And what did I want to do with my friends? Cocktails? A night in town? Oh no, I decided I wanted to climb Ben A’an for my birthday. This is how I know my friends are keepers. They were willing to get up at the crack of dawn on a Saturday so I could drag them up a hill and make them sing happy birthday to me at the top.
We drove up to the Trossachs to climb Ben A’an, it’s known as the miniature mountain… don’t let that fool you! It stands at 1. 941 ft. In between Loch Katrine and Loch Achray, we were told it takes around 2-4 hours, up and down. We managed it in around 2 and a half by time we had lunch and shared a bottle of MD at the top… my friends are the best influencers.
We drove up towards Stirling and then passed Calendar and into the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park, after a few wrong turns we finally got there, an hour and a half later. There is a car park at the foot of the hill, which was fairly busy when we arrived so we had plenty of people to keep us right. You cross the road opposite to the car park to reach the foot of Ben A’an and you are straight into a steep climb… as a fairly newbie hill walker, it was pretty hard and I’m pretty sure my friends had started contemplating our friendship after around 10 minutes in. They all agreed the first part was the hardest, it then levels out and as you reach the summit there is a bit more scrambling involved. The views at the top are so worth it and sharing it with my besties was amazing.
After a quick bite to eat and a few shots we started heading back down, the rain had been on and off all day so it was pretty slippery, it took us just under an hour to climb up and just over an hour back down, we finally reached the bottom to discover I had a flat tyre. Thank goodness one of us knew how to change it… the rest of us all just stood in total amazement. The beers were definitely on me after that one. It was such a fun day despite a few disasters.