Archive for Arrochar Alps

Another beautiful if hellish trip

Posted in Mountains, pictures, Travel, University life with tags , , , , , on June 2, 2011 by xi'an

Sounds like my Scottish trips are all doomed the same way: once again, the airline (FlyBe) managed to loose my luggage, even though this time I had it as carry-on luggage! Since the plane was a very small propeler plane, the [small climbing] backpack (containing among other things my hiking clothes!, if not my laptop) was taken by the flight attendant in Paris, but did not show up at the bottom of the stairs in Glasgow. I lost another hour at the Glasgow airport with the (kind) luggage people, all for nothing, and I very much feared the bag would never reappear as it was not a registered item of luggage! It actually showed up at the hotel the day after around midnight, just before my planned hike.

In addition, the flight itself was terrible with a 25 minute stop in Cardiff, Wales, where we had to rush through custom and security. (This is also where someone dropped my backpack!) And a plane full of screaming kids back returning from Disneyland Paris… Maybe should I consider using the train next time! (And then the internet at the hotel was not working at all and it would not have worked anyway as they used an antiquated modem plug rather than wireless or the standard ethernet plug!)

On the bright side, an extra-reward of the trip was indeed that I managed to climb Ben Lomond in the morning before my flight, thanks to Adrian Bowman who kindly took me there despite having to wake up at a particularly ungodly hour! We had great views of Loch Lomond before entering a cloud that would not lift for the rest of the walk, but it did not really rain and the weather was rather mild, except for sudden gusts of wind. The way down via Ptarmingan Ridge was a very nice drop towards Loch Lomond with highly rewarding views once out of the cloud. Given the popularity of Ben Lomond, the trail is also well-maintained, which means we managed to keep dry foots all the way around. It was thus quite nice to spend a few hours (about 3:30 for the round trip) in from of the Arrochar Alps before flying back to Paris, having never been on Ben Lomond before…

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