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!)


  1. I see you both finished the LL50. How did you feel? Sorry not to meet you along the route ... Paul

    1. Hi Paul! I checked out your result too and saw that you'd been ahead of us the whole time, hence we didn't get to see you on the way.

      Just about the only thing that went to plan for me was the fact that I finished. So much else went awry, particularly the fact that I suffered from the worst case of indigestion I've ever had for the final 10 hours. Mick had a rather happier time than I did.

      How about you? Did you have a fun time of it?

    2. I was very surprised how well I managed. After the first 3rd I had a bit of a malfunction in my right leg which prevented me running downhill. Despite this I did not get very tired, not injured, and no great need for recovery.
      Generally fun, yes and I'm minded to try my luck in September for another go.

      A few people seemed to have stomach problems - I wonder if there was some dodgy food at one of the checkpoints.

    3. I'm almost certain that my digestive distress was entirely of my own making (when I said "I'm definitely dehydrated" at Mardale Head, why in the world did I not spend some of the half hour we were there drinking a few cups of water?!), combining dehydration with a fatty snack eaten whilst walking.

      The benefit of having gone for a 50-mile walk, rather than the intended run, is that it was a lot easier on the body.

      I'm publishing a series of posts on t'other blog ( giving my thoughts on what went well and what didn't.

      As for next year, I won't be entering but Mick may, so it's possible that we'll be there.