Back out again …at last!

Luss hills

Luss hills, June 2011

It’s been a few weeks since we were out on the hills and I been getting withdrawal symptoms! It’s certainly been a very busy few weeks what with one thing and another and there’s been a lot of bad weather in these parts too.

Anyway, yesterday finally arrived along with its promised better weather and as Nita wasn’t working and I didn’t need to be down the studio, we grabbed it with both hands. In the past when we’d visited the Luss Hills we’d always just gone and walked the fine little circuit of Beinn Dubh and Mid Hill. There are of course a good number of other hills in this area although they tend to be slightly longer days.

 

Luss hills

Luss hills, June 2011

Yesterday then, we decided to do a walk over Beinn Each and Beinn Lochain to Doune Hill ….and then instead of descending into the glen for a long and no doubt rather damp and midge infested walk back …we simply returned the same way.

It’s about an hour long walk to the base of the first hill but this is along a very pleasant single track road up Glen Luss. The grassy hills rise steeply on both sides but the base of the glen has many trees …lots of them oak I think and it makes for an enjoyable walk in and out. As you get towards the end of the public road you get good views of Beinn Each and the route beyond …and you start to think it’s going to be quite a long day!

 

Luss hills June 2011

Luss hills, June 2011

Thankfully the forecast was correct and the sky was a patchwork of bright blue areas of sky between dark and at times threatening clouds. This created a fantastic constantly changing pattern of light, shade and colour that looked absolutely beautiful. Just beyond the end of the road a sign post points over a stile indicating the route to Beinn Each. It’s a fine broad ridge of mainly grass with the occasional boulders and small crags but at this time of year there’s plenty to look at by your feet – numerous tiny yellow and white flowers and on the lower slopes, white / purple orchids of some type. I’m not a botanist so don’t ask me what any of them were exactly..but they looked great and certainly took my mind of the fact that my legs were complaining as we plodded up the ridge to the summit at just over 700m.

The summit of Beinn Each is marked with a small cairn of white or light grey stones. It stands out fine against the turf and close by are several mini, mini lochs ..no more than a couple of feet across, each one reflecting the sky above. Beyond this is a proper ridge …not narrow but narrow enough to feel the ground dropping away on both sides and making you feel like you’re on the top of the world …it was wonderful. After a couple of hundred metres though it broadens again before descending around 160 m to a wide beallach, grass covered and dissected with a fine pattern of peat hags. There were also a couple of fine crags, more like mini escarpments, two or three metres high and perhaps thirty metres long. These though weren’t cutting across the width of the hill but instead followed the length of the ridge – rather like the spine of the mountain poking through the peat.

Beyond the almost inconspicuous top of Beinn Lochain there was another slight descent before a final steep little rise to the summit of Doune Hill. It’s quite a spot, far enough away from the A82 with its constant drone of traffic, that as we sat there we could hear no man made sounds what so ever …just the noise of the wind in the grass, an occasional bee or other insect and the regular song of Skylarks. Just what was needed after the busy couple of weeks I’d just had. Bliss in fact! And then of course we had to do it all over again to get back to the car …except that this time the sun had moved and the views all looked different. It’s a wonderful thing the landscape.

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