Ben Lomond - 974m
Sunday 9th September 2001

Weather/Conditions: Clear and sunny, although a little cold and windy at the top.
Distance/Ascent/Time: 12km / 990m / c. 6h
Accompanying: Dad, Steve and Fiona

Ben Lomond was my first Munro and as a result it is the first mountain listed on this site. I'd climbed a few hills beforehand but they were the just ones I'd been up as a boy when I went with parents. I'd already been up Ben A'an (The Trossachs) in June 1999 and Auchineden Hill and Conic Hill in 1997 but I have no dates or pictures and little recollection of any. I'll start with Ben Lomond which I climbed as a ten year old back in 2001.

Starting out from Rowardennan, we followed the path upwards through dense forestry. We climbed through the forest negotiating areas of bedrock along the way. By my subsequent trips to Ben Lomond, the trees had been cut down. I'd ask if we were near the top yet while still at the bottom, but I hadn't a sense of the scale of the hill.

We emerged from the forest and walked up the broad path. There was a bit of wind and the slope felt incredibly steep. A group of other kids were around about, but I headed up the path, which I felt was incredibly steep.

Fiona and I walked ahead of dad and Steve, and as we approached the top, the final part looked steep and a little dangerous. In reality it's nothing more than a simple walk up a path, but I was young, small and everything looks bigger that way. Steve and Dad were somewhere behind, but we climbed up the last section and we ended up at the summit. There was a biting and strong wind at the top and I held onto the trig point for life, thinking that the wind could, at any moment, blow me off my feet and off the side of the mountain. Steve and Dad were behind at their own pace, and I sat at the summit and ate - they arrived after about half an hour later.

All I remember from then on was descending the mountain in the late afternoon as the sun was dipping downwards, also realizing how quick it had been to come off. We were soon back at the car, but I have little memory of that.

Written: 2004 / 2007 Oct / 18th Nov (found date)