Monday 9 May
Tinto (NS953344; 711 metres)
Tinto is a striking hill, particularly when viewed from the south, and apparently it's a popular one too. The car park is sizeable (and was still very busy when we arrived around 4pm yesterday) and there's a motorway of a path leading up the hill.
Despite its popularity, we had it to ourselves this morning, mainly due to setting out, into the blue-skied day, just after 8am. It seems to me, after lengthy observations that the majority of day walkers set out at 10 am (and, indeed, that's exactly when cars started arriving today).
We may have enjoyed stunning blue skies for this outing, but they were accompanied by a heavy haze, so we couldn't pick out the places named on the topograph which sits atop the massive summit cairn.
The only variety in our return journey was that we picked up the water bottles and crisp packets we'd spotted on the way up. With the subsequent litter pick in the car park (which is well supplied with bins), we couldn't help but have again the conversation about the mindset of people who go to such a spot to enjoy the scenery yet can't quite manage to carry their empties out with them. (*fume*).
It was then time for something completely different. Our current journey is taking us to Dornie by the end of the week and it had come to my notice that we weren't making much progress northwards, so whilst the day heated up to full 'heatwave' standards we drove north, all the way to Rannoch Moor and:
Glas Bheinn (NN327473; 501 metres)
By the time we'd spent a few hours driving north, pausing only for a grocery shop (oh, and for many incidents of lorries struggling to pass each other on the A82), I was so hot and lethargic that I was tempted to pass this one by. However, it was only 2.30 and the stats were similar to yesterday afternoon's quick bag, albeit I expected this one to be rather harder, what with it being on Rannoch Moor.
What a pleasant surprise it turned out to be. The line I took up (which bore almost no resemblance to the line I'd intended) was exceptionally good going (nice crisp flattened last-year's-grass and mainly adequately firm underfoot) and the views from the top were incredible. By choosing to sit this one out Mick missed one of the finest viewpoints I've ever seen.
My return route was far more direct than my outward one (and would have been awful in ascent). Despite having read dire bog warnings online, I manages to get within 20 yards of Colin before I carelessly plunged my foot into one.
So, another excellent couple of hills, this time about as similar to each other as chalk is to cheese. The stats were 4.4 miles for Tinto with around 500m of up and for Glas Bheinn were 1.9 miles with around 190m ascent (30 minutes up, 18 down).
(Post Blog Note: It was a couple of days later that I looked at the map on my computer, on which I have all of the Marilyns marked, and saw that there’s another Marilyn right across the road which would have been just as quick and easy bag as this one. Even though they’re really close to each other, they sit in different Sections in the Relative Hills of Britain book, and thus they aren’t depicted on the same map within the book, hence I failed to notice the second one at the time. How annoying! If I’d known I would definitely have done both.)