Everest Peak 5: Ben Lawers
Location: Southern Highlands of Scotland, west bank of Loch Tay
After recently scaling the renowned Ben Nevis, we decided to clock off some more miles by climbing a couple of other Munros in Scotland. Our first one: Ben Lawes. We were staying on a lakeside, or should I say loch-side, campsite not too far from the mountain but were disappointed to find the peak was just out of walking distance. Of course, we didn’t let that stop us. There is an infamous road that winds up past Ben Lawes and its neighbouring Munro Ben Ghlas to a car park, which makes the mountains easily accessible – for a car. Now I say the road is infamous because it is narrow and windy, with passing places far from generous in size and tight corners – we’d never been up there before, but anyone we spoke to did a sharp intake of breath when we suggested taking our motorhome up there. So, deciding it probably wasn’t wise to risk getting marooned half way up a country road, we instead parked at a campsite near the base of the road and set off.
Walking up the road added an extra few miles to our trek up the mountain, but it didn’t take long to reach our starting point (which was a little demoralising, especially as we could look back down on the loch we started from and realise that only now did we actually start the mountain ascent). There was no sign of rain, though, so our spirits were lifted. The climb wasn’t too steep either, which meant that we enjoyed a gentle walk through a valley and passed Beinn Ghlas, which would be part of our route back. The conditions were perfect until we reached the end of the valley and met strong winds. The path towards the summit skirted a steep slope and patches of snow occasionally crept onto it. My sister was being blow around pretty violently and strong gusts made her turn back with my mum. My Dad and I pressed on to the summit, where the wind was actually considerably less gusty and the view amazing. We didn’t stay long though. We had another peak to tackle before the walk was over – Beinn Ghlas.
Find out about the second part of this walk, climbing Beinn Ghlas, here.