25 April 2010

Ben Lomond in April

Having had some trouble with my knee lately, I decided not to risk going walking with a group, preferring to test it out by doing a hill on my own. Ben Lomond was an obvious choice as I had been asked to check on alpine flowers growing on the ledges near the summit and I could start by looking for Purple Saxifrage. This flower is relatively easy to see at a distance and would give a good indication of the best places to visit later in the year.

Spring has really come at last. There were Primroses, Violets, Wood Sorrel and Wood Anemone in flower, and I heard the Cuckoo for the first time this year. High up among the snow patches I spotted a Wheatear.

Wood Anemone

It was a hazy day with a lot of mist on the east side of the ridge near the summit.

There was still a lot of snow high up on the north-facing slopes

I decided to take the alternative route down along the Ptarmigan ridge. I had only just left the summit when I began to find small patches of Purple Saxifrage, so I spent some time noting their position.

Near the summit there are some very steep sections on the path, and there was snow lying on it in several places.

From the Ptarmigan ridge there is an excellent view back to the summit and the ledges below it.

Fortunately my knee stood up well to the test, so I hope to be back up the hills regularly.

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