In Strathblane on a clear day you can just see Ben Lomond poking out in the distance. It looks quite far away but an idea had been brewing for a few weeks. Why not run all the way to Ben Lomond before running up and down it? Much nicer than faffing about with a car or bus to get there. After knocking about a few dates myself and Joe thought it might make a good last(ish) big run before the fling. After a bit of tooing and froing with logistics we settled on a flawless plan.
Both drive to Milngavie. Leave one car at train station. Drive back to Strathblane. Leave other car. Run to Ben Lomond. Run up and down Ben Lomond. Pint at Rowardennan hotel. Jump on ferry from Rowardennan to Tarbet. Bus or train back to Glasgow to collect car. What could go wrong?
Well short version is, run turned out great, transport plans went slightly wrong. The 25 miles along the pipe track and West Highland Way zipped along pretty quickly and legs were in reasonable shape for a run up and down Ben Lomond. The main worry had been making it down in time for the 4.45 ferry. However we had made a decent pace mainly set by Joe dragging me along. We decided to go up the tourist path and down the Ptarmigan ridge. Visability was a bit poor, but despite a bit of wind it wasn’t too cold and most of the snow around the summit had melted.
There was time for a brief summit selfie before trundling down the Ptarmigan ridge. After a bit of descending we finaly got some decent views…well sort of.
Made it back down to Rowardennan with half an hour to spare before the ferry to Tarbet. So time for beer and crisps recovery fueling in Rowardennan hotel. Though the heart sank when we saw the Belhaven branding outside. No chance of a decent beer then. Though a pint of St Mungos does taste pretty good after 50km.
After the beer and crisp stop we wandered over to the pier to await our boat ride over to Tarbet. However after 15mins of hanging about it didn’t look like it was going to show up. Cue a rethink on our transport home. A wee jog back to the car park and we found a kindly elderly couple who took pity on us and gave us a lift back to Drymen. Very kind of them considering how bad we both smelled by that point.
A grand day out, and now tempted to run to the 2nd closest Munro to the front door, but I think that might be a bit too epic. Will need to get the map out but I think it might be Ben Ime.