This was planned weeks ahead as a warm up for the Cuillins while the girls were in Glasgow shopping, so of course the weather would be perfect, we could lift the pace up a bit stop where we liked for the photos and generally bask in the sun right? Not exactly as it turned out. Some things went to plan - actually the girls went shopping, that was all the plan!
The heavens were open when we woke up and the weather managed to trick us by constantly pulling out something worse throughout. Needless to say we didn't stop so often for the photos as we rarely saw anything.
First trick was finding £3.50 for the car park at the bottom, straight from Germany our pockets were full of euros, then the good luck started - the ticket machine took plastic wheyhey! Then the good luck finished!
We stuck to the original plan of the Ptarmigan Path as the views would likely be better. This is steep more all less all the way and in hammering rain we still heated up enough for shorts and t-shirts. We saw only 2 other groups on the way up, a family of four who I'm sure made it and another group who surely didn't, (flipflops).
This path is not so hard but some sections have big steps in places and when wet footholds are poor. At the top of the first ridge section the path becomes very easy just puddle jumping needed, for sure in good weather this way would be very nice.
The last push to the top is perhaps grade 3 scrambling but for only 50 - 60 yards, (no exposure). The top is then found very quickly and this time coldly.
After spending around 20 minutes at the top we decided to complete the loop and go down via the tourist route; this is really easy with nothing difficult and we saw several families with children of around 10 years walking up looking a bit bedraggled, I'm sure some made it all the way.
Photos for this report are not really worth posting as there was very poor visability and hard rain throughout, but in good weather this would be very much a family walk via the tourist path and I'm sure a real stunning walk looking down over Loch Lomond via the Ptarmigan Path. Given how steep some of the shorter sections on the Ptarmigan Path are I suggest following the same direction as us.
Our 3 1/2 hour time was really due to not stopping and keeping up a good lick throughout. This would be a very relaxing undemanding 5 to 6 hour walk and being so convenient should not be missed. Yes there are on good days quite a few peoplw but I find all are pleasant and in this weather all is good fun.
A 10 minute drive gets you to the Oak Tree Pub - atmosphere and food all good, this is for walkers so wet is allowed!
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