Last weekend my friend G and I planned to hike Ben Lawers, the tenth highest peak in all of Scotland. G has been one of my hiking partners this last year and he’s getting ready to go away for a while. To celebrate and send him off in the appropriate fashion, we decided to hike a Munro that we knew would provide great views. I had hiked Ben Lawers once before, but had bypassed Beinn Ghlas, which sits adjacent to it. This trip, the plan was to do both. As we set out, the weather was amazing! You can’t beat clear skies and highs in the 20’s˚C (70’s˚F) while hiking in Scotland. We made excellent time reaching the summit of Beinn Ghlas before stopping for an early lunch break. The views looking over Loch Tay and the surrounding areas were incredible. No matter how many photos we took, none of them seemed to capture the moment. From there we pressed on to our goal of the Lawers summit. After lots of sweat and stopping for a breather or two, we finally made it. We took our victory photos and began to take in all of the surrounding beauty. As we sat at the summit, I jokingly said to G, “you know, we could press on and do one more. That’s An Stuc right over there.” We both had a laugh because we were both tired. Plus, two Munros in one day was all that we had ever tried. Besides, separating Ben Lawers and An Stuc was another peak that we would have to go up and over. It was just then that a woman near us spoke up and said, “go on! just do it!” That was all it took. From that point on, G had it in his mind that we were going to do An Stuc as well. After a few minutes of enjoying the sights, we set out to take on An Stuc. We were tired before we started the last leg, so needless to say we were both shattered when we finally reached the summit of An Stuc. But the views were amazing! It was a joy just to sit in wonder, marveling at God’s creation. After resting atop An Stuc for a while, the feeling of dread began to sweep over both of us as we thought of returning over the summits we had already hiked. We decided to take the advice of a couple of fellow hikers we met and take a path they told us about that led around the face of the peaks we had already climbed. What started out as a promising path for the first half of the hike back to the car turned into one that was a bit sketchy and mostly suited for sheep. After some careful scrambling we eventually made it back to the main path. I must tell you that arriving on the main path was a huge sigh of relief for me. There were a few harrowing moments which did not go well with my fear of heights. Once we finally made it back to the main path, all that was left was the last few miles of trudging back to the car. Though we were absolutely knackered after hiking several extra miles, we left feeling a huge sense of accomplishment. Here are a few photos from our adventure.

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