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W. Lomond in mist then sunshine

W. Lomond in mist then sunshine

Postby dgcampbell » Tue May 17, 2016 3:09 pm

Route description: West Lomond from Craigmead

Sub 2000' hills included on this walk: West Lomond

Date walked: 08/05/2016

Time taken: 2.3 hours

Distance: 8 km

Ascent: 270m

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Started off driving up through ever thickening mist to the Craigmead Car Park, then set off at around 10 am along the signed track for West Lomond. Still in thick mist and with a number of other walkers setting off before me, none of whom were ever seen again, at least not by me. The only bright spot being that the forecast was for sun later on.
About halfway to the summit cone I met up with a grouse standing happily on a rock and watching me carefully as I approached. The usual encounter with these birds is that they take off like a rocket from the heather 6 feet away, scaring you half to death, whereas this one, possibly confused by the mist, just stood and watched as I took a photo.

It could have been a Well Known grouse and didn’t move because it had a hangover? After a few minutes staring at each other it got bored before I did, hopped off the rock and carried on with whatever grouse do on a Sunday morning.

The path was great but I couldn’t say the same for the view, although the mist was lifting slightly. Obviously an inherent part of walking is being eternally optimistic about the weather. Absolutely no sign at all of the summit at this point, the path could have gone completely round it and I would have been hard pushed to notice.

At a pause for breath before starting up to the summit the easy way round I was overtaken by someone half my age who went on without needing the pause. I can remember those days!

Once at the top it was clear all round, though East Lomond, 3 miles away and 88m lower, was still in the clouds/mist. No people at the summit, just the sun and the view through the haze, the main path from the car park now visible with other walkers passing along it.

Ballo (left) and Harperleas (right) Reservoirs

Bishop Hill off to the SW

The trig point seat was just warming up, though care was needed when choosing a position on the base as there were distinct damp patches remaining.

Still solitude after 10 minutes and I headed South into the sun and down the steep scramble that made me glad I had chosen this as the route down rather than up.

The crags and boulder fields shown below were a good reminder that some routes off the top could be more interesting than others.

And a bit later the view back to the hill showing the descent.


Then it was a gentle walk back towards the car park across the fields, Ballo Reservoir on the left and Harperleas Reservoir on the right.

Past the ruins between Killiecrankie and Little Ballo with what is presumably an anti-people fence rather than an anti-sheep fence, unless they have some very athletic sheep in these parts.

Finally one last look back and returned to the start in bright sunshine as others were just setting out. They would have better weather but wouldn’t see the grouse hiding in the mist or enjoy the change as the mist faded and the views were gradually revealed.

A great way to spend a Sunday morning.
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Re: W. Lomond in mist then sunshine

Postby Sgurr » Wed May 18, 2016 1:19 pm

Great leg-stretcher. Have you tried it from the bunnet-stone yet? I think this could be my new favourite way, though it adds a bit of height.
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