The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Friday, 2 September 2016

Cairnsmore of Fleet (NX502671; 711m)

Yesterday featured Cairnsmore and Fell of Fleet, today it was Cairnsmore of Fleet. It’s as if there was a shortage of words available for hill names around here!


After a couple of days of putting my thigh muscles through their paces, I fancied a nice easy hill today and, conveniently, Cairnsmore of Fleet was nearby. It may be a bigger hill than any other that has featured recently, but it has a good path leading all the way from the car park to the summit. No high-stepping required; no pitching around falling down holes; perfect!

Alas, the weather wasn’t perfect. Particularly for a hill which screamed ‘good viewpoint!’ when viewed on the map. In fact, as we approached (I say ‘we’ but Mick only joined me for the first quarter of an hour, as he’s nursing a pulled calf) there was no hint of a hill in front of us. We could see the forest, above which was just cloud.

As I ascended, so did the cloud, and by the time I got out of the forest I could see evidence of the hill ahead of me:


I may not have had any views, but it’s still an interesting summit, housing a memorial to eight aircraft which have crashed on the hill (seven during the Second World War, one in 1979)…


…as well as a trig point which is looking battered around the edges:


Neither of those is the high point, which is a large cairn, on which I’m standing in the snap below, even I didn’t manage to capture it in shot (you can just about make out the trig in the gloom in the middle of the snap):


It had been bright enough to warrant sunglasses as I set out, and keeping them on meant that the state of my hair was partially masked for this photo!

Hints of brightness gave the indication that the sun would win over the cloud in due course, but I wasn’t hanging around. From being far too hot as I ascended through the forest, it was positively chilly on the summit. I made haste downwards rather than donning a layer.

The outing came in at 8 miles on the nose, with a tiny smidge under 700m of ascent. I could have gone on to visit a couple more hills, but I thought that a far better plan would be to have the afternoon off.

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