Ben Lawers from the old Visitor Centre

by Dan Bailey - UKHillwalking.com ? Jan/2012
This route has been read 3,039 times
Walking

WalkingBen Lawers from the old Visitor Centre

Stirlingshire, SCOTLAND

google map Graded moderate ?

Voting 4*
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Distance 6.34 miles (10.20 km)

Total ascent 970m

Steepest climb 42% (1 in 2)

Time 4 – 6 hours (Walking)

Start/finish NTS car park at the site of the old visitor centre (work currently underway here as of Jan12) - alternative verge parking available nearby, NN608379

Summits included en route:
Hill Beinn Ghlas 1103 m
Hill Ben Lawers 1214 m

Nearest town Killin

Terrain A clear well-made path all the way.

Seasonal variations In some snow conditions there may be an avalanche risk. The edges of the Beinn Ghlas - Ben Lawers ridge may be quite heavily corniced, while a bit of care will be needed on the final slopes of Ben Lawers if it's icy. An axe and crampons are often worth having.

Weather and hill conditions mwis: Cairngorms & MonadhliathMet Office: East Highlands

Public transport Infrequent buses on the A827 between Killin and Aberfeldy, followed by a quick walk (or hitch) up the Lawers road

Guidebooks The Munros, SMC

Maps OS Explorer 378 (1:25,000), OS Landranger 51 (1:50,000)

Classifieds

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Tourist info Killin (08707 200 627)

Ben Lawers was long thought to top 4000 feet, and when the exactitudes of Victorian cartography shaved a fraction from its height some local chaps were so incensed that they built a massive summit cairn to make up the shortfall. This has since collapsed. Still, as the UK's 10th highest mountain and the tallest outside Lochaber and the Cairngorms Ben Lawers remains a very big beast, its altitude and inland position making it a snow magnet. It's a popular ski touring hill, and ideal for winter walkers in search of the white stuff too. This is a range of many Munro summits and a full traverse of the lot gives the best value day out. But when there's deep snow to slow progress and limited daylight to fit it all in then a quick there-and-back over Beinn Ghlas to Ben Lawers itself will be enough for most people. This route is over-busy and a bit dull in summer, but much grander in the snow. A high start from the old NTS visitor centre (now demolished) gives you a leg-up on the day - provided, that is, that the minor road from Loch Tay is passable (they don't plough it).

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+Ben Lawers from Beinn Ghlas, 64 kb
Ben Lawers from Beinn Ghlas

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Detailed description

1
NN6086137887 From the car park take the footpath signed for Ben Lawers, crossing a boardwalk and then passing into a fenced enclosure of regenerating woodland in a strip along the course of a burn. Climb towards the top edge of the fenced strip, where the path cuts right to gain open hillside. The route is obvious climbing to gain the southern shoulder of Beinn Ghlas; this soon leads to the summit.

2
NN6254140472 Descend the shapely northeast ridge (the edge may be corniced in winter) to a col below the squat dome of Ben Lawers, then climb the well-used path to the country's 10th highest summit. As it climbs, this path crosses a steep slope above a crag, so if there's icy snow underfoot then don't slip.
3
NN6354441420 Return the way you came... unless you've got spare daylight and energy, in which case nearby Meall Corranaich is a worthwhile third Munro tick.

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