Munro Bagging - Ben Lomond, Scotland
Some of Scotland’s best views and landscapes can be experienced from one of the 282 Munro’s.
Munro's are named after Sir Hugo Munro that produced the first list of mountains that stand over 3000ft (914.4 metres) in Scotland, The highest and most famous being Ben Nevis standing at 4,409ft (1,344 metres).
Last year I had the pleasure of taking part in the first night time trek up Ben Lomond, organised with The National Trust. http://www.wildernessevents.com/benlomond/
It was my first Munro never mind, in the dark! I was very excited to say the least. Head torch at the ready and ample chocolate for energy we were on our way. A few hours later after being wind swept and a little deflated of not quite reaching the top due to the torrential weather,
I was keen to go up again and see the incredible views by daylight!
Yesterday was the day. We set off from Edinburgh by car midmorning with a packed lunch, water and plenty of chocolate (loving the excuse to eat my favourite food). The weather being as unpredictable as ever here in Scotland, so in the bag was also water proofs, sunscreen, hat and sunglasses.
We reached the car park at 12.30pm to a drizzle of rain being blown across Loch Lomond. The car park was busy which spurred us on that we weren’t the only dafties walking up the 3195 feet (974 metre) Munro. (Car parking for the day is £3.00 and there are toilet facilities in the car park).
We set off through the tarmacked amenity block on to the woodland floor. The track was easy for the first hundred metres and then got very boggy and we found ourselves negotiating, the very muddy terrain. It wasn’t long until we had to do a bit of mountain climbing up and over a stone face wall. Once up we took a look back and wondered how on earth we were going to get back down, on the way back. (What goes up must come down! Came to mind).
Not being a well-rehearsed Munro climber the often rest stop was required. With the weather getting brighter it became much more humid and at some of the less arduous points very enjoyable almost a walk in the park.
It was surprisingly busy on the narrow path having the occasional banter with nationals from Germany, Sweden and Australia. Most we were to see again on their return leg while we were taking a gentler pace, still on the way up.
On reaching the last mile we were in the clouds. We had our fingers crossed that the gentle breeze would blow the clouds over to reveal the magnificent views below. Alas it was not to be, but we had made it! What a relief and an achievement. After some memorable shots and a short time refueling the moment had past.
The descent was upon us! A whole lot of other muscles were being worked and my poor knee’s. (Walking sticks maybe a good investment, if climbing more Munros).
The sun came out and we managed to see some of the cracking views afterall.
Relieved to have reached the car park with my legs like jelly, it was time to drive home.
We had managed to complete both the ascent and descent in 5 hours! I was amazed, especially with the number of rest and photograph stops. Not for the faint hearted but it is possible with moderate fitness. Now for the other 281 Munros!