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Ben Venue, bogs and a good intro to Scottish hills
by jaybee » Tue Nov 08, 2011 8:30 pm
Grahams included on this walk: Ben Venue
Date walked: 06/11/2011
Time taken: 5.5 hours
Distance: 12 km1 person thinks this report is great. Register or Login free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).
Dreaming of the day when we could contribute as well as read all about the glorious walking to be had.
A month ago, we moved house, home and work from Devon to Scotland so the dream is about to come true.
So - our first weekend in Scotland with a great weather forecast and nothing else planned.
After reading the forum, considering our options and our legs and fitness levels we decided to try Ben Venue as our first real venture into the hills.
A very early rise on Sunday morning (for me) and we were off through the fog towards Callander and the Ben Venue carpark. Glorious views across Loch Venacher as we drove past.
Boots on and we were off, following the track from the car park. Ben Venue hovered above the clouds looking much higher than it really is. Very atmospheric and autumnal.
We decided to make a circle of the walk and set off through the forest and towards Loch Katrine. There was a clear track that followed the river towards the weir but progress was slowed by our experience of the swamp / bog fest that subsumed the track. After clinging to the wire fence and balancing on submerged logs and stones I made it to the gate. Wet feet, heart racing and a determination to carry on rather than even consider going back this way.
On up the boggy hillside until we got to the gap in the fence. Such a glorious view over Loch Katrine with Ben A'an standing proud across the loch. The perfect stop for a coffee and a biscuit.
Several other walkers passed us as we sat and enjoyed our coffee. All in good spirits due to the gorgeous weather, the views and the sheer joy of being out there.
Decided we would take the direct line up the hill from here. Very steep but only heather, grass, the occasional rock and more of the wet stuff which eventually levelled out to give us some tempting glimpses of the view to the west and north. There are no real paths on this side of the hill so we struck off in the direction of the summit of Ben Venue through yet more strength sapping heather, mud and water; crossing a few small burns on the way. It seemed to me that we had been heading up for a very long time. The views of other hills and mountains were now rewarding us for the effort but it was a great relief as we crested one final rise to see and hear other walkers and their dogs just ahead of us on the main path.
It was approaching 13.30 at this point so food and drink was the priority – now that we knew we would be able to return to the car in full daylight. It was also time for the camera to come out to capture the views. We considered a visit to the trig point but energy levels were too low and we knew we must save some for the descent. Next time perhaps.
The photos don’t compare with some on this site but I hope they give an idea of the clarity of the air today. There were plenty of people climbing up via the path from the forest. We were given dire warnings of the amount of mud and bog to conquer on the descent but were grateful to be on any kind of path at all. As it turned out, the path down was manageable with some skirting of the mud, some ploughing through and the occasional slip and slide. A few tricky and steep patches of rocks to negotiate then we were at the gate into the forest.
Easy tracks back through the forest although the light levels dropped significantly and we were glad we hadn’t left it much later. Eventually arrived back at the car around 16.00 tired but happy with the day and our first venture into the hills. A quick change into clean, dry clothes and a slow return along the A84 to reward ourselves with a roast dinner and a bottle of vino.
Verdict – a wonderful day with more to be planned, weather permitting.
(with apologies for any mis-spelled names!)
by Jabber » Tue Nov 08, 2011 10:37 pm
by rockhopper » Tue Nov 08, 2011 11:37 pm
by JohnJoe » Wed Nov 09, 2011 12:07 am
Now you live in Scotland, you should drop the proviso, 'weather permitting', and just buy a very waterproof jacket
by Fudgie » Wed Nov 09, 2011 11:06 am
Oh, and welcome aboard.
by lomondwalkers » Wed Nov 09, 2011 1:11 pm
by jaybee » Wed Nov 09, 2011 9:49 pm
Have now worked out how to upload a pic for my avatar.
We are really looking forward to getting out there in our waterproof waterproofs and enjoying whatever the weather may throw at us.
And I will get over my fear of disappearing into a bog, never to be seen again. (I am quite short of leg)
Just need to choose where to venture next ..... so much to choose from.