Setting off to finally climb my first Munro after years of low hill walks and longer distance at ground level was exciting but quite nerve wracking as I wasn’t sure what to expect! Ben Lomond was picked as it’s the most Southern Munro making it the nearest to Glasgow and accessible, plus is listed as one of the easier Munro’s to start off with.
At ground level, it was fairly windy but very sunny and a clear day… Brilliant! The start of the walk is well marked, and has the toilets at the foot of the mountain for anybody to use before heading off. It starts off with a very gradual incline through woods and trees before crossing over a road path. After this, the track can become steep fairly quickly on a rocky track, but within around 20 minutes of walking, the view opens up and you are able to stop and look back onto beautiful Loch Lomond! My friend struggled at some points on the way up as she was a smoker and didn’t do much exercise at the time. However, the views so early on were a taster of how nice it would look by the time we reached the top so we continued to carry on (Personally, I loved everything about the experience and the exercise). The track seems to have an incline then is flat again which is brilliant for a recovery for anybody who is struggling. Half way up the mountain can look more daunting than what it actually is as you can see the track rising steeply which can be challenging for those who are not particularly fit. Around two thirds of the way up Ben Lomond the wind certainly seemed to pick up and was bitterly cold as by this point as the shelter from any other surrounding hills was disappearing as this point was higher than the surroundings… on went the fleeces and jackets and there was no point in talking as we couldn’t hear what the other was saying! The snow lying on the top of the mountain was being blown into our faces and felt like hard hail, which was particularly sore. However, it was exhilarating and we were still so thankful that there was no cloud and 100% visibility! After a final and steep incline, we reached the top. My fear of heights was beginning to kick in slightly as I realised quite how steep the sides of the mountain were teamed with realising the scope of the cliffs that sit at the back of the mountain which can’t be seen from ground level. However we moved on and once the summit trig point was reached was such a sense of accomplishment! It was so windy however, that we had to sit for a picture at the trig point as the wind was blowing us over (This was actually pretty funny!) The views over Loch Lomond and towards the Highlands are spectacularly beautiful. You realise sitting at the top just how small you are, and how big these mountains and the rest of the world is! It’s peaceful and you really do feel so in tune with the outdoors. I knew I had been hooked right away and have now gone on to start Munro bagging which has also helped overcome my fear of heights which is a massive positive for me!
I definitely recommend Ben Lomond for beginner walkers to give them a taster to see whether it is something which they would enjoy or not while getting to enjoy some gorgeous views!
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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.