A lovely sunny day, ruined by the dull incessant thud of blood coursing through ones cranium, the lack of sleep and the overall pain from the previous nights preparation.
Do not fear brave reader for although sunny the Rain Fairies had been kind and the ground was wet and decorated on northern lees with selections of snow.
The trail starter inauspiciously in a forestry turn beside the road. Some people out walking had engaged in conversation and this rather suggested that we were ramblers instead of proud Swamp Skiers. Then Kipper and Co arrived and the trail worryingly headed DOWN THE ROAD! to the first check. Fortunately a good double bluff took us off that terrible tarmac and North uphill through thick forest. After a while of bashing we came to an area recently felled and cleared and another check.
Three obvious ways from here Ahead and Up Left and Down or Right and boy did the pack scatter in wild abandon. A tough check and well laid but the true trail was eventually found to the right and along a narrow track we did head.
After about a furlong or three (I do not recall how long a furlong is so can be vague re the distance) another check was achieved. At this point the trail went north and up and up and up first through felling then through soaked mixed woodland both up stream and wet. Till then on open moor and hill to a check on the southface. Although some people like hurtybotty took a tangential short cutting route here many ploughed on and up to the hill top for great views of Loch Katrine way way way in the distance.
We took the hares jokes about bathing in Loch Katrine this day as mild jesting so as we headed north and down through the snow towards that loch (for the route from the hilltop check did dictate that was on on) we expected at anytime to veer off and return in. Oh what pitiful folly.
Many of the pack veered west toward the Glasgow Water Supply routmarkers feeling they offered a short cut and security and other like myself pressed on.
Allegedly the trail met the lochside though I have no independent verification that it did. The hares being bias and those that ran it would not wish to claim to have added extra route. I know that I never was without flour for long and never found my way barred by an F I did not respect and I mere skirted the Loch from a buff 60 yards above the water.
So the pack it its various guises turned south and up up up to the Obelisk like cairns that mark the line of the via-aqua. From the first hill top we were rewarded with a views that will remain special even to this day of the Arrochar Alps to the West and up north across Glengyle - birthplace of Rob Red MacGregor - to the mountains of Glen A82.
Persisos oper puer apparatus ocht the calamity of dressing in Scotland in winter snow on the ground yet hardly a cloud in the azure sky. We ran towards the sun across the hilltops and then down down and fast down back to the cars and onto MacDonald Hotels Forrest Hills Resort for swims and lunch etc.
Thanks to Tight Beaver and his Britches for a great outing.
Hughie Blaaaghr, Spring 2005