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  The Chatter Box : Travel
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Re: Favourite Climbs. by Ken Dunn on 2 May 2017 5:22am
Kilrie has been one of my recent walking areas. It is about 6 miles from where I live in Dalgety Bay, about halfway to kirkcaldy on 'the back road'. The 'front road' is coastal and takes you through Aberdour, Burntisland and Kinghorn.
Re: Favourite Climbs. by Ken Dunn on 2 May 2017 5:36am
Allermuir hill is about 5 miles to the south of Edinburgh and is the highest hill in the Pentland Hills range. I accessed this one from its north side off the ring road which forms a general semicircle round Edinburgh. It is less than Munro height, I reckon about 2,700 feet.


One of the nice things about Allermur hill is that I can see it every day (except when it is bucketing rain or there is heavy snow or fog) from our upstairs back bedroom window looking south over the Forth River estuary. As the crow flies it is about 20 miles away.

To be continued.
Re: Favourite Climbs. by Ken Dunn on 2 May 2017 5:49am
East Kip and West Kip are also in the Pentlands range and are accessed from one of the roads that head south from the ring road which goes round Edinburgh.
Re: Favourite Climbs. by Ken Dunn on 2 May 2017 5:57am
Arthur's Seat is the highest point in Edinburgh and it offers great views over the city. It can be accessed from different directions as it lies in Holyrood park. I think it is less than 2,000 feet high and the 'tourist route' as tricky because it is rocky in places.
Re: Favourite Climbs. by Ken Dunn on 4 May 2017 4:38am
Schiehallion, as far as I can remember, has boulders on its sides but it is possible to pick an easy way through them to the top. It is famous for gravity tests. Many years ago Scientists visited this mountain and because it is an enormous saddleback lump that rises quite steeply tests were done on the side of the mountain to see if a plumb line was pulled off the vertical by the mass of the mountain. I can't remember if the tests were successful. The approach from the nearest road is quite undulating and it takes a while to reach the ascent. It is possible to walk the saddleback ridge when you are near the top.
Re: Favourite Climbs. by Ken Dunn on 5 May 2017 2:38pm
* Ben Bowie could be a rather long post because it is the small hill (about 1,500') to the north east of Helensburgh, where I first stayed after moving to Scotland in 1976. Before moving nearer to Ben Bowie I stayed in Sutherland Street and to keep fit started running. Helensburgh lies to the north side of the Clyde estuary and its north south streets are quite steep so provide hill work when out running. Ben Bowie was better for hill running as most of it was on a narrow road, farm track and then the hillside itself.
* Within a couple of years after moving to Scotland I decided to have a go at the Ben Nevis race and Ben Bowie became my training ground. To cut a long story short I completed the Ben Nevis race after the third attempt. On the first attempt I wasn't fit enough and on the second I had a cold so didn't start. My time from bottom to top and back again was about 2 hours and 45 minutes with the winner being about an hour quicker then me. I was very happy just to have completed the event.
* Back to Ben Bowie. To climb it was a right turn at the front door in the street where I lived, with a cycling friend, and along the road for about 1/2 mile before joining the farm track NE for another mile then through a gate (over a stile?) onto the farmland that was the side of the hill. A steady climb for another mile brought me to the foot of the summit lump and a final push for about 10 minutes (I never ran this bit) ant I was on the small plateau on the top. I rarely stayed on the top too long - just enough time to catch my breath - then back down, sometimes with very slight variation along the same route that I came up.
* I sometimes walked this route in both directions to stay in trim for some of the bigger mountains I climbed and one of these walks I can remember fairly well. It was a winter's day and there had been a heavy snow fall and the temperature was well below 0 degrees C. I decided to do the Ben Bowie route as training for any winter climbing I may need to do although I tended to be a fair weather climber most of the time. Fully kitted out I set off and the going was tough through the not too deep snow and icy sections where the snow had been blown away. I remember on the farmland getting a beautiful winter photograph with my Olympus OM2, the amazing thing about the photo being that it was monochromatic even though it was taken on colour film. The scene was snow and silhouettes of of the trees and fence/hedgerows along the side of the field and there was a sparkle to the photo caused by the bright sunlight from the left reflecting on the still frozen snow crystals.
* Would you believe that I don't remember anything of the view from the top of Ben Bowie, probably because I was up it so often, but from the top Helensburgh lay to the south west, the River Clyde to the south and to the north open land with wooded patches here and there in the direction of Loch Lomond which was hidden behind other smallish hills.
Re: Favourite Climbs. by Ken Dunn on 18 January 2019 4:58am
Having been doing easier walks locally recently I decided in the new year to try going back to a ridge climb not too far away. At the top of this climb there are great views of Fife: East and West Lomond to the north, the Forth estuary to the south, Kirkcaldy to the west and Mossmorran (an oil refinery plant) to the east.
On my first visit there this year I saw a fox, a rabbit and a buzzard. There was also another bird (animal?) making a loud noise in the wooded area but I was unable to spot it. On my second visit I took my camera and before cresting the ridge I prepared it for capturing some of the animals I as seen last time in a photograph or two. I saw no animals but got a few good photographs of the views.
Re: Favourite Climbs. by Ken Dunn on 30 January 2019 9:34am
A neighbour of mine summitted Kilimanjaro last October and achieved this feat through rigorous training and being well prepared for the challenge. I've seen on BBC Breakfast this morning that Dan Walker is to attempt the climb with some other celebrities for Comic Relief. Alan Hinkes was on the programme and offered Dan help with his training. Dan seemed to decline. It is reported that Dan is to take some time off because of the climb and I hope he puts that time to good use getting very fit and used to very low temperatures, steep climbing and thin air. Even the top of Ben Nevis has rarefied air compared to that at sea level.
Re: Favourite Climbs. by Ken Dunn on 5 March 2019 9:14am
Dan Walker is back to work from climbing on Kilimanjaro last week. He's looking none the worse for the achievement and I congratulate him and any others in the group who may have reached the summit. There's a report on the event on BBC TV on 14th March. I don't have full details.
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