Date: 3rd September, 2017
I was really anxious to get back hill walking after a couple of weeks of inactivity on that front. Does not take long to lose your ‘hill-fitness’, so decided to re-voisit a well known destination to start the rehab. The forecast was terrible, but I have become rather cynical about the weather forecast over the last short while and have more or less decided just to set out and see how it goes. You can always just turn around and go home! I arrived at an unusually quiet car park, probably due to the poor weather outlook and got myself sorted and commenced the climb.
I have climbed Ben Ledi several times and have seen lots of changes to the route over the last couple of years. The authorities have put in a power of work on the mountain and there is now a clear and well set out path right to the summit. I know that some people complain about erosion and scars on the landscape, but I am much more in the safety and usage of our outdoors. I do not see the point of stopping access for people, when in fact we should be encouraging people do do some outdoors activities and to improve their fitness and health. I love a mountain with a clear and safe track to follow and in my mind it actually decreases damage and erosion, with walkers sticking to clearly defines routes.
I set out under a rather grey sky, with the promise of plenty of rain throughout the day from the BBC. Within a few hundred metres I was stripped down to my tee-shirt and the sky was lifting and brightening by the minute. The path was in excellent condition and it was a pleasure to climb. Whilst not the highest of mountains, Ben Ledi still has you blowing and perspiring and with the improving weather I was certainly doing both! I managed an uninterrupted climb straight to the top and although the temperature dropped, as it always does as you climb, the weather held and the climb was a pleasure, with no hint of rain.
On the summit there was a bit of a ‘blow’ and the temperature dropped to such an extent that after the obligatory ‘selfie’ as shown at the top of this post, I didn’t hang about and headed back down the hill. I had only seen a couple of people in front, or coming back from completing the climb and as is my preference, I was not overtaken during the ascent. I do so hate it when someone faster overtakes you, childish I know, but it does annoy me!
With the weather being better then expected, there were lot more people on their way up during my descent, but this is never a problem and as usual, I was ‘chatty Cathie’ and passed the time with several of them.
I returned to the car and had my usual, biscuits and coffee and a wee rest and contemplation, before heading home to Glasgow. As I entered the city limits, low and behold the rain started and continued for the rest of the day. I was really lucky and managed to enjoy a great climb in perfect conditions.
I would recommend this hill to any climber of any experience and especially for those just beginning hill climbing. The path is good underfoot and clear and allows little chance of losing your way all the way to the top. It is a good solid climb and would help anyone improve their fitness. I am sure that I will climb this hill again, many times in the future.