Monday, August 25, 2014

Ben Lomond and Ben More

I must start this blog by clarifying that we climbed Ben Lomond and Ben More in the North Shore Mountains of southwestern British Columbia, Canada - not Scotland! ;-) It is located southeast of the town of Squamish and is described in existing trail reports as "an aesthetic pointed horn which marks the divide between the Seymour and Stawmus River watersheds on the west side of Loch Lomond".  It was first climbed in 1908 by F. Perry and W. J. Gray and presumably named in recognition of its namesake in Scotland.  It had been on our radar for sometime now given Neil is Scottish and he climbed the "real Ben Lomond" in his youth.  So when our Scottish friends proposed an outing to this wilderness area so close to Vancouver it was an easy decision to make a day of it "in the hills!"  And so with my trail companions for the day all being from Scotland, the destination intended, and with the copious heather covering the lower mountain slopes, it truly felt like I was in Scotland. 
That's Ben Lomond in the background. Glyn, Kirsty and myself.
After the 12km forest service road (4 x 4) required we parked Neil's monster truck and walked up the road until we met the trail on the left. The trail was well defined although surrounded by dense bush with berries in abundance. Some bear scat was noted.  
The trail emerges from the bush into what felt like high alpine terrain. Wild flowers were plentiful and the views very nice.

First snack break!

 
After this we met the white rock that became our terrain for the remainder of our journey.
 
 
Wind Lake, a very peaceful spot.

Glyn is so prepared. He brought a compass and a map! ;-)
I even had a mini lesson in how to use the compass on the map. Wow - that was cool! Team Dodgy I have new skills!
There was plenty of rock to traverse and climb up.
Outstanding views back to Sky Pilot.
Kirsty enjoying the views at the top of Ben Lomond (1654m/5427ft) with Bagpipe Peak to the left and Loch Lomond below.  The final summit push involves some enjoyable Class 2 - 3 scrambling.
We also went up Ben More on the return - it is right there.
Panoramic views - mountains in all directions.
Back at Wind Lake we cooled ourselves off. The air was "close" and it felt like a storm was on it's way but thankfully it never came over us.
Glyn, Kirsty and myself making our way along the side of the lake on our way out. We were 8 hours and 20 minutes to get back to the truck. The ride in the truck takes about 30 minutes each way. We were only a wee bit late for my Birthday dinner! (again)
 I would highly recommend this hike. It is a beautiful unspoiled wilderness area that gives a true perspective of the grand enormity of the Coastal Mountains. To entice, there are plenty of other Scottish named peaks in the area such as Bagpipe, Chanter, Haggis, Ben More, Ben Lui, Avon and Ben Vorlich. The Scottish trail companions completed the experience.


4 comments:

  1. It truly was a "Grand Day out in the Hills" as we would say in the Auld country. Bonny driving by Neil, cracking navigation from the lads, great spirit shown by the lassies and a bonny set of Bens. Too bad we did not have time for a swally at the finish

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  2. Looks like a fantastic day was had. And oh those views! If I wasn't sitting on my butt relishing the grandeur of my Saturday outing with Dave and needing to seek the comfort of my sweetie in Kamloops I would certainly have joined you - another day I hope.

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  3. Love it! I agree too bad we did not have time for a swally at the end. Next time! ;-)

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  4. VDM, see you soon in Kamloops!

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