Tobar nan Ceann Gang

The blog of a bunch of middle aged men trying to stay youthful…!

Archive for the ‘Ben Lomond’ Category

Jun-19-2011

Ben Lomond

 

 

Following the success of the last TNC hike up Blencathra in the Lake District, this time we returned to Scotland to embark on our first Munro – Ben Lomond – and at 3196 ft. (974m) it was our highest peak to date.

There was a good turn out for this walk. Craig and Neal came up from Bolton to join Hammy, Jamie, Jock (Larkhall) Jeff, Marek (Glasgow) and Tober (Falkirk). We met at the Rowardennan car park on the Eastern shores of Loch Lomond at 9.15am and after half an hours preparation we were off and away up the trail.

Ex para-trooper Hammy showed a keen turn of pace to leave most of the group wishing that Stuart had turned up – even if it was just so that we got more rest stops along the way! Hammy also brought with him something that had been missing from the TNC for some time – local area knowledge! Previously we had got by with half truths and just made up the bits we didn’t know – but with Hammy it was a whole new ball game!

The path up Ben Lomond (tourist path) was steep and relentless. Being the most southerly Munro it is one of the most walked. Consequently the track is worn and the mountainside eroded, quite badly in places. Volunteers have worked tirelessly to put down a hard rock surface to ease the environmental impact but this can also be a problem for the walkers as much of the ascent is like climbing a hard staircase and it wasn’t that much fun on the legs.

All week, the forecast had been for sustained periods of heavy rain and everyone was prepared for the worst – but once again the fortune of the TNC meant that we escaped from the worst of the weather and even saw some sunshine! Unfortunately though, the top of the mountain was stuck in the clouds which made for a bit of a low key celebration at the top. Visibility was down to a few metres, it was windy and raining – not a very pleasant place to be.

So after a few minutes and a number of photos we set off back down the mountain, we took the alternative, harder descent, going down the rocky path north-west from the summit. The descent was very steep until we were out the cloud then we stopped for a bite to eat and a well-earned rest before climbing south-west to Ptarmigan at 731 metres. From here the route followed a nobly ridge for much of the descent which was more challenging and the overall path a little longer than the tourist path, the plus side we had excellent views down Loch Lomond.

In total we covered about 12.5 Km (7.7 miles) and were back down and in the pub by 3pm for a well earned pint and a bowl of chips!

Once again it was a good walk, we had new members (Hammy and Marek) and everyone was keen for another walk to be organised in the near future. Another success!

One Munro down, 282 to go…

GROUP PHOTO

Click here for the Ben Lomond Photo Gallery