On a gorgeous crisp clear sunny January day we take a walk up the famous Whangie.
The Whangie is a bizarre and most unusual rock formation at the eastern end of the Kilpatrick hills. To get to it we drove for ten minutes south from Appletree Cottage and along the A809 until reaching Queen's View car park. From there a track leads up the side of the hill to the site.
Although the path has been made up and maintained - with good styles, gates and walks over the boggiest bits it is recommended that secure stout footwear is worn.
The path follows the north flank of the hill and can be icy in winter.
The walk up to the Whangie takes about 30-40 minutes.
The views on the ascent are fantastic. To the north one can see Loch Lomond with Ben Lomond towering above it on the eastern side whilst the Arrochar Alps in the distance look exciting for further adventure on another day!
To the east there are views down the fourth valley with Killearn and Balfron villages nestling in the dip..
And to the south east lie the Campsie hills..
Arriving at the Whangie
The Whangie arrives quite suddenly and unexpectedly. It is not like any of the hills or geology which surround it.
An unusual geological phenomenon the Whangie is the result of what is called "glacial plucking". This is caused when extreme low temperatures froze slabs of the basalt rock to the glacier. As the glacier moved the rocks stayed attached and were plucked from the hillside, causing a split and lean sheer rock walls rising above either side of the gap.
The Whangie is hugely popular with local climbers due to it being easily accessible. The craggy stable rocks form many faces, gully and chimneys for the climbers to try out, practice and learn their skills.
More about climbing at the Whangie and its various routes can be found here: https://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/crags/the_whangie-193
After a good look around we climbed to the trig point at the top of the hill and thence to a cairn on the east. From there the views were panoramic. As well as Loch Lomond and its surrounding hills to the north, the Forth Valley to the east and the Campsie, we could see south to Glasgow with the distant high rise flats on its outskirts clearly visible in the bright sunshine
We followed the crest of the hill on the journey back to the car. This we agreed was preferable to the initial climb route as it was in the sun and less icy - although a little boggy here and there.
As the terrain began to tail off down hill we were treated to an excellent view of Glengoyne Distillery at the foot of Drumgoyne hill.
Glengoyne is one of the few whiskies in Scotland to be made without the use of peat. The water for its superb distillation is taken from the burn which runs down the hillside.
After a great walk we made our way down to Queen's view car park and drove back to Appletree Cottage at Shandon Farm - with perhaps the prospect of a dram of Glengoyne later!