Ragged Jack was another Pandani walk. This particular peak had been of interest to me ever since I first set eyes on it on my first trip to Ben Lomond, and it’s name further cemented my desire to climb it. It isn’t as ragged as it’s name suggests, and it’s another really nice walk.
This was the second club walk I’d done where I’d had to work in the morning and was driving up later and hopefully walking up faster so as to catch up to the group. This time though I had company, which is always nice! We left Granton at about 8.30, an hour and a half after everyone else and arrived at the start of the track at 11. Directions are exactly as written up in the Abels. We followed the 4wd track, which feels like straight up when you’re walking at pace with a heavy cold!
Half an hour later we spotted a cairn on the side of the 4wd track, and having read the Abels, which says to look out for carins, we turned off the track here and followed markers south. It wasn’t long before we heard and saw the others, but at pretty much the same time the tags disappeared. So we pretty much headed in the rough direction of the ‘prominent rock finger’ in the Abels description. We were free to take our own way up, and there were cairns leading a path up the scree field, but there was also a more direct route which I, and I think most others, opted to take.
When on top you are off the scree and into the scrub.. it’s not too bad if you find a pad, otherwise it’s just a tad scratchy on the knees. Try to keep high. The summit is hard to see, so a gps was actually quite handy. It was cold and windy on top, but relatively clear, and we could see snow on Ben Lomond. Needless to say it was a relatively quick lunch for a decent sized group, before we headed back down. On the way down we followed a different route, probably closer to the one suggested in the Abels, as we found the grassy patch mentioned, and hit the 4wd track much further along than where we’d initially left it on the way up. We found not one but a few cairns.. so anyone going should ignore the first cairn they see, and keep on walking another 330 metres until you see SEVERAL cairns! Not that the other way is too difficult though!
Lovely little walk. One I’d do again :). Watching the sun set on it on the way home wasn’t too bad either!
All up: 8.1km, 5.29hrs, 693m ascent.