Ben Lawers and Beinn Ghlas

Beinn Ghlas from the start of the climb

If you are looking to get a few Munros under your belt, then this is a great opportunity to climb two at the same time.  Ben Lawers (3984 ft)  is the tenth highest Munro, but in order to reach it you first climb Beinn Ghlas (3619 ft) - so two at once!

If you find the thought of this a bit daunting, the good news is that the car park where the climb starts is already at a height of about 400 metres - so that's a wee bonus!

The climb is straightforward, but do go prepared for any sort of weather.  I climbed on a sunny day at the end of May, and still had to negotiate quite a lot of snow as I neared the summit.

The climb should take 5 - 6 hours.

Ben Lawers & Beinn Ghlas - Part 1 - Getting There

Depending on your start point, follow the road alongside Loch Tay either from Killin or Kenmore.

Although  this is a main road, I always find it a bit narrow, so take it easy.

The turn off is signposted Ben Lawers.  This then leads on to a single track road which climbs steeply until you see the sign post for the car park on your left.

There is a small charge for the Car Park.

This is also the car park for the Ben Lawers Nature Reserve, an area of land which is fenced off from sheep and deer, and where the natural flora and fauna of Scotland is being re-established.

In the car park there is a walled area with various artworks - go through here and cross the road to start your walk.

Ben Lawers Start Point

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Part 2

Follow the path, and enter the fenced nature reserve by the gate.  The nature trails and the path to the mountain are well signposted.

The mountain you see ahead of you is Beinn Ghlas.  You won't actually see Ben Lawers until you reach the summit of Beinn Ghlas.

Beinn Ghlas has to be climbed first

As you climb higher through the nature reserve, you start to get your first views of Loch Tay behind you.

Leave the nature reserve by the gate in the fence,  Soon you reach a fork in the path.

Take the right hand fork heading up the mountain.  The left hand fork is where your return route rejoins the main path.

First views of Loch Tay

Part 3

You reach a level area.  A chance to have a rest before you head for the final steep push up to the summit of Beinn Ghlas.

The Summit of Beinn Ghlas

From the summit of Beinn Ghlas, you finally get your first view of Ben Lawers.

The path leads down across the bealach to the base of the Ben Lawers peak.

This is an easy stroll, and gives your legs a chance to rest before tackling the steep climb to the top.

First view of Ben Lawers

Part 4

The path to the top of Ben Lawers is steep, with stone steps in parts.

On the day I climbed, it was hard to follow the main path due to the amount of snow, so a few diversions were needed.

The snowy path to Ben Lawers summit

Finally you reach the summit with its distinctive twin constructions - one is the trig point, and the other is/was a view indicator - although any view information that was once fixed to the top, is long gone.

I managed a few minutes on my own at the top before being joined by a steady stream of climbers.

My advice is get there early, this is a very popular peak.

Finally at the summit

Some Views From The Top Of Ben Lawers

View from Ben Lawers
View from Ben Lawers
View from Ben Lawers
View from Ben Lawers
View from Ben Lawers

Part 5

The return route involves heading back down Ben Lawers, and at the bealach, follow the path to the right (see photograph) which takes you round the flanks of Beinn Ghlas.

Ben Lawers return route

This means that the return route is thankfully, downhill all the way.

Has to be one of my favourite climbs!

 

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