I’ve had my bagging sensors twitching for the hills just to the left of Loch Lomond for some time now so, having booked a pitch on the Luss campsite, I collected Dawn and we hurtled up the M74 in low dudgeon and arrived a bit early due to missing a key motorway junction which would have provided a half-way Tump bag. If you know what I mean.
Wednesday dawned brightly and so we set off for what I expected would be a reasonably short and easy hillwalk around the Scriddle Horseshoe – not so much a horseshoe as half a banana, but famous walks never refer to bananas, so they. I meantersay, the Fairfield Banana wouldn’t really cut it, would it?
The first hill, Beinn Dubh has lots of closely-packed and tightly knit contours – knitted, in fact, into the shape of a huge green hill which is odd since the hill’s name translates as “Black Hill”. However, in July, it is covered in luciously sweet summer grass; a beautiful prospect. It was poiled somewhat by an early but short shower which we avoided by a ten-minute break under my group shelter thingy. The next shower got us wet, though, as did the one after that and the next one and so on…
After Beinn Dubh, we passed fairly easily over Mid Hill and descended by it’s East-facing ridge, pointing directly at Loch Lomond’s islands. 8 miles, according to walkhighlands route-planning doinz.
Thursday was to be a better day for the weather and we returned to Glen Luss to climb Beinn Eich – a similarly grassy upturned-boat-shaped lump with heavingly closely packed contours, but finishing with a little grassy cone and followed by a delightful romp down a long and narrow(ish) grassy ridge. This kind of thing is much more suited to Cumbria where it would get much more attention from hillwalkers and would have it’s very own chapter in a Wainwright guidebook. As would Doune Hill – the next one on the ridge.
Doune Hill has a steep descent to a bealach where Dawn was left to set up Camp 1 with the rucksacks whilst me and LTD struggled up the slopes of Doune Hill East Top.
LTD remarkably showed off his tracking skills by locating Dawn’s temporary camp using only his nose and we all set iff down the steep slopes to Glen Mollochan which leads soggily back to Glen Luss and Luss village. We did about 12 miles.
Friday had a bad forecast and so I made no hard plans, but thought we could maybe have a half day or an hour or two bagging something a bit easier on the legs and it was with some relief, after a bit of a lie-in, that the first spatters of rain hit the tent at about ten o’clock. Then it proceeded to chuck it down all day. There was a hint that it was slacking off a bit in the afternoon so we set off hopefully for Balmaha for a little expedition up Conic Hill. But the weather was terrible, so whilct Dawn stocked up on whatever she stocked up on, I bought dentasticks for the pooch and Australian merlot for me.
And that was that.
The Luss Hills are very fine hills, though and we only bagged three of the eight Marilyns available there. And we spotted multiple fine wild camping spots. And there was just the one other party behid us on the first walk and nobody else on the hill on the second walk, so we had the place to ourselves. And, the campsite is much too expensive for it’s own good, and occupied and/or visited by criminals one of whom was carted off by a huge gang of youthful policemen and another who pinched the campsite’s bikes and an honesty box. Then there’s the constant noise of the main road which roars away all night, the screeching gulls, the german tourists chattering late into the night and the disco from the hotel next door, plus wandering Glaswegian drunks….. Am I going on too much? At least nobody complained about my snoring. It’s cos they couldn’t hear it above the din. Innit? Not going back to the campsite anyway.
But the hills are worth it. I’ll have to return for the hills.