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]

Wednesday 7 July 2021

White Hill

Sunday 4 July
Start: Highfield Certified Location campsite, Lochmaben
Distance: 10km
Ascent: 260m

On Friday I’d perused the map, trying to find a suitable hill to visit on our way home. I’d selected Hill of Wirren (which we’d been up on Saturday), as it met the requirements I had as to distance and terrain. However, during that process I noticed that I had a hill unbagged just a few miles west of the A74(M). It confused me for a while as I could remember visiting a marilyn thereabouts, and there wasn’t another one marked on the map. I also established that I hadn’t been up a hill by that name. A bit more digging revealed the truth: a few years ago I had been up Hightown Hill, which neighbours White Hill, but an intervening survey had promoted White Hill in place of Hightown as the Marilyn summit.

Examination of the gpx file I’d recorded on my visit to Hightown Hill in 2018 disclosed that our route off the hill had taken us to within 100m linear and 20m vertical of the top of White Hill. How annoying that I didn’t notice at the time how close the two tops were in height, as if I had I’m sure I would have nipped up it by way of insurance. As I hadn’t, the Certified Location campsite at Lochmaben benefitted from our repeat custom, so that I could get up on Sunday morning and trot off up the lane to bag the ‘new’ summit.

I didn’t form a lollipop of a route this time, but did a simple out and back through sheep and cow pasture of grass of lengths varying between ‘cropped’ and ‘knee high’. After overnight rain, my shoes were soon squelching.

On the way up some cows looked like they were vaguely considering whether it was worth the effort of coming all the way across the field to investigate this stranger passing through their home. On the way down it had started to rain and they’d all decided that lying down was the best place to be.

The rest of my return was entirely uneventful. Notwithstanding the dampness, it was a pleasant leg-stretch before a few hours of driving. 

The high point mid-snap is Hightown Hill, atop which I stood in 2018

View (at least the cloud had ascended with me; when I set out the top had been covered) 
The notable difference between outward and return routes is where I went through a different gate on the way back (by inattention, not by design!)