A new route with a rather vague description “Up via Lang Craigs and back via Doughnot Hill” appeared on the Wednesday runs. I met up with David Dickson and new John at the carpark near Overtoun House. While we waited for someone with a clue about where we were going to arrive, new John related a story of how the house was briefly famous when dogs started leaping to their deaths off the bridge over the gully. Judging from the number of dog walkers I passed on the road, I guess they’ve stopped doing that now. Or maybe not.
We finally decided that we were it, and set out along the Circular Path that lead steadily up below the crags. New John set a cracking pace, and we enjoyed regular glimpses of the craigs above us and the deep cutting of the Overtoun burn out to the left. Eventually the path met a corner of the Craigarestie Wood, where it promptly disappeared. We thrashed through the trees until we met a grassy path that traversed along the fence line at the top of the craigs. The views here were excellent, with the evening light streaming over the Clyde. The path reduced to a trod, and slopped gradually down, making for some challenging technical running. Eventually we came out at a forest road near the Greenland reservoir, and looped around the reservoir and back onto the track which led up through the forest. At the end of a few hundred metres of uphill, DD decided his legs and ankles had had enough, and he returned back to the carpark along the road. New John and I carried on, and, surprise!, met Ellenor at the Black Linn reservoir. Ellenor made a last-minute decision to run, arrived late, and had picked up the intended path from the corner of the Craigarestie Wood. We carried on together up to Doughnot Hill, taking a wide loop around the ridge to avoid the worst of the Black Linn bogs. Somewhere along the way I remembered that DD’s keys were in my bum bag. Oops! Views from the top were again excellent in the last of the evening light. Ellenor led the descent back to the reservoir, where we spent a few minutes puzzling out where to pick up the Circular Path. Some more trashing through the forest followed before we found it, and we then enjoyed an exhilarating, flat-out descent back to the start.
Perhaps not the intended route, but an outstanding evening in excellent company all the same.