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]

Tuesday 30 August 2016

Carn na Loine (NJ070361; 549m)

It’s always good to go for a walk with Louise and David. Aside from the excellent company, it means that I don’t have to put any thought into the day. Louise has never yet failed to come up with a good walk for us, and thus I only asked the scantest of information about what the plan was for yesterday (Q: “What sort of terrain?” A: “There’ll be some yomping through heather and it may be boggy”, Q: “How far” A: “Not very far” – that was sufficient information to tell me that it was a suitable outing to try out my ‘new*’ boots). The only other information I knew when we set out was that the main objective was to bag a trig point.

I recognised the first part of our journey to our start point, but after some little lanes had been involved, I confess that I didn’t really know where we were when David parked the car and we set out. Up the lane was the first direction of travel, and you may notice that Louise had (once again) organised some good weather for us:


The lane was soon abandoned in favour of a track and in due course the track was abandoned in favour of a yomp, as our objective was now right before us. The boys soon scuttled on ahead, giving us useful information like “that’s a stream, not a trod”, but in general the going underfoot wasn’t more than a bit squelchy, and the heather and tussocks weren’t extreme either.


Putting a bit of a sprint on, Louise and I reached trig point first and, as you can see, we were happy to be there:


I didn’t take a photo over towards the Cairngorms, but it was a clear day so we did a spot of hill identification before we cooled down enough to encourage us to move on.

I’m certainly glad that we didn’t do this route in reverse, as I don’t think it would be an exaggeration to describe the tussocks on our descent route as ‘severe’. There were quite a few deep holes between them too, some of which I investigated a little too closely. Fortunately, as I keep observing, tussocks and heather in descent are much easier than in ascent, so with some contouring thrown in, we did make it over to the track we wanted, just by where it runs past Huntley’s Cave. Being gone 1330 by now, the first big rock we saw was declared to be the lunch rock.

Our afternoon was quick and easy (except for the little detour to see Hutley’s Cave; if what we think was the cave was in fact the cave then, as caves go, it wasn’t impressive!), being two kilometres gently downhill on a track.

It was a fine outing, in fine company, but the real surprise about the route didn’t come until much later in the evening. I happened to be looking at the mapping on my computer and, now knowing the name of the hill up which we had been, I looked it up, only to find that it was, in fact, a Marilyn. Bonus! And quite amusing that I’d managed to bag a Marilyn without any knowledge that I was so doing. (There was a minor panic as to whether we’d been to the true summit, but it didn’t take me many seconds to confirm that this is a hill on which the trig is at the highest point.)

Here’s the hill in question (the lump just slightly left of centre): 


Thanks, as ever, go to Louise and David for all of their hospitality.


(*The boots aren’t new at all. I’ve had them in the wardrobe since at least 2007, and they can’t have been used more than half a dozen times before they fell out of my favour for being too big and heavy. Being the most expensive boots I’ve owned, and with all of my other boots now leaking badly, I dusted this pair off to see if I can get on with them. Yesterday’s outing indicated that they will be fine and thus the new boot purchase can be put off for a while yet.)


  1. It was rather good, if I say so myself! And, our pleasure 😁

  2. Replies
    1. It's a wonder how she always manages to arrange the good weather, as well as a good walk!

  3. For ages now on the various projects I have been walking on day walks from home I have been wearing only trail shoes, but Scotland is different and I always wear proper boots.

    I have all the Marilyns for Scotland and Wales downloaded as a gpx from Harold Street so I would have known I was on and M.

    1. If I'd had my laptop in my pocket, I would have realised sooner that our hill was a Marilyn, but to keep my maps on my phone uncluttered, I don't have the Marilyns file on there (rather inefficiently, I mark them on the map individually just before I go and visit them, making sure that I also annotate my manually-placed mark with a note of the summit feature).