Climbing Ben Lomond

Climbing Ben Lomond - Introduction

If you are looking to Climb Ben Lomond then this is the Blog for You... This Blog on Ben Lomond have been provided to give you every bit of information you will need to know when climbing Ben Lomond.

Where Is Ben Lomond?

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Ben Lomond is a Mountain that is located in the Uk specifically Scotland. Its found in the south west of Scotland within the Loch Lomond national park.

Above is an image that locates where Ben Lomond is in the Uk.  You can check on google Maps how long it will take you to get to Ben Lomond from your location.  

Travel To Ben Lomond

There are Many ways you can get to Ben Lomond, however it all depends on where you are based. if you live within the Uk and are not immeditaly local to Ben Lomond the easiest option would be to drive. Below are the different transport options on how to get to the base of the mountain.

- Car 

There is one car park for the two differnt routes up Ben Lomond the car park location is in Rowardennan - G63 0AR

- Train 

If you are travelling by train the nearest train station to Ben Lomond is Balloch station.

- Plane 

If you are coming from overseas you will be most likely be travelling by plane. It is suggest that you land in Glasgow airport as this is the closest to Ben Lomond.

Ben Lomond Height

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Ben Lomond is the highest mountain in the Loch Lomond national park standing at 974m (3,195 ft).

How Long Does It Take To Climb Ben Lomond?

The time it will take you to climb Ben Lomond will vary depending on your level of fitness and which route you decide to take up the mountain.


Ben Lomond Tourist Path

Distance -  12Km / 7.5 miles 

Time - 4.5 - 5.5

Ascent - 990m

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ben lomond routes | ben lomond ptarmigan ridge | ptarmigan ridge | apex international
Ptarmigan Ridge

Distance -  12Km / 7.5 miles 

Time - 4.5 - 5.5

Ascent - 990m

Ben Lomond Routes

As Mentioned above their are two main routes up Ben Lomond, there is the more popular Tourist Path which is an easier route up the mountain, then there is the Ptarmigan Ridge path which is not as popular and a little harder. Detailed below are the stages of routes up Ben Lomond.

Ben Lomond Tourist Path

Stage 1

Start from the car park at Rowardennan. The ascent starts by heading through the information building. The excellent path climbs steadily through oak woods. Soon the path reaches a track, go straight across and continue on path opposite.

Stage 2

Cross a small bridge and soon there are the first views of part of Loch Lomond. Further up the route passes through a gate. The path becomes rockier in places. Pass through another gate to reach the open hill.

Stage 3

The ascent continues, the gradient eases slightly as the shoulder of the mountain is gained. The final summit cone of Ben Lomond is now in full view ahead and the path heads directly towards it. The ascent steepens once more in two great zig-zags up the final cone of the mountain.

Stage 4

The path eventually reaches the rim of the eastern corrie which has been hidden until this point. The path keeps to the left of the cliff edge before making a final short rise to the summit. From the summit trig point there are stunning views in all directions, The easiest and most usual route back is to retrace the way you came up the mountain.

Ptarmigan Ridge

The Ptarmigan Route is a much tricker route on Ben Lomond however the route is the exact same as the tourist path when getting to the top of Ben Lomond, only when you head down Ben Lomond is when the ridge section of the mountain begins. To get to the top of Ben Lomond read the description above if you want to then come down the Ptarmigan route this section tells you where to go.

Stage 1

For the alternative, harder descent, take the rocky path North West, soon descending a very steep rocky slope. The route leads to a col before climbing south-west to Ptarmigan at 731m. From here the route follows the nobbly ridge for much of the descent . Approximately half way down the ridge, the distinctive shape of the cobbler comes into view alongside the other peaks of the Arrochar Alps on the far side of the Loch to the west. There is a clear path although it is narrow and rocky in places.

Stage 2

About two-thirds of the way down the path leaves the true ridge to descend below crags and continue on a direct route towards Rowardennan. The path passes through a gate and descends more steeply. Before reaching some trees at the top of the woodland bear left to go through another gate and descend alongside the burn. Continue down through the woods until the road is reached. Turn left here and walk along the road passing behind the Youth Hostel and continue until you reach the car park.

How Hard Is It To Climb Ben Lomond?

Both of the ascents of Ben Lomond are fairly straightforward and on a clear day should be quite easy to navigate and climb, Both routes are considerably long and start almost from sea level. You will need a lot of experience to climb Ben Lomond however a it can be quite physically hard, you will also need a basic level of navigational skills when climbing the mountain if there is not much visibility.

