This One’s for Sam

Altitude: 974 Metres                                                                             1st Munro

Out of 282 Munros, Ben Lomond is the 181st highest.

On Sun 13th May 2018, my husband and I set out from home to climb up Ben Lomond. We were almost at the base, when he received a phone call to say that his cousin’s daughter had taken her own life, that weekend. We continued on our journey, but neither of us felt like really doing much walking after that. We climbed about 100 metres up, and sat looking out over Loch Lomond, contemplating life, and what makes a 15 year old girl decide, that life is not worth living.

This week I set out again to reach the summit of Ben Lomond, my very first Munro bagged, and dedicate my walk to Sam.

It was a perfect day. So often in Scotland, the clouds comes down low, shrouding the awesome views, with an eerie mist. On Tuesday there was barely a cloud in the sky.

Ben Lomond is the most southerly of the Munros, and is found on the east side of Loch Lomond. Being the closest one to Glasgow, it competes with Ben Nevis as being the most visited. The easier route of the 2, climbs quite steeply from the start. From then on, it challenges very little for the experienced hill walker.  It took me 3 and a half hours to reach the summit at 974 metres.I took the yellow wrap I had brought with me, out of my backpack and placed it round my shoulders before having some pictures taken by 2 walkers who had reached the summit a few steps ahead of me. I told them the reason for the wrap, and found that tears were leaking out the corner of my eyes. Bless you Sam, wherever you are.DSC_0624

Along the way I met a couple from New Zealand who were walking with their 9 month old son, in a back-pack. We criss-crossed along the way, them going on ahead at times, only to stop to and tend to baby’s needs, and so I would overtake them again. We met up at the summit, after lunch, when they were ready to go begin their descent. I took a couple of pictures for them, as a family, and then asked them which way they were going. The Ptarmigan Ridge was the answer. Right-O! if they can do it with a baby strapped to their back, then I can do it with my 58 year old body!

The views were fantastic. I took nearly as long to get down as I did to get up, as the views were stunning, and I just soaked them up with my eyes, allowing the noisy walkers to overtake me, so I could enjoy them in peace.

Fly High Sam xx

Watching the Clouds Go By

Beinn Eich 703 metres and Doune Hill 734 metres, Luss Hills

 

I have to be honest, today’s walk was one of the most miserable experiences I have ever had on the hills. It was wet and dreich. When the weather forecast says there is a 80% chance of rain, then the chances are, it will rain. Today the rain was warm, which was an advantage, and there was no wind to speak of. It gave rise to an eerie, atmospheric feeling, the air charged with spookiness. To add to the tension, I was walking with an animal which is one-twelfth wolf.

As walk’s go, it is probably a good one, in nicer weather, the views would have been amazing, but when walking highlands tells you thee is a boggy section and a rough path, you should read that as a river, because that is what the path had become after all the rain. We stoppped trying to avoid the puddles, as basically there weren’t any, just a constant flow of water on the last stretch of the path. My husband’s comment when I got home “You boots are nice and clean!”

This walk was completed as part of my training for Kilimanjaro. WordPress has told me it is 42 days away! If you have enjoyed reading my posts, please consider sponsoring me. I am raising money for a local holiday home for children and families with a family member with a life threatening illness, called Whiteleys Retreat.