With apologies to this old Scots rhyme..
On Tintock Tap, there is a mist
On Tintock Tap, there is a kist
And in that kist, there is a cup
And in that cup, there is a drap
Tak’ up that cup, and drink that drap, that’s in yon kist, on Tintock Tap !
Time to tell the story of the day of how Mhor and Roddy took to Tintock Tap…
This had been planned around the festive holiday period but initially Tinto was not the target hill(s) but was then pencilled in for the last weekend but a careful watch on the weather made a switch to Tinto but strong winds and with the possibility of rain showers knocked it on the head.
We decided on Tinto as the next hill and with texts and calls back and forth over Thursday and Friday with a decision to go on early Saturday morning.
The morning dawned misty with cloud levels on the Luss hills about 1400 ft but we knew Tinto had a path in case of low cloud or mist.
We headed through Glasgow then south along the M74 and as we do or should I say me ! I rabbited on that much we missed the turning so a diversion back towards Thankerton and the Tinto car park. We arrived slightly later than planned but all gear looked out and off I headed, I get sent ahead for two options, first because I’m slow and I can scout out any problem, I think the former is the correct one. There was cloud covering what we perceived was the summit area. The forecast was for sunshine at midday with a wind chill in the region of minus 9c.
I headed through some soggy bits which with a light overnight frost had made the going easier but after I passed the Iron Age fort the going got steeper but much drier. The Iron Age fort stands proud but it is better to view this from a higher height but you will recognise this as you see the ditch defences as you pass.
I headed steadily up occasionally stopping to look back and take in the views, Endomondo told me that the first mile had passed and not long after this I was joined by Roddy at the top of the first steep rise that cuts along the side of Totherin Hill, the path here is broken rock and is relatively easy-going but steadily rising and passing the rather funnily named ‘Maurice’s Cleuch’ on the right.( Cleuch means ‘narrow glen or valley’)
I could hear the occasional ‘chut!chut!chut!chuttt’ of a grouse… and the hillside towards Scaut Hill is cut in patches for grouse management, click HERE for more info.
We could see the summit as we headed over the second steep rise and it was then on to the last climb which eventually we were to summit.
First stop was a suitable spot next to a very handy fence line, I dropped the rukkie and headed to ‘bag’ the trig point. A short walk away is the Bronze Age cairn to which I added the stone I had carried from the ascent as I hoped this would be the catalyst for a good day. Photos were taken whilst the sun shone but there was a hazy horizon of rolling hills not the usual jagged outlines of northern hills. No panorama taken this time, an excuse to return.
Time to get the radio set up, I bungeed the mast to a fence post and called and called on 4m. Nothing ! I heard Roddy working Iain WJZ who was on Buachaille Etive Beag northern peak the impressively named Stob Coire Raineach and I was to later catch Iain on its other Munro top Stob Dubh. The day’s weather had brought more than a few GM stations out so next in the log was Colwyn YCJ on Stuc a’Chroin, his second summit of the day and to the immediate south of YCJ next was Jack COX on the summit of Uamh Bheag .
I tried 4m FM again and got called by Duncan AHL who lives the other side of the river from me. I had a quick talk with Duncan before calling again but to no avail. I dismantled the JPole and up I put the beam which I had assembled between calls on 4m.
70cm FM was my next band of choice and after a few calls I got a pleasant surprise being called back by Derek MIX who was out walking nearby the shores of Loweswater in the Lake District. I had last spoken with Derek from the summit of Robinson the previous September. A good contact. This followed by a chat with Billy VYU who was in nearby Carluke. This was all I raised on 70cm but I had activated the hill for myself.
Meanwhile the wind chill was starting to take effect and much moving of hands and upper body to stay warm, my feet ? no problem as I had recently acquired a pair of mid weight boots which are designed for cold conditions. Toasty toes..
Further to the NE, Adrian DHY was worked on the summit of Meikle Say Law in the Lammermuir hills whilst I then swung the beam south when I heard Richard JTD on WOTA summit Lank Rigg to the south-east of Whitehaven. I did briefly hear a well kent Lancaster station talking to Richard. Another WOTA point for the log. I had said that I was going back up to S20 the calling frequency and as a result I worked two stations in the Annan area, Mark MPB and this time at his home town Geoff WHA.
Whilst scanning the 2m band I heard Jack COX talking to Robin PKT who was on the summit of Beinn nam Beathrach just the south of Loch Sunart in the Morvern area. With some fiddling about, changing this and that we finally got the summit to summit with Robin, a good contact of about 170 kms away with some bigger hills between. This was the last STS of the day, a total of six STSs, one STS to a WOTA fell.
The last calls in the log were Liz EPW and Colin XSD based in the Cumbrian village of Frizington.
A good end to a chilly day on Tinto. It was time to descend as the ground was firming under our feet.
I packed everything back in the rukkie in its usual haphazard way and off we set down the path and after only 50 mins Roddy was brewing the hot water for a cuppa. An excellent hot ending to Tinto.
The car park is in great condition and seeing the amount of folk and dogs who trekked to the top in the time we were there it certainly paid off extending and upgrading it.
Heading home we took the right road this time and a cracking view of the setting sun having the sky on fire to the SW of us had Roddy stopping to photograph this although rather strangely he attracted an entire field of ewes who came trotting nay running towards him and looked whimsically at him when he returned to the Landy and drove away. Perhaps his ‘Ewe de Cologne’ ?
A first activation of 2013, a lot earlier than the previous year and hopefully more activity for me on the summits in ’13. A few pointers taken out of this activation and will be put into practice next hill.
A big thanks to Roddy 2MØIOB for the tour and waiting on me again !
Thanks again to Wikipedia, Peakbagger and any other websites I have linked to.
To embiggen any image just right-click and they should open in a separate window.
Typical in my preparing this I managed to make 4 errors…yeah 4 but thanks to my eagle eyed ‘friends?’, Neil and Roddy.
Tinto means ‘Fire (or Fiery) hill’ from the Gaelic, there are other meanings due to the colour of red stone present.
it is 707m or 711m, the lesser is ground level and the higher is on top of the Bronze Age burial cairn.
Hill classification : Marilyn, Graham, Donald
Geohack Info HERE