walkhighlands

Share your personal walking route experiences in Scotland, and comment on other peoples' reports.
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 - another newbie report

Ben Lomond - another newbie report


Postby nigheandonn » Thu Aug 28, 2014 11:34 pm

Munros included on this walk: Ben Lomond

Date walked: 09/08/2014

1 person thinks this report is great.
Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).

I know what everyone will be thinking - not another first timer on Ben Lomond. So I will attempt to keep it brief, except that I'm not very good at that.

This was the second of my carefully guarded walking days, after the first went slightly wrong - this time it worked out, and a ridiculously early start saw me on the first train to Glasgow - in some trepidation, as the only previous time I'd taken it it had been full of people who hadn't made it home the night before. I was pleasantly surprised by the people waiting at Haymarket, but apparently it was just that all the stopouts had waited at Waverley, so the journey to Glasgow was enlivened by endless drunken argument.

Tarbet seemed not just an hour but a whole world away from Glasgow, and full of that highland smell.

It had been quite a misty morning so far, but the forecast was fairly good - although the cloud was still doing its best to cling to the hills when I arrived.

DSCF8005.JPG
Lingering clouds

DSCF8006.JPG
The Arrochar road

The boat to Rowardennan was quiet, just me and two others. I knew that the hill was likely to be busy, but that the morning would probably be quieter than later on, so I wasn't quite sure what to expect. Rowardennan was busier, but not overflowing, and there were a few other people setting off up the hill.

The first part was up through woodland, with not much view ahead, but after a while the views along the loch started to open up. By about 10:30 I was starving, having had breakfast about 6, so I stopped for a first lunch - which also let me get rid of some very loud people on my tail. I never have been much good at walking in a queue.

DSCF8014.JPG
Loch views

The next part was over open ground, and flattened off a bit for a while - it reminded me of the path up to Conic Hill on the West Highland Way.

DSCF8025.JPG
The path to the top

DSCF8027.JPG
Islands

I had been amused before I left to discover that Luss, Tarbet and Rowardennan had completely different weather forecasts for the day - but looking up and down the loch I realised that this was because they really were having different weather at any given time.

As I came up onto the final ridge, the hill was doing to me exactly what Helvellyn had done - clear all the way up, then vanishing into the cloud just as I got near the top. I was also being followed by someone who seemed to be practicing to huff and puff and blow my house down, which at least kept me going instead of stopping for a rest.

DSCF8039.JPG
Vanishing in the mist

The cloud cleared enough to let me see down into the corrie on the far side, which was stunning - not at all what I'd expected from the long walk up.

DSCF8041.JPG
The other side

By the time I reached the top I was in cloud again, but the clouds had all been moving enough that I was sure it would clear if I just waited - and it did!

DSCF8045.JPG
Panorama

DSCF8047.JPG
Ben Lomond summit

And there I was on top of my first Munro.

Only - it would be unfair to say that I was disappointed in Ben Lomond, because it had been a very nice walk, but somehow I thought that Munros would be big and scary and special and too good for me, and it hadn't really been like that at all. And not something that Swirral Edge could act as a warm up for!

The Ptarmigan ridge restored my faith somewhat, with a lovely rocky clamber down slightly complicated by the wind starting to blow across it just then - and then a lovely winding path up and down over bumpy places.

DSCF8056.JPG
Looking up

DSCF8058.JPG
Bumps in the path

DSCF8067.JPG
The Arrochar Alps

Looking back, I think I left at the right time - it was fairly busy when I was on top, but not that busy.

DSCF8071.JPG
Busy summit

Part of the way down I stopped to eat the rest of my lunch, but just as I did it started to rain, and rain and rain - so I hurried on down, slanting gradually back towards Rowardennan, and getting wetter from wet bracken. It would have been a very nice path in the dry, but I really just wanted out of it.

DSCF8078.JPG
Loch in the rain

DSCF8079.JPG
Waterfall

By the time I reached the visitor centre it was dry and sunny - although it never quite made up its mind to stay that way for good - so I had my lunch, and a celebratory pint at the hotel, and wandered along to get the boat back.

At the other side I wandered towards Arrochar to get the classic view - it doesn't look at all like that when you're up there...

DSCF8083.JPG
The classic view
User avatar
nigheandonn
Wanderer
 
Posts: 1328
Munros:19   Corbetts:9
Grahams:7   Donalds:26
Sub 2000:53   Hewitts:134
Wainwrights:214   Islands:34
Joined: Jul 7, 2011
Location: Edinburgh

Re: Ben Lomond - another newbie report

Postby CharlesT » Fri Aug 29, 2014 8:45 am

Well done you I enjoyed that report. Pleasantly understated with well-observed comments. I wonder at times that you actually make it up the hill given your epic journeys to get there, :lol:

Ben Lomond appears quite a pleasant objective from your photos and I may have to stop charging by it en route for Munros further afield, then again I may follow my original plan and save it for number 282 if I ever get there. It's that or the In Pinn! :lol:

Looking forward to further lucid reports of your highland excursions. :D

Oh, nice pics too by the way. :)
User avatar
CharlesT
Mountaineer
 
Posts: 3560
Munros:156   Corbetts:2
Hewitts:261
Wainwrights:214   Islands:2
Joined: Dec 22, 2011
Location: West Oxfordshire

Re: Ben Lomond - another newbie report

Postby nigheandonn » Fri Aug 29, 2014 10:03 am

Thanks :)

Sometimes I think the hills are just an excuse for the epic journeys - I've been having those for far longer than I've been climbing hills! (Keswick tonight - I've never been there yet...)
User avatar
nigheandonn
Wanderer
 
Posts: 1328
Munros:19   Corbetts:9
Grahams:7   Donalds:26
Sub 2000:53   Hewitts:134
Wainwrights:214   Islands:34
Joined: Jul 7, 2011
Location: Edinburgh

Re: Ben Lomond - another newbie report

Postby dogplodder » Fri Aug 29, 2014 10:16 am

That was lovely. Lomond was my first Munro (back in 1962) and lately I've been promising myself a return visit - so this let's me know what to expect! :D
User avatar
dogplodder
 
Posts: 3630
Munros:227   Corbetts:55
Grahams:16   
Sub 2000:25   Hewitts:5
Wainwrights:9   Islands:23
Joined: Jul 16, 2011

1 person thinks this report is great.
Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).



Walkhighlands community forum is advert free

We need help to keep the site online.
Can you help support Walkhighlands and the online community by setting up a monthly donation by direct debit?



Return to Walk reports - Scotland

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: mariazverina and 73 guests