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Ben Lomond and a snuggle of Ptarmigan

Ben Lomond and a snuggle of Ptarmigan

Postby martin.h » Thu Oct 24, 2013 9:46 pm

Route description: Ben Lomond

Munros included on this walk: Ben Lomond

Date walked: 20/10/2013

Time taken: 3.75 hours

Distance: 12 km

Ascent: 960m

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This was day two of our little jaunt up north, we managed to do Loch Earn Ben Vorlich on the Saturday but missed Stuc a’ Chroin due to the wind, rain and clag.
We woke to what was a massive improvement on Saturday’s weather, we could actually see breaks in the cloud, this alone lifted our spirits, so our planned trip up Ben Lomond was on.
We had some nosh, packed our now semi dry gear into the rucksacks, said our thanks to Falkirk Travelodge and set off for Rowardennan visitor centre hoping that today would be o.k. The sun actually shone on the way over but, as if on cue, it disappeared as we neared the visitor centre and the clouds were down to about 600 metres but, thankfully, no rain.
Our plan was simply Ben Lomond up the well trodden path and if the views improved we would come down via the Ptarmigan ridge. We set off, it was quite bright but very wet underfoot and in the trees. As we got into open country Loch Lomond began to appear, the hills and mountains around were covered so, unfortunately, we had none of the views.
Loch Lomond apperaring


Looking a bit misty

Time for a rest to admire the views

The path could be seen snaking up the hillside into the cloud, at least it wasn’t raining.
The way forward

We gained height quickly and started up the easy section on the broard ridge, walked into the cloud, felt the first hint of rain, it all felt strangely familiar
The nice easy bit, cloud coming down

As we progressed the rain increased, the cloud got thicker and by the time we got to the steep bit, it was throwing it down again. I would really have liked to see around me because I’ve read about this final section of the walk up, the views into the corrie and across to the Arrochar Alps, but we had none of it, this was my first time on these mountains and it’s a pity we didn’t get the views, a good excuse for a return visit. One compensation though was on the rocky section just below the summit, I spotted four Ptarmigan snuggled together, I managed to get a shot of three of them.
The "Snuggle"

We arrived at the summit trig pillar soon afterwards and took the usual photo of Denise and summit.
Our goal for the day

We were joined by a party of three, one offered to take a piccy of us together on the top which was good because it proves that I do exist.
Me and Denise together on the summit

The guy who took it was from the Glasgow area and an experienced mountaineer, he enjoys the Walkhighlands web site and reads the reports so if he reads this, thanks for taking the photo and maybe we’ll meet on a summit somewhere in better weather.
At this point we decided not to bother with the Ptarmigan ridge and save the views for a better day, we set off back down the way we came, as we got lower the rain lessened but it was still very dull and humid, shame really but I suppose that’s the nature of the mountains and they’re not going to be knocked down so better luck next time.
Looking back, we'll come again.

Loch Lomond we hope to see it from the summit of Ben Lomond soon.

Even though this was a quick up and down walk we still enjoyed the moment, there were quite a few folk on the mountain even in the rain, testament to the lure of this fantastic country.
We had planned a three Munro weekend and managed two in quite nasty weather, so it was a success in my thinking and we’ll do it again, the Munro’s in this part of Scotland are fairly accessible from West Yorkshire. Another weekend is planned for March 2014, Stuc a’ Chroin is on the agenda together with another Munro somewhere. The aim is 50 Munro’s next year and we’ve got Easter, Spring bank and two weeks in the summer to give it a go, roll on 2014
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Re: Ben Lomond and a snuggle of Ptarmigan

Postby The Rodmiester » Sat Oct 26, 2013 8:06 pm

Too bad re weather Martin, but you have the gear and you have the desire so Next Year! Big effort and that BIG 50 will be yours. Pick a base near a group of minors ie Ben Lawers and pray for better weather, good luck! :)
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The Rodmiester
Posts: 3390
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Location: Carnoustie

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