Conic Hill, Balmaha. Section 1C.
Height – 361 metres. Map – OS Landranger 56.
Climbed - 16 October 2011. Time taken – 1.75 hours.
Distance – 4.5 kilometres. Ascent – 390 metres.
Trip Report Details:
In 1995 I walked the West Highland Way from Glasgow to Fort William and according to my records the route took me over Conic Hill. With some uncertainty in my mind about whether I actually went to the highest point on this Sub 2000 Marilyn, I decided that I needed make a second visit.
I parked in the car park at Balmaha, on the east side of Loch Lomond, and was surprised that this facility was actually free. At the rear of the car park I located the path and took the right fork, the route of the West Highland Way. This path took me through the Queen Elizabeth Forest on a gentle gradient but soon steepened as it left the forest where the path’s condition deteriorated.
The path led to the Bealach Ard then along the north-west side of Conic Hill just below the ridge. I was surprised at the number of folks climbing this hill as I didn’t realise it was so popular. No wonder the path was well worn and in places muddy. Some grazing Highland cows and their calves were passed before the path climbed onto the ridge at the 358 metre knoll, which the majority of walkers seemed to think was the summit. However I was aware that the highest point was some four hundred metres to the north-east over a small knoll.
On reaching the true summit I found some shelter from the wind for a late lunch. My return route was along the ridge before descending steeply to the south side of the Bealach Ard and returning to the car park by the approach route.
I’m still not sure if I climbed this hill in 1995 as the summit was just off the route of the West Highland Way and would have involved a short climb.
Photos taken on walk.