Best Route Up Ben Lomond

For both of these routes you will need an ample amount of physical fitness they are not much different from one another the ascent is near enough the same on both. 

If you are not experienced in climbing, navigating or hiking it is best you take the Tourist path to the top of Ben Lomond. This is because it is a straight forward path for most the way up and it is the most popular so you are able to follow crowds of people. Minor navigation skills will be needed near the top when conditions are bad. 

The Ptarmigan Ridge Path is more challenging and more navigational skills and general hill walking experience is needed. You do not need to be extremely experienced at either of these at all but you will need to know enough to be able to safely get yourself to the summit and back down especially in bad conditions.

Ben Lomond Weather

The Weather conditions on Ben Lomond can be unpredictable, this is due to its latitude and arctic conditions almost all year round. So you should be aware that weather conditions on Ben Lomond can change rapidly and often for the worst. A good day at sea level is no guarantee of good weather on the mountain! You should Be safe and prepared before climbing. 

Before going to climb Ben Lomond you can check the forecast on the Met Office

Although the weather may chop and change, Ben Lomond Does get hotter in the summer and colder in the winter, Below is a table of the average temperature on Ben Lomond during the year. The Top numbers are the highest average and the bottom are the lowest.

Ben Lomond Temperature

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun
1°C 1°C 3°C 5°C 10°C 11°C
-2°C -2°C -1°C 0°C 3°C 5°C
Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
12°C 12°C 9°C 6°C 3°C 1°C
7°C 7°C 5°C 3°C 0°C -2°C
This Table is a rough Guide of the average temperature on Ben Lomond for Pre planning, Please check the weather before you start your climb on Ben Lomond.

Best Month To Climb Ben Lomond

The Best Month to climb Ben Lomond depends on what you want to experience when climbing Ben Lomond.  For example If you would like to climb Ben Lomond on a hotter/clearer day then in the Mid summer would be the best time to climb, you can locate the tables on the average sunlight hours and  the average temperature during the year on Ben Lomond, These two tables may give you a rough idea on what month you will want to climb Ben Lomond. 

You may also want to know what the most popular month is to climb Ben Lomond to either avoid or join the many people who climb the mountain each year. The most popular time to climb Ben Lomond is usually during the summer, With the Winter being the more quieter times due to the worse conditions on the mountain.

Best Time To Climb Ben Lomond

The best time to climb Ben Lomond will depend on the season you are climbing in and what you want to experience when climbing. Below is a table on the average sunrise and sunset times during the year.  When you go to book your trip please check the weather. The table is a rough guide so you can estimate what time you would like to climb.

Average Total Sunlight

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun
08:40 07:45 06:35 06:00 05:10 04:35
16:20 17:20 18:40 20:45 21:30 22:10
7h 40m 9h 45m 12h 05m 14h 45m 16h 20m 17h 35m
Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
04:45 05:40 07:00 07:50 08:30 08:45
21:50 21:00 19:45 19:30 16:25 15:45
17h 05m 15h 20m 12h 45m 11h 40m 7h 55m 7h 00m
This Table is a rough Guide for Pre planning, Please check the weather before you start your climb on Ben Lomond.

Ben Lomond Navigation

The Tourist Path is reasonably easy to follow on a clear day, however it is highly recommended that you know how to navigate your way up and know how to map read, You should bring a map and compass with you in case conditions take a turn for the worse. It is essential that you know how to navigate up the Ptarmigan Ridge Path as this route can be tricky in bad conditions.

What Do I Need To Bring Up Ben Lomond?

The ideal kit list when climbing Ben Lomond will vary slightly depending on what season you are climbing in, in the winter you will need warmer clothes and base layers etc, however the essentials will pretty much stay the same.

Warm and waterproof clothing

These items are essential all year round due to the temperamental conditions on Ben Lomond, in the summer it may be hot at the base the the conditions will get slightly cooler and could become drastically worse at the the top, due to this make sure you bring waterproofs and warm clothing up with you.

A pair of good walking boots

You will need a pair of decent walking boots regardless of the weather or temperature when climbing Ben Lomond.

Useful Hiking Equipment

You will need to bring essential bits of hiking equipment when climbing Ben Lomond. These items consist of a map, compass, torch, whistle and first Aid Kit. You can also bring trekking poles, however they are not essential.

Food and Water

Ben Lomond is a long days hike regardless of which route you are taking so it is a must that you bring plenty of food and drink with you when climbing. you MUST take your litter down the mountain with you!

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Guide to Climbing Ben Lomond created