Inspired by the enthusiasm of Richard Johnson and Bill Cook for this regular mid-week walk, I managed to join in one Wednesday evening after a meeting at the office in Stirling.
It was one of the last of the 2005 walks, towards the end of September (the final one a few weeks later turned into a party, I understand). I found the narrow road from Bridge of Allan, which wound steeply up the hillside behind Stirling University campus. The meeting point was at a layby at the high point on the road where it passed under a pylon line (map ref 813980 on the Stirling OS Landranger Map).
Although it was an overcast evening, the rain was holding off. Allan turned up, then Bill, and Louise, but Richard wasn't going to make this one. Allan's wife was there to walk the dog, but left us to complete the walk.
The hiking trail to Dumyat leaves from the roadside at this parking space, and then divides into an upper and lower trail - we went on the lower trail, an easy route through bracken, up to the rim of a kind of basin where the two trails merge again. From there we could look up to the squat shape of Dumyat, although the top was out of sight (see photo). The trail then ran up the gently grassy slope to the right of the steep bit, and on to the summit. All pretty straightforward really, and we weren't in a rush, so there was plenty of conversation.
Allan and Bill were eagerly anticipating the departure of their trip to Peru in aid of the Aberdour Trust (see the Lares Valley story and photos). But before that, they had to contend with the Aonach Eagach Ridge above Glencoe.
It was breezy on the summit, and just light enough for a couple more photos although there wasn't much of a view this time. On other occasions, the hikers will have had a splendid outlook over Stirling and the Forth Estuary and along the line of the Ochil Hills.
As we walked back, more spots of rain began to fall, but we made it to the cars without getting a soaking. I had to decline the offer of a pint in the pub and set off on the hour-long drive home. Even so, I could see why the regular walkers enjoyed this so much - it only took an hour and a half, but it was a refreshing way to break up the week.
Contributed by Andrew Llanwarne
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Taking a breather at the edge of the bowl where the upper and lower trails merge, before climbing the grassy slope ahead
Allan, Louise and Andrew beside the brazier on the summit.
Louise and Bill holding up the trig point