I’ve just climbed the Miller’s Knowes, a hill about half-a-mile from my house which gives a commanding view of most of Hawick. It also exposes you to the wind, whatever time of year you climb it!
The ascent begins at a small gate beside the main road that leads to a gently sloping tarmac path between two houses. Immediately behind the houses, the path ends at a steep green bank. The local council has kindly put some wood box steps up the first twenty or thirty feet of the slope. Even so, my breathing became laboured and my heart started to pound. At this stage all I could see was the steeply sloping grass banked, criss-crossed by several trails marking the routes taken by my predecessors. When the steps ended, I had to follow someone else’s footsteps the rest of the way. The gradient was so steep there was no opportunity to pause for breath. A steady pace was eventually rewarded with the tip of a steel structure – the communication mast that tops the hill.
Soon I was approaching a crest, only to see another rise beyond, traversed by the familiar network of paths. I chose a daigonal route to ease the climb and crested another rise, to discover still more heights to scale! Another day perhaps.