Edinburgh – Loch Lomond

We got up early from our beautiful wee Hostel, and headed North West, to the biggest lake in the UK – Loch Lomond, The sun was blasting in our little eyes – what a great day to start walking we thought!

We stopped off in a wee village to get us some supplies for our trip. Whilst standing at the checkouts, Regi turned to me and said ‘You’ve got Midget Gems!!’. Now – for me, this was hilarious, and it’s one of my best memories of this trip – for those of you, like Regina at the time, who don’t know what Midget Gems are – they are tiny little sweets, similar to Wine Gums in texture, but much, much nicer.I could not stop laughing.

We drove up the East shore of Loch Lomond,  and parked at the car park there, and within minutes of us being there, the heavens opened. Oh how it rained. Our route was to head North, over the Ptarmigan Ridge, then climb quite steeply up the final ridge to reach Ben Lomond’s summit. We got dressed all up in our grear, and headed off. After about 20mins into the walk, Buzz Killington to my right said something to the effect of – this mountain is steep huh? In fact, we’d miss the turning, and we were going for a gently stroll around the lake.

We found the right path, and headed up towards the Ptarmigan Ridge. The views from not very high up were stunning already;

Loch Lomond

We got to the Ptarmigan Ridge, and by here – we’d experience pretty much all seasons of weather. Blazing sunshine, heavy rain, fog, wind. Times we good, and moral was high. We came to a nice plateau at the top of the ridge, and it became very muddy. Regi doesn’t like mud, so I’d often hear ’yuck!’ being shouted, which made me smile. There was some lovely stepping stones right at the bottom of Ben Lomond’s steep climb, which I thought was really pretty.

Iestyn heading up BenLomond

The last 200m up to the top of Ben Lomod was something else. I’ve never been in such a situation before in my life. The hail/snow/rain/blizzard of the millennium was in, and he wasn’t friends with us. For me, walking up became very tiring, my legs were getting heavy, and to be honest, I was struggling. I stopped, and ate a Mars Bar. Without a doubt, this was the best Mars Bar I’ve ever had in my life. The feeling of sugar rushing into my body and straight into my muscles is something that I’ll never forget, it was sweet. On we went, and after a tough battle, we reached the summit of Ben Lomond. (974m/3,196 ft)

Regina Ben Lomond Summit

Iestyn Ben Lomond summit

I liked the mountain a lot. The way down was a bit of a trek, along a very well used path, – the loser trail as Regi nicely calls things.

We got back to the car just in time, as it got dark pretty soon. Rain was still pouring, so we got dressed into our civilian clothing, and decided to grab some food. We had some lovely Chinese, then we headed out and found ourselves a lovely little B&B in Balloch, where we were looked after really well, and our walking gear dried out.

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