|Route Distance: 11.7 km||Estimated Time: 5:59hrs|
|Total Ascent: 1058 m||Total Descent: 1059 m|
After a very early start from home I arrived at the Rowardennan car park just as the sun was rising. At least I think it was rising as there was a solid blanket of cloud covering the sky. Boots on and a spring in my step I set off. I reached the clouds and the mist closed in to reduce visibility to maybe 50 meters at best. But once above the clouds, the sun broke through and shortly afterwards I reached the summit. I sat a while, looking over the tops of the clouds munching on malt loaf, drinking tea and enjoying the solitude of the summit. Hoping for a break in the clouds, but with no luck.
I carried on down the Ptarmigan route and within an hour the clouds had lifted and were beautiful fluffy and white against a brilliant blue sky. But I was too far down to go back up again. But staring at the clouds whilst walking is not a good idea, as I missed my step and was suddenly flat on my face in the mud with a very strong pain in my right ankle... yup a sprained ankle and 2 km still to go! Those last 2 km were probably the longest I have ever had to endure and took the edge off the rest of the walk, but also gave some valuable lessons - always be careful, accidents happen when you stop paying attention. Ben Lomond is hardly in the middle of no where, but it’s still far enough from help for you to be a PITA! If you are tired (which I was when I fell) take a short rest, it’s quicker in the long run.