I then turned round and the robin was 4 foot away on the handrail of the bridge. Very lucky.
I then walked up uni avenue just as the sun started to break through. Got some lovely snaps of the Glasgow skyline in winter which will always remind me of days in the tenement. Views all over the south side with many a winters day looking like this.
Today was the first hill walk of the year, a nice stroll in the Kilpatricks up Duncolm. I expected the snow and ice to be clear but there was still some snow and ice even at this lower level. Loch Humphrey was still frozen over!
Again we were very lucky with the weather as it was mostly dry and from our lofty perch we could see the rain over Glasgow. It was also clearer further north and we could see many of the Perthshire hills and had a great view of Loch Lomond later in the morning.
I must admit, I still love the walks. Fresh air, escape for a few hours and a chance to clear the head. Scenery is usually amazing too. Next up in a few weeks (leg permitting!) is a 13 miles stretch of the West Highland Way. Can’t wait.
If looking out your window doesn’t make you feel cold, maybe this picture from space published by NASA will:
Source – http://rapidfire.sci.gsfc.nasa.gov/gallery/?2010007-0107/GreatBritain.A2010007.1150.1km.jpg