Feeling uncharacteristically indulgent towards the urchins, we relieved them of their usual sleeping-bag-carrying duties and bought an additional giant rucksack for us grown-up mules. We parked at Inveruglas Visitor Centre, and headed sherpa-like into Glen Sloy.
The broad tarmacked road (which serves Sloy Hydro Dam) ascends gently round the base of Ben Vorlich for a couple of miles, and makes for easy walking. Nevertheless we managed to hit the 60ish minute mile pace, as the kids dawdled and admired the abundant cow pats.
Somehow, walking at snail's pace is much more tiring on the burdened shoulders and back than a brisk hike, so we took a bit of time out for some chocolate fudge, body temperature Coke, and boulder appreciation. At this point I could see Ben Vorlich, Ben Vane, Beinn Ime and Beinn Narnain, and I marvelled at the Arrochar Alps race route. Matt's six-hour race time suddenly made sense. The slopes are steep, rugged, apparently pathless, and make the Pentlands seem like diddy wee hillocks. Sloy Dam loomed in a vaguely sinister fortress-like manner. It took a very long time to reach.
|60 minute mile pace...huzzah!|
|Our sleepy hollow.|
|Family-friendly campsite with recreational facilities.|
|"Pyramid Rock": the most coveted boulder, and scene of urchin skirmishes.|
|A serendipitously accurate rendering of my blurry morning vision.|
|The morning briefing: "We're going thataway!"|
|Rosie balancing a large rock on her head.|
|Propping up part of the mountain.|
|Ben Vorlich looking imposing.|
|Possibly the true summit in the distance.|
|Beast of burden.|
After a swift descent to Inveruglas Visitor Centre (we must have been getting on for 30 minute miles!) we'd worked up quite an appetite, and the cafe a welcome sight. "We'll have one of...er...everything, please!"