Clachnaben: A hill at last!

We (or rather, he) have been building up to getting back up a hill and today we did it! Small and local, Clachnaben was at it’s best today with the autumnal colours vibrant in the woodland. However, despite this the summit was shrouded in cloud and mist for much of the afternoon.

Full Car Park!

The car park at Clachnaben has a fair amount of space, but arriving early afternoon we found it full! Thankfully there we found a wee space just down the road where we could tuck in off the road. It must be regularly used for overspill as there’s a sign directing you to the path that joins up with the car park track, avoiding heading back along the fast road.

Down the Track

After a short climb, the track heads downhill. Ordinarily the knobbly summit of Clachnaben is visible at this point; today there was nothing.

Continuing on, we followed the track down and crossed a few small streams, all by bridges. The track was wet in places with a muddier section as we reached the gate and the beginning of the ascent for the day.

Up Through The Trees

There’s a small tree plantation; it was beautiful with vivid greens, orange, yellow. The path narrows in this section, staying high above the Mill Burn; m there are a fair amount of roots to look out for, slippery in the damp conditions. There was also a large tree down across the path. While you could just about get under it the easiest option appeared to be climbing over, both going up and down.

Stepping Up To The Top

There’s nothing too steep on route to the top, but there are sections that are made of rocky steps or boulders. This makes for a swift ascent / descent. Still we couldn’t see the top; if anything, the cloud seemed to be getting thicker!

We met quite a few people coming down and had a good blether with some.

Windy Summit

The knobbly mass of rock that marks the summit was visible just ahead of reaching it. The cloud was dry, blowing through at speed, and as we rounded the back of the summit the wind really picked up! It was very blustery indeed!

Given that the rock was wet and the wind was blowing hard I didn’t go all the way to the ‘true’ summit. Instead we about turned fairly quickly and headed back to get out of the wind again.

The Summit Clears

It’s always good to look back. As we did so, we saw the cloud blowing through quickly and at times caught glimpses of a clear summit. Retracing our steps and continuing down, it cleared completely and the full knobbly magnificence that is Clachnaben was revealed.

The walk back was quiet, only meeting one couple on the route up.

The afternoon light started to fade and we reached the car just ahead of dusk.

Happy days! He’s managed a hill. Another step on the road to recovery.

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