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Climbing Ben Lomond
Ben Lomond sits on the eastern shore of Loch Lomond and is the most southerly of the Munro Mountains - the Munro's all have summits in excess of 3,000 feet.
It stands 3,196 ft (974 metres) tall and is climbed by approximately 30,000 people each year.
Getting to the Top
Pilar contacted the Mountainwalk Website with her story of how she came to climb Ben Lomond and reached the summit inspired by her 7-year-old son. Her story of temperature drops, cold rain, and wicked winds paint a good picture of the realities of climbing a mountain.
We took a couple of photos and then I took my son as quick as possible out of the horrible conditions. All I wanted to do then was to get him warm and dry as soon as possible. On the way back down, the temperature raised up considerably, so we picked a stone and stopped for lunch. Then it hit me. Eating my ham bagel, I looked at my son, and I started crying. I couldn't believe how brave, strong, focused and determined he had been up there. I felt so proud of him I could not hold my tears. He looked at me with a funny look and kept eating his lunch completely oblivious to his tremendous achievement.
Next day neither of us could not walk. Being the first climb, our knees and legs were,.....gone. I checked my Facebook and posted the story of him making the summit and thanking everyone for their sponsorship money. That day, he managed to get half the money I needed for Ben Nevis.
I have now reached my target of £500, and I will be climbing Ben Nevis on Sunday, 15th September.
I came out that day thinking I was going to teach my son and important lesson and ended up learning one myself. With courage, determination and willpower, and you will achieve anything.
This is her story.
I thought I could share this with you to show how willpower can help anyone, no matter what age, to go through anything.
I found, online, a charity hike to climb Ben Nevis. I loved the idea of doing something for charity, and although five hundred pounds seemed a huge target raise, I thought I would love to do it. The charity was Breast Cancer Care. My mother died of Breast Cancer when I was 14, so this felt right for me straight away. I thought my effort for charity would help be a good influence on my seven-year-old son showing him how I could help others who are battling this disease right now. When I told him I was going to do it he was proud of me straight away.
I decided to start training for the mountain, so I arranged with a friend to meet on a Sunday to climb Ben Lomond to see what climbing such heights would be like. But being a single mum with a seven-year-old, I struggled to get my sister to babysit that Sunday for me, so instead of cancelling, I asked my son to come with us to the mountain. He said YES! Excited, so I got him the gear, and I posted on Facebook a picture of Ben Lomond, telling all my friends to please sponsor my son, aged seven, in his ever first Scottish Munro. I hoped the money raised would help me reach the target I needed for the Ben Nevis climb.
Off we went on Sunday, June 30th, 2013. The weather was dry and sunny - a perfect 20 degrees for out climb - or so we thought!
The climb started like a walk in the park. I had to slow Pablo down cause he was really excited! We met so many people along the way, and everyone came up to my son and asked his age, and congratulated him for doing the walk up Ben Lomond, so young. He was extremely proud of himself.
About half way into the walk, after 3 hours, we noticed temperature dropped to 10 degrees, and it started to rain. An hour or so later, we discovered our waterproofs weren't actually that waterproof. We met a girl coming down and asked her how long till the summit. She told us she didn't make it because the gusts were horrible further up, and she felt it was dangerous to go ahead.
So, I held his wee wet glove and kept him close to me. We were close to being blown away on several occasions. The wind was horrid, but we both used our common sense at all times. Just before the summit, my son started crying silently. I felt awful. He was shivering, shaking with fear and his boots were filled with water. I asked him again, do you want to quit????! and he shouted NO!
So we pushed on. And WE MADE IT. I quickly tried to get my mobile phone out of my plastic cover to get proof we did it. But my hands were so cold I could not move them, so when I reached for my phone, it slipped through my hand......in a puddle of water. But I managed to get the picture! We weren't alone on the summit - there were two guys in t-shirts!!! and kilts!!!! They had made it to the top, and they were amazed to see my son there. They shook his hand.
At this point, I looked at my son. I didn't feel it was a good idea to continue. Like any parent, the last thing I wanted was to jeopardise his safety or put him at risk. So I said to him that it would be okay to quit the climb, and we could give his sponsor money back to our friends. But he said no, he didn't want to give up now - he wanted to go on.
If you want to support Pilar by sponsoring her to climb Ben Nevis please visit her Just Giving account.
From its summit, on a clear day, there are excellent views across Loch Lomond and the Trossachs.
The most popular path up to the summit of Ben Lomond is the Tourist Path, which starts at Rowardennan car park (Postcode G63 OAR). The walk is approximately 7 miles long, and can take 4 - 5 hours to complete for the average walker. The path is steep in parts, and can be challenging to less experienced walkers.
This is a real mountain walk, and good walking boots, mountain weather clothing and normal walking equipment (walking poles, compass, map, etc.) are required.