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Report on Conic Hill
29 December 2011

Today's Craggys were:- Irene, Kathryn, Maureen, Gail, Kenny, Peter, Alan, Robin and Jim.

Conic Hill was the destination for our last walk of the year. We started at the the carpark in Drymen and headed along the West Highland Way to Garabhan Forest.

Now we have done this walk numerous times before and never encountered any problems until today! So what went wrong?? In Garabhan Forest we came cross a sign saying the path was closed due to fallen trees from recent storm. Did we take that advice and turn not us Craggys! The first tree lying across the path wasn't too much of a challenge to negotiate so we continued on. As you can now imagine it got denser and more difficult to negotiate a way through. Alan got fed up and turned back to find an easy option of getting to Balamha. The rest of us intrepid mountaineers continued on. We decided to head to the edge of the forest at the first opportunity so we could see our way to Conic Hill. We were scratched to bits by the trees and pretty filthy by this time.

At last we were out of the forest and headed to Conic Hill but we were not exactly where we thought we were. We wondered why we had never seen this farmhouse before! We then had to cross a river by making quite a jump which to some of us was daunting. Eventually after plodding through difficult terrain we made the path and it was a welcome sight.

The walk up Conic Hill was rather miserable was it was wet and misty. We knew lunch at the Oak Tree Inn was what was driving us on. When we arrived in Balamha, Alan was waiting for us. We enjoyed our lunch and as the route would normally have taken us back into the forest we questioned if it was practical. As there was a bus back to Drymen within the hour, we unanimously decided the bus won!

All in all we had a good day even though it turned out not what we expected. Looking forward to many more walks in 2012.

Irene Cahill

Garabhan Forest
the first problem
uprooted tree
start of the assault course
Kenny with the diversion sign
Gail peeking through the trees
view of Conic Hill
Maureen enjoying her coffee
Ready for the off again
view of Loch Lomond
heading up Conic Hill
Wet and misty
snow covered Ben Lomond in the distance

Photos: Irene Cahill

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