Today was our second long walk weekend. We took a day off work for it (another 4 day week)… And luckily for us, out of no where, it was a scorcher! 12’C, sunny and clear. A great day for a walk on the hills. 🙂
We’ve been really busy the last few weeks: buying a new house, doing up the flat, training, working lots… so we didn’t get much time to plan out walk today. A bit like last week (Glasgow to Greenock marathon walk), we picked a route we knew, one we’d done before and one which was close enough to get to).
We’ve been up Ben Lomond twice already: once in Oct 2008 – we got a smasher of a day, and it was our first Munro walk… (We ran all the way down, it was amazing). And it’s still our favourite. The second time we did it was in April last year: another good day out, but it was a bit misty and the views weren’t as good as the first time.
Today was great. We always go up the Ptarmigan Ridge, which has great views and its a lovely climb, then we go down a different way: the ‘tourist route’. I’d always recommend this way to anyone planning on walking up Ben Lomond.
As you can see, the views were stunning… and the weather was great. It was, as usual, getting colder the higher you got, but we had plenty of layers to keep us warm.
Ben Lomond is around 3200ft high, and we got to this point on it (at 2700ft), where we couldn’t go any further because of the hard snow and ice. It was a little disappointing as we were so close to the top but we weren’t risking our safety up there.
We met a few people who had been behind us, and they too turned back… One guy saying ‘what a waste of a day!’ … What an idiot he was. It wasn’t a waste of a day at all! It was great to be out and about adventurising!
We went back down to Ptarmigan route, sort of thinking we’d go home, but then I suggested we go down a bit and then over to meet the ‘tourist route’ and get to the top that way.
It was hard work walking off the path, but we saw and crossed a nice river, and stopped for a bit to eat in a nice sheltered bit looking over Loch Lomond. It was beautiful and well worth the effort.
When we were half way up the gully, it was tough walking up the steep hill with wild grass and heather under our boots. This is where I reminded myself of this quote that I’d posted on Facebook earlier:
We ended up going down to about 1600ft, before crossing over to the tourist path and after around 5 hours walking (up to 3200ft), we eventually got to the top of Ben Lomond!
If at first you don’t succeed, try try again. 🙂
We met some more people and dogs at the top, one of whom was an older man with long hair, in a yellow tshirt… and an LA Gear SKIRT. He was wearing a skirt!!! We noticed the skirt when he passed us as he was going up and we were going down. Then he ran past us as we were going down. The only thing I could think of was that he was an old guy who didn’t care what people thought, and perhaps liked to run ‘free’. :-O
We also met two guys who carried their mountain bikes up to the top, then careered down past us on them. We stopped to let them past ( and to watch ) and the guy we watched managed to be a little to cautious in front of us… And crashed his bike right in front of us (going slowly) ending up going over his handlebars into a heap on the rocks. ‘Its ok, it’s ok, I’m ok’ he said, just as I kicked myself for having not had the camera out to film the comedy moment. ;-P
On the route we met around 20 people, 3 dogs, 15 sheep who all ran away from us after giving us the evil eye, a pheasant and this little creature above.. I thought his name was Colin the Caterpillar but Fit Girl said his name was Henry the Hairy Caterpillar. Lol. ;-P
What do you think? Colin or Henry?
Here’s me at the end, after 7:20 or 11.7 miles of hiking! A brilliant walk, and a gorgeous day for it! (Ave HR 117, Max HR 160, Garmin Training Effect: 3.0).
We had a chicken wrap (1 between us) and some kettle chips about 4 hrs 30 in, plenty of water, some nuts and then when we finished we had another chicken wrap between us. I had a chocolate coffee milkshake and some water. (We left the chocolate for some reason!) – but I did sneak a wee snickers in an hour before dinner at home!
It was a great day out – our faces are a little sun and / or weather beaten, but our legs and feet are ok. No blisters again and our feet and legs are only a little bit tired, not too sore.
Unfortunately my Garmin wouldn’t sync when I got home, and a master reset lost all of its data :-(, (grrrrr) so I ended up plotting the route on walkjogrun.co.uk.
We were so close to the top when we had to turn back! (But if I’m honest, I’m glad we had the little detour, it made it a really good and challenging walk off the beaten track.)
It was a brilliant day for us. We were up at 6am, out by 730am, walking by 8:15am, then back down by around 3:30pm. Great pictures, great chat and a great walk and experience. (Asda and Jasper liked it too).