Last Saturday was my “November hike day” and despite the late post here, I did make it out for the fourth consecutive month. The monthly streak of semi-serious hiking is still unbroken!!
Fitting for the end of November, my chosen day to keep the streak alive was the coldest day of the year by far (-4 degrees celsius on the “feels like” scale). It was just a day into Storm Arwen which had brought in the cold temps along with 50+ mph winds to the area.
It was chilly.
I was undeterred in getting out, but I’d be lying if my ambitions weren’t a little curbed by the storm. I didn’t feel like something too crazy steep or remote while on my own, so I decided to try heading up into the Campsie Fells via a path I’ve been up before and see if I could go further and make it to the top of Meikle Bin (the second-highest point in the Campsies) if everything went just right.
The route I planned to take from the south has never been mentioned in any guides I’ve seen for climbing Meikle Bin, and I soon found out why.
Every route up Meikle Bin has you approach from the north. I figured that this was because there is access via a road that lends itself to a good starting point. That was not the main reason though.
No, the main reason is that the approach from the south is guarded by an impenetrable wall of forestry land with a forest so thick you can’t throw a paper airplane into it.
I couldn’t have gotten through without going further east and north around the forest and then cutting back up the hill, and since I didn’t have an extra 2-3 hours that that would have required, I gave up after a long back-and-forth and headed back.
As an aside, a really large, dark, and thick forest is sort of terrifying to walk along when you are miles away from anyone else and there is enough of a windstorm happening that you can hear the constant creaking and groaning tree limbs. I got an eerie feeling that I could be swallowed up at any minute. I felt like I needed to get the hell away from that forest.
Anyways, despite not making it up to the top of Meikle Bin, this was not a walk spoiled. It was a great workout (I gained 1000 feet in just under 30 minutes at the start) and I got to see some highland cows on the way down, along with some spectacular views.
Meikle Bin will have to wait for another day.
Here is the full route:Download file for GPS
Here is my Garmin tracker from the hike: