The Great Outdoors (UK)

Your adventures this month

When the sun is out and the days are long, combine a visit to Scotland’s tenth highest peak with one of the finest ridgewalks in the Southern Highlands

- Words: Stefan Durkacz Photograph­y: David Lintern

From knife-edge ridge-walks and sunset wild camps to long-distance adventures and peak-bagging hikes, TGO readers have been tagging us in a wonderful array of images and videos on social media this month. Here are some of the best pictures we’ve spotted on Instagram…

Mighty Ben Lawers is the highest mountain in the Southern Highlands, and the tenth highest in Scotland overall. Despite its stature, it’s more approachab­le than many of its peers in the top ten list, which make it a good choice for the less experience­d looking for a first taste of the really big stuff. Clear paths and uncomplica­ted routefindi­ng give relatively easy access to grand mountain scenery and magnificen­t views. Being able to set off from above the 400 metre contour certainly helps too. It’s a popular and often busy summit as a result. Paths have suffered from erosion, although much work has been done by the landowner – the National Trust for Scotland – to remedy this. Ben Lawers is also a key National Nature Reserve, boasting the finest collection of rare arctic-alpine plants in Britain, as well as over 600 different varieties of lichen.

Despite being easily accessible from the car park on the high road between Loch Tay and Glen Lyon, Ben Lawers is a little awkwardly placed for round trips. The most common approach is a

straightfo­rward out-and-back walk via the intervenin­g Munro of Beinn Ghlas on well-worn paths, with the option of bypassing Beinn Ghlas on the return via a path across its north-facing slopes. For the long days of summer, a more challengin­g and satisfying option is the full high-level traverse along the skyline above Loch Tay, continuing beyond Beinn Ghlas and Ben Lawers over a further three Munros (An Stuc, Meall Garbh and Meall Greigh), before descending to the main road by Loch Tay. This skyline route benefits from two cars or a lift, and there’s no parking at this end of the route but cars can be parked for a fee at the Lawers Hotel about 350m west along the A827. Care is required walking this short stretch of road.

The crux of the route is a very steep scramble down from An Stuc, the sharpest peak on the ridge. The gentler summits of Meall Garbh and Meall Greigh then give time and space to unwind with a fine, grassy high-level tramp and a long and pleasant descent to Loch Tay.

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 ?? ?? Illustrati­on: Jeremy Ashcroft. For personalis­ed prints see jeremyashc­
Illustrati­on: Jeremy Ashcroft. For personalis­ed prints see jeremyashc­

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