Ben Lawers

M10 | 1214 m. | 3983 ft.
Translation: Gaelic labhar, meaning loud (from a stream)
Pronuncation: ben lors

2011 Staying in Glen Lyon on the Roro Estate allowed us to gain easy access to two great foursomes. One to the north – The Glen Lyon Four – and one to the south – Meall Greigh to Ben Lawers. The tour of the second row of four Munros was the aim of this day. Staying on the private road along the south bank of the River Lyon we drove our car to Roromore. Works close by forced us to leave the car half a kilometre west of the farm. We followed the track past Roromore through the meadows along the River Lyon for a few kilometres, reached the large tree plantation south of the track and stayed on the track until we reached Inverinain.

Maybe two hundred metres past the cottage a steep and caterpillar-marked track climbs diagonally through the trees for about 200m. At a height of 350 to 400m it turns due west and leads around the crags of Creag Dubh. Then the track zig-zags up to a height of 550m and peters out on grassy and and squishy terrain. Heading southeast first and gradually in a more southerly direction Frank and I climbed the north ridge of Meall Greigh more or less sticking to the obvious line of fence posts. The combination of undulating terrain and strong westerly winds made progress a little slower and energy consuming than we had expected. But the views were good and especially the dark north-east face of Meall Garbh was interesting. Before final pull to Meall Greigh we paused and replenished our batteries.

After that the main east-west ridge was not far away anymore and we were greeted by very strong winds indeed. Walking upright to Munro No. 1 of the day was not easy at all. However, finally we both touched the summit cairn and immediately retraced our steps to the beallach between Meall Greigh and Meall Garbh. There the winds eased off a bit since the bulk of Meall Garbh protected us from the worst. Up the well-defined and east ridge of Meall Garbh was the next leg of this ridge walk. Again we gained the summit quickly (cairn duly touched) and were greeted by HEAVY wind which made walking VERY difficult indeed. On the narrower sections of the ridge which lead to the Meall Garbh/An Stuc beallach we were both blown over once or twice: Scary considering the drops on both sides! But then the beallach greeted us with relative calm.

I for my part remembered that I had already done An Stuc and Ben Lawers years earlier. So we split up. Frank continued up the steep east face of An Stuc and headed on for Ben Lawers. I took a break at the beallach and then contoured around An Stuc’s north face on steep grass until I reached An Stuc’s north ridge. There I lay waiting for Frank for about an hour, watching sheep on the steep slopes of Meall Garbh’s north ridge, enjoying the change from sunlit intervals and clouds that came racing from the west. The occasional outburst of hail and sleet from the clouds making for unwelcome diversions.

It was starting to get cold and Frank would not appear. I had finally made up my mind to go looking and searching for him in the direction of Ben Lawers, when Frank suddenly appeared a hundred metres below me. Our vectors gradually converged and we met at a height of 850m. Frank’s face was very red since he had fronted ferocious winds on the way to Ben Lawers and back. OK. Four Munros ticked. No views from Ben Lawers. Then it was down the pleasant north ridge of An Stuc, across the mouth of the Fin Glen and down to the flat terrain by the Allt a’Chobhair. Soon we reached the land-rover track which lead us towards Glen Lyon and our car. The last two or three kilometres were a nice stroll. A great day, bad winds, tour completed, good views and a very short drive back to our cosy cottage. Thanks Alba!

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1999 On a Monday morning in beautiful weather Alex and me took our lodgings at the Lawers Hotel situated close to the road high above Loch Tay. In contrast to the multitude of walkers on the Cobbler the day before the hills of Ben Lawers were almost deserted. We started our walk at the Hotel and walked down the road for 500 metres. The path along the left-hand side of the Lawers Burn lead us onto the open hillside and along the ruins of the many shielings mentioned in the books. After we had crossed the burn and had gained the high embankment we followed the path and track to the dam below Meall Garbh. From there we headed up the increasingly steep grassy hillside aiming west of the beallach between Meall Garbh and Meall Greigh. Once on the connecting ridge we headed for the summit of Meall Garbh and rested. The rocky face of Ben Lawers over Lochan nan Cat is impressive indeed. Spent some time finding silhouettes of hills we know and identifiying the lochs in the north and west. New views. Onwards to the interestingly steep An Stuc and up up its eastern face with some stretches of easy scrambling adding a little spice to the ridge walk. We took in the views and both couldn’t make out a cat in Lochan nan Cat. The ensuing walk to Ben Lawers was easy in comparison. On the summit we met a family with little children who had come up over Beinn Ghlas. The way back over the east ridge of Ben Lawers and the broad grassy shoulder which develops out of it was a pleasantly easy stroll back to the hotel and a very good meal followed by a whisky or two rounded of a good day out on the hills.


Description Ben Lawers is the highest peak of the range of seven Munros to which it gives its name. It is the highest mountain in the southern highlands, and the range as a whole is a splendid array of peaks, ridges and corries which occupies a considerable area between Loch Tay and the lower half of Glen Lyon. On the whole these hills are fairly grassy, and such crags as there are tend to be grassy also, so that the Ben Lawers range is not of much interest to the rock climber, but for hillwalkers and ski-mountaineers it is among the finest in Scotland. Beinn Ghlas is the nearest of the lower peaks to Ben Lawers. The two are climbed together as Beinn Ghlas lies on the normal route to Ben Lawers. The starting point for these peaks is the carpark at the foot of Coire Odhar on the narrow road between Loch Tay and Glen Lyon. From there follow a well made path north-east to reach the south-west ridge of Beinn Ghlas, which is followed to the summit. The traverse continues along the connecting ridge to Ben Lawers. The return to the carpark should follow the same route.

2017-09-19T14:16:17+00:00May 17th, 2011|1999, 2011, 2017 - 2010, The River Tay to Rannoch Moor|