After my last trip, up the Cobbler i was keen to return to the Arrochar Alps. Mainly because im learning to drive and therefore need mountains which are accessible by public transport. The target this time was Beinn Narnain and Beinn Ime. It looked like a real test seeing as i haven't done a munro for over two years. I was checking the weather on an daily basis and saturday looked fine… met office website even allows you to search for forecast by mountain and they said that it would feel like -10 with snow on the top of Beinn Narnain! I wasn't too bothered about that, but invested in an ice axe anyway, if nothing else it would look cool on rucksack.
The day began with a wardrobe malfunction. Wearing my old fleece trousers which i used to wear as an 18 year old was a bad idea. The belt wouldn't do up and then the flies burst so i was walking up through glasgow to the bus station with trousers gaping open. I wondered why everyone was looking at me. I thought they were admiring my ice axe!
Anyway onto the route. Took the route up the old path over the concrete blocks. Jeezo its a killer, sweat was lashing off me by the time i got out the trees and i stopped to take in the view (and mend my trousers). It was a lovely day and the views to a snow dusted Ben Lomond were fantastic.
It is a relentless ascent, but the views to The Cobbler made it interesting. Soon Beinn Narnain was in view and there was a lot of snow on the rock… whoo hoo, im gonna use my ice axe! The scramble up the spearhead was brilliant, a lot of hard packed snow and a few flurries in the air made for an alpine feel to the climb. Good, exciting scrambling. I was up to the top in three hours, and walked across the summit plateaux occasionally disappearing up to my thighs in snow. Stopped and had lunch at the cairn, it wasnt cold at all, quite balmy actually. And what a view! To the south Ailsa Craig and panning round to the west Arran, Islay, Jura and Mull. To the south east Ben Lomond looked superb, and the mountains around Tyndrum, particularly Ben Lui were covered with snow above 700m.
Beinn Lui from Beinn Narnain by Christopher Swan, on Flickr
I then had the debate of whether to head on to Ime or head back down, there was a lot of snow on the top and the weather seemed to be changing. Headed down to the bealach between Narnain and the Cobbler and decided that it would just be the one mountain today (a combination of sore knees, snow and bus timetables).
Strolled back down the path to Succoth in a couple of hours, stopping for numerous breaks as the sun was out now and the Cobbler looked fantastic!
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Warning Please note that hillwalking when there is snow lying requires an ice-axe, crampons and the knowledge, experience and skill to use them correctly. Summer routes may not be viable or appropriate in winter. See winter information on our skills and safety pages for more information.