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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.

Ben Lomond via Ptarmigan (& Wintery Inversion)

Ben Lomond via Ptarmigan (& Wintery Inversion)


Postby Photogra Scotica » Mon Feb 05, 2018 9:41 am

Route description: Ben Lomond

Munros included on this walk: Ben Lomond

Date walked: 11/01/2018

Time taken: 5 hours

Distance: 12 km

Ascent: 1010m

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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.

ImageBack 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.

ImageInversion 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.

ImageInversion 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.
Photogra Scotica
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 11
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Joined: Nov 12, 2017

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