Being atop a Munro on a fine day, winter or summer, is one of life’s great joys and a guaranteed tonic for the soul. Across Scotland there are 283 Munros, Scottish mountains classified as being over 914m (3,000ft), with characters that range from heathery rounded hills to intimidating rock spikes.
From the most southerly, Ben Lomond, near Glasgow, to Ben Hope, overlooking Orkney in the far north, they offer an unparalleled way to discover this ancient land.
Sir Hugh Munro, after whom these peaks are named, was a founding member of the Scottish Mountaineering Club (SMC). An energetic and meticulous man, his list, Munro’s Tables, was published in 1891.
Scotland’s mountains are further classified as Corbetts, which are 762m-914m (2,500-3,000ft) with at least 152m (500ft) of descent on all sides. Then there are the Grahams, ranging between 610m-762m (2,000-2,500ft).
Although a challenge that must only be attempted by experienced walkers when fully equipped, Ben Lomond is one of Scotland’s most approachable Munros, so it’s a perfect as an introduction. The 974m (3,195ft) mountain is at the heart of the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park, rising from the loch to a prominent level summit. Lying by the Highland Boundary Fault, it offers extensive views of the Lowlands and a heart-warming mountain vista.
1 Loch views
From Rowardennan car park, a path leads from the information centre, through woods. Further on, cross a track and continue on the uphill path. After crossing a bridge, Ben Lomond’s southern ridge comes into view. Follow the path onto the open hill with views over Loch Lomond.
2 Steep ascent
Further on, the angle eases and you’ll see the summit as well as superb views over the loch’s islands. Narrowing ahead, the path ascends steeply to the rocky ridge where it levels and curves left above a dramatic corrie.
3 More Munros
Follow the path to the trig point at the top. The views can stretch for 100 miles as far as the snow-kissed Arrochar Alps and the Paps of Jura. Relish your first Munro before retracing your footsteps. Tackle more and you could join the 4,000 others on the SMC’s Munro compleater (sic) list.
How to get there
The starting point at Rowerdennan is reached via Balmaha on road from Drymen.From Glasgow follow the A82 to Alexandria then the A811 via Balloch to Drymen.
Find out more
01786 445 703
Those venturing onto Ben Lomond must be competent in navigation and suitably equipped for the mountains. More inexperienced walkers should go with a guide such
as Stirling based C-N-Do Scotland. They have a Ben Lomond trip on 5 January. Price is £37 per person, including transport from Stirling, ice axe and crampon hire.
Oak Tree Inn
Balmaha G63 0JQ
The Oak Tree Inn’s ambience and warm wood décor provide a place to unwind after your day on the mountain.
Balmaha Visitor Centre
Balmaha G63 0JQ
Learn about the massive Highland Boundary Fault that runs through nearby Conic Hill.