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My First Two-Pac!

My First Two-Pac!


Postby ScottishLeaf » Tue Apr 03, 2012 2:07 am

Route description: Beinn Narnain and Beinn Ime

Munros included on this walk: Beinn Ime, Beinn Narnain

Date walked: 01/04/2012

Time taken: 6 hours

Distance: 13.5 km

Ascent: 1325m

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So having wrapped up three of the easier Munros in the past couple of weeks, myself and my brother decided we'd challenge ourselves a bit more this weekend and go for two, possibly three hills and grab our first multi-hill trip and the first one that wasn't 'return by the same route.'

So we headed out from the Land of Milk Honey into the Wild, Wild, Wild West and an hour later we were pulling up in the famous carpark in Arrochar. Grabbing the second last space, we were out walking by 11:30am.

The route starts off on the Cobbler path, but almost immediately branches steeply off to the right, heading almost directly up the hill. It's a bit of a cheek to call it a path, it's more like a stream bed and even after all the dry days we've had recently there was still water flowing down it, but thanks to the route description on here and the concrete blocks left over from the old funicular tramway, we knew we were on the right path. (Wouldn't it have been so much easier had they kept the tramway?? :lol: ) In places these blocks made it easier to negotiate the path and others they were just down right in the way!!

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As we climbed on a bit the hill eased off a little and became more grassy and we found railway sleepers half buried under soil. Soon the path was narrowing and we were climbing over rockier ground again and for the first time on our travels we got to a section where you had to use your hands and scramble a little bit... it was rather good fun!

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At this point, as we looked back, we began to see Ben Lomond appear over the top of Ben Reoch and soon after Loch Lomond could be seen too. Off to our left was Ben Vorlich and the view down Loch Long is why people pay so much money to come here! Could Ben Narnain topple Ben Venue as my favourite? It was getting close, already.

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We were just settling off after a pit stop to take some photos of Arrochar etc when we got to another really narrow gully.. more hands on action...brilliant!

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I was thoroughly enjoying this, then came a boggy bit, but it was only short and the path became strong again in no time. To make sure we weren't too down, Beinn Narnain granted us our first views of The Cobbler over to our left. Only thing was, the top was almost completely shrouded in cloud. :( But after several dismal attempts to get a picture I finally got something approaching a decent shot, of what seems like Scotland's best loved wee mountain.

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Beinn Narnain was doing it's best to keep us occupied, keeping our minds focused on it and not it's more illustrious neighbour nextdoor. Another rocky section loomed in front of us, but was easily passed. Looking back from here, we could now see Lochs Arklet and Katrine in the distance and beside Katrine, standing tall, my favourite, Ben Venue!

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A little further up on top of Cruach nam Miseag we finally got our first real view of Narnain proper, looking like a gigantic dinosaur with rocky armour all over it's back.

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From here the path is easy and actually descents a wee bit, before you have to climb another narrow section again, getting the hands dirty once more. The path narrows here, and there is quite a drop off to the left, but as you round the corner, you are presented with The Spearhead. Having been on the lookout for it all the way up, it just suddenly seemed to be there.

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For me the path almost wastes it, because it leads your eye and you can just make out the narrow opening to the gully that leads you past, but it must've been some sight for the first explorers up here. What I also didn't realise here was how close I was to the top, as this little bit was very sheltered and protecting us from the worst of the wind, which had been picking up all of the time we were climbing.

With the Spearhead to our backs, the view was of the quick way down.

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We made our way through the narrow gully at the side of The Spearhead

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And then the wind battered us! So ducked back down in the last part of the gully and had a quick bite to eat and drink, before braving the wind. Turning left at the top the gully we were on the edge of the summit plateau and quickly covered the boulder strewn ground to touch the trig point. We were disappointed at the summit as the clag had looked to have been avoiding Narnain and our path up had been mist free, but it wasn't to be and more was to come.

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I think Narnain has had the largest and flattest summit area of the hills we have climbed and because of the clag, it took us a wee second to get our bearing for the onward push to Beinn Ime, wary of any potential drops that we couldn't see in the fog. However, we made it and off we set.
If we had come up through the front door to Narnain, the back door wasn't anywhere near as interesting and people who climb up from the Ben Ime/Cobbler side are missing all the fun in the mountain!

