A Summer’s Day in Winter: Ben Ledi

A cracking walk with some great views, our ascent of Ben Ledi made for a great wee day in the Trossachs. The day was made even better with a bit of a cloud inversion in the morning as well as abnormally mild conditions for February, turning this into more of a summer’s day than some trips I’ve been on in the summer months! This was my 11th Corbett and put into perspective what a long way I have to go to climb all 222 of them as well as every Munro…

[February 2019]

The day started with the usual early start and drive north from Ayrshire, with a small detour to the holiday park at Loch Lubnaig for a toilet stop before parking back along the road at the bridge over the Garbh Uisge. There is space here for a decent number of cars, but I’d imagine this will fill up pretty quickly during school holidays.

We set off just before 0830, with only a few other cars already parked up, so we were confident it wouldn’t be too busy a day on what is a very popular Corbett. The path ascended steeply through a wooded area, which was slightly misty on what was a cool morning.

A misty start

The misty part of our day did not last long and we were soon clear of the trees, above the cloud and greeted with fantastic views of a cloud covered Loch Lubnaig below the surrounding hills and mountains of the Trossachs.

Already above the cloud

The path continued to climb pretty steeply, but was very well constructed, with large sections of rock steps to make the ascent reasonably easy.

Well constructed path

As a result, we made good progress and within 30 minutes had made it to a slightly flatter section, where the path continues south before turning north to follow a broad ridge to the summit of Ben Ledi.

Lovely surroudings

We stopped often to admire the good – albeit hazy views around us of the Trossachs and south towards the central belt. It was now becoming very warm despite only being February and there was not a drop of snow in sight.

Looking back on the ascent path

Once we turned north to follow the path along the ridge to the summit, the terrain steepened. There were a couple of down-and-ups along the ridge, but we soon found ourselves with the summit in view.

A hazy Loch Lubnaig
Nearing the summit

There’s a memorial on the summit of Ben Ledi dedicated to a Mountain Rescue team member who died on duty in 1987. As well as this, the trig point marked the summit, so we stopped for a few minutes to take some photos and enjoy the views we had worked hard to get a glimpse of. pleased with reaching the summit in a little under 2 hours, we set off north-east away from the summit to find a more sheltered spot for a bite to eat as the wind had picked up and made an otherwise warm and pleasant day a little bit on the chilly side. It was February, I suppose!

A Hazy view from the trig point
Looking along the northern ridge – the descent route
Back towards the summit

We found a good spot to stop for food among some boulders with good views north over the Trossachs and beyond, but it was difficult to see any distance as it was extremely hazy.

Hazy (but excellent) views

We set off once again, following a path which eventually petered out in a boggy section, which we carefully navigated before reaching a gate where the path begins once again down Stank Glen.

The going was reasonably easy along the well walked path and we made good progress downhill, occasionally stopping to look back up at the day’s objective and up the glen, which looked fantastic in the bright midday sun.

Stank Glen
Looking up Stank Glen

The path soon turned into a forestry track, where there were some path repairs and felling works being carried out. After following the zig-zagging forestry track for a while, the road to the holiday park along Loch Lubnaig is soon reached, and from here it was an easy kilometre or so back to the car after a brilliant day in the Trossachs.

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