Ben Lomond - 974m
Thursday 28th June 2018

Weather/Conditions: Warm evening, not a cloud in the sky. Summer sunrise, (full) moonset in the west, then turning into a hot morning.
Distance/Ascent/Time: 12.4km / 1050m
Accompanying: Amy

The weather has been hot lately. Almost too hot to make much progress on the hills. I had a great day out in Moidart a few days ago, and it was more by luck than design that the skies clouded over that afternoon, thus the intensity was lost from the sun. Amy was coming over to Scotland with family from Chicago, and our objective was Ben Lomond which makes a great loop not too far from Glasgow. But given the heat during the day, I suggested it might work to go overnight instead - not that there's much in the way of darkness. Amy was also up for this, and so we agreed to meet in Glasgow at 2am.

It was a dark night on the drive out, but you could still see Ben Lomond silhouetted against the northern sky. We parked at Rowardennan, and began walking at 3am.

The moon was out; full and orange. And the sun was not far away either. We followed the main track up onto the moors, with Loch Lomond opening out below. What weather for Amy to see Scotland in for the first time. It sure isn't normal!

I always enjoy getting over onto the Sron, which is the broad arm dropping off the cone of Ben Lomond. It also forms the central section of the mountain track. The summit becomes visible ahead, the walking becomes easier, and then beyond there are only a few hundred metres to the top. The sun appeared over the horizon; because of the high pressure weather it was strangely muted. The Moon slipped away out of sight, unnoticed.

We followed the path up onto the summit, taking a break on top for photos, some snacks and to watch the sun light up the Southern Highlands around about.

We headed down via. the western ridge, which is the Ptarmian track. The day also became hot, the sun intense. We rested for some time, chasing shade and closing our eyes. I, for one, had become tired and the opportunity to lie and rest in the morning warmth was appreciated. Feeling somewhat more alert again, we descended in the heat to Loch Lomond. The water looked inviting! I'd almost have gone in for a dip...

Thanks Amy for being up for climbing Ben Lomond, and for the breakfast too!

Written: 2018-06-29