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Beyond Ben Lomond

Beyond Ben Lomond


Postby Aiden Schulz » Sat Sep 07, 2019 7:49 pm

Route description: Ben Lomond

Munros included on this walk: Ben Lomond

Date walked: 06/09/2019

Time taken: 8 hours

Distance: 15.9 km

Ascent: 1213m

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An Aussie's First Walk in the Northern Hemisphere!
Strong Winds, Low Visibility, 2 hours of Swamp bashing... ...It was a great walk!!

My partner and I have done plenty of walks in Australia but were excited to get underway with a walk in the Scottish highlands.
We recently moved to Glasgow and this was our first chance to get out on a walk!

Getting there:
We took the train from Queen Street to Arrochar & Tarbet station at 6:30pm Thursday and camped overnight in Tarbet to be ready for the 8:45am Waterbus to Rowardennan where we began our walk.
When we booked the Waterbus, we asked for return tickets but told them we wanted it from Inversnaid and they didn't have a problem with this.

Up Ben Lomond
We started the walk on the Eastern track that makes up part of what I believe to look like a great day walk loop returning to Rowardennan.
It was a steady decent that provided the classic picturesque backdrop of Loch Lomond.
We had just made it up onto the spur line that headed for the summit when clouds engulfed us as a proper "Welcome to Scotland".
We had about 20-30 metres of vision at times but it was easy going up a pretty obvious path.
Every 15 minutes or so there would be a gap in the clouds that showed up a glimpse of the amazing views.
As we neared the summit the wind had picked up something drastic to the point we were getting blown sideways and had to walk very steady to stay on the path!
We reached the summit! This was our first Munro (of many to come!) Hurray! :clap: :clap:
Shortly after reaching the top, my partners rain cover was torn off her bag by the wind and taken away into the clouds. :cry: :cry:
Now in a cloud with only 15 metres vision, we followed our map down the north tip of the summit which did look like we were walking into nothing, however we continued down the path and had a small glimpse of the spur line we were looking to take north of Ben Lomond.

Going Beyond Ben Lomond
What looked to be a simple spur line heading north of Ben Lomond quickly was hidden in thick cloud accompanied with severe winds.
We decided to take the east side of the spur to seek slight shelter from the Westerly gale which worked well.
It was our first off track walking in Scotland which was manageable with the occasional lumpy shrub that would make things slightly unsteady. Once we neared the base of the spur line we were below the cloud and could see the valley we were headed for.
It was a debate between my partner and I to follow the river line through the valley or stay high next to a fence line to the east.
We went for the river which quickly showed it was nothing short of a swap. :lol:
We ended up wading through swap at knee level for an hour before bailing towards the fence line which we thought would be higher, drier ground...
It was just as swampy by the fence. :(
It was a good 2 hours of swamp trudging from the spur to the road we were aiming for, but boy did that road feel solid after that! :crazy:
As we reached the road, it was as if we had completed the test, the skies opened up and we had a sunny walk down towards the edge of the Loch and met up with the West Highland Way which took us into Inversnaid.

Final Thoughts
This was a great first adventure in the Highlands, I am glad we were fully equiped with waterproofs and warm layers as the weather kicked in hard.
I felt for the many we passed on the summit that were in cotton hoodies with no waterproofs.
We were ill prepared for such swampy walking, but embraced the challenge, perhaps some sturdier boots may be needed for our next adventure...
Attachments

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Aiden Schulz
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 1
Joined: Sep 7, 2019

Re: Beyond Ben Lomond

Postby katyhills » Mon Sep 09, 2019 12:57 pm

Welcome to Scottish summer hillwalking :lol:
Glad you enjoyed it nevertheless, and good luck with your future adventures :)

Blown sideways, bog trotting, low vision, jackets disappearing...but you still never took any photos....
:wink:
katyhills
Walker
 
Posts: 352
Munros:119   Corbetts:28
Grahams:7   Donalds:2
Sub 2000:3   
Joined: Jul 7, 2015

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