Ben Lomond, the most southerly located Munro in Scotland, towers 974 meters over the eastern shore of Loch Lomond. On Saturday 8th June, surely one of the hottest days in Scotland and most certainly the sunniest, Richard Drew joined six fellow colleagues from the Hub West Scotland team to climb the Munro in aid of the MacMillan Cancer Support Charity. Wellspring , a company formed between Apollo, Community Solutions and Morgan Sindall was appointed as the private sector partner in 2012 to operate Hub West Scotland, a PPP company which provides public sector community and healthcare developments around the Glasgow area.
The day started at the Rowardennan Hostel overlooking a very peaceful and calm Loch Lomond with the team looking up at Ben Lomond the challenge that lay ahead; the peak of Ben Lomond was just visible; it didn’t look too bad. With back packs and sun cream on, the walk began……..the lower climb took us through wooded and rocky terrain which was brightened up by seasonal bluebells; this soon gave way to an open pathway weaving its way up and out of sight. The views were spectacular, dominated by the size of the Loch and the beauty of the Trossachs National Park. Refreshment stops were a must due to the heat of the sun which whilst enjoyable made thirsty work of the walk. After 3 hours walking, the summit was successfully conquered by everyone ; the visibility couldn’t have been better , you could see across to the Isle of Arran and in the opposite direction to Stirling, Loch Earn and beyond. The only annoyance came from the resident Cleggs and midges, biting profusely and enjoying the perfectly still and sunny conditions. The sunshine had also brought out plenty of fellow minded walkers and the summit was quite a hive of activity soaking in the views and scenery.
With cameras and phones tucked away and refreshments complete, we took the descent via the Ptarmigan Ridge, leading west and back to the shores of the Loch. The undulating route was very steep in places but successfully navigated as we all weaved our way down .The end was clearly in sight but the descent seemed to be almost endless with our knees and some feet taking the toll.
After 6 (and a bit) hours of glorious sunshine, magnificent views and excellent company, we all reached the Hostel once again ; the Loch was a welcome sight and a very chilling experience for those that chose to take a dip and reflect on the achievement of the team.
A grand total of £2,652 had been raised for the very deserving MacMillan charity. All that was required was to raise a glass, enjoy the evening meal and avoid the midges!