Signs Of The Times

Nick Drainey pon­ders the warn­ings dur­ing an as­cent up Ben Ledi

The Scots Magazine - - Take A Hike -

ARIVERSIDE path up Stank Glen was the way I set off on my first walk up Ben Ledi nearly 20 years ago, hav­ing just moved to Scot­land and found my­self like the prover­bial child in a sweet­shop with the num­ber of moun­tains and glens to ex­plore.

This was be­fore land ac­cess leg­is­la­tion had been brought in but even then, for me, the choice of routes was al­most over­whelm­ing.

With ac­cess it seems more signs have ar­rived which can be good thing if a path is closed be­cause of wind­blown trees or a land­slip. How­ever, there are some signs such as one I saw re­cently – warn­ing walk­ers the ground is rough un­der­foot – which I find odd. That path was still open and the ground was a bit rough, but that is what I had ex­pected when go­ing out in the coun­try­side.

The Stank Glen path is now much bet­ter than my first ven­ture up here. Gone is the boggy, leg-sap­ping ter­rain, re­placed with a firm route. Higher up, as the sum­mit de­liv­ers su­perla­tive views across the Trossachs, even the pres­ence of forestry fails to take the mind away from the panorama, al­though I have to ad­mit mine was a lit­tle dis­tracted by the prospect of a pint in the Lade Inn be­low.

A me­mo­rial to Sgt Harry Lawrie, BEM – a moun­tain res­cuer who died in a he­li­copter crash on Ben More in 1987 – stands just be­low the sum­mit and is of­ten a place to pause. Its very na­ture helps put things in per­spec­tive.

How­ever, on the way down, the big­gest dis­trac­tion I had was think­ing back to the sign about rough ground.

Yes, it is good to warn, or ed­u­cate, novice walk­ers about po­ten­tial haz­ards but I can’t help think­ing we need to look at the big­ger pic­ture. And over­all, we re­ally need

The moun­tain’s trig point

Look­ing out over the Trossachs from Ben Ledi

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