Walk: Ben Lomond from the other bonnie bank
The most southerly Munro, Ben Lomond is probably the only serious contender to Ben Nevis for the title of Scotland's most popular hill over 3,000 feet. On average 100 people each day reach the summit; for summer weekends, thousands must be a better estimate, most heading up the "tourist route" along the broad, southern ridge. For a much quieter, more interesting ascent with far better views of Loch Lomond, ascend via the steeper Ptarmigan Ridge, leaving the tourist route for the descent when legs are tired. Even better, start the day by accessing the start at Rowardennan by ferry from Tarbet on the other bonnie bank. Outside peak times, by this route you'll have a reasonable chance of reaching the top without meeting another walker.
|[Ben Lomond (centre) & the Ptarmigan Ridge (left)]|
Length: 12 km / 7 miles
Ascent: 990 metres
Main summits: Ben Lomond (974 metres, Munro)
Points of interest: Loch Lomond
Start / finish: Rowardennan car park, G.R.: NS 360986 ///shapeless.with.nicknames
Route: Car park - Rowardennan Youth Hostel (start here if arriving by boat) - Ben Lomond via Ptarmigan Ridge - start via "tourist" path
Terrain: Largely excellent paths, occasionally boggy on lower sections, and a couple of short, rocky steps to negotiate. Ptarmigan ascent is generally narrower and rougher than the descent.
Wildlife today: Several lizards on the ascent, and an adder on the descent near Rowardennan. More unwelcome were the first ticks of the season.
Weather today: Temperature climbed quickly after a cool start, to 20°C by lunchtime at loch level. Cloudless skies with a gentle cooling breeze.
>> Loch Lomond ★★★★☆
>> Loch Lomond boat trips ★★★☆☆
|[No ptarmigan seen on the Ptarmigan Ridge today, but lots of lizards!]|
Route credit: Walkhighlands (modified)
|[The ultimate way to begin the day: take the ferry across Loch Lomond from Tarbet to the walk's start]|
|[Loch views at Rowardennan]|
|[Track near SYHA Rowardennan (16/7/18)]|
|[Start of the Ptarmigan Ridge path (16/7/18)]|
|[Summit views from the Ptarmigan Ridge]|
|[Loch Lomond from the ridge, Arrochar Alps beyond]|
|[View west to the Arrochar Alps]|
|[Steep section of the ridge]|
|[Summit view of the nort-east coire]|
|[The descent path is much gentler and wider than the ridge ascent]|