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Beinn Ime - so much for the early bird

Beinn Ime - so much for the early bird

Postby old danensian » Mon Aug 03, 2009 11:38 pm

Munros included on this walk: Beinn Ìme

Date walked: 03/08/2009

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Tuesday 28 July

Heavy cloud hung like a brooding hoodie over the ridge coming down from Beinn Narnain. Unpromisingly, it was much lower than the shroud over Ben Lomond and Ptarmigan. The originally planned route over its ridge and through its upper crags and over to Beinn Ime had become more initimidating - served me right for trying to get an early start.

Beinn Narnain from Allt a' Bhalachain

Like avoiding another hoodie down a dark street, the intriciacies of the ridge were going to be given a wide berth. The morning's exercise looked like it might only be limited to following the well-worn path towards The Cobbler and then just up to the bealach between the three tops to see what the weather or visibility offered. The line of concrete blocks promised in the guide wasn't immediately obvious, so the "trade route" was the easier option, and at least offered something for the day.

Having entered the clouds and then left behind the stream of visitors crossing the Allt a' Bhalachain towards The Cobbler, a lone figure emerged from the mist coming down the path from the bealach. A weather beaten guy in a thin cag and what looked like even thinner shorts bemoaned the apparently deteriorating conditions further up and his own lack of confidence in compass skills. Things weren't looking up on the first day out in a short break north of the border.

However, having spent ten minutes or so at the col, the effort was rewarded with occasional glimpses across the lower slopes of Beinn Ime to the north. These little windows were sufficient for bearings to be taken to the stile across the fence, and then to the outline of the path across the grassy incline above. Maybe things were looking up.

Slopes of Beinn Ime from Bealach a' Mhaim

After thirty minutes or so in the mist above, the path appeared to pass between a couple of gate-like small outcrops - but for all I knew there could have been loads of them really. It swung off and up to the left (north west) as promised, and with the wind kept on the left shoulder, knew that the summit should be found at the end of the ridge. The cairn appeared out of the mist a few minutes later, just as the sun made the faintest of glows in the sky above. Sadly, it made little impact on visibility to either side or below.

Beinn Ime - summit cairn

With no circular route in prospect, steps were retraced. A hundred feet or after the summit ridge was left behind, a vigorously bubbling spring was passed at the side of the path - at about 3,000 feet, is this the highest source of running water flowing down into Loch Long?

Spring on summit slopes of Beinn Ime

After this the path was predictably lost a couple of times in the eagerness to descend, so the bearings taken earlier were grateful memories when taken to locate the stile over the fence in the final drop to the bealach below the clouds. At this point, the battle between winds meeting at the Bealach a' Mhaim created a fascinating vertical wall of cloud; the moisture laden clouds rising up from Loch Long were stopped in their tracks by the stronger air coming up from Glen Croe.

Cloud formation on Bealach a' Mhaim

Turning left and into the wall of cloud, the path from The Cobbler was soon joined. Typically, as the horizontal clouds were left behind, better weather on the shores below was revealed and those over on Ben Lomond were clearly enjoying a better, if somewhat more crowded, time.

Ben Lomond from Allt a' Bhalachain

Finally, on the drive out, Beinn Narnain, like the teenager in a hoodie, was emerging from under its duvet in the early afternoon - no doubt wondering what all the fuss had been about.

Beinn Narnain from Arrochar
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old danensian
Posts: 430
Munros:282   Corbetts:81
Joined: Jul 6, 2009
Location: Ayrshire

Re: Beinn Ime - so much for the early bird

Postby mountain coward » Sat Aug 22, 2009 12:38 pm

Yep - exactly what it did to us - all the Arrochar Alps did - they hid and brooded while we walked them, then when we got back to the valley, they came out and laughed at us! :?

Love the pic with the flowers in front! :)
mountain coward

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