We were soon over the boulders, under the cloud, and down to the bealach in about 45 minutes, but still we couldn't get a decent shot of The Cobbler off to our left and the top of Beinn Ime was also submerged in white. So with the time about 2.30pm we weren't sure whether Ime would be a good idea. However we saw a fellow walker coming down off Ime and he told us we'd be able to do it in good time, "as it's not wet today. About 70 minutes at most." He was only the third person we had seen all day, having previously been overtaken by a couple on the way up Narnain. He then set off the way we had just descended.

I'm going to give Ime the benefit of the doubt here, it seemed to be more affected by the clag, but where Narnain had kept us occupied and enthralled on the way up, Ime was just a feature-less grassy slope, only punctuated by the odd boggy patch... and this was where it became obvious about the "wet" speach. Due to the dry weather, most of the boggy bits were just soft soil, spongey or a little soggy. I don't fancy this approach on a sodden wet day, you be better packing flippers and swimming up! Also, in the midst of all the clag, course finding wasn't easy and also the path kept disappearing at the boggy sections. So, we were a little slower than our friend's 70 minute prediction, then we made a diddy error. In the mist we stopped by a big rock, with a little side peak just above us to finish our rations. We didn't realise the real summit was only about another 5 minutes walk past the side summit! D'oh! In clear weather we wouldn't have stopped, but hay ho!

When we arrived two walkers had beaten us to the summit,they had come up one of the steeper sides. They took our photo, then took a bearing and headed off in the opposite direction of Beinn Narnairn and The Cobbler, "trying to squeeze another one in before dark!" Beinn Chorranach I think they were heading for.


After these two gents set off, we prepared to take my obligatory cup of tea at the summit pic.
When we realised the summit cairn had been knocked over inside it's wee protective wall, so me and my brothers set about repairing it and building it back up to a decent height. More befitting of the Highest of the Arrochar Alps!

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Hope you like our handy work!

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This time it was back down by the same route, although once again we struggled to keep to the path in the fog and were heading towards a steep drop off Coire Croe. When Beinn Narnain saved the day by breaking through the fog just enough to provide us with a course correction and steer us away from the coire. We quickly rejoined the main path coming down from the cobbler, but with the fog growing thicker and daylight fadding, we kept The Cobbler for another day. Short work was made of the path back to Arrochar but, still without a good Cobbler picture :shock: :twisted:
But I did get one of Ben Narnain and his Left Hand Man, Arthur, with their heads in the clouds.

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The views down Loch Long were just a spectacular now, as they were when we started out, with the sunlight glinting off the Loch.

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Having thoroughly enjoyed our day, especially up Beinn Narnain, we saw a young deer foraging through the undergrowth, just yards from the A road. A perfect end to a good wee day out. I think Ben Venue keeps it's place as my no.1, but only just!

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ScottishLeaf
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Re: My First Two-Pac!

Postby Klaasloopt » Tue Apr 03, 2012 6:19 am

Interesting report, informative too.
You are so right: the other side of Narnain is very very dull compared to this, I missed something!
And keep up the 'not the same way back'-approach.
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Klaasloopt
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Re: My First Two-Pac!

Postby quoman » Tue Apr 03, 2012 10:56 am

Good report there ScottishLeaf,

Stenhousemuir. look out your livingroom window and you will see me number 24 :lol: :lol: well done to you and the brother.
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quoman
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Re: My First Two-Pac!

Postby ScottishLeaf » Tue Apr 03, 2012 10:55 pm

Quoman - ha ha! Walking neighbours! :lol:
You're in a different league from us though... 105 Munros :shock: :clap:
We're just starting out, but the three of us are enjoying it so far.
Thinking of doing Mayar and Dreish next, the reports on here, from there seem great.

Klaas - Thanks very much, we're intending to as much as possible :)
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ScottishLeaf
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Posts: 355
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Re: My First Two-Pac!

Postby quoman » Wed Apr 04, 2012 3:45 pm

ScottishLeaf wrote:Quoman - ha ha! Walking neighbours! :lol:
You're in a different league from us though... 105 Munros :shock: :clap:
We're just starting out, but the three of us are enjoying it so far.
Thinking of doing Mayar and Dreish next, the reports on here, from there seem great.

Klaas - Thanks very much, we're intending to as much as possible :)



No not really just get out most weekends, you will love these two hills what a view as you come through the tree's into coirre fee.
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quoman
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Re: My First Two-Pac!

Postby ScottishLeaf » Thu Apr 05, 2012 12:21 am

Definitely doing Mayar and Dreish the weekend after next. I'll be down in Nottingham this weekend, don't think they even have a bump down there never mind a Munro or a Hewitt!
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ScottishLeaf
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