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Ben Lomond and Ptarmigan Ridge

Ben Lomond and Ptarmigan Ridge

Postby tullius0618 » Sun Sep 02, 2012 11:36 am

Route description: Ben Lomond

Munros included on this walk: Ben Lomond

Date walked: 01/09/2012

Time taken: 5.5 hours

Distance: 12 km

Ascent: 998m

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Ben Lomond may be the most southerly of the Munros, and therefore commented on by many as a "tourist" mountain, but be under no illusions, this is still a 3000ft+ climb, in changeable conditions, and a fair commitment. There's also the benefit of having plenty of folk around to talk to, and sympathise with!

My clothing went from technical tee and shorts at the base, to long leg trousers, fleece, waterproof, hat and gloves, at the peak, and back to tee and shorts back at loch-side!

The ascent itself is fairly straight-forward as there aren't many options but to stay on the well trodden track that leads all the way to the summit. There are a few rocky sections, and more than one very steep climb, so you'll know you've had to sweat to reach the summit, but there really is nothing to threaten or worry someone of fairly decent fitness and experience.

The descent was a minute or two's decision making as I'd read about the option to descend via the Ptarmigan Ridge rather than return down the same track I'd climbed by.

Having "fallen in" with a fellow climber who'd travelled up from Manchester for the day to climb Ben Lomond we agreed that trying the Ridge would at least prove more interesting than "backtracking". This was a good decision, the Ptarmigan Ridge offers fantastic views North and West, and a more complete view of Loch Lomond than you get from the ascent track. There was one very exposed section where windspeeds were such that we had to hunker down for a minute or risk getting blown off our feet, but in general weather conditions improved throughout the descent. It was also a good change to have a fellow climber to talk to on the way down, and have something to take my mind off my burning quads - the Ridge descent is steadier, but steeper, than returning down the ascent track!

I'll come back to Ben Lomond in Winter, as I think it would make a great climb in wintry conditions while offering minimal risk, and would heartily recommend this climb to anyone who wants to appreciate some truly majestic views across Lomond, the Arrochar Alps, and North further into the Trossachs.

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