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On the quiet side of Arrochar

On the quiet side of Arrochar

Postby johnbythell » Sun Apr 03, 2022 7:50 pm

Munros included on this walk: Beinn Ìme, Beinn Narnain, Ben Vane, Ben Vorlich (Loch Lomond)

Date walked: 01/04/2022

Time taken: 46 hours

Distance: 39.8 km

Ascent: 3063m

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I took Friday off and decided to try the 'back way in' to the Arrochar Alps for a couple of night's camp. Despite the crowds on some of the mountains, my campsite was completely deserted except for the sheep and I was alone on the summit of all but one of the tops. An outstanding weekend!

Arrochar 1_3 April 2022.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts

The first few steps up the excellent Strone Estate track from the Butter Bridge car park.

And the view back down to Beinn an Lochain.

It wasn't long though before the first snow flurries started, pretty much bang on the forecast.

The coos didn't seem too bothered by it

Not so sure about the wee ones.

The Abyssinia bothy looked very inviting, but I didn't have time even for a brew. Got to say it looked very well kept inside and out - 5 star bothy!

The small dam at the bottom of Gleann Uaine. Snow still falling pretty steadily but there was no wind this low down the glen.

Nearing the top of the glen. The going was pretty rough grass and heather with a few sheep tracks to follow in places. There was a fair breeze at the bealach.

But I managed to find a nice sheltered spot on the other side of the crest and pitched the tent. The corrie on this side is shown as 'marshy ground' on the Harvey map, and I'm sure it'll be midgie hell in summer but a beautiful campsite right now. Wish I could have stayed, but first, I headed up the slope to the right towards the Glas Bealach.

And it wasn't long before I was in the cloud and negotiating some rock-hard snow chutes, that I probably could have avoided if I'd been able to see where I was going. Very glad to have brought the ice axe and microspikes to get across these.

Definitely cold!

I finally picked up the path with about 100 m to go to the summit.

Ben Ime summit was pretty desolate, and deserted - and that's definitely rain dripping off my nose!

Dropping out of the cloud coming down to the Bealach a Mhaim, the Cobbler looking magnificent.

The slope up Beinn Narnain looking uninviting though.

It was a long hard slog, but it continued to clear as I crested the top.

With spectacular views as the clouds just cleared the top. So far, I hadn't seen another soul since leaving the car park!

I headed back to the Bealach a Mhaim and descended the very steep grassy slope to the east (met the only other person of the day heading up it with full pack - hats off! Then I traversed across the glen side up back into the corrie and very welcome campsite.

I was up and away by about 8 the next morning for an icy cold start, wandering about the side of Ben Vane trying to find the footpath, which I did, intermittently. The top was fairly clagged in unfortunately, but pretty atmospheric.

I dropped out of the cloud in the first 100 m or so, with some spectacular views of Loch Lomond.

The last munro, Ben Vorlich, definitely did not look inviting from here.

So skipping the unpleasant bits, the cloud had lifted by the time I reached the summit. Spectacular scenery.

And it properly cleared and was shirt sleeves weather by the time I made it back to the corrie and the campsite (after a long slow amble).

It was a really nice afternoon for a long snooze, then a good night's sleep. After the good rest I was up early. I had meant to stop by the bothy for tea on the way out, but it was completely full so I kept on going and was back to the car park for 10 am.

I reckon this trip pretty much summed up the spring - ice axe and full mountain gear one minute and shirt sleeves the next. I'm not complaining though, a really special quiet place the Arrochar Alps!
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Re: On the quiet side of Arrochar

Postby uk-scrambler » Sun Apr 03, 2022 10:24 pm

Great report and pics. It looks like a nice campsite you found there. You definitely had all the types of weather!

I was toying with the idea of exploring the Arrochars this weekend but chickened out because of the forecast. I kind of wish I'd gone for it now! Probably will go for it next weekend instead.
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Re: On the quiet side of Arrochar

Postby johnbythell » Mon Apr 04, 2022 7:17 am

Cheers, so many great campsites in those corries, best be quick to avoid the midges!
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