I knew Kate was going to be game and able for the rest of the day as she immediately took her shoes and socks off and paddled out to the pulpit, with me gingerly teetering behind in my boots.....years of soaking wet cold feet have made me soft eh!? We took some pictures, and then clambered back up the steps to set off to our next objective, Ben Venue.
But wait. The forecast was OK, and the reality even better. Warmer weather was on its way, and despite the cold, brisk wind, conditions were good for something a little more challenging. So we quickly decided on Ben Lomond, from Rowardennan, but by the much quieter and scenic Ptarmigan path.
We parked up after a nice drive along East Loch Lomondside, and off we went, me blethering as usual, so much so that I missed the wee turn off, and had to backtrack a few metres. Doh! I blame it not being on the 1:50k map, (he said weakly ;) The path is excellent, and you really can see the effect of the money coming in from the National Park status, with improved drainage and much reduced erosion. The only problem from Kate's point of view was that they have installed steps occasionally, and she considered this cheating....... You've still gotta go up though lass!
We took a few breaks as we made our way leisurely upwards, chatting to those on descent, and taking in the ever-widening views of the silvery Loch Lomond and the surrounding hills. The Cobbler and the Arrochar Alps were particularly splendid today in the defined light, and the clarity meant we could make out all manner of distant hills, as well as the Firths of Forth and Clyde, always satisfying.
Eventually, after some minor scrambling in the fresh breeze, we popped out onto the summit, right at the trig point, where we triumphantly high-fived and snapped some pics. Given the popularity of Ben Lomond, we were lucky to have the summit to ourselves, and lingered a moment before striking off down the busier standard path, where we entertained ourselves with discussions about Scottish and World politics, history and religion, which took us pretty much to the bottom!
A really good day out in fresh but improving Spring weather. Always nice to keep out of the waterproofs for the day, and my rosy glow as I type this indicated the presence of the sun. Thanks very much to Kate and her choice of routes, and for her great company. One munro down, 281 to go! ;)