Beinn Narnain and Beinn Ime were the weekends Munros. The six of us setting out this weekend to take on two of the Arrochar Alps mountains got up bright and early and at 05:45 set off from Glasgow to the Succoth car park. Arriving at about 06;30 we readied ourselves for the day ahead and come 06:45 set off up the hill. We followed the walk highlands route, following the long straight path (straight on the map) up to Beinn Narnain. Possibly my favourite part of the entire day, walking up the path which was turned into a river by the previous days rainfall.
The walk up to this point was mildly challenging in the dark, but the torches shone the way for us. After a short while the sky was brightening but the sun hadn’t yet poked its head above the mountains to our east.
Continuing up this section we eventually broke out of the trees and were greeted with some amazing hues of orange as the sun peeked over the hills to our east.
As we reached the end of the long straight path as shown on the map we took a left for a few minutes, playing it safe we decided to follow the path on the map rather than the route on WalkHighlands. Twenty minutes later we would realise this was a mistake as the WalkHighlands route followed a much better path, although not marked on the map. Rather annoyingly it was at this point of the walk where I realised that my boots have seemingly sprung a leak...off to Tiso this week for me.
Shortly after, we re-joined the actual path that would take us up to the summit.
We followed the path upwards to the top of Cruach nam Miseag, the mound just before the Narnain summit climb, and were followed by the rising sun providing more stunning views to the east.
This section of the walk was an enjoyable climb with some rock to be traversed and some boggy patches underfoot.
We eventually reached the top of this mound with Beinn Narnain’s summit coming into full view. A small descent back down before the final climb gave us some time to stop and take in the amazing views of Loch Long.
The final part of the ascent up Beinn Narnain was brilliant. We were faced with some very steep terrain, requiring some climbing which really added some intensity to the walk.
We eventually reached the summit of Beinn Narnain at around 11:20 and were greeted by some stunning views. What amazes me is the difference in the terrain between these hills and those closer to home, Mayar/Driesh, Lochnagar and Glenshee Munros. The steepness of the west coast mountains certainly isn’t replicated in the ones closer to home. We decided not to have an early lunch at the top as there was an icy wind strong enough to take the skin off your face. A few obligatory summit photos and we were on our way.
Descending down into the Bealach a' Mhaim we encountered a sheltered spot which meant only one thing, time to eat. A much needed fuel stop prepared us for the final climb of the day to the 1011 metre point of Beinn Ime. Passing through the gate at the bottom of the Bealach we began the much shallower climb up Ime. A more gradual ascent than Narnain, this climb didn’t take nearly as much time or energy as the first Munro but by this point we were much more exposed to the wind so we were well wrapped up in layers by this point.
Shortly after, at about 14:20, we reached the top of our second Munro, Beinn Ime. Again, freezing so we didn’t spend too much time there. A few photos and we were off back down.
Having got our second Munro of the day, we headed back down the path into the Bealach a' Mhaim and took another 5 minutes for a last snack before heading down the valley between Beinn Narnnain and the stunning Cobler. Had it have been summer and we had more light it would have been a fine addition to include this Corbett but it will be there for another day. We headed down the path, into the sunset.
The path eventually reached the woods. By this point it was getting quite dark. out with the torches again. This day was my first where there has been darkness and again it was great to experience something different.
At about 17:30 we reached the car park again and our day up the hills was done. In all honesty I didn’t think we'd get the 2 Munros done due to the daylight issue but gladly we did. I will have to come back up here and get the Cobler done as it looks like a fine mountain that would perfectly accompany Narnain and Ime in a days hike. As always, another fine day up the hills, now home for a chippy.
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