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Ben Lomond- The Peoples Mountain

Ben Lomond- The Peoples Mountain

Postby Scottgrattan » Tue Aug 06, 2019 2:32 pm

Route description: Ben Lomond

Munros included on this walk: Ben Lomond

Date walked: 03/08/2019

Time taken: 4 hours

Distance: 12.5 km

Ascent: 933m

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Ben Lomond- The Peoples Mountain
For many years now I have been slowly increasing my level of hill walking, using the practice known as 'Munro bagging' as my motivator. To date, I have enjoyed many walks in the Lawers range, Glencoe and beyond, soaking up the gentle, soothing atmosphere of my surroundings as a form of therapy to escape the hustle and bustle of life. It will come as no surprise that for this reason I have not rushed to complete Ben Lomond.
A warm August morning, the time came to head up the slopes of Ben Lomond and add it to my list of conquered hills. Starting from the car park in Rowardennan, the initial walk through the woodland, offered some shade from the beating sun. Any hopes of wanders through a thick Scottish wood were ruined however by forestry works and instead we were left with the view of the timber graveyard with only a few feeble looking trees left standing.
After leaving the woodland, we began heading up the main tourist path. Snaking its way up Ben Lomond, this path is well made but steep in sections. It was clear that this mixture of heat and incline was proving too much for those that had chosen to hike in denim and Doc Martens. Every step forward was rewarded with richer views of Loch Lomond, driving you towards the summit to reap the ultimate view from the prime vantage point!
The first section of climb soon comes to an end and levels out onto a plateau offering a more gentle way forward for the foreseeable. It is from here that views are offered toward the final summit with its distinctive zig zag path to the top, as described in many route summaries. After overtaking the family groups, elderly ramblers, sponsored walkers and the eccentrics on the gentle straight, you reach the bottom of the final push, Glasgow’s answer to the Hillary step!
Moderately steep but with increasing reward, the final walk to the summit is a pleasurable affair that I’m sure would be even more pleasurable on a day with slightly cooler temperatures. Once the top is reached, there is only a final curve round before the trig point and the true summit is reached. But no, the route descriptions failed to mention the final obstacle of clambering over the various picnics, ducking under the selfiers and dodging round the beaten few who have chosen to have a sleep before reaching the summit.
At last, you can stand on the top and enjoy the satisfaction of having ticked of another Munro, take your selfie, reap in the views and make your retreat toward the welcoming cool waters of Loch Lomond to bath your sweaty feet.
All in all, Ben Lomond was a totally different munro experience to all the others. It is a hill that will inevitably be filled with crowds, choosing to hike not in the finest mountain gear but in what I would feel comfortable to wear to a beer garden. It is a hill that you won’t get peace and quiet on, nor will you get your lonely summit but with 281 other munros to enjoy, it is a nice change to share the usually lonely hobby with the masses.
Ben Lomond truly was ‘The Peoples Mountain!’
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Re: Ben Lomond- The Peoples Mountain

Postby Raynor » Tue Aug 13, 2019 3:50 am

If you think Ben Lomond is busy, you should try Ben Nevis during the summer. You could literally crowdsurf the entire way to the summit :lol:

I go up Ben Lomond fairly regularly but I go up by the ptarmigan path now which is usually deserted. If I go up the tourist path, I make sure I start either very early in the morning or as late as possible. Usually get the summit to myself that way.
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Re: Ben Lomond- The Peoples Mountain

Postby jmarkb » Tue Aug 13, 2019 1:58 pm

The approach from the north-east (via Comer farm, starting at Loch Dhu) is an interesting alternative that will avoid the crowds (except at the summit, of course).
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Re: Ben Lomond- The Peoples Mountain

Postby Colin1951 » Wed Aug 14, 2019 11:01 pm

“Glasgow’s equivalent to the Hilary Step” - love it!
Decades ago I climbed it from the East - the Comer Farm approach - with no company except 2 deer and a sheepdog (not at the same time. I arrived suddenly on an empty summit and by the time I had my flask out (30 seconds) there were 14 people around me....
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Re: Ben Lomond- The Peoples Mountain

Postby Graeme D » Fri Aug 16, 2019 11:22 am

Try Snowdon in the summer months for crowds! :shock: I'm sure some top flight football matches have smaller crowds!
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