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All alone on Ben Vane

PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 10:12 pm
by Gargantuan Tribe
Starting from the visitor centre at Inveruglas, the whole day started out with a great view over Loch Lomond to Inversnaid hotel and then continued with a close-up look at Sloy power station. The peaks were all in cloud but I was hopeful (in vain as it transpired) that the strