From the Cairn Ban Archives... 

Santa-stic Shortest Day

Ian Collinson, 21 December 2007

December is party and excess time. I've had 3 seperate works nights out this week - two curry nights and one very long lunch. Suffice to say, come Friday, lethargy and bloatedness abounded.

Jerome suggested a wee trip up the cobbler to blow away a cobweb or two. What? On the shortest day? Looking out into the murky freezing fog it did not look terribly appealing but off we set.

Bacon butties at the Little Chef helped set us up and we came to the rescue of an elderly couple who had a walked a few miles from their car which had run out of petrol. Onwards up Lomondside saw no end to the murky greyness that engulfed us. However on turning the corner into Arrocher a wee break on the mist gave a glimpse of the Cobbler.

The new path is an absolute dream and they've done really well to refresh what was once the bog trot from hell. After 200m the mirkwood mists disipated and we found ourselves above the fog in the glen and in a world of sushine clear blue skies and a terrific view of the world again. This was magical and enticing with offices, curries, beer, work, all left far behind. The sun shone brightly and warmly albeit still minus 5 in reality.

As we gained height the surrounding peaks became clear as they proudly poked up out of the temperature inverted valley fogs. Fruit loaf, coffee and erm.. Worcester Crisps were enjoyed at the summit and Jerome danced about on top of the summit pillar having threaded himself through the eye of the needle.

There were a few other souls on the hills to be seen on Narnain and Ime but not many. The sky sarted to darken - we summited at 2.30pm - and we headed back down. The hills started to turn pink then orange as the sun dipped down. A near full moon illuminated the descent. It was eerie though to renter the fog that had engulfed most of the central belt for the last few days and we left the magical heights behind us temperature plumetted to minus 7.

The journey back was, naturally, accompanied by a good old Xmas singalong with Mariah Carey taking centre stage accompanied by Slade and Wizard.

This was a tremendous invigorating, life affirming way to finish off the year ready for the Christmas holidays and meant more than a thousand projects or meetings. Such days are really living.

As Freddy Mercury sang... ’Thank God it's Christmas!’

I wish you all the merriest of Chrstmases!