From almost any high point in the Carluke/Lanark area the long outline of the Campsie Fells dominates the skyline to the northwest beyond Glasgow and in keeping with our recent Covid-led itinerary, this relatively local range of hills was chosen for the club’s July outing. The particular target was Dumgoyne - a prominent, easily spotted bump at the western end of the range, and it’s near neighbour Earl’s Seat. Dumgoyne could readily be described as Glasgow’s answer to Tinto albeit considerably lower.
The horrendous forecast for heavy rain accompanied by thunder/lightening kept numbers down to only a handful of brave souls desperate for a day in the hills. In the event the weather was mostly fine with only one heavy shower towards the end of the walk.
Cars were parked in the small roadside lay-by beside the Glengoyne Distillery with the good direct path starting just to the right of the distillery. Once over the two adjacent stiles at the foot of the hill the main path heads straight up the south face although there are a number of other options to choose from which meander across the hill making the ascent less steep if need be. This early in the morning the hill was fairly quiet with more “hill runners” than walkers met. As anticipated, the view from the top was excellent although the forecast weather coming from the east and south obscured the view in this direction.
From the summit the onward route out to Earl’s Seat was readily picked out, the main problem at this point being how to tackle the descent from Dumgoyne. The path was steep and slippery with lots of loose rubble to negotiate (a bit like parts of the Tinto descent) but at least it was relatively short. Once down and onto the good path the route out to Earl’s Seat is gently undulating and easy to follow, passing over the cairn at Garloch Hill and negotiating a few wire fences along the escarpment. By this time the bad weather that had been forecast was seen to be headed towards the party along with a few rumbles of thunder thrown in for good measure and the return leg was a race against the weather – a race easily won by the rain.
Details of the club and future walks can be found on the club’s website at http:/upperwardmountaineeringclub.org.uk.