Climbing Ben lomond

Thursday , March 06, 2014 - 12:59 PM

Audrey Godfrey, Standard-Examiner

Two weeks ago two of my grandson’s and a granddaughter-in-law climbed Ben Lomond. I was quite interested in their plans because I had climbed the mountain twice in my lifetime. Once as a 6 -year-old, and later with my husband.

Climbing Ben Lomond is almost a rite of passage for the Montgomerys because our great-great grandmother Mary Wilson Montgomery named it after a favorite mountain near her home in Scotland. I first climbed up the back side of the mountain and once we reached the top, someone took a picture of our family. My sister, Rosemary was the youngest of the group at age 2, and my grandfather Will Montgomery was the oldest at 72. A picture taken of us on top depicts us looking as though we’d just taken a walk around the block. Looking down to North Ogden below us I could see our home and hear dogs barking. I felt like I had scaled the Matterhorn!

When my husband and I climbed Old Ben we started from Willard Peak and walked across the tops of the mountain range. It was much more scary as the trail was narrow and you could look down and see sharp pointed rocks below you. However, it was exhilarating to look at Willard Bay and its blue water with boats sailing on it. I looked in vain for the snow I remembered from my first climb, but there were beautiful mountain flowers.

My grandkids walked up the mountain from North Ogden Canyon. They got a late start and camped lower than they planned. Setting up the tent with wind blowing challenged them enough that my youngest grandson was sleeping on a slope. He didn’t get much sleep that night. But they made the top and a fellow hiker took their pictures. They. too, looked pretty relaxed for what they’d been through.

I always thought Ben Lomond was higher than Willard Peak, but it is not. It just felt like it.

Still, its a feat to be proud of no matter how high or which route you take.

Long before our climbs an early settler of North Ogden, Nephi James Brown, penned his own description. “The mountains to the East centered by lofty Lewis peak were always silent sentinels of strength. The everlasting majesty of Ben Lomond to the North with its relected rays of morning sunrise always inspired me as a boy. ... One time in mild mid April after a long hard winter wherein there was an unusual amount of snowfall we watched with great excitement snow slides push their way down the west slopes of the mountain east of Ben Lomond and we heard the roar as they spilled over certain ledges.”

If you want a thrill, hike Ben Lomond.

Sign up for e-mail news updates.