Our first ascent of Ben Lomond, and what a day for it. The day was largely overcast, but an inversion layer drifted between the 200m and 400m marks, and though initially thick to the point of zero visibility it quickly dispersed as we ascended and the day progressed.
Back by the bonnie banks by Photogra Scotica, on Flickr
The route from Rowardennan along the banks of the loch and steadily climbing towards the minor top of Ptarmigan was exceptionally pleasant. Clearing the cloud layer presented wonderful views back along the loch, where wooded islets and fog-shrouded land mixed into a single eerie landscape. However, the path quickly became extremely icy, and between around 400m and the start of the snow line proper at around 600m it was impossible to progress without climbing directly up the grassy hillside.
Inversion over Loch Lomond by Photogra Scotica, on Flickr
Once at Ptarmigan, the paths follows a short undulative section referred to as the 'ridge' (though in reality even less of a ridge as the similarly-named Tarmachan in Perthshire) before a final, steep, exhilarating climb (crampons and ice axes very much required) towards the summit.
Inversion Over Loch Lomond by Photogra Scotica, on Flickr
From here, the tourist track back down to Rowardennan proved a very steady and easy-going descent, with ice in places but no real difficulties - luckily, for with a late start we only passed the snow line just before the sun set.
(Apologies for the lack of photos of the climbing / summit area, I was short on film.
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