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.

Lochs of lochs from Ledi

Lochs of lochs from Ledi


Postby denfinella » Sat Oct 29, 2016 6:28 pm

Route description: Ben Ledi

Corbetts included on this walk: Ben Ledi

Date walked: 17/09/2016

Time taken: 5 hours

Distance: 10 km

Ascent: 760m

Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).

A good enough weather forecast to get out into the hills somewhere, but with MWIS suggesting a risk of low cloud especially in the west, we made a beeline for the Trossachs and a first trip to Ben Ledi.


ben-ledi.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts



We'd seen warnings that the car park filled up fast, and getting stuck behind a slow car all the way from Doune didn't exactly help with arriving early. We reached the turnoff for the car park by about 10am, driving across the bridge over the Garbh Uisge at the front of a four-car convoy of cars. Foolishly I hadn't checked which way to turn at the end of the bridge - guessing incorrectly we turned right, while the three cars behind us left to nab the next few parking spaces. Once we'd found somewhere to turn around, another car and a large motor home were in front of us in the queue. Our hearts sank as the motor home had to turn around and leave, but miraculously there was a single small-car-sized spot left for us to slot into.

The "tourist path" to the summit climbs steeply up the eastern slopes of Ben Ledi. We'd done the first part before, on a walk taking in the Falls of Leny last year, but beyond a track junction we were onto pastures new, ascending next to patchy forest alongside a small burn.

1.jpg


Ledi's eastern cliffs looked impressive through gaps in the trees:

2.jpg


The small car park seems to limit the number of walkers on the hill, meaning we got the beautiful views over Loch Lubnaig to ourselves:

3.jpg


To the south-east, Callander basked in the morning sunshine with the Ochil Hills behind:

4.jpg


Loch Venachar appeared over the brow of the ridge to the south:

5.jpg


Now at 600 metres (already!) the path swung north along the ridge, on a direct line towards Ben Ledi.

6.jpg


A little cloudier to the west:

7.jpg


Back down the ridge:

8.jpg


There's a loch in almost every direction from up here - it's easy to see why the Trossachs are sometimes called the Scottish Lake District. Venachar, Lubnaig, Finglas, Achray, Lake of Menteith - I can't remember the others, but while on the ridge we worked out that at least nine different lochs / reservoirs were visible from this route. There are several false summits on the ridge, some with minor cairns and all with great views:

9.jpg


Quite a lot of work had recently been done on the paths here, with boulders strategically placed to block individual braids of path and encourage people to stick to the main line. One last steep stretch to the summit (and cross):

10.jpg


11.jpg


12.jpg


14.jpg


Up on top we found out where all the other walkers were... already at the top and enjoying lunch! It was so busy that we decided to continue along the north ridge for a bit to escape the crowds.

13.jpg


Looking back to the trig point:

15.jpg


It's a great wee ridge:

16.jpg


After lunch we continued to Mullach Buidhe where the ridge loses its definition. The main path appears to go north, but we descended south-west along the fence line towards a bealach.

17.jpg


18.jpg


Beyond this, we first forked right above Coire na Fuaire on a narrower path, keeping left where it split again. The walkhighlands notes warn against taking the right hand path into Coire na Fuaire itself - more on that later. Instead, our path descended steeply into the upper part of Stank Glen - a little boggy just for a short section before reaching a bigger path and turning right.

19.jpg


The path down into Stank Glen was still busy with people coming up, despite it being about 2pm or so. One group in particular looked like they'd bit off more than they could chew - carrying uncomfortable-looking bags and large shawls / rugs, and one man - covered in mud - literally crawling up some of the steep bits (it wasn't even that steep...). Hope they got down again OK...

20.jpg


The path passes through a gate and soon after becomes very smooth and well maintained. We had loads of time so went for a dip in the Stank Burn itself (fortunately it doesn't smell as the name might otherwise suggest!).

21.jpg


22.jpg


Afterwards there was a very easy section of path with a gentle gradient - good views only spoiled a little by deforestation and forestry tracks. While heading along here we noticed a solitary walker descending the hillside below Coire na Fuaire, which we'd seen earlier from above. It appeared to be pathless, steep and very awkward with some thick vegetation to struggle through - so definitely not good to "short-cut" that way!

23.jpg


Eventually the path enters the forest properly, before steepening in the final stretch down to valley level. After that it's just a case of following the tarmac south ("ah - this was where we drove by accident earlier!") back to the car.

