……was the reply when I suggested popping up Ben Lomond.
This hill can elicit that kind of response because it has a problem: it is very accessible from the Central Belt. As such it is often the first (sometimes only!) Munro that folks from Glasgow/West Central Scotland will do. It is very popular, perhaps the most climbed Munro. The car park can be full to bursting, sometimes ridiculously so on a hot, summer Sunday. The path is a mini highway, often distractingly busy. Other hill users get in your way. Your summit photo can look like you’re in the middle of a crowd at a football match. It is also a hill that many people have climbed multiple times.
Does familiarity breed contempt? It can - but only if you let it. This is a lovely hill, well worth revisiting. The drive there and the start point are in some beautiful lochside scenery, and the view just gets better and better as you ascend until you reach the summit ridge which reveals an impressive corrie totally hidden from the ascent route. If it’s popularity is an issue then visit mid week and out of tourist season, which is exactly what I did. I first climbed this hill when I was 12. I reckon this is my 8th ascent done in all kinds of weather from horizontal sleet with no view all day to baking in a heatwave with no water left. That said I had never climbed it under my favourite conditions - covered in crisp snow under a perfect blue sky. Time to change that.
To paraphrase (i.e. steal ) a famous comment about rivers - you cannot climb the same mountain twice, for the mountain is different each time - and so are you.
Anyway, that’s my two cents worth - now back to the ascent of Ben Lomond. Started from the car park (charge) at the end of the public road at Rowardennan. The route barely requires description as the path is obvious from the car park to the summit, except in the thickest of winter weather. Follow the sign from the car park, through the forest and an area of felled trees out onto the open hillside and the rest of the day’s route is visible ahead.
A fence is reached and from here on the view really opens up over Loch Lomond and to the surrounding hills.
Pretty easy going then steepens for the pull up onto the ridge.
The legs begin to burn a bit at the next section.
But the views just get better and better.
Beautiful snow formations.
Dig in and the steep bit is soon over bringing you up to the ridge right at the edge of the corrie.
Great views of the ridge to the summit.
Top o’ the world, ma! Time for a foto/face filling combo. Great views all round towards Arrochar/Crianlarich/Loch Tay hills and of course southwards down Loch Lomond.
Jawnee’s view: The pics tell the story. Nuff said, mini-rant over and out.
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