Alan, Allan, Davie C, Davie Mc, Dougie, Gus, Ian, Jimmy, Johnny, Kenny T, Rex, Robert
The day’s plan was to meet at the entrance to Chalmerston opencast mine on the outskirts of Dalmellington and climb Benbeoch (464m). We were graced with good weather for the third week in a row and soon were on our way, led by Derval Davie, resplendent in new boots.There was a steady relentless climb up the mine roads (the mine is now disused and so other than a farmer in his 4x4 we had no traffic to contend with) and soon, as tradition dictates, we were strung out over a fair distance. Those with cameras took time to stop and take in the ever-improving views as the early morning mists and low cloud cleared from the distant hills. When our chosen track ran out we took to the open ground and made our way up a rough overgrown path which followed a stone wall. Care had to be taken as there were holes and wee gullies hidden underfoot, but we reached the base of the summit relatively unscathed. The final leg led to a schism with most taking a leftward turn to make the steep climb and the other a right. This section was harder going over the long grass but all made it to the top, eventually, with those taking the sinister route just beating the dexters.*
At the cairn, coffee was taken whilst the panorama was enjoyed. Over to Loch Doon, Carlin’s Cairn and Shalloch on Minnoch and beyond, across to Mochrum Hill, Maybole, Ailsa Craig and Arran, round to Whitelee and much to Jimmy’s annoyance, Auchinleck! We obviously had a bird’s eye view of Dalmellington and Burnton, (or was it Craigmark?) and could see the mine workings in all their glory.
When it was time to move off, the main group decided to go down the side of the hill and extend the walk, whereas Allan and Johnny retraced their steps and were back at their car three hours after setting off.
* the benefits of a classical educashun