A short hop from Glasgow, this accessible pinnacle is an absolute blast.

If Ben Lomond was a business, you’d say it was a victim of its own success. This is Scotland’s most southerly munro, and the ease of access from Glasgow makes it one of the busiest peaks in the UK.

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Over 30,000 people make the summit annually, which is, on average, just over 80 people a day, every day of the year — and that means that finding a day where you can get a clear run from the top, on a bike, is almost impossible. That’s why we got up at 5am hoping to have the place to ourselves.

Get a clear run with a dawn raid (McCandlish)

Dawn Raid Dos and Don’ts

Do…

  • Stick to the path. Much of the mountain’s habitat here is protected.
  • Check forecasts daily. An average between BBC Weather, Metcheck, Met Office and MWIS produces the most accurate results.
  • Take spare tubes. The path has numerous water bars and is predominantly bedrock.
  • Visit the Oak Tree Inn in Balmaha for coffee/tea and food afterwards.
  • Take care on the summit. The edges are precipitous to say the least.
  • Keep your eyes southwest — that’s where the weather comes from. You’ll be able to see it coming from miles away.

Definitely worth the early start (McCandlish)

Don’t…

  • Be afraid to call it off. Reaching the summit in cloud or rain is dangerous, and it isn’t the same anyway.
  • Forget a camera.
  • Forget a spare thermal/down/primaloft layer and hat. Mountain summits are cold before dawn.
  • Plan on camping unless it’s in an official campsite. The rules are enforced with fines.
  • Pronounce Drymen as it’s spelled.

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