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On The Culture Beat With Mr (Ben) Vane.

On The Culture Beat With Mr (Ben) Vane.


Postby ScottishLeaf » Thu May 10, 2012 1:15 am

Route description: Ben Vane, from Inveruglas

Munros included on this walk: Ben Vane

Date walked: 06/05/2012

Time taken: 4.75 hours

Distance: 11.5 km

Ascent: 915m

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After our "Off Piste" adventure on Ben Vorlich the previous weekend, I was keen to return to Loch Lomondside and bag the only Arrochar Munro we hadn't bagged, Ben Vane.
The reports on this site seemed very promising for a short, but a fairly hard going day out on the mountain.

So with a partly cloudy sky above us, but with the sun just about breaking through the red Astra was once again streaking westwards from Super Stenny, this time for Inveruglas.
We arrived to a half full car park and were outwalking for 12 noon. The car park has nice views down Loch Lomond and to Ben Lomond.

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The first part of the walk is very easy alongside the A82, passing Sloy Hydro Power Station, and then on to a tarmac access road. The wee road branches and the left hand route is followed. Once you are passed the electricity sub-station, the views become clear of pylons and cables and up ahead Ben Vane encourages you up the road.

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Then you cross the second bridge on the left handside to get to Ben Vane. (We somehow found ourselves crossing the first bridge and walking into a farm before we realised our mistake and had to back track to the road!) The first pic is the wrong bridge!

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After crossing the bridge the tarmac road becomes the more usual stoney Forrestry Commision type access road and a short way after the bridge a natural rocky "layby" appears on the right hand side of the road and this is where the path leaves the road to head up the mountain. The path isn't too obvious at first as it rounds a large boulder and then dips down over some really boggy ground and crossing a small stream. (However we discovered this can be avoided if you continue a few yard further along the Forrestry Commision path, cross a small stone bridge over the stream and then walk steeply up the lowest part of the ridge up Ben Vane. This way then re-joins the path immediately after the bog.)

After the bog is a nice flat section and a couple with a baby, slung in a specially adapted rucksack-like carrier had stopped here to enjoy the sun that was now shining. (They obviously start their hillwalking careers early by Loch Lomond!) We walked a little further on and stopped for a breather on a little promontory just before the main part of the ascent. Where the views across to east Ben Vorlich and south to A'Chrois were particularly impressive.

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As soon as we began the main ascent, we realised the reports of Ben Vane's steepness were not exaggerated, it may be small, but it seems to just rise straight up. However, adding to the difficulty in ascending the mountain is terrible state of the path. It is serverely erroded in places and it makes the footing in some places unsteady and tricky, especially on the stoney sections.

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After a little scrambly/steppy bit the first false summit is soon reached and the views down over Loch Sloy and Ben Vorlich become more impressive and a rather precariously positioned boulder makes a good vantage point!

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From here up the path eases off a little and isn't quite so erroded for a short spell, before more rocky, scrambly, steppy bits must be negotiated before another false summit is reached. At some point on the climb up, the angle of ascent allows brief glimpses to the north towards Bens Lui and Oss etc.

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After the second false summit it's more of the same, rocky and slightly scrambly in places over the eroded path, but the gradient isn't as steep until just below the summit you come to a steep slab of rock that must be scrambled up to reach the top.

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For some reason there are two cairns at the top, but no trig point. One cairn lies near southern the edge of the summit plateau and the other is nearer the centre. We touched both, but I think the one in the centre is just a wee thing higher.

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After the mandatory cairn shots, we exited stage right and sat just off the summit, enjoying the views over towards Beinns Narnain and Ime and The Cobbler.

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Not long after we reached the summit, Mum, Dad and baby reached the top and I have to say fair play to Dad for carrying such a precious load all the way Ben Vane in double quick time.... and they overtook us on the way back down as well!

On the descent down, back down the same route, care is needed on the multitude of loose rocks on the path, especially on the steep and scrambly sections, but the views ahead to Bens Lomond and Venue and to Lochs Lomond, Arklet and Katrine are fantastic.

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However, despite Ben Vane's charms, if I had time only to do one Munro in Arrochar I think either Narnain or Vorlich would be my preference.

PS If you're not a 90's child and don't get the title reference follow this link below
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cvgUdrzGNys
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ScottishLeaf
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Re: On The Culture Beat With Mr (Ben) Vane.

Postby SMRussell » Thu May 10, 2012 9:20 am

Love the name of this report - I arrived kicking and screaming in the mid-80s so I got it straight away. Our last hike involved a rendition of Coolieo's "Gangsta's Paradise" in the morning and Adventures Of Stevie V "Dirty Cash (Money Talks)" in the afternoon.

Ben Vane sounds grand - I love a steep hill when my fitness is up :D

Not sure about carrying a baby up an eroded path and a scramble but at least the conditions were good!
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Re: On The Culture Beat With Mr (Ben) Vane.

Postby morag1 » Thu May 10, 2012 6:17 pm

Another great day in the hills ans some great photos there :D

not sure about carrying a baby up there either, did your dad have a carrier on his back ?
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Re: On The Culture Beat With Mr (Ben) Vane.

Postby quoman » Thu May 10, 2012 7:31 pm

Another good report SL
you and your brother will have to get oot of your bed's earlier this longlie is no good :lol: :lol:
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Re: On The Culture Beat With Mr (Ben) Vane.

Postby Rossaldo » Fri May 11, 2012 12:15 pm

The guy had a baby carrier thing strapped tightly to his back, it has a small cover as well to keep the sun off the face of the baby. It was strange seeing someone take such a risk though. Ben Vane is easy, it was dry and a good day for walking but the hill has plenty of loose rocks and soil on it that could make anyone slip and fall.

I mean Scottishleaf managed to end up on his backside (again)
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Re: On The Culture Beat With Mr (Ben) Vane.

Postby BoyVertiginous » Fri May 11, 2012 2:11 pm

Rossaldo wrote:The guy had a baby carrier thing strapped tightly to his back, it has a small cover as well to keep the sun off the face of the baby. It was strange seeing someone take such a risk though. Ben Vane is easy, it was dry and a good day for walking but the hill has plenty of loose rocks and soil on it that could make anyone slip and fall.

I mean Scottishleaf managed to end up on his backside (again)

Was it such a risk? Sounds like they'd assessed the risk reasonably and had the baby in an appropriate carrier (probably strapped in, as well as "tightly" on), protected from sun/wind and were on an "easy", snow and ice-free hill rather than, for example, an exposed ridge. Were they inappropriately dressed for it?

I think it's probably safer with a baby securely on your back (having taken appropriate precautions to reduce the main risks of cold, sun/heat &/or a fall), than a toddler or young child running around freely on a hillside or ridge with little or no perception of hazard/risk.

It's good for families to be out on the hills, as long as they are prepared and having a child(ren) need not mean putting life on hold (though it might often seem that way :roll: ).
Last edited by BoyVertiginous on Fri May 11, 2012 2:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: On The Culture Beat With Mr (Ben) Vane.

Postby BoyVertiginous » Fri May 11, 2012 2:11 pm

Just my tuppence worth.
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Re: On The Culture Beat With Mr (Ben) Vane.

Postby ScottishLeaf » Sat Jun 02, 2012 8:45 pm

Not been on the site since I wrote this. Agree with BoyVertiginous. The child did look safe and Vane isn't exactly a knife edge ridge walk! Only the last wee bit, just before the summit would've given any cause for concern. I was just amazed at the pace they managed to set!

What was more concerning to me was how badly erroded the path is up Vane, it's clearly in need of some attention, before it becomes a scar.
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