After the weather last time I tried to climb Ben Ledi, I thought I would give it another shot, I have new boots I needed to break in as well.
So I left this morning at 11am to go to Calander and I was off on the walk for 12.30pm.
This time I went up the right side, this side is much much steeper and stays steep right up until the top.
When you park the car you walk back to the Iron Bridge and then turn left through the tree's, and follow the blue markers on the posts. You will go straight into a magic wood, filled with lots of wild life and plantation it all seems really green and healthy compared to city woods. It is a steep incline from the beginning so try and pace yourself, keep going up and try and take in some of the scenery and wildlife, you will cross and small bridge and the path turns slightly to the right and then back round to the left up some steps again pretty steep, You will then come out onto the forestry road cross over that and you will see the blue marker, just a point I am guessing the blue markers are for going up and the red markers for coming down.
I was still on my own at this point, so you go straight over and you already are climbing and you stay climbing really steep for the next hour with only one let up and that is at the first false summit. When you get past first part of the "stairs" take a look back and you will see the Loch Lubnaig, follow the road round to the left, you might think you are going up the hill in front of you, you’re not that is nothing, once you cross over the first wooden style there is no longer a path, it becomes pretty boggy with water coming down the side of the hill, Keep making your way up and follow the water, once you finally get to the top, the view then opens up and you can see Calander, and the other Loch Venacher in front of you, and carry on a bit up the hill and you will start to see the potential that awaits when you actually get to the top, I am excited still thinking about the emotions that were running through my body when I reach the top, but I will leave that until later, there are three false summits, each summit has a stack of rocks, and the real summit has a cross on it, and then walk a bit up and there is a concrete monument.
once you hit your first summit and look back the drive pulls your forward to get to that next check point, over to the left you can see the snow covered mountains in the distant and you can see Loch's that you probably didn't even know were there.
To reach the second false summit you have to hoof it up a pretty steep part of the mountain which may take about 15/20 mins.
You are now walking in some snow, the weather today was amazing, clear skies no snow and temp was not too bad,
Once you finally reach the summit I had just an overwhelming sense of achievement 2800Ft done in just over 1hr 30Mins. Not only that because there was no clouds you could see for miles, and take in the sights and just sit down and take in Scotland's beauty, for those that haven’t seen even half of Scotland it is a great way to get out and enjoy and take in what Scotland has to offer.
It is truly amazing and heart warming knowing that you have put in all that effort and the reward is even more than you can imagine while your trying to reach the top.
I met a Canadian couple half way up and we ended up teaming up which I found was much better than walking on my own, we drove each other forward, and we reached the summit together, we ended up doing the whole thing and continuing to walk along the ridge of the mountain and down into Coffin Road where I went the other week,
Note* if you are going to do this, once you walk along the ridge and down the hill, follow the fence posts down, you will come to a pool of water and peat, TAKE THE RIGHT THERE, do not follow the posts all the way along, we did as they didn't have waterproofs so didn't want to go down the water path, we ended up in trouble and having to scale down the Crags, it was not fun and whatever energy you have left it sucks it out of you, so take the right and head down the water path until you get to the style and then you head down Coffin Road, I left the couple there as I had done it already and just wanted to hoof it along with my music on.
I think I could have done it in 3.5HRS if we didn't get lost, but 4.5hours for 6.25 miles it was a tremendous Sunday and I can't wait to take Gwen up there.
I don't know what else to put apart from, Ben Ledi gave me a massive sense of personal achievement and a drive to see more of Scotland on a mountain top, the views of Scotland from up there were well worth the walk.
What to do next? will need to find something else before the West Highland Way.