After a few weeks without bagging Munros, I decided I better get the finger out. For my tenth Munro, I thought I’d do the tenth highest; Ben Lawers. The most common way to reach Ben Lawers is via another Munro that’s often forgotten; Beinn Ghlas. A double in the bag, excellent! Technically Beinn was my tenth and Ben Lawers was my eleventh but it doesn’t sound as good.
Beinn Ghlas & Ben Lawers
Category – Munro(s)
Height – 1,103 metres (3,619 ft); Beinn Ghlas & 1,214 metres (3,983 ft); Ben Lawers
Location – Lawers National Reserve, Loch Tay
Difficulty Rating – 7/10
Approximate Timing – 4 – 6 hours
Pronunciation – Byn Glas & Byn Law-ers
Beinn Ghlas (grey-green mountain) and Ben Lawers (hill of the loud stream) can be found on the Northern side of Loch Tay, just 10 minutes up the road from Killin. You should be able to put ‘Ben Lawers car park’ in to a sat nav. If you don’t have one, follow the A85 up towards Crainlarich and take the A827 cut off and drive through Killin and past the Falls of Dochart. Not far along the road, you’ll pass Morenish and about 2 minutes after that you’ll see the sign for Ben Lawers Reserve. Follow the road to the left. It’ll take you up into the hills and after about 5-10 minutes of going up into the hills, you’ll see the car park on the left hand side. On one side of the road you’ll see Meall Nan Tarmachan, on the other, Beinn Ghlas & Ben Lawers.
The path begins near the start of the car-park. Follow the trail across the road and cross the Edramucky burn. The first part is relatively easy, slow rise but nothing severe. You’ll make your way slowly up into the hills, towards Beinn Ghlas. Once you head through a gate, you’ll come a fork in the road, follow the path right. You’ll come back down the other way. I mean, if you really want to go left, there’s no right or wrong way, just saying from my experience.
As you make your way up the steeper slopes, you get a lovely view of Meall Nan Tarmachan behind you in the West. The higher you get, pray you don’t get a day like I did. Sure, the sun was out but the wind was ridiculous. It almost felt like I was fighting through a tornado! It should take you around two to two and a half hours to get to the summit of Beinn Ghlas where you first catch sight of Ben Lawers. Have a wee sit down and a well earned rest. Maybe have a wee sandwich and enjoy the view. Once you’ve recuperated, it’s time to move on to Ben Lawers.
You’ll notice the path continue on, down on to a broad ridge then back up, higher onto Ben Lawers. From the ridge, the incline begins again and you make your way up towards the summit. It shouldn’t take that long, it’s only about 150 metres up from the ridge. Don’t get me wrong, it is relatively steep but I’ve definitely faced worse. I don’t know if it was the incline I struggled with or the fact the wind was against me.
It certainly made the hike tougher. trying to blow me back down. Once you reach the summit though, what a view! Enjoy your time at the top, take in the panoramic view and when you’re ready to head back down, follow the path back to the ridge. Well, unless you want to take on An Stuc, Meall Garbh and Meall Greigh! These 3 Munros can also be accessed from Ben Lawers.
When you get back down onto the ridge, instead of following the path left, back up to Beinn Ghlas, follow the track right. This will take you round the mountain, instead of back up it. You’ll gradually make your way down hill and eventually, you’ll come to that fork I spoke about earlier. Then just follow the same path back down towards the car park. Easy as that.
Personally, I thought Beinn Ghlas and Ben Lawers was a cracking hike. The path is clear and well trodden. Not an overly difficult climb but none-the-less rewarding. It took me around five hours to complete the full route, and that was me stopping with the camera a lot. It was ridiculously windy for a good portion of the hike, probably the worst I’ve faced. Even worse than Nevis! At points I had to face away to catch a breath, or cover my face. On a clear day though, you can see for absolute miles from the summit. With it being the tenth highest, you can see all over the others in the area and beyond. It really makes me feel grateful to call Scotland my home every time I see that view.
As always, I’ve attached a few of my photos below. Have a wee look and let me know what you think! Also, I’m running a competition throughout August. If you’ve subscribed, you’ll already be entered but if you’re reading this and haven’t subscribed… one subscriber will be picked at random to win a 16”x24” photo print from one of my galleries. If you’re interested, all you have to do is subscribe!
Anyway, that’s all for this adventure!
Thanks for reading!