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Beinn Narnain, Ìme, and Vane- three days of pain.

Beinn Narnain, Ìme, and Vane- three days of pain.


Postby Callicious » Tue Jul 05, 2022 5:44 pm

Munros included on this walk: Beinn Ìme, Beinn Narnain, Ben Vane

Date walked: 31/08/2021

Time taken: 60 hours

Distance: 24 km

Ascent: 2000m

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Another fine forecast presented itself, this time for the Lomonds, and I'd yet to have ventured there for any sort of trip- it was go time. I whipped out the OS App and plotted a course that would take in three munros, and budgeted three days (one to get the train to Arrochar/Tarbet and get up the first, the second to get to the third munro, and the final day to plod back to the station- I'm a cheap bugger and wanted that return ticket.) The map displayed paths for the entire route (lying bastard, that road had no path on the side!) and so I shacked up my pack and headed for Waverley.

The train ride was uneventful, and I dozed off along the way. Somehow I lost another pair of earphones on it- I usually lose one on the ride back after a hike, not the way out! No music for me on this trip I suppose- or at least no earphones for it. Not long after alighting from the train and heading toward Succoth from the station, I got my first glimpses of The Cobbler- its horns sticking up and piercing the sky.

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Great views, aye?

The path up until Succoth is fine, but on my route you'll note that I opted for the beeline path straight up through the woods- I met a fair few on the path, but by no means is it comparable to the longer zigzag on offer- it really is just a conveniently-placed stream, and I would not take it if it were raining as much of it is over mudstrewn rock, and was already fairly eroded by footfall. You do get some great views from the clearings on it though...

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Typical sight- a meek clearing giving way to fantastic vistas across the valley.

After breaking the treeline, typical grassy rock-strewn landscape with (surprisingly) good path opened up. This vanishes when you continue to reach the knee-high grasses further afield, which are littered with ticks and little depressions that can catch yer' legs. There's a few wee water sources up here that were unmapped- quite good to splash on your hands just to wash off the sweat. Later, a real path presents itself, which takes you further up the hill, providing respite from the ticks.

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Tick-free path heaven, baby!

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Sadly not on a training exercise, I think- I later learned that they were attending an actual emergency. The person involved is fine, I believe.

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I did get a great shot of the helicopter though.

Nearing the top of the first munro, Beinn Narnain, views open up all around. I found a spot to set up my tent toward its northern side, after seeking a spot well-shielded from wind that didn't have too many rocks on the ground that may scratch it up. The sunset was uneventful, as overcast weather ruined my chances of getting any decent photographs- the night offered some opportunity however, as the stars opened up to me and I got some decent (albeit noisy- the lens I bought wasn't all that great for photographing stars, and is notoriously soft wide open.)

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Heart at the cairn near the top of Beinn Narnain- my lady found it sweet when I showed her.
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My castle! The proud fortress that kept me from freezing to death!

The following morning, I was surely greeted by a fantastic sunrise. Being a lazy sod, I didn't set an alarm- I didn't have to go that far on the day, and the forecast showed cloud for the morning, so I didn't bother. Boy, I screwed myself over! I lost the chance to get some of the best photos I'd gotten up until this point, as the light surely would have been great before what proved to be a cracking early morning!

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Such perfect light, and I'd slept in through most of it. I ran out of my tent with my camera to get these photographs, still in my undies and socks, not even lacing up my boots. I'm glad no one saw me doing it, because they'd think I must have been some sort of exhibitionist! :lol:

After packing up and quickly drying my things in the sun a bit (condensation wasn't kind to me) I made haste for the next munro. The descent from Beinn Narnain was crisp, and I headed for Beinn Ìme. The ascent is fair and the path well-walked and firm, with covered views all around (you don't get that much until you reach the top.) Nearing the top, fantastic views presented themselves to me one after the other, especially back toward The Cobbler, and towards the A83.

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Looking back down the hill- The Cobbler on the right and Beinn Narnain on the left.

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Surprisingly, a fair few aircraft fly over this area- I must have spotted at least half a dozen since breakfast... o_O

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The Cobbler, from very near the top- quite a view!

The midges weren't having any of it when I tried to stop for a break, so I hastily scarfed down my lunch (sausage and cake, as usual) and headed down the back of the top, making way for the bealach and then the glen, aiming for Ben Vane. The descent is quite steep but very short, and the bealach as moist as anything gets. The glen was packed with midges, but a faint breeze kept the buggers away- at least initially.

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Some friends keeping me company on my way down the back of Beinn Ìme

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The glen before Ben Vane- a great sight with a water source (that I assumed would have been quite dry, given the protracted heatwaves that we'd gotten before then- lessons learned for my next visit.)

Here I digress a bit, but I have to note that the wee pool that I pass on my route up the back of Ben Vane is rife with life. There's a plethora of mayflies and other insects available there, and many of them will happily pose for you! Frogs too- at least three different species! My favourites were the flying ones though- I got these two great photos of 'em!

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Nearing the top of Ben Vane, I found some internet signal- my first reaction was to contact my lady, who was doubtless worried (as she always is when I go away for a few days on a trip.) We had a good chat, and I found a spot to camp near the top after some American tourists left. Yes, they left a bunch of eggshells and orange peels on the ground... honestly... and right near where I wanted to camp, too. The spot I found wasn't too muddy, so I set up and prepared for the sunset, which proved quite picturesque.

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Now I wait...
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Looking over to Loch Arklet and Loch Katrine.
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The summit cairn.
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Looking to Beinn Narnain and The Cobbler (I believe!)
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There she goes! Over the tops in the distance- which I believe to be Skye, but don't hold me to that... :?
https://i.imgur.com/DwmccTj.mp4
If you want a timelapse of the sunset.

The following morning, I woke up (as usual) a fair bit after the sunrise (which was shrouded by a morning inversion.) I do tend to wake up when I set my alarm- if I see an inversion or the like however, I usually sleep in. You lose a bit of opportunity- but life is short, and if you want to sleep in, then do so! When I left bed and left the tent to allow the condensation to evaporate a bit, I snagged some videos of the inversion as it cleared a notch- here's two of 'em.

https://i.imgur.com/mPPt6Gf.mp4
Toward... I can't remember, I'm guessing Beinn Ìme based on the view but I could be wrong
https://i.imgur.com/gal7c98.mp4
Toward Ben Vorlich

The descent from Ben Vane down to Inveruglas was fairly typical clag- though the rocks were mighty slippery in places, owing to some rain that came in the morning. After reaching the road and making way for Loch Lomond, I headed for the caravan park (to find a spot to sit down.) I found a good way down to Inveruglas Water, that also provided a view of the rail bridge- a fine spot to rest for a moment... or so I thought. The midges weren't having it at all. I made way for path from the caravan park that headed south by the loch, and got a great view of Ben Lomond poking up the other side- sadly this path didn't continue for long, and I had to resort to walking by the bonny banks for a fair bit (I can't complain! :clap:)

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Misty heaven! What an atmosphere...
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And the dew on all the grasses and other flora...
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The wee bridge you pass to get to the road at the base is great to get under and take a gander through- but the view from the water back up the glen is also quite nice.
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Ben Lomond poking up the left, with the bonny banks now my path!

These bonny banks didn't last that long though- thank god for the low tide or it would have lasted even less- the OS Map may show a path, but it vanishes by the time you reach NN 32654 07911. Luckily (hah) the OS Map showed some sort of path in the woods, which I assumed would go parallel to the tracks and meet up the "path" by Inverhoulin. I banked off near the pier and headed for it, and the woods were relentless- ticks on every damn blade of grass...

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Tick city, baby.

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A PATH! THE "OLD MILITARY ROAD" OF LEGEND! Where the hell is my damn road!!! I didn't get any road, not since I left for the woods!

Eventually, I reached someones back yard in Inverhoulin- where there was indeed a path that at some point may well have been an "Old Military Road" by some many-decades-old rusted containers. I mean come on- that "Old Military Road" clearly should have continued behind Inverhoulin and up north parallel to the railway- you can see it right? Look at the map! Argh- anyway... enough winging about having to go through tick-infested forest, I got some great photographs, and it was fun. Passing Inverhoulin, a lady told me that there was a path that would allow me to avoid the road- either the "Low or High" path to Tarbet. I took the high one naturally- and it was good. The entry was by an abandoned restaurant- you can see it on the map.

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Another banger of Ben Lomond... that lady in Inverhoulin was right! The high road was the way to go!
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It really was!!!!

At this point, I reached Tarbet, and headed for the station. I passed a restaurant along the way (Slanj, I believe it was called) and had a steak and chips- the best steak I'd had in a while, actually. The beer was great too- they had a local microbrew. After, I made for the station, and tried to have a snooze before my train came. That snooze didn't last- I ended up having to walk up and down the station the entire hour and a half, as the midges really REALLY wanted me! I sure am popular 8) ... with the midges :(
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Callicious
Wanderer
 
Posts: 15
Munros:16   
Joined: Aug 17, 2020
Location: Manchester

Re: Beinn Narnain, Ìme, and Vane- three days of pain.

Postby David1988 » Tue Jul 05, 2022 11:07 pm

Excellent photos, what camera do you have? There's great spots up the cobbler and Narnain for photos, it never disappoints.
David1988
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 13
Joined: Jun 9, 2022

Re: Beinn Narnain, Ìme, and Vane- three days of pain.

Postby Callicious » Wed Jul 06, 2022 12:17 am

David1988 wrote:Excellent photos, what camera do you have? There's great spots up the cobbler and Narnain for photos, it never disappoints.


I used a D5300 initially, but most of my photos now are taken on my D780 (which has been my partner on all the reports I've posted here)

Never been up The Cobbler! It's on my list- if only I still lived in Scotland it'd be much more affordable to just go and get it done :(
Callicious
Wanderer
 
Posts: 15
Munros:16   
Joined: Aug 17, 2020
Location: Manchester

Re: Beinn Narnain, Ìme, and Vane- three days of pain.

Postby uk-scrambler » Thu Jul 07, 2022 7:42 pm

Great photos! Those sunsets and sunrises look wonderful. Amazing pictures of the stars above your tent too.
I hope to get back to arrochar some time soon. I made an attempt at these 3 in April but managed only Ben Vane. The snow off the back of the summit was thigh high in places and there was no chance of getting down to the bealach. It’s amazing what difference a few months makes to the way these mountains are.
uk-scrambler
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Posts: 54
Munros:23   
Hewitts:6
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Joined: Sep 1, 2021

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