Another May weekend and another forecast for amazing weather, so a plan was hatched to meet a friend at Ben Lomond for a couple of nights camping and a walk up the areas most famous mountain, Ben Lomond.
We met in the CoOp in Balloch quite early on the Saturday and stocked up on the essential camping supplies such as gin in a tin and the likes. We then set off to set up camp at the campsite at Cashel, which was really rather nice. It almost had a European air about it, it was very well organised and had a good well stocked shop.
Tents pitched and sleeping bags out to air we set off in the car to the carpark at the end of the road. Oh my days! It was so busy we basically had to abandon the car at the side of the road about half a mile from the car park, it was carnage down that wee road, some people were starting to lose their cool as the day was heating up.
We fairly quickly managed to leave the worst of the crowds behind as we started up the hill. As we were late to it most of the people we saw on the hill were on their way back down. I am quite glad we were a little later due to the crowds of people that we saw coming down, and also it meant that we weren't climbing in the full heat of the day.
As a girl who is used to walking in the Cairngorms, my first proper hill, since rediscovering the mountains, on the west coast was a fair shock. We were about half way up when I thought, "gosh we must be near the top now", had a look around, had a look at the map and realised that we were in fact just about half way done with the vertical climb! Oh my.
So on we pushed up to the still fairly crowded top of the mountain, I was surprised to see the steep walls of the Northern corrie as the mountain does not give the impression of having any kind of rock faces from the direction of ascent.
The views as always were outstanding, we could see all the Crainlarich munros to the north, the Arrocher Alps to the west and all the way down the glen through Stirling and beyond.
We enjoyed a quick bite to eat, some mountain spotting and a mini bottle of champagne each at the top, I don't know why we bothered to hike that all the way up but my friend thought it would be a good idea....
Then about turn and a quick descent down back to the car which conveniently was parked right outside a pub....
Well it would be rude not to partake in some light refreshments!
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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.