Undeterred by a poor weather forecast 11 of us met at an extremely busy Rowardennan car park, there were several large groups walking, some for charity and one man who was bagging his last Munro and had brought along a few friends, our leaders were the popular couple of Ann and Robert Bain, in fact they are so popular we had 2 visitors to the group today, Paul from Glasgow and Cathy who had travelled from Brisbane, Australia, especially for the walk, (well she is actually over for a 5 week walking holiday but it made Robert feel important) £3 all day parking paid Robert ran over our route and the forecast for today,
As we headed along the Forestry Road we reached a marked track on the right indicating "Ptarmigan ridge route to Ben Lomond" at this point we met the local Ranger who stopped us and gave us a 10 minute briefing on the current hill plants, wildlife and walking on the hill, the rain also made it's first of many appearances of the day resulting in jackets and waterproof trousers being put on, and with showers being forecast for the rest of today waterproofs would be well used.
As we went through a gate we walked along a hill track where Ann called a coffee break and fed us with treats, breaks in the clouds gave us intermittent views, continuing on we caught up with other walkers, it has to be said many in trainers and unsuitable clothing
The last section before going onto Ben Lomond is very rocky and in places a scramble is needed also with the rain the rock becomes slippy, however all safely up we congratulated each other and had lunch on a wet top,
The route down was via the main path (known as the tourist route) again this was busy with charity walkers, we also made way for runners and a man on a Bike!!!
Once at a lower level we reached the rock with the Ben Lomond plaque on it, from this point the path had been upgraded, unfortunately the rain and traffic had turned it into a quagmire and with the steepness it made walking tricky, however without any incidents we all arrived back at the toilet block where we made use of the outside tap to clean the boots and Archie offered our thanks to Ann and Robert for their recce's and guidance on todays walk,
Verdict; Always a favourite hill, the weather was disappointing however it was still a good day and we all enjoyed the experience,