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Ben Lomond, a Ptarmigan and the Cold, North Wind!

PostPosted: Sun Aug 30, 2009 12:33 am
by mountain coward
A couple of years back, one Autumn, my friend Richard and I decided it was time to do Ben Lomond and booked into the Rowardennan Hotel for a weekend (I’d have been perfectly happy with the Youth Hostel but Richard doesn’t ‘do’ them!)

We called at a few pubs to the north of Glasgow and then set off down the long, lonely road on the East side of Loch Lomond. This starts off nicely through a couple of beautiful villages and soon turns to a pretty awful, rough and knackered road full of potholes. The car was already fed up as it was constant heavy rain all the way from England and then I was hammering it on this rough, potholed road full of heavy luggage but then, to make matters worse, we suddenly got a puncture.

By now it was completely dark and the rain wasn’t abating one bit. I got out of the car to root in the boot for the relevant tools. This of course necessitated getting every piece of luggage out of the boot and into the car, trying not to get it too wet, only to find that, while I had a wheel brace, spare wheel, almost dead torch etc., could I hell find the jack! We just happened to have ground to a halt in a clearing (most of the road is quite heavily wooded) so at least there was a tiny amount of natural light and I saw we were right by a solitary house. Of course, no one was in!

Now, if you’d been in England – certainly in our neck of ‘the woods’, you’d have been stuffed and would have had to wait hours for the rescue service (very embarrassing when it’s only a puncture!) as passing motorists would just drive past you and gawp/wonder why you were in their way. However, this being Scotland, the next couple of motorists who passed by were locals and they actually stopped to ask if they could help!

We said we were headed for the Rowardennan Hotel and were getting well overdue so one very kindly went on to the hotel to tell them and, in addition, got one of the staff to come out with a jack. We soon had the wheel changed and were on our way to the hotel, arriving something like 11pm.

The next morning thankfully dawned fine but cold and windy – okay for Ben Lomond though, so we duly set off. I’m sure most people know the route but we took the standard route up through the forest, the tourist/trade route to the top and then descended into the teeth of the freezing northern gale down the back towards the col before the Ptarmigan Ridge. This is a nice little summit and the walk make a great short round. I was surprised how craggy the northern side of the hill was though.

Anyway, I won’t bore you any further – here are the photos...
Ben Lomond&Ptarmigan.jpg
Loch Lomond fm The Ben.jpg
Ben Lomond summit ridge.jpg
Ben Lomond summit cone.jpg
Ben Lomond ridge fm summit.jpg
Ben Lomond-leaving summit.jpg
Ben Lomond summit rocks.jpg
Ben Lomond fm Ptarmigan.jpg

Re: Ben Lomond, a Ptarmigan and the Cold, North Wind!

PostPosted: Sun Aug 30, 2009 1:27 am
by legendaryjordan
At least you didn't get struck by lightning eh?

Well you had an unlucky night but i assume from the pictures that the views were great and i hope you had a good time. I might go there in the future myself.

Re: Ben Lomond, a Ptarmigan and the Cold, North Wind!

PostPosted: Sun Aug 30, 2009 9:57 pm
by mountain coward
It's a nice mountain and we found it very easy. It was well worth the trip.