Walking enthusiasts from Helensburgh and Lomond have taken advantage of the good summer weather to pull on the boots and head for the hills.

The proximity of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park means that Ben Lomond, the Cobbler, Ben Venue and other peaks can be reached with ease.

Most of them have well defined paths and, if sensible precautions are taken and proper footwear worn, they present no great risks.

Now, however, with the lure of the hills being stronger than ever, Scotland has seen growing numbers of people taking their adventures up a notch or two and trying rock climbing.

Exponents of the sport say once the basic techniques are learned and the novice increases in confidence, a whole new dimension awaits for mountain enthusiasts.

Mountaineering Scotland says getting started in rock climbing can feel like the tricky part sometimes, with questions such as where to go, who to speak to and what equipment is needed.

It says: “Hopefully we can answer these questions and put your mind at ease about getting involved in this fantastic sport.”

A lot of climbing facilities run their very own ‘taster’ or ‘come and try’ sessions, perfect for people wanting to give it a go for the first time or even refresh old skills.

On these sessions, the climbing wall will have relevantly qualified staff to train you up on what you need to know, and provide you with all the relevant equipment required to take part.

Another alternative to an instructed session is to get someone you know who is a climber to take you along and show you the ropes.

If you are doing this, make sure you are comfortable with their experience and ability to teach you safely.

If in doubt, don’t risk it and seek professional advice.

Starting off, you will be able to hire the necessary equipment from most climbing walls in order to take part.

For roped climbing, this will consist of climbing shoes, harness, carabiner and belay device.

For more information, go to www.mountaineering.scot/safety-and-skills

See also www.theclimbingacademy.com.