The Munros: 2 – Mayar & 3 – Ben Lomond

Mayar is a bump on the high ground between Linn of Dee and the Angus Glens, not a classic Munro by any means but it was conveniently close to my school’s outdoor activity centre, Blair House, which made it a good hill to introduce to people. It was my second Munro, climbed sometime in March 1994. Being part of a Geography field trip, our route to the Munro was rather interesting – rather than taking the normal path up from Glen Doll (at the head of Glen Clova), we climbed into a hanging corrie – Corrie Fee – which is one of a number of distinctive features in this heavily glaciated area. I remember a walk through glacial moraine in the corrie itself, before a challenging exit up through the head – more a scramble than a walk, I remember. The high plateau was then reached, and the Munro was some way behind.

I was perhaps starting to get the Munro bug though, and a month later I managed to persuade my dad to drive over to Loch Lomond, to climb Ben Lomond, my third. The most southerly Munro, and easily accessible from Glasgow, it is one of the most popular. I was expecting an easy climb, and the first part was – up a very eroded path through woodland and then along a broad ridge. I however wasn’t expecting the quite sharp summit itself. It was also quite icy, and, although there was no view from the top, I got a sense of being on top of a real mountain – certainly one more sharply defined than Mayar a month earlier. Ptarmagen, the neighbouring top, would have made for an interesting extension and a more novel way back down to the shores of Loch Lomond, but instead I think we simply retraced our steps. We might have been a bit tired. The loch being at just 50m above sea level meant that it was a relatively large amount of climbing for a single peak.

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