Lendrick Hill – The Bottom Rung

It’s like the dawn of a new era…this get out the door and actually do something!

I never anticipated it would be over three years after the arrival of the “pups” before I would feel I wanted to walk any distance…never mind write up a blog about the day’s events.  I’d tried from time to time to make a return to both hill and blog but there was something missing which prevented it from working as I would have liked…hence the long absences and this month’s fresh start.  There are a number of reasons for this which will no doubt become apparent as the blog posts roll out. Having said that, I still don’t feel like walking any great distance but that is probably just me being cautious as it will take some time to establish what I can actually achieve with leg muscles than are, on a permanent basis, way tighter than before.

Given the above it seemed logical to start on the bottom rung of the hillwalking ladder. I rummaged through my old hill logs and came up with Lendrick Hill, a wee bump of 456m at the east end of the Ochil Hills where they begin to fizzle out into a series of minor bumps on the west Fife landscape. I remembered the route well – easy forestry road – short fire break ascent – open grassy stroll to summit and only about 45 minutes from the car. But, there was a possible blot on my easy amble landscape…a stock proof fence!

IMG_3366

Photograph taken 29/01/2009

I was last on Lendrick Hill some 7 years ago. I remembered the fence not being particularly high and therefore not a great obstacle – but it did involve some “dog tossing”. Now that was with a Labrador weighing roughly 37kg…the combined weight of the gruesome twosome is in excess of 60kg. But I am older and wiser and thought…

“Sod it…if we get to the top great, if we don’t…well no harm done.”

In other words my serious “dog tossing” days are done.
………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Today I welcomed back my shadow. He has been missing for a good few months now. I was beginning to think I had left him somewhere by mistake. As I was caught up in the novelty of the black shape at my feet my two thugs amused themselves by checking out every scent on the forestry road. “Not Fit for Purpose” followed her usual random pattern of ascent, eschewing the mostly unused road for adjacent terrain.

DSCF1453_edited-1

We were soon at the entrance to the firebreak where we would begin the ascent in earnest. I quailed somewhat when I realised that the grassy gap was rather steeper than I remembered. Steep was not on my current “to do” list. It was also a lot narrower. It would seem that trees grow a wee bit in seven years.

DSCF1460_edited-1

“Little Bear” felt the need for a ceremonial immersion before tackling our upward route.

In truth the ascent of the firebreak went reasonably well. I reigned in anything vaguely resembling enthusiasm and adopted a steady, s-l-o-w, plod. Anytime I felt in twinge in a knee or a calf I eased back but kept the upward movement going. It was not all plain sailing though. I hadn’t been on a hill in winter for some time and forgot that the ground is generally somewhat colder, harder and thus more slippery than you might find at other times of year. This is not something you want to rediscover when you are starting to suffer from a lack of traction…and see 35kg of enthusiastic Labrador hurtling down the slope towards you!

DSCF1465_edited-1
Rampaging canines not withstanding, I made it to the top of the firebreak in one piece and began the easy stroll to what was anticipated as being the bête noir of today’s walk – the dreaded fence. I was surprised that it looked the same as it did seven years ago…low enough for me to step over comfortably and low enough for a reasonably athletic dog to jump. It would appear that, as far as dogs go, mine do not fall into the “reasonably athletic” category. I began the search for the gap between the bottom wire and the ground. Luckily it was to be found less than 10m away – a gap of between 150mm and 225mm (6″ – 9″).

DSCF1471_edited-1

It is truly amazing to watch a 35 kg Labrador crawl through such a gap. As long as the head fits under the rest will follow. It has to really I suppose. They did need a bit of convincing but both managed – although I had to remove “Little Bear’s” collar as she kept getting stuck half way through.

Both were hitched up for the final amble to the summit and about 45 minutes after leaving “The Tank” we arrived at the summit cairn…in glorious sunshine. 🙂

DSCF1477_edited-1

DSCF1475_edited-1DSCF1498_edited-1

DSCF1482_edited-1

Advertisements

12 thoughts on “Lendrick Hill – The Bottom Rung

    • I haven’t had the heart to tell him about this yet Tessa. 😆

      I’ve been swithering over this for the past few weeks and it’s taken me a week or so just to set it up. I only pressed go 10 minutes ago. 🙂

      Like

    • Couldn’t stand the daily grind of local dog walking any longer. With both brain and body in degenerative mode I felt that something needed to be done. Turning cycle route signs to face water hazards was only going to take me so far… 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • HI Andrew, great to hear from you. 🙂 Thanks for commenting…I’ll be puting the post on Shills – photos have been re-sized to suit – now all I have to do is to remember how to “code” it. 😦 This could take some time.

      Like

  1. Nice to see you and your degenerates back again. Pity about the underwater cyclist but it has been a bit wet on the trails. More weight lifting required for any future “dog tossing” championships

    Like

    • Thanks Alan – It’s high time that the weights started lifting me! The “degenerates” will only be making the occasional appearance here certainly in the short term. On most hills I won’t be able to manage both them and my degenerating self. 😉

      Like

      • Just when we all thought that it was safe to go back on the hills . . . I am sure that Lindrick Hill has never done anything deserving of having the thugs imposed upon it.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Andy, sorry I’ve been awol from social media in general the past couple of weeks. Good to hear from you 🙂

      Still trying to see how this blog will develop. I think the posts might be a bit more sparodic than in the past but hopefully we’ll see the usual ludicrous mayhem develop. 🙂

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s