Thursday, August 20, 2015

175. Ben Lomond (184). 17/08/2015

With the previous day having gone well for Hamish in the pack for 4 and a half hours, I thought we would try another one today with Grandma. Ben Lomond involves a little more climbing, but is all along an excellent path. The weather was set to be excellent.

We were off around 10.30, before the crowds and some of the trickiest terrain was actually near the start through the forest. Fortunately the ground was dry so it was no problem and at 200m we were out of the trees and from there it was a steady climb up the side of the hill to about 600m. Then there is a mile of plateau before the final climb to the summit. It took us 3 hours to get to the top and mum only needed a small amount of encouragement. Hamish was happy and even had a couple of naps. At the top we had hoped for a chance to relax, but unfortunately the air was warm and still enough that there were quite a few midgies, so our time was limited. Hamish got a chance to crawl around and get some food and we took in the spectacular views of Loch Lomond.

There is the option of descending to the west, but it is a little steep at first, so we opted for retracing our steps given I had the backpack. Hamish was much chattier on the descent, partly because of the hundreds of walkers we passed, some of whom had dogs with them (which Hamish found particularly exciting!). Mum's legs always find the descent taxing, so we had to go steadily, but we got down fine after a round trip of 5 and a half hours. I was expecting this to be a bit too long for Hamish, but he seemed fine with it. More munros for him then!
The summit ridge and Loch Lomond in the background

Eat/crawl multitasking

Looking north

The three generations at the top

174. Sgiath Chuil (270). 16/08/2015

This was arguably my third attempt of this hill, although I had more optimism this time due to the lack of winter. It was also another chance for me to carry Hamish up a hill, which he was jolly excited about! Here's him doing his stretches in preparation.

My friend Joe was part-way through his LE2JoG cycle and wanted a 'day off' climbing hills. He had gathered together Blaise and Nick from Stirling and Alex from Dundee. We all met in Killin at 9.30 and were climbing shortly after 10. Having done most of the walk before, navigation was simple especially since we could see the top. The grassy slopes were pretty straightforward even with the backpack, although the steep section at the end was felt by my legs!

Half way up

Hamish managing to find a moment for a nap

At the top we met a few people and had clear views of the Arrochar Alps and the hills up to Rannoch Moor. Hamish gobbled down a jar of food and I put a few more clothes on him. Having been very happy all the way up, he decided the stop at the top wasn't nearly so much fun and whinged until I started moving again. He was then very chatty for the rest of the descent, which was refreshingly gently on the joints down grassy slopes.

Pit stop 

Ben More and the Arrochar Alps

Getting a bit fed up with the delay!