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The Highland Connection - A Blog for 2020

Hiking up Ben Lomond, Scotland

On a brilliant sunny, blue sky, wispy clouds, but with a cool Easterly breeze day, the challenge was to walk up the most southernly Munro in Scotland, Ben Lomond at 3,200 feet, or 984 metres. It was late April, 2022.

Having stayed overnight locally in Balmaha, alongside Loch Lomond, we got to the car park that was the start on the walk. At 9.30am, it was already full! But it was a Saturday, and the forestry commission people allowed us to park on a grass verge, allowing room for cars to pass by.

There are two routes up the Ben, the easier tourist one, or the more difficult one, called the Ptarmigan route. This was steeper, and for the last 50 metres of ascent you needed to scramble up through rocks to reach the summit.

It was a tough climb for me, and my walking partners - 25 years younger than, romped on ahead, then waited for me to catch up.

On the way up, and subsequently reaching the summit, the views were fantastic as it was a blue sky day. Looking South we could see all of Loch Lomond, and its 20 islands. Looking North, we could see row after row of mountains as far as the eye could see. Probably about 30-40 miles distance. It was also very busy.

We came down the tourist route, it was boring, longer, and we caught the full force of the strong easterly wind. Say no more, other than on the descent my legs were not "happy bunnies".

I would recommend the hike up Ben Lomond, and would suggest if you are fit, go up and down the Ptarmigan route, otherwise use the tourist route - which is still a challenge but a more gentler ascent.

The couple of photos do not give you the true scale of the panorama.

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