Text by Sam Hamilton-Martin, Street Fit Scotland
StreetFit Scotland are undertaking an exciting and ambitious new hiking challenge. The goal is to train our modest StreetFit group and gain experience that will eventually take us to the summit of a Munro.
Our first challenge was Dumyat, a hill at the western extremity of the Ochil Hills overlooking the Wallace Monument and Stirling. Led by Rachel from Mhòr Outdoor we met at Edinburgh Waverley station on a cloudy Thursday morning. There was a light drizzle in the wind but we were all confident that the dry weather would prevail whilst reassuring each other that we had an ample supply of sunscreen.
The train to Stirling took around forty minutes and a bus journey followed shortly afterwards. We arrived at Dumyat farm at 11:30 where the hike would begin. Standing at the base of Dumyat there was a collective appreciation of the scale of the task as we took in the outstanding beauty of the landscape. Willow trees lined up beside a gentle stream flowing through the farm and a bridge took us to the gate of the summit.
We set out along a meandering Gorse shrouded path which opened up to the green hill blotched with shrubs and more sweet smelling, yellow Gorse. A quick glance behind gave us a taste of the magnificent view we would find at the summit where a memorial stands 419 feet high. The climb was simple as the shrubs were replaced by waves of tinted grass and the slope was gradual but persistent.
There was a clear path to follow which meant we had plenty of time to engage each other in conversation. The mood was pleasant and comfortable as we exchanged banter and smiles, maintaining the StreetFit supportive vibe.
Closer to the memorial at the summit the gradual hill became soil based steps that were easy to manage and mostly large enough to accommodate two full sized boots. The final ascent exposed the volcanic rock that formed over 2.5 million years ago which led us to the grassy summit and the memorial standing in the middle.
The view was staggering as we took in the Wallace Monument, Stirling, Falkirk and the River Forth. As we sat drinking a well earned brew there was a natural harmony that had developed between a group of freshly formed hikers and an acknowledgement that this challenge we had set ourselves was not only achievable but immensely worth the effort.
Mhor Outdoor has partnered with Street Fit Scotland for the ‘Belonging in the Hills‘ Project which will see a team develop their hiking skills throughout Summer 2021. ‘Belonging in the Hills’ is supported by the National Lottery Community Fund and the Scottish Mountaineering Trust.