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Ben Lomond - first Munro!

Ben Lomond - first Munro!

Postby hanslenz » Mon Jul 14, 2008 8:37 pm

Route description: Ben Lomond

Munros included on this walk: Ben Lomond

Date walked: 14/07/2008

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July 3rd - my very first Munro!

Drove my rental car through Drymen and alongside the eastern shore of Loch Lomond until the road ends and parked in the car park near the youth hostel. The weather on that day was overcast with a lingering possibility of rain (so it was fairly typical scottish weather - no offense! :) ).
I started around 11 am. The first half hour of the hike is through wooded area, crossing a few small streams. A bit higher up the trees disappear and the walk continues on a well maintained path. One gaines altitude relatively fast and upon turning around the views across Loch Lomond are quite stunning. Unfortunately it was all a bit grey, but it doesn't take a lot of imagination to see that on a sunny day the scenery must be astonishingly beautiful. After the first hour the path levels off for a while and offers a view of the summit which appears to be quite far off (in fact - not having walked for a while I did wonder whether I had set myself too ambitious a goal). Around that time the rain started - so out came my trusty rain-jacket and I continued upwards. After another hour or so the rain stopped just in time when I reached the ridge which offered me a great few across the hills and lochs to the east.
Another 30 minutes of relatively dry walking delivered me at the summit. At that point the sun was out and the 360 degree view across lakes, mountains and valleys made me forget my tired feet in no time. The definite highlight of the day was however a stunningly beautiful young lady with a friendly smile I struck up a converstaion with. Alas, to my everlasting shame, I did not obtain any details of hers (must have been on the grounds of me being tired - brain was slow).
Anyhow - after a short rest I decided to not take the same way back but to continue on the path downwards to the north of the summit which then loops back acroos the north-east side of Ben Lomond towards the car park. I imagine this to be quite a pleasent walk on a dry day (despite the fact it is somewhat steep for the first 20 minutes from the summit down) but since I was accompanied by a continuous drizzle on my way down it lateron became really unpleasent to walk as about halfway down if turns into a mudpath and the conditions where rather slippery. I had to progress with caution and the going was slow - also had to get my bottom muddied up twice. Unexpectedly the walk down took me 30 minutes longer than the walk up. Was quite happy and proud of myself when after a little less than 6 hours I safely arrived at the car park!

All in all it was a beautiful day out - the scenery is all worth it and chances are I will do this again. But if it is rainy I will not take the same route down. I will simply go back the way I went up!
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Re: Ben Lomond

Postby goth_angel » Thu Jul 31, 2008 10:23 pm

Glad you had a good walk. We were up there just over a week after you and had zero visibility from about 500m up, a bit frustrating as we knew the views would have been great. We bailed out of taking the alternative descent because of the conditions, sounds like that was the right decision. View of trig point :shock:
trig point on ben lomond.jpg
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Re: Ben Lomond

Postby bio-man » Fri Aug 01, 2008 7:42 am

Good description vlad. Just goes to show that even the on most southern Munro, conditions can adversely affect even one of the 'simpler' hills. My closest Munro, but can't say that I've climbed it many times, prefer Arrochar. Best ascent though is via Ptarmigan Ridge from close to the Youth Hostel, then descend via the main track. As Gothangel says, great views when clear.
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