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]

Saturday 13 May 2017

Fiarach (NN345262; 652m)

Sat 13 May

I woke to the sound of rain on Bertie's roof this morning and after a quick trip out of bed to peer out of a window, I climbed back under the duvet for a lazy day.

Snugly cocooned, I set about contemplating the maps on my phone, to check that there wasn't a local hill that I felt inclined to visit in such conditions. All those involving crags were out, and other options were discounted for being longer walks than I fancied in the conditions.

Eventually I concluded that I was indeed going to do nothing today. Then I turned my phone on and, at 0742, got a text from Mick saying he was half way up his first Munro of the day. Suddenly I felt like a bit of a wimp, sitting around just because of a bit of cloud and wetness.

Twenty minutes later I was headed to Dalrigh, just S of Tyndrum where the little stand-alone hill of Fiarach fitted the bill nicely.

Almost ready to set out, I came to appreciate that Bertie was surrounded by a large group who had gathered and it occurred to me that we were likely going to be ready to go at about the same time as me. Trying to get past a large group can be a bit tiresome, so I was pleased to get a bit of a head start, before being surprised a while later to see that they were keeping up - and I wasn't going slowly. Indeed, when I paused to de-layer, they went past (only to have to come past me again a while later when even the leader, bringing up the rear, strode straight past their turn).

The solitude was then mine, save for a few sheep, as I made my way to the edge of a conifer plantation and started heading properly upwards. An ATV track helped me along until after I'd entered the cloud at 440m, and even when I lost the ATV line my navigation was simple: to follow the decaying fence, all the way to my summit.

A few drops of rain fell on me as I reached the top, and with no views to admire I paused only long enough to receive a message from Mick telling me had been on his second Munro of the day at 10.10. Then I performed an about turn.

My intention to take a direct line back towards where I had crossed the railway no longer held appeal. In the lack of visibility that would have required some navigation, whereas simply following the fence line back down was easy - and with no other plans for the day there was no reason to opt for a shorter return route.

It's often the case that I finish a walk just as the rain starts, but today I timed my outing badly. I was a mile or so from Bertie when the rain started to become more than a few sprinkles, and about half a mile away when it became heavy enough to make waterproofs advisable. I was too close to shelter to bother by that point, so arrived back a little damp around the edges.

(6.5 miles, around 500m ascent)


  1. That is Scottish hill walking all over. Unless you are prepared to climb some of them in poor weather and take some satisfaction from handling those conditions skilfully you would find yourself taking forever, especially if you are ticking off Munros or some other list. Good for you.

  2. See my blog for some photos of what you missed!

  3. See my blog for photos of what you missed Gayle. Conrad does have a point though.