3rd – 6th December 2021
Day 1 - Milngavie to Balmaha (21 miles, 2,100 ft elevation)
A leisurely start; we catch the train from Oxenholme and onwards to Glasgow. In amongst the
catching up, laughter and snacks it was easy to forget where we were going and what was ahead
A midday arrival into Milngavie and time felt of the essence with 20 miles to cover that day and
fading light in just a few hours.
We find the official start and sheepishly ask the unlucky passer-by who makes eye contact if they
will take our picture. Formalities complete its time to get running. The terrain is flat and good
underfoot, so we find ourselves ticking off the miles comfortably, leaving the city behind and
looking ahead towards the Campsie Fells.
The weather is surprisingly mild for December. Our laden packs feel heavy and overpacked as
we find ourselves in t-shirts, but the forecast on days ahead looks uncertain and unsettled so
hopefully we will get some use out of all the extra layers.
We’re in a good flow. Energy is high and conversation a plenty then… we realise we’ve taken a
wrong turn! The route is incredibly well signposted, so we feel a bit daft but never mind, back we
go with an extra mile in our legs for the day.
Before we know it, we’re heading towards the one and only hill of the day, Conic Hill, guarded by
some gorgeous Highland Cows. Fatigue from the faster flat miles has set in. The light fades
quickly but we hold off as long as possible before getting the head torches out. Reaching the
highest point on the hill, Loch Lomond stretches out before us.
The final decent towards our lodgings for the night finds us sliding uncontrollably down the
eroded hillside, but the hard work is done for the day. We relax as the bright lights of Balmaha
appear and hunker down in a cosy pub for tea.
Day 2 - Balmaha to Crianlarich (30 miles, 3,000ft elevation)