Getting the 8am bus to Oban is turning into a routine for me now! It was a lovely sunny morning in Glasgow but the sight of the Kilpatricks covered in snow had me a bit worried about how much would be on Ben Ime, strangely enough, Ben Lomond didnt have much snow on it.. must've been a very localised snow storm!
Got off the bus at 9:00 at Arrochar and headed up the very familiar switchback path, it was great walking temperature and i was soon up at the ford where i stopped for the first ciggie and a horrible sugary sports gel. These things are rank, but they do give you a real burst of energy! I sat around for about 15 minutes as a few folk passed me by. Couldn't help noticing everyone had a smaller rucksack than me, really need to stop packing for an expedition!
Started off up the track which was now getting busier, most people went up the cobbler though leaving me to struggle up the quagmire that is the path up Beinn Ime. Nice views though, in fact, pretty sensational! Met a few blokes coming down who told me I had miles to go! it was just banter though as the gradient soon eased off a bit and thankfully so did the bog. Just as i got to the snow i saw a guy walking down and stopped to chat to him, took my headphones out and greeted him with a cheery hello. nothing. not a "hi" not a grunt, nothing. had a wee laugh though as just after he passed me he skited over in the snow! Nae luck pal, should've stopped for a wee chat!
There was a lot of snow at the top and the views were incredible, Ben Nevis was as clear as anything. Amazing! it was pretty warm at the top and i had a wee sunbathe and decided wether to head on and tackle Ben Vane as well. Decided against it in the end because of the long back through Glen Loin to Arrochar. I then realised that if i made it down in 1.5 hours i could make the early bus so started jogging down the hill. It was pretty hard going but i made the bus!
Ben Lomond by Christopher Swan, on Flickr
Had a good day, and starting to feel fitter on the hill. The new boots have definitely helped!
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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.