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Warning Please note that hillwalking when there is snow lying requires an ice-axe, crampons and the knowledge, experience and skill to use them correctly. Summer routes may not be viable or appropriate in winter. See winter information on our skills and safety pages for more information.

Ben Lomond

Ben Lomond


Postby stuartyr » Sat Dec 17, 2011 11:41 pm

Route description: Ben Lomond

Munros included on this walk: Ben Lomond

Date walked: 12/12/2011

Time taken: 5 hours

Distance: 12 km

Ascent: 970m

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Hi, n00b here,

I have done a fair bit of walking in fair conditions, but never any high level stuff in winter conditions before, so I decided to have a go at Ben Lomond today to see what I have been missing.

Met office forecast for the hills was -5C and 50-60mph winds at 600-900m. :o

I was a bit late in leaving but as I approached in the car towards lunch time, the hill was looking as tame as a kitten!

Image


Got to the start point and stuck my boots and gaiters on and got marching up the hill, after 7 or 8 hundred feet, although already into the clouds, was rewarded with the first view down the loch between clouds.

Image

Pressed on and hit the first patches of snow at about 1200 feet, kept on going and decided I would have a bite to eat at 2000', just before this I met my first person on the way down, shortly followed by another, so decided to have a snack early and take a picture of him in a moment of increasingly rare visibility.

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Started to press on again, but the heavy fog was starting to saturate my fleece and the wind blown snow sting my face, so I was forced to get the ice axe out and don my goretex jacket and trousers. From this point on visibility was about 50 yards at best and I pressed on, relying heavily on my gps to navigate as the track was all but discernible. There is a brief plateau at about 2500' before the route steepens to the summit, from here it steepens and is a mixture of frozen rock and deep snow drifts, I took a brief respite in the rocky crags a few hundred feet below the summit and crouched for another bite, but found the drinking hose from my platypus in my rukky had frozen up, so, again, I pressed on.

Eventually I reached the summit trig point, and in a brief lull, managed to get a few pictures!


Image

Image


The wind had been behind me on the way up, but on the way back down was full face on which was fun to say the least, there was a single window in the fog for a few seconds, but by the time I had got my camera out it was gone, and I really didn't want to take my gloves off again, even for a few seconds!


Image

About 700' below the summit I met a group of 4 who had just decided to abandon their summit attempt due to firstly, the weather conditions, and secondly, impending darkness. I chatted with them for a few minutes before pushing off ahead on my own.

The descent was uneventful apart from having slightly misjudged my time and having to make the final 600' or so in near total darkness,

Once down I phoned my mum, who is 30 odd miles closer than home, and was promptly invited for dinner which I gratefully accepted.

All in all a great day spent on the hill, where I was one of 3 to make it to the top out of 7 total seen, which is nothing remarkable in itself, but any time I have been on Ben Lomond before 2 minutes on the slopes, let alone the summit is extremely rare.

Thanks for reading.

Stuart
stuartyr
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Posts: 3
Munros:1   
Joined: Dec 16, 2011

Re: Ben Lomond

Postby iainwatson » Sat Dec 17, 2011 11:44 pm

nice one! is that you hooked on winter walking now? :D
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iainwatson
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Posts: 812
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Joined: Jun 28, 2010
Location: glasgow

Re: Ben Lomond

Postby stuartyr » Sun Dec 18, 2011 12:16 am

Yeah, definitely! :D

I've done a few hills over the years, but never kept any record, so I'm starting from scratch and keen to notch some up!
stuartyr
Mountaineer
 
Posts: 3
Munros:1   
Joined: Dec 16, 2011

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