Updated: Mar 17, 2021
A stunning location overlooking Loch Tay. Ben Lawers (1214m) is a popular walking destination, good for cycling (see the clip below) but did you know about the amazing skiing out there and forgotten ski tows?
Love Perthshire Places is a series bringing you closer to some of the best parts of the area.
Ben Lawers is the highest mountain in the southern part of the Scottish Highlands. It lies to the north of Loch Tay and is the highest point of a long ridge that includes seven Munros.
It is the highest peak in Perthshire and is the tenth highest Munro in Scotland.
Downhill skiing has a long history in Scotland with skiers noted on the Scottish hills as early as the 1890s. Organised skiing with uplift provided by caterpillar tracked vehicles and mechanised tows began in 1907 with the founding in that year of the Scottish Ski Club. In the 1930s the first ski hut was erected on Ben Lawers.
In the early 1950s, the Scottish Ski Club erected a portable rope tow (weighing, according to Donnaie Mackenzie who helped carry it up, half a ton) on the Beinn Ghlas col. People either walked up to this or came up via the Weasel.
The hut could be reached from the National Trust Lawers carpark, and provided the only refuge on the mountain, as well as an excellent base for ski touring. However, in March 1999, the hut was unfortunately blown down in a storm. The walls collapsed under the roof, and concrete anchoring blocks were dislodged. Realising that it shouldn't attempt to repair the hut or construct a replacement in the area, a Scottish Ski Club party burnt the hut in September that same year.
You can watch a great clip about the beginning of skiing in that area in this short film:
Bew Lawers located close to Killin and Kenmore is a very popular walking destination. If you are planning a route have a look at this page: https://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/munros/ben-lawers
I will never forget when a few years back I climbed it for the first time. As usual for me, the peak was covered in clouds at the time so for lunch I decided to descend to a little bit more scenic place. When enjoying the views, snack and coffee a large bird flew over my head only a 'hand reach' away, coming out unexpectedly from the clouds nearby. The golden eagle, at its best, so close, simply amazing!
So apparently you can try to cycle to the top of Ben Lawers as well. Danny MacAskill who often visits Perthshire has shared a short film about it:
There are plenty of ways to enjoy the views and adventure nearby with us;
- go cycling with Progression Bikes
- try paddling with Outdoor Explore, Wee Adventures, Paddles Surf Scotland or Beyond Adventure
- reach nearby canyons with the Canyoning Company
- join on the best events in Scotland, on Loch Tay by Still Going Strong
A few more photos of Ben Lawers area captured by Perthshire Adventure members: