Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Ben Lomond and the Arrochar Alps: Ben Lomond (184)

Walk date: June 1999
My Munro #s: 3/284

This hike occurred on a post-exams, pre-graduation week-long break at the end of my undergrad and was the clearest example of how different the expectations of a certain Paul P and a certain Hellary, sorry, Hilary were for the week. That there was even a hike included was as significant victory for the Paul camp, but the H camp reacted to the defeat by maintaining a patented stoney silence throughout the 974m ascent (Ben Nevis had been taken in earlier in the week while my mate Antony was with us but the H had remained in Fort William throughout - that Ben Nevis climb was my fourth having also been up with my Dad and Penny Butler since my youthful ascent). Ben Lomond is the southernmost Munro and the hike starts from a carpark on the shores of Loch Lomond near the Rowardennan Youth Hostel. The day was very hot and the midges were in abundance even on the summit. Paul and I provided a hearty meal, but in a possible divine intervention, the H remained literally spotless. The obvious path climbs through controlled forest until breaking free at ~200m. The rest of the route remains obvious. The views from this hill are extremely rewarding with the entire Loch and The Cobbler laid out beneath you. However, for all its directness, the hill must not be taken lightly; I don't have such a poor record on any other hill, having only suceeded on one of three attempts due to bad weather making the exposed hillside very hard to make progress on. You have been warned! Anyway, Paul and I had a great time even paddling once back down. The H stormed to the car and put on Radio 2. Ah, memories...

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