Munro Bagging in Perthshire: Ben Lawers & Beinn Ghlas

A fantastic day in Perthshire bagging 2 popular Munros – Ben Lawers and Beinn Ghlas. Completing these 2 took my total to 17 and was Sarah’s first two Munros. Despite their height (Ben Lawers is the 10th highest Munro), the day’s walking was not particularly difficult and fantastic weather combined with fine views made for an excellent trip. This one has certainly left me hungry for more!

[July 2017]

Due to the long drive from Ayrshire, we set off at 0700 to avoid the worst of the traffic through Glasgow and give us most of the day to complete our walk should we need it. Our journey was just over 2 hours by car and passed through some beautiful scenery in the Trossachs en route to the Ben Lawers car park. The car park itself is over 400m above sea level, so makes what is a huge mountain no more difficult than most Corbetts I’ve climbed.

We set off from the car park at 0915 and crossed the road to Glen Lyon to reach the start of the Ben Lawers path (marked at this point) and began our ascent, passing through a fenced nature reserve area with some fantastic views both towards Beinn Ghlas – our first objective of the day – and back to Loch Tay and some of the distant Crianlarich Munros.

Setting off
Loch Tay

Initially, the going was fairly easy and not particularly steep, allowing us to make good progress towards the summit of Beinn Ghlas. After around a mile, the path began to steepen slightly as we made our way to our first Munro of the day.

The fantastic path with Ben Vorlich and Stuc a’Chroin in the distance

The good path then passed over some flatter and steeper sections in succession before a final pull to the summit, which we reached around 1hr 40mins after setting off. Sarah was delighted ti have summited her first Munro, but looking across to Ben Lawers filled her with dread as we still had a long way to go before we were back at the car!

Feeling pleased with our progress so far though, we stopped for a small bite to eat and took plenty of photos of the fantastic panoramic views around us. We could see north towards Glen Coe and Ben Nevis as well as south and west towards the Crianlarich Munros, the Arrochar Alps and Ben Lui and its satellite peaks.

Ben Lawers from Beinn Ghlas
Looking north from Beinn Ghlas

Feeling refreshed, we set off on the short and gentle descent to around 1000m before a much steeper ascent towards the summit of Ben Lawers. Again, the path here was fantastic and the occasional section of stone steps certainly helped make the ascent slightly easier on our tiring legs.

Soon the summit was in view and one last push saw us both at the top of Ben Lawers, the 10th highest Munro at 1214m and Sarah’s second ever Munro just before 1145, 2hrs 15mins after leaving the car park.

We again made the most of the fantastic views and took plenty of photos, before dumping our packs a short distance from the summit and enjoying a nice picnic with a view of Lochan nan Cat and the mountains to the north and east of Ben Lawers.

Looking back to Beinn Ghlas from Ben Lawers
Lochan nan Cat

After 15 minutes or so of admiring the wonderful views, we set off back towards the car, pleased with a fantastic day’s walking so far and 2 Munros bagged. Once we reached the bealach between Ben Lawers and Beinn Ghlas, we opted for the path to the north of Beinn Ghlas to save ascending the mountain again.

Descent path and Meall Corranaich

By now the sun was shining very brightly and the temperature had picked up considerably, so we were glad to be descending rather than working hard to reach another summit! The descent from the bealach is fairly gentle and we soon reached the bealach between Beinn Ghlas and Meall Corranaich, a Munro we were very tempted to head up from the bealach due to the short distance to the summit, but decided against due to the long journey home.

Fantastic views on our descent

From there, the path was an almost perfectly straight line to the top of the fenced nature reserve that we had passed through earlier in the day, so it was an easy descent through this back to the car in the now baking heat of the July sun.

Easy walking, looking towards Loch Tay

We trundled on and reached the car shortly after 1330, 4hrs 15mins after setting off in the morning. For her first Munro trip, I was very pleased at Sarah’s progress and she has definitely caught the hill walking bug now!

Looking back on a fantastic day!

After opening every possible window and door on the now insanely hot car, we set off home to Ayrshire after what was an utterly fantastic day in the hills! This outing has definitely left me hungry for more hill days and after taking my total to 17 Munros so far, I hope to be back out soon to bag some more of Scotland’s fantastic mountains!


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