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Golden Sunrise and an epic adventure!

Golden Sunrise and an epic adventure!


Postby Jaxter » Mon Nov 18, 2019 12:36 pm

Route description: Ben Lomond

Munros included on this walk: Ben Lomond

Grahams included on this walk: Cruinn a'Bheinn

Date walked: 17/11/2019

Time taken: 9.2 hours

Distance: 24.7 km

Ascent: 1510m

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A free Sunday and a good forecast….early on, but threatening to cloud over from mid morning. Clearly an early start was required, and Malky was stupid enough to go along with my Ben Lomond sunrise suggestion :lol: I’d thought we could carry on to Cruinn a’ Bheinn if the weather stayed good long enough.

We were actually in bed early and I’d had about 7 hours sleep by 4am when the alarm went off. On the road by half past, it only took us just over an hour to get to Rowardennan – amazing how quick getting out of Glasgow is at that time of day :lol:

We headed off up the familiar easy path behind the toilet block. Head torches were on. It was cold but not as nippy as the previous weekend, yet :lol:
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As we looked back to the loch there were some cool reflections and even a few stars and I was wishing I’d brought a tripod :lol:
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As we came out of the trees the head torches were barely needed (although still useful for spotting ice!) as the moon was bright, and we could see the snowy upper reaches of Ben Lomond ahead 8)
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Looking back again
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We were now out onto the open hillside and although we were completely sheltered from any wind the path was starting to ice up more and more making walking quite dicey at times :lol:
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The moon had a cool wee ring around it
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As it started to get light the photos improved :lol:
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Ben Lomond ahead
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Towards Stirling
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We were relieved to be into the snow – less slipping around on daft amounts of ice and more being able to actually walk :lol:
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Dawn starting to arrive
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Almost out onto the ridge – hard to believe that this is “only” Ben Lomond!
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The Campsies
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Given that sunrise was imminent we figured we’d miss it if we pushed onto the summit, so we headed straight up onto the ridge which actually turned out to be a better viewpoint anyway 8)

Looking ahead to the summit
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Looking north to the Crianlarich hills
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We frantically added layers as we were no longer sheltered from the wind, and dug out the flasks of tea we had carried up – worth their weight :D

Arran
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Ben More and Stob Binnein
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Looking over to Dumgoyne with Tinto in the distance. There was a lot of mist lying in the glens
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Dumbarton Rock with the Dumfries hills in the background
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The Lawers hills
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Ben Vorlich and Stuc a’ Chroin
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Lui, Oss & Dubhcraig
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Then it was time to stop playing around with the big lens as the sun was making its entrance 8)
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This ridge looks fantastic – Malky had been up it before, definitely one for another time 8)
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Red light on the snow 8)
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The idiot got in the way of my photo – so he deserves this :lol:
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We started to make progress along the ridge, and the views back got, if possible, even more epic 8)
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“Just” Ben Lomond – what a hill!!
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The beautiful bouncy red light was hitting all the hills around now
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Looking back
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Malky approaching the summit
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Looking back to Loch Lomond
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As we reached the summit I was able to spot where I’d pitched my tent the last time I’d been here :lol:

Looking back to the ridge
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Ben Lomond summit – Malky pointed out it had taken us an hour to walk the last couple of hundred metres :lol: :roll:
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North Loch Lomond hills
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The Lawers hills with Beinn a’ Ghlo and Beinn Vrackie in the far distance with the light hitting them
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Crianlarich hills
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Stirling
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Lawers, zoomed
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Ben Vorlich and Stuc a’ Chroin
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Ben More and Stob Binnein
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Lui & friends
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Arrochar Alps
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Beinn Bheula
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Arran
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As the light brightened, the views got even better! Cruinn a’ Bheinn, our next target, just visible in the foreground
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Beinn Bhuidhe with Cruachan hiding behind
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It was so beautiful and quiet (how often can you say that on the summit of Ben Lomond :lol: ) that I didn’t want to leave! So I made my tea last for ages while Malky, who still hasn’t given in and bought a down jacket :lol: ) started to get cold :roll:
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Looking back
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I reckoned we’d need crampons on the Ptarmigan, and Malky had a wee nosy and confirmed this, so we got them on while enjoying the views 8)

