The Peasouper Skyline from Hell
A little group stick together
By Tom Moffat
To the tune of "The Manchester Rambler"
by Ewan McColl


I'm a scrambler, I'm a scrambler, from Carnethy way
I get all me pleasures the hill running way
I may be a sane man on Monday
But I am a hill freak on Sunday.


I've done a few big hills, well bigger than mole hills
I've pounded the tarmac as well
But my greatest achievement was almost bereavement
'Twas the Peasouper Skyline from Hell.
Well, it was my first ever, and I say No, nay, never
Will I ever attempt it again
I was out of my depth and I'll be taking great steps
To be elsewhere when asked to perform (again).
Well some folks may decide I'm a coward
Tho' I'll race with the best and the worst
But there's certain events in a man's life
When he must put his sanity first


After some meditation and much trepidation
I turned up in the mist to check in
I asked a lost skier, as through the mist I did peer
Were there other hill runners searching
For the office to register, for this tough soul tester?
He said, "I don't think I can tell
But if you follow me closely, I can promise you truly
Without doubt you'll be lost here as well.”
I found the check in at last on a small slope
Climbed steps that were really quite steep
And after I checked my equipment
I was ready for what I might meet


A thinner bit of mist!
We were off like a shot, boy, the pace it was hot
Up that slope with a jump, step and hop
But when I reached Caerketton, I wouldn't have bet on
Ever reaching Castle Law's top
Well, though it was a worry, I tried not to hurry
As I fell over Allermuir's fence
It was some consolation that I felt no sensation
In my legs, which were wobbly and tense.
I crawled past the white hare in the gully
Heard the curlew laugh high overhead
But chance was before I made Turnhouse,
It was possible I'd be stone dead.


Well, Turnhouse was a slog and in that bloody fog
Climbing certainly wasn't a treat
Some fool at the car had said, "It's only haar”
Dissipate in the first hundred feet.
So, with energy draining, I just wasn't gaining
"Oh, please lord, for some company"
If I sat on my hunkers and put on a jumper
Then someone might overtake me.
Overjoyed then when I reached the summit
How many tops still to go?
The only way this could get worse, mate,
Was if it started to sleet or to snow.

Ennox ascends East Kip
If Scald Law or Camethy had been blessed by a bothy
I'd gladly have stayed there the night
But if I summoned some force, just to finish the course
I might get there while it was still light.
Beside Black Hill's lone sentry, there were bodies aplenty
But they dispersed very soon
Each taking his own line, trying to make time
To follow one would be a boon.
From Black Hill I trailed after a shadow
Tried to muster what strength I retained
And the phantom which eerily led me
Was none other than young Peter Crane.
West Kip, marshall and runner

Towards Harbour Hill, Pete was running strong still
When he doubled back on his tracks
It seems we had gone left, when we should've turned right
And we had to run half a mile back.
Round in circles we went, but we were hell bent
On making up for our lost time
Pete was off like a streak, left me there in his wake
To flounder about in the grime…
I followed his general direction
He'd vanished after only three yards
But Pete was a real good trailblazer
So I ran where he'd lit up the path.

marshall on East Kip
Now I was on Capelaw, near the end of the jigsaw
I could smell that success was in "sight"
But Allermuir's back end still wasn't a godsend
And the cramps were beginning to bite
Well, as I hugged the contours, I was falling on all fours
And I came round the hill in a flap
But if I kept my temper, next time I'd remember
To bring a compass as well as a map.
Never saw the white hare in the gully
Nor the curlew fly high overhead
And if tempted again to try this one
Then I'll watch "Take the High Road" instead.


Home | Go Back
© Carnethy.com 2014