Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Ben Lomond

After the tortuous task of getting to Ben Lomond I then had to actually climb the bloody thing. It was the first time that Andrea (who accompanied me up Schiehallion and Ben Nevis) and I had climbed a mountain by ourselves so we were feeling very much like Destiny's Child circa 1999. 

We set off sprightly and full of hope. It had been a week of glorious weather in Scotland but of course, by the time it came for us to climb the mountain, that had all changed and we were faced with ridiculous winds and hailstones. BLOODY HAILSTONES. Andrea and I barely even managed a conversation on the way up the hill, so preoccupied were we with shielding our faces from the ice bullets raining down on us and screeching 'ow, ow, ouch, ow!' repeatedly.

I think it's testament to our tenacity and mountaineering skills that we made it to within 200ft from the summit. Well, it's a testament to Andrea's tenacity and mountaineering skills really. I was all for heading home when it became apparent that there wasn't a rock big enough to hide behind in order to eat my chocolate bar without getting a mouth full of frozen rain at the same time. That was about half an hour into the climb.

We weren't very far from the summit when the wind and hailstones really got to be too much. At one point a huge gust of wind attacked us and we both instantly lay down on the ground to avoid being blown off our feet, and more melodramatically, to avoid being blown off the side of the mountain. The hailstones were whipped everywhere by the wind and all that could be seen was white. It was quite terrifying.

I turned to Andrea and in the most dramatic tone possible I suggested that we 'get off this FUCKING MOUNTAIN!'. 

So we began the two hour descent and returned to the bottom with aching legs, cold bodies and sore faces where the hailstones had pelted us. Ben Lomond had well and truly defeated us. We weren't feeling all sassy like Beyonce' et al now were we?

On the Sunday Andrea mentioned that she would like to go and look at a gorge where the river runs red with the debris from the rocks surrounding it. She quickly followed this up with a disclaimer that it was quite a tricky and dangerous adventure to reach the destination. She didn't need to ask me twice. If you want someone to take part in something faintly ridiculous and entirely not sensible, I'm the person to ask. Clearly.

My mother is going to hate these photographs. I promise I was careful.

We stayed at - Rowardennan Youth Hostel
We ate dinner at - Oak Tree Inn
The second photograph down is courtesy of Andrea's Instagram. You should check it out. She is the queen of Instagram. 


  1. Looks like a thrilling adventure. The red river is creepy but oh so cool! :]

    // ▲ itsCarmen.com ▲

    1. Thanks for your comment!! Yeh it was a little bit eerie down there.

  2. Oh wow, what wonderful photographs! The first one looks like something from a Visit Scotland brochure! That river is so cool, but also really creepy - I had no idea rivers could look like that (clearly not an outdoorsy person...).

    Well done to the both of you for getting so far! Hopefully you can reach the very top on another day when Scotland remembers it's spring.


    p.s. random, but Andrea has GORGEOUS teeth - they had to be mentioned!

    1. Thank you Charlene!!

      The river and gorge was quite spectacular but also pretty creepy and eerie when we were there. It isn't quite as red in real life. I increased the contrast in instagram and it really picked up the red tones. The redness has something to do with the sediment from the rocks (which I want to say is sandstone but I don't really know).

      Ha, I'm not sure, maybe this experience has put me right off climbing.

      p.s I'll let her know. She'll be well chuffed.