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Report on the Whangie
Sunday 20th February 2004

John suggested a walk to The Whangie at the club night. I had heard of this strange rock formation and wanted to see it for myself. The legend has it that the devil was late for a meeting at a witches' coven, and he went swooping round the hill in such a hurry that his tail caught and sliced open the hillside. Apparently Whangie means slice but we think it is because the first person who discovered it couldn't think of a better name...a bit like thingy.

John, Anne and myself set off from Queens View Carpark, which is on the Milngavie - Drymen Road, at about 10am. It was bitterly cold but with great visibility. The mountains were all snow covered and we could see for miles. We headed up to the trig point at Auchineden Hill and looked around for the Whangie. Where was this Whangie? We decided to use this day to practise our navigation skills by using our maps and compasses and seeing what my GPS could do as the instructions are so complicated. You know what it's like with gadgets, we haven't got the patience to read all the instructions, we just want to start pressing the buttons and finding out for ourselves. Still couldn't find this Whangie, makes you wonder if we could find sand at the seashore! Did we expect this grand rock to rise up before our eyes? We knew we were near it, then John looked over the edge from where we were standing, and lo and behold... there is was. We climbed down and walked through this rock corridor which narrowed at the far end. There were many large flakes of rock around. It was a spectacular sight. If only Robin, the club's geologist, was here he could explain it to us. Good place for lunch as we were sheltered from that icy wind. One minute we felt we were the only ones there then somebody would pop up from nowhere...spooky!

We decided to carry on and head for the Burncrooks Reservoir, still practising our navigation only to be told by 3 people that came up behind us that they were following us....what a risk they were taking!!! It also made us feel better when 2 women shouted to us asking where the Whangie was, so John confidently gave them directions. We headed down to the reservoir but went over a style 3 times thinking we were going in the wrong direction. Well not strictly true, Anne went over the style 3 times, we noticed that the gate opened. That was time for our second lunch of day. We sat at the reservoir trying to work out what was the purpose of short wooden planks with grooves and hinges that were either tied onto a railing or were free standing. I thought they were for the fishermen to stand their rods up while they ate lunch and as Anne and John couldn't think of a better reason my guess won. We then headed round towards a small burn where the map showed a path on the right hand bank. Path... what path! We just had to work our way along the hillside and along the edge of the forest, back the Whangie and trig point then down to the car.

What made the day enjoyable was the fact we were not in a hurry, we had time to look around at the features and identify them on our maps, we had time to work out exactly where we were and practise our navigation, we were not exhausted, the views were superb and the company was excellent.

Quote of the day from Anne.......are satellites up in the sky???




Photos: John Darroch and Irene Cahill

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Mountaineering Council of Scotland
Scottish Youth Hostels Association

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