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Cobblers To The Weather
by yokehead » Wed Jan 04, 2012 11:25 pm
Munros included on this walk: Beinn Narnain
Corbetts included on this walk: The Cobbler
Date walked: 22/11/2011
Time taken: 6 hours
Distance: 11.6 km
Ascent: 1180m3 people think this report is great. Register or Login free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).
The weather is not allowing much chance to get out on the hill, it's bad enough down here in Hertfordshire let alone
in GOC. So, here's a trip from a good day, only back in November but I haven't had chance to post earlier. I was lucky enough to have a business trip in Greenock for a few days, so at the end of that it was a quick trip over to Dunoon on the ferry to snatch a few days in my favourite land. My recent visits have been in the Bill area, Glencoe and Kintail, great places all. But this time I didn't want to be travelling far so thought the Arrochar Alps would be just the job, and after all, there was the Cobbler, mmmmm......
I had a half day on Beinn an Lochain, another on Ben Donich, and was ejected by the wind from Ben Vane whilst
walking the superb Glen Loin circuit shown on WH (although longer, this is maybe a better way to get to Vane than
trudging the road from Inveruglas). All great stuff but low cloud, rain and strong winds so no trip reports for them. But there was a weather window forecast, I'd been saving The Cobbler just in case there was going to be a good
day and I got lucky.
I meandered away from the car park at Arrochar, mists were gently moving about, blue skies and a light wind. Up the
steeper initial section of the path and then there's the gently ascending path as you get into the mountains. I've seen photos of The Cobbler on WH so many times, but seeing it for yourself is magic. There was still some mist about but this was thinning even as I watched.
A little further on and the mist had gone, this is the classic view but perspective and the camera don't portray its full magnificence I reckon. The only thing missing was snow, well, maybe next time?
I decided to approach the peaks from the north and keep my options open for later, it's quite a surprise to be walking past the mountain then faced with a stone staircase! It makes for a fast ascent though, just one stop to stare and I was at the ridge between the North and Middle Peaks. What a great view to the north and west, showing where I'd climbed in the cloud.
All very well but it was the summit that pulled of course, on my mind the whole way up and I was so excited I just can't tell you! I got chatting with a gentleman who'd nipped up from Glasgow, just a 45 min drive for him, how lucky! We enthused about the area, I must say I was really bowled over by how grand it all is , and with The Cobbler central to it all it's the icing on the cake. I said I was going to go for the summit, he wasn't but wished me luck and ambled over a bit to the north to have a bite to eat. There was no-one else around.
I was psyched up to go for it immediately, I mean, why wait? I've done a few adventurous things in my short hill career but there's still that feeling of anticipation, of the unknown even after having read others' reports, apprehension and maybe, just maybe, even a hint of fear? I hope these feelings never stop! So I went to the window and got rid of the sack and poles. Straight through and down onto the ledge.
Now you really see it for yourself. The rock was wet on the other side but here in the sun it was dry although the remains of the recent deluges could be seen. The ledge is cut with fissures in the direction you're going and there is a foot-size hole that may catch you out if you step into it when it's full of water or snow! It's only a couple of paces and, although you can't see it in photos, the ledge then widens a bit on the left. There's then a high step up onto another ledge - a small, rounded handhold on the left helps. Once on this ledge, ahead are 2 boulders. I found it exhilerating to use the holds to climb up between them, then on top of the boulder on the left, left again and you're on top! Waaahaaay! Then I realised I'd left my camera with the sack, rats! Oh well. I gave a big whoop and yee-haa, the gent from earlier turned and waved, I waved back. This game is so good! I stayed for 10 mins then on down, the trickiest part was the high step down to the bottom ledge I found. Still more fun to come with the North Peak so straight there it was.
The climb at the top was interesting, up a slab that was a bit wet and greasy. I stopped and stared again, superb views to Loch Long.
From here you can see the true architecture of the summit and how precarious it looks - do it quick before it falls down!
Beinn Narnain looked too interesting to ignore so this was next for me.
I dropped down to the north, along a faint path, then stopped for fuel. Now quickly back down to the path and a zoom
down the staircase to the Bealach. I pushed on to the north and then east up the Narnain path. When I visit Beinn Ime in the future I decided that the 2km trudge from here won't be for me after having spied a route, to include Vane, whilst on the Glen Loin circuit. Looking forward to that! The Cobbler looked especially fine in silhouette.
The path doesn't tackle the rocks of the west end of the ridge head on, it goes in a rising traverse with some fun balancing across boulders on the way.
The summit is only 1km from the bealach so it's almost a bit too quick - next time I'll go up the rocks at the west! Ben Lomond looked fine from the summit.
The Spearhead looks good from above and was equally good in descent, I had a great time on the scrambly bits. Another mountain with real interest.
With the weather having stayed so good, instead of descending straight back toward Arrochar from the point at about
600m I decided to go south back to the dam near the start of the walk. That way I could prolong the day and walk
into the setting sun.
by Ranger » Thu Jan 05, 2012 1:50 am
Wish I was a bit closer to these hills - they used to be so accessible from the central belt but a little trickier to access now I'm up in Aberdeen!
The Cobbler summit is incredible - the two pictures from different angles are barely recognisable as the same feature.
by kevsbald » Thu Jan 05, 2012 9:27 am
by Fudgie » Thu Jan 05, 2012 10:19 am
An enjoyable read and it's good to see someone getting good views up there. I've always said I'll go back there again on a better day.
by Johnny Corbett » Thu Jan 05, 2012 11:34 am
by Sarah86 » Thu Jan 05, 2012 1:28 pm
by IanEzzi » Thu Jan 05, 2012 2:49 pm
We got extra lucky on the weekend before Christmas, didn't manage the Cobbler but had a brilliant walk up Narnain (those 'scrambly bits' beneath the Spearhead were great fun!)
by mountain thyme » Thu Jan 05, 2012 9:51 pm