In the last two years I've found myself standing on the summit of The Kingdoms highest hill more than any other time. The Lomond Hills are viewed and passed by tens of thousands of people each year as they motor up and down the M90. Looming over the magnificent Loch Leven, I am sure these hills are a tad underrated. I am one of those motorists who pass by two or three times a week and until 2014 had only really been up them when out with the kids on sunny summer days.
Yesterday I decided to explore a little further and was delighted to descend via the popular Maspie Den. My friend from Glasgow had been up a few weeks earlier and was keen not to miss the waterfall this time. A waterfall, I thought- mmmm. The last waterfall I had visited was the Falls of Glomach and my mocking words were heard from when we left Falkland , up and over East Lomond to West Lomond and in to the descent. How on earth was there a waterfall on these shallow slopes, a babbling brook maybe? Well a short time later I was well and truly eating my words! The Yad Waterfall isn't big, its source is a small burn but it sure is scenic. Unfortunately there wasn't much water falling over it yesterday but I would highly recommend it as I would the rest of the walk - short video here :
Earlier we had ascended East Lomond from the picturesque Falkland, recently made popular by the Outlander TV show - its easy to see why this location was chosen! Historic Fife on a par with the East Neuk!
A steep pull through the Autumnal Forests saw us top out on a breezy summit, with sea views to the south and snow capped mountains to the North. A familiar trail led us to the "car park" as we continued on to West Lomond and deciding to take shelter from the strong northerly we ascended the last pull from the quarry. The sheep weren't daft either all keeping warm in the lee of the hill. A quick stop on the summit (views great as always) and we headed back down towards Maspie Den. At this time of year the colours were rich and I would thoroughly recommend Maspie Den. I'll be back soon!
Prior to this visit I had also visited West Lomond from a different line of attack the month before. Usually experienced on the high hills, I felt an eerie present as I was reaching the top of the ridge... Someone was watching me, then, out of the corner of my eye I spotted a climber moving very quickly up the rocky ridge to me left... A strange movement until I turned round to witness one of the most vivid Brocken Spectres I have seen. The inversion had moved a layer of cloud round the hill, and just under my position. As I had been moving up hill I hadn't noticed this until this point. I stood and watched myself cast onto the cloud by the strong midday sun until the cloud moved away - a grand sight and rather fitting as Halloween was just round the corned!! A tongue in cheek video here :
Great hills and so much variety and places to explore.... Fifes finest....
Some thoughts and reports from my outdoors activties...