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And off we went – it would probably have been possible to get down without the crampons, but it wouldn’t have been safe or enjoyable! It was actually pretty epic 8)
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Looking back up what we’d just come down!!
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Could almost be the Alps!
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Looking back up the interesting bit – we left the path here, as we were off-pisting from here :D We actually almost had our first human encounter of the day here and the first people were heading up the Ptarmigan but we left the path before they arrived (phew :lol: :wink: )
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We found a wee spot to take the crampons off – they had served their purpose for sure.
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Now on the north side of the hill there was a lot more snow and a lot of it was consolidated enough to walk on (but there were plenty of bits that were not, and there was a lot of falling over and slipping :lol: )
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The Cobbler
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Malky searching for meaning
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For the most part this was one of the easiest off-piste descent I’ve ever done, thanks to the snow!! And I was able to enjoy the views and the feeling of being out in the snow on a fantastic day :D
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The two people we had almost met making progress up the Ptarmigan
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We were still above the height of Cruinn a’ Bheinn :lol:
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The last descent to the bealach saw up both take a tumble :lol:
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The route up – fortunately only about 150m!
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It was a steep ascent but fortunately it was over fairly quickly and the views back to Ben Lomond were awesome 8)
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Summit of Cruinn a’ Bheinn
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The wind was far less here so we were able to sit and enjoy our lunch (or “lunch” as it was 11am, but we’d been on the go for over 5 hours :lol: )
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After a while we were getting chilly so it was time to go – the steep descent ahead
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Looking back to Ben Lomond
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Down the worst of the descent we made for a boggy ATV track which was fortunately largely frozen and passable with care – Malky had described it previously as a total slop-fest :lol:

Looking back to our hills
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A bit of hopping around found us onto a beautiful proper track and some lovely views across the loch
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The track zig-zagged steeply but easily downhill past Cailness cottage and onto the West Highland Way
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The WHW would see us all the way back to Rowardennan – about 10km away :lol: It was a lovely walk, probably the best of the whole route, and certainly the least accessible. That being said, a lot of it was absolutely brutal with lots of steep ups and downs :lol:

We popped into Rowchoish Bothy on the way past – very clean and tidy and looked like a lovely spot!
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The brutality of the walk was made up for by the lovely weather – still some autumnal colours around too
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Dropped onto the shore for a view back to the Cobbler
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The light started to go later in the afternoon
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As we finally reached the bottom of the Ptarmigan ridge we met a whole host of people all heading back to the car park, where we were very pleased to see Colonel Mustard! Malky was annoyed I’d got more bike miles than him this weekend because I cycled back from Helensburgh the day before so he decided to cycle home :lol:

I was quite happy to drive back, stopping for a lovely sunset from Millarrochy Bay
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I was ready for bed pretty much straight away – but what a day out 8) :D


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User avatar
Jaxter
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Location: Glasgow

Re: Golden Sunrise and an epic adventure!

Postby malky_c » Fri Nov 22, 2019 2:10 pm

Aww, was poor Jaxter a bit tired after that? :lol: . Shows you can have an absolutely brilliant day out without heading too far afield!
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malky_c
 
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Re: Golden Sunrise and an epic adventure!

Postby Alteknacker » Sat Nov 23, 2019 12:37 am

Boy was that a good decision to get up in time for sunrise at the summit! Mouthwatering set of pics. Can't wait for 3 days in Glen Shiel in mid-Jan!

I only ascended Ben Lomond for the first time quite recently, and was really surprised at the absolutely superb views one gets in all directions, nicely showcased in your pics.
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Alteknacker
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Re: Golden Sunrise and an epic adventure!

Postby Sunset tripper » Mon Nov 25, 2019 3:46 am

Well done Jaxter, great pictures and fair play to Malky for cycling home - hardcore! :shock:
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Re: Golden Sunrise and an epic adventure!

Postby Jaxter » Mon Dec 02, 2019 8:16 pm

malky_c wrote:Aww, was poor Jaxter a bit tired after that? :lol: . Shows you can have an absolutely brilliant day out without heading too far afield!

You told me 19km. Even with your bullsh*t factor that was a long way :lol: :lol:


Alteknacker wrote:Boy was that a good decision to get up in time for sunrise at the summit! Mouthwatering set of pics. Can't wait for 3 days in Glen Shiel in mid-Jan!

I only ascended Ben Lomond for the first time quite recently, and was really surprised at the absolutely superb views one gets in all directions, nicely showcased in your pics.

Thanks - aye I figured it was worth doing properly 8) 8) I know how you mean, I sometimes forget how good my "wee local hills" are but this whole area is fantastic :D


Sunset tripper wrote:Well done Jaxter, great pictures and fair play to Malky for cycling home - hardcore! :shock:

It was his turn to drive :lol: :lol:
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Jaxter
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Posts: 1322
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Location: Glasgow

Re: Golden Sunrise and an epic adventure!

Postby malky_c » Mon Dec 02, 2019 10:56 pm

Jaxter wrote:
Sunset tripper wrote:Well done Jaxter, great pictures and fair play to Malky for cycling home - hardcore! :shock:

It was his turn to drive :lol: :lol:


Waited until I drove us back from Corran before you dared say that, eh? :wink: :lol:
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Re: Golden Sunrise and an epic adventure!

Postby willyrawley » Wed Dec 04, 2019 4:41 pm

This cheers me up while in my wet Wiltshire surroundings but it's also annoying as I'll not be coming to Scotland until February! Thanks for posting.
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willyrawley
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