Walk: Ben Lomond from the other bonnie bank

Stirling | Rowardennan | Full day walk | ★★★★

[Ben Lomond]

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 a relatively quiet ascent.

[Ben Lomond (centre) & the Ptarmigan Ridge (left)]

📌 Walk: Ben Lomond from the other bonnie bank ★★★★
Start / finish at car park at minor road end, Rowardennan, G.R.: NS 360986 ///shapeless.with.nicknames

▶ 12 km / 7 mi | ▲ 990 m | ⌚ Full day | Tough
Features: Loch Lomond; △ Ben Lomond (974 m, Munro)
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.

Route & map

Car park - Rowardennan Youth Hostel (start here if arriving by boat) - Ben Lomond via Ptarmigan Ridge - start via "tourist" path


Route credit: Walkhighlands (modified)

On our visit

Wildlife: Several lizards on ascent, and an adder on descent near Rowardennan. Less welcome were the first ticks of the season.
Weather: Temperature climbed quickly after a cool start, to 20°C by lunchtime at loch level. Cloudless skies, gentle cooling breeze.

Chronological photo guide

[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)]

[Ptarmigan Ridge]

[Ptarmiagan Ridge]

[Ptarmigan Ridge]

[Ptarmigan Ridge]

[No ptarmigan seen on the Ptarmigan Ridge today, but lots of lizards!]

[Ptarmigan Ridge]

[Summit views from the Ptarmigan Ridge]

[Loch Lomond from the ridge, Arrochar Alps beyond]

[Reflections]

[View west to the Arrochar Alps]

[Steep section of the ridge]

[Ben Lomond]

[Summit view of the nort-east coire]

[The descent path is much gentler and wider than the ridge ascent]

[Ben Lomond (centre) & the Ptarmigan Ridge (left) from near the end]

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