24.jpg


A couple of photos in the next post showing the waterfalls on the last descent - and a note about the route for this bit - below. Nice straightforward walk with good weather and beautiful surroundings.
Last edited by denfinella on Sat Oct 29, 2016 7:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
denfinella
Wanderer
 
Posts: 1116
Munros:66   Corbetts:34
Grahams:22   Donalds:13
Sub 2000:60   Hewitts:11
Wainwrights:6   Islands:45
Joined: Mar 19, 2012
Location: Edinburgh

Re: Lochs of lochs from Ledi

Postby denfinella » Sat Oct 29, 2016 6:37 pm

The descent passes two waterfalls on the lower, steeper section. Upper falls:

25.jpg


The path rejoins a winding forestry track soon after, but another path branches off to a lower viewpoint for the same waterfall. Instead of retracing steps to the track from here (as in the walk description) you can continue on the path until it emerges on the track again a zig-zag lower down the hill - saves time and more interesting than following the track. It also passes another waterfall:

26.jpg


27.jpg
User avatar
denfinella
Wanderer
 
Posts: 1116
Munros:66   Corbetts:34
Grahams:22   Donalds:13
Sub 2000:60   Hewitts:11
Wainwrights:6   Islands:45
Joined: Mar 19, 2012
Location: Edinburgh

Re: Lochs of lochs from Ledi

Postby AndyATSmith » Sat Oct 29, 2016 8:46 pm

So that's what the views from the top look like! I was up there a few weeks ago and visibility was very limited - I somehow didn't even notice the cross that's near the summit. To make things worse I got no reception on my phone once back down so couldn't call for a taxi to take me back to Callander and the cyclepath was closed off which meant I had to face a tedious walk along the main road. Still, at least I was able to complete the walk. When I arrived in Callander before setting out, the taxi driver had thought that the tourist route was closed off due to forestry operations - luckily it wasn't. I just went up and down by that route but maybe next time I'll go via the Stank Glen on the way back.

Nice photos by the way!
AndyATSmith
Mountaineer
 
Posts: 35
Joined: Oct 24, 2016

Re: Lochs of lochs from Ledi

Postby denfinella » Mon Oct 31, 2016 1:06 am

AndyATSmith wrote:So that's what the views from the top look like! I was up there a few weeks ago and visibility was very limited - I somehow didn't even notice the cross that's near the summit. To make things worse I got no reception on my phone once back down so couldn't call for a taxi to take me back to Callander and the cyclepath was closed off which meant I had to face a tedious walk along the main road. Still, at least I was able to complete the walk. When I arrived in Callander before setting out, the taxi driver had thought that the tourist route was closed off due to forestry operations - luckily it wasn't. I just went up and down by that route but maybe next time I'll go via the Stank Glen on the way back.

Nice photos by the way!


Thanks Andy! It would be quite easy to miss the cross in the mist - it's not by the trig point. Walking along the A84 to Callander doesn't sound fun :shock: what was wrong with the cycle path?

Stank Glen well worth it - I always find circular walks more interesting anyway.
User avatar
denfinella
Wanderer
 
Posts: 1116
Munros:66   Corbetts:34
Grahams:22   Donalds:13
Sub 2000:60   Hewitts:11
Wainwrights:6   Islands:45
Joined: Mar 19, 2012
Location: Edinburgh

Re: Lochs of lochs from Ledi

Postby AndyATSmith » Mon Oct 31, 2016 9:52 am

I'm not sure what was wrong with the cyclepath - I assume the forestry folk just forgot to remove the fence blocking the way once they re-opened the car park. I was tempted just to duck round it but then I worried that there was maybe another problem further on and I didn't fancy re-tracing my steps when I had a bus to catch. Is there an easy to follow path down Stank Glen? I've not got much practical experience with a map and compass yet so I've been sticking to paths till I gain a bit of confidence with them and also till I buy myself a GPS.
AndyATSmith
Mountaineer
 
Posts: 35
Joined: Oct 24, 2016

Re: Lochs of lochs from Ledi

Postby denfinella » Thu Nov 24, 2016 10:08 pm

AndyATSmith wrote:Is there an easy to follow path down Stank Glen? I've not got much practical experience with a map and compass yet so I've been sticking to paths till I gain a bit of confidence with them and also till I buy myself a GPS.


Sorry for the late reply. There's a clear path once you're actually in Stank Glen, although they branch a few times with a few forestry tracks heading off in different directions. The paths down to it from the summit are a little faint in places and it could be confusing in mist, I guess. It's not a difficult descent, but I wouldn't say it's as straightforward as the direct route.
User avatar
denfinella
Wanderer
 
Posts: 1116
Munros:66   Corbetts:34
Grahams:22   Donalds:13
Sub 2000:60   Hewitts:11
Wainwrights:6   Islands:45
Joined: Mar 19, 2012
Location: Edinburgh

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: No registered users and 47 guests