An East Loch Lomond Hill Cocktail
Ingedients: 35ml Ben Lomond, 35ml Cruinn a'Bheinn with a dash of West Highland Way.

Date: Tuesday 9th August 2011
Company: Just Myself
Distance: 21km, Ascent: 1650m
Time: 6Hrs 45Mins


The following route has been on my wish-list for a couple of years.
Today, I finally got round to doing it .

My previous ascent of Ben Lomond was in August 1997.
This was my first ascent of Cruinn a'Bheinn.

This was my first Munro of 2011 .

Click here to see a map of the route undertaken

I drove to Rowardennan this morning, where I parked in the large car park. I then followed the tourist route up the hill, via the way-marked Ben Lomond Hill Path.
 
Start of Ben Lomond Hill Path:


Ptarmigan and Ben Lomond:


It was nice to walk on such a well-constructed path – quite different from some recent Graham and Marilyn ascents.

I was really surprised to find a bull standing on the path today. A sign did indicate grazing cattle but made no mention of a bull. I waited for five minutes until the bull ventured about 20 feet off the path and started eating some grass. I then made my way very quickly past it.

A bull on the path!:


Beyond the bull, I passed a number of cattle with young calves, also on the path. Was really glad that I didn't have my dog Beinn with me today. As I made my way up the hill, the views of Loch Lomond become increasingly nice.

Loch Lomond:


I spotted the following bird just off of the path. Not sure what it is – was a bit smaller than a blackbird.

Juvenile wheatear?:


I passed a number of tourists en-route but it wasn't too busy.

Ascending Ben Lomond:


Final section leading to summit:


Looking back along Ben Lomond Hill Path:


Approaching the summit area:


I was quite impressed with the crag near the summit of Ben Lomond. I couldn't recall having seen it on my previous visit – which was possibly in cloud.

Crag on Ben Lomond:


I reached the summit 2Hrs and 5Mins after setting off from the car park.

Looking towards Tarbet from the summit of Ben Lomond:


Loch Lomond from summit of Ben Lomond:


At the summit, I took a quick compass bearing to make sure that I descended the correct ridge. The start of the descent was quite steep but it wasn't long before it become much easier.

Start of descent, towards Ptarmigan/Cruinn a'Bheinn:


Descent towards Ptarmigan:


The Cobbler behind Tarbet:
 

Looking back to Ben Lomond:


The descent towards Cruinn a'Bheinn was pleasant via dry, short grass.

Descent towards Cruinn a'Bheinn:


There were good views over to the Arrochar hills during the descent.

Arrochar hills:


Looking back to Ben Lomond:


Looking back to Ben Lomond (zoomed):


After descending over 500m, I reached the col between Ben Lomond and Cruinn a'Bheinn. The ascent of Cruinn a'Bheinn was also straight-forward and pleasant.

Cruinn a'Bheinn from col:


The Cobbler (zoomed):


Ben Lomond from the summit of Cruinn a'Bheinn:


From the summit of Cruinn a'Bheinn, I started the long descent out towards the track leading down to Cailness. I followed a line of fence posts during the descent. This part of the walk was not that pleasant – long, wet tussocky grass. It was quite rough-going.

Descent from Cruinn a'Bheinn towards track leading to Cailness:


View from descent:


I was glad to reach the good track .

Looking back to Cruinn a'Bheinn and Ben Lomond from track leading to Cailness:


I descended the final 250m via the zig-zagging track leading down to Cailness.

Looking towards Inveruglas from descent track:


Zig-zagging descent track:


The final part of the walk was a five-mile hike along the West Highland Way, from Cailness to Rowardennan.

On the West Highland Way at Cailness:


This was the first time I have walked a several-mile section of the West Highland Way. I found it a bit dull to be honest – views were quite limited. I had also kind of expected the West Highland Way to be quite flat. However, the various ups and downs on the way out, brought the overall ascent for the day to >1600m.

The West Highland Way:


I passed lots of walkers, walking the West Highland Way, who were mostly going in the opposite direction to myself.

An enjoyable day .