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10 x mad?: Why Alex and Jamie climbed Dumgoyne 10 times in one day

Written by Fiona

July 29 2018

Climbing Dumgoyne once in one day is enough for most people. Yet keen running friends Alex Berry and Jamie Aarons decided to summit the hill near Strathblane, Stirlingshire, 10 times in a day.

Hubby G and I joined them for the final three summits – and I have to say that was more than enough for us. Andy, Jamie’s partner, did the final two ascents. Various other friends joined the ladies for one or two climbs.

Jamie and G on the 8th ascent.

Dumgoyne becomes Plan B

When Alex and Jamie saw the weather forecast for Saturday there Plan A, to complete multiple Munros, needed adjusting. Alex said: “The weather looked horrible and so we decided we would stay closer to home on a smaller hill. We wanted to get a lot of ascent into our legs for the races that we have coming up and so we chose the short but steep Dumgoyne.”

While Alex is training for Salomon Glen Coe Skyline, Jamie is going for her third entry to the Montane Tor des Geants. The friends spend a lot of their training time finding ways to add a great deal of elevation gain into runs.

Still looking strong… Jamie on the final ascent.

Always smiling: Alex enjoyed the training day.

10 x 385m on Dumgoyne

They worked out that 10 summits of Dumgoyne would take them close to 4000m of total elevation. The hill has a summit trig of 427m and an elevation of 385 from bottom to top.

Dumgoyne is a steep climb and the women hiked up (fast) and ran back down. By the time G and I arrived they were just finishing their seventh ascent.

They had the company of other friends for all but two ascents and Jamie’s two dogs did a total of four ascents.

The duo’s final ascent.

Thoughts on the day

Jamie admitted that it wasn’t the most exciting way to spend a day but it did achieve the desired training output. She said: “I need to be getting lots of climbing into my legs and Dumgoyne up and down is great for that. It hasn’t been easy, which worries me a bit with my TdG race coming up, but I think it was our best option with today’s weather.”

Alex said that climb four was the toughest. Still nursing injuries from her attempt of the Cape Wrath Ultra, she said her knee started to hurt on the fourth climb.¬†¬†Alex added: “I was quite worried but I got to the bottom and taped my knee and since then it has felt ok. The descending is more painful than the ascending for me. It has been a great day though.”

The 10th summit of the day for Jamie and Alex.

Both ladies were grateful for friendly company. Alex said: “The time has passed much quicker than I thought it would and that has been helped by having friends doing most of the hill climbs with us. It has been a good distraction.”

Jamie added: “It’s been great to see different people throughout the day. I have some niggles but I have mostly been fine. We will be back out again tomorrow doing more climbing and hopefully the weather will allow us into the mountains again soon.”

The final descent. Jamie in the foreground, with G and Andy behind.

Jamie and Alex completed their 10 ascents of Dumgoyne in around 7.5 hours. They had a fairly steady pace throughout. What a brilliant achievement – and a great day of (inventive) training. I am still not sure I would manage the 10 ascents in a day though.

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