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The Cobbler - a walk in the snow dome

The Cobbler - a walk in the snow dome

Postby jaybee » Mon May 07, 2012 3:40 pm

Route description: The Cobbler, Arrochar

Corbetts included on this walk: The Cobbler

Date walked: 07/05/2012

Distance: 11 km

Ascent: 884m

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After last weekend’s success on Ben Lomond, we decided to take the advice of some of those who read our report and try out the Arrochar Alps. Like many others, I had viewed the distinctive outline of The Cobbler from the road to Oban and had also eyed it up from the summit of Ben Lomond.

So, The Cobbler it was and as it was a Bank Holiday weekend, decided it should be a reasonably early start.
09.00 saw us parked up at Succoth, eating cold bacon sandwiches in the car.
This car park is now pay and display but only asked £1 to park all day. Happy to pay that!

We followed many other walkers up the switchback of a path through the forest, enjoying the improving views back to Loch Long and Ben Lomond as we gained height.

View back down Loch Long

Ben Lomond and the route of last week's walk

We could clearly see the route we had taken last week. It was warm in the trees with little or no wind so T-shirt weather to start.

We reached the Narnain boulders and stopped for a coffee break. It would appear that many others had done the same thing and not all of them had taken their rubbish home with them, just stuffed it under the rocks. :thumbdown: At this point, we walked into what resembled the inside of a snow dome – swirling flakes of snow, hints of blue skies and a cooling breeze. Coats on and we walked on with the wind straight into our faces. Cool.

Outline of The Cobbler through the snowstorm

We had decided to walk up to the lochain and go up the “back” of The Cobbler. The lochain shown on the map is just a boggy hollow but the diversion of the paths was clear. At this point, the walkers we had been following / that had been following us just seemed to disperse and we had the climb almost to ourselves. Apart from one very fit, very young lady who swiftly passed us on the stairs and disappeared from sight.

As we rounded the corner and the summit came into view, so the weather cleared up and the sun was out again. Carried on up the eroded path until we reached the col. I thought the faint path straight down the other side was our elected path down – decided we would just re-trace our steps. We carried on to the central summit and watched a group of walkers spurring each other on to reach the top of the summit rocks and thread the needle. Several managed the threading but no-one stood on the top. Decided this wasn’t for us so found some shelter for our lunch away from the crowds and out of the wind.

View from the summit - weather approaching

More views

Sunshine and showers over Ben Ime

Time to leave the top before this lot hits

Watched the weather approaching and decided to descend. On the way back down, we checked out the place where people had been appearing from with increasing regularity during our lunch stop. It was then that we noticed the huge cairn marking the true path down. Deceptively easy with steps at first, this was a fairly challenging descent if you have legs as short as mine. It was also hailing and snowing heavily so care required. We did find a couple of alternative paths around the steepest gullies. People coming up this way were also struggling and the rocks were now wet which wasn’t helping. At one point I wasn’t sure if I was in a stream or on a path.
It was a relief to reach the easy, almost flat path at the bottom of the gully. From here it was an easy stroll back down by the burn and through the trees. The path was now very busy with those returning and with those just going up. Had our final coffee on the bench at the top of the initial switchback, enjoying the view across to Ben Lomond for one final time.

Thanks to those who suggested this hill, enjoyed today and the area. As we get fitter we will go for more mileage but today was just about right. The only aching muscles today are the arm and shoulder ones used to lower me and my rucksack down the rocky gullies – not something I have much call for usually.
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Re: The Cobbler - a walk in the snow dome

Postby alfie » Mon May 07, 2012 3:56 pm

hi jaybee, really enjoyed that report!some great photos too!well done! :D
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Re: The Cobbler - a walk in the snow dome

Postby Merry-walker » Mon May 07, 2012 4:59 pm

Excellent!! We were up here yesterday :D :D My most favourite hill in the whole universe. We got the snow and hail stones and found the last bit really hard but OMG fantastic hill.

Great photographs, they look like I could have taken them :lol: :lol: :lol:

Cracking effort. Bet it didn't take you 8 hours like it did us :shock:
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