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Double my tally with Ben Vane
by Rossco » Sun Jun 26, 2011 1:25 am
Route description: Ben Vane, from Inveruglas
Munros included on this walk: Ben Vane
Date walked: 25/06/2011
Time taken: 4.5 hours
Distance: 11.3 km
Ascent: 920mRegister or Login free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).
Unfortunately, just like the last two weeks I've been out, there was A LOT of low cloud so views were completely non existant this time. I don't actually know what Ben Vane looks like in person as I could never see up past the grassy base. Nothing much to report about really but I'll add my tuppence worth anyway.
Started off at the Visitor Centre and was getting mauled by midges the second I stepped out the car so I quickly threw my boots on and set off about 11.30am expecting the round trip to take about 6 hours.
As the walk report says, walk along the road past the power station for about a kilometre then turn right and under a railway bridge. It's a real easy start to the walk on a tarmac road for about 3km with virtually no ascent. You go from pretty much 0m to under 200m in 3km.
At this point I had zero view of anything about me. Vorlich to the right was covered, A'Chrois ahead to the left was also covered in cloud which disappointed me as I hear it's a beauty and of course Vane was also shrouded in mist so I couldn't actually tell what lay ahead for me. Not sure if I that was a good thing or a bad thing! Although I was in familiar territory as I've cycled in this area many a time, I just didn't appreciate the hills around me then so wouldn't have looked twice at all the beautiful surroundings before. Although to be honest, the views all around the bottom are completely spoiled by the second part of the power station you pass on your left and the hundreds of electricity pylons scattered about the hillside.
You eventually get to a bridge on your left hand side which you cross and continue up the gravel path for about half a kilometre. There is a big section of rocks on your right hand side and a bridge over a small river. You leave the path here and start the (very) boggy section!!
Straight away you were treated to extremely thick pools of water and mud which had to be avoided if you didn't want to stick your whole foot underground. It was steep and boggy for a while, the main route was completely soaked so you could see people extending the path to the left and right for less worn and muddy approaches which helped. This whole area was pretty open so you could probably just go up any way you wanted without having to follow the path.
After a plateau about 300m it starts to get a bit rockier. The going is actually quite tough, I'd say it's the steepest hill I've done this year now surprisingly. Looking at the graph of the profile on my GPS certainly makes it seem that way too. I was also surprised by how busy it was. Considering it was another crappy day for hillwalking, I didn't expect to see so many people. I actually counted and seen a total of 26 people on the hill itself and more around the bottom too. I must have passed about 15 of these people going up too. I was shattered with how steep it was but just flew up at a good pace somehow until I hit the large rocky section near the top. A few people were already on it and couldn't find their way to begin with but pointed me in the right direction and that was another group overtaken! It was a fun section to scramble up too which I wasn't expecting.
Then finally onto the summit in a time of 2 hours. I wasn't rushing as I see no point in that but there was nothing really to stop for as their were no views and was on my own so no-one to slow me down. Hung about at the summit for some lunch with a few other groups, we all took shelter on the north face of the hill from the strong wind at the top. There was actually a running competition going on today too which I spoke to someone at the summit about. I think he said they were starting at Succoth, going up Ben Vorlich, then onto Vane, then across to Ime and Narnairn, then down the steep front face of Narnain to finish. I could be wrong there but it sounded absolutely hellish and he had already fallen and given himself a bad looking gash on the shin but I didn't see anyone else behind him for a good half hour or so, so he was possibly leading the pack by miles since he had only clocked up two hours so far!
Pretty much same story going back down, very misty so couldn't see anything. At times the cloud was trying to clear and I could see small sections of A'Chrois but never enough to actually get a good proper sense of what it was like. Descending some of the steep rocky faces was quite difficult as some of them appear to be almost vertical which was tricky in the wet. Then onto the boggy sections again which were alot worse going down, I actually had two proper slips but SOMEHOW managed to not fall on my bum, just landed on all fours in what can only be described as a contortion of positions you'd see when playing a drunken game of Twister! Thankfully no-one was there to see me though... I hope!
Back onto the tarmac road, I took one last look before going round the corner and eventually seen what looked like parts of the summit through the cloud. Very annoying to not see anything all day but still an enjoyable walk on a good hill with some exciting scrambling sections at the very top. Just a pity about the long flat walk at the start and end. I would maybe take my bike for that part it if I done it again which would give you an awesome smooth downhill road to fly down to finish the day. Finished it in 4 hours 31 minutes. Was a good test of my fitness which I somehow stood up to. Even though my old knee was completely done in at the end!
2 Munros down, 281 to go.
Link to EveryTrail website trip report.
by kev_russ » Sun Jun 26, 2011 1:14 pm
by Paul_Antonia » Sun Jun 26, 2011 4:01 pm
We keep reading these reports to whet ( or should that be wet? ) our appetite and give us inspiration so thanks for all the info.
Hope the old knee is ok. On to number three next then......
by Rossco » Tue Jun 28, 2011 12:54 am
by Paula Hubens » Tue Jun 28, 2011 10:49 pm
Rossco wrote: until I hit the large rocky section near the top. A few people were already on it and couldn't find their way to begin with but pointed me in the right direction and that was another group overtaken! It was a fun section to scramble up too which I wasn't expecting.
Nice one Rossco! I quite liked the scrambly bits as well.
Good luck with your third!
- Posts: 272
- Joined: May 23, 2011
by Merry-walker » Tue Jun 28, 2011 11:06 pm
by Graeme D » Wed Jun 29, 2011 9:40 am
by Rossco » Wed Jun 29, 2011 9:55 am
Yeah, I'm well ahead of you on the doubling tally Graeme!! I've pencilled in Ben Lui & Beinn a'Chleibh for my next jaunt keeping up the doubling. I even considered TRIPLING it and going for 4, but couldn't find anything relatively close and easy enough for me in my delicate state to manage.
by Jabber » Wed Jun 29, 2011 8:18 pm
It was precarious up there and a sturdy foot was required. It was the first time I have seen my wife in action with the sticks and I'm almost persuaded to purchase a set. My mate keeps banging on about Ben Lui..maybe on my shopping list this weekend if the weather holds, although I seem to be colouring in the peaks from the South. Might give Amber a wee break (she was a bit tired the next day!).
by Jabber » Wed Jun 29, 2011 8:22 pm
by Rossco » Wed Jun 29, 2011 11:50 pm
I've been borrowing someone elses stick, so I'm definitely going to get a pair for myself too. Makes the descent so much less painful!
by ChrisW » Thu Jun 30, 2011 9:01 am
by garyjNLYNWA » Thu Jun 30, 2011 10:27 pm
by Paul_Antonia » Sat Jul 23, 2011 10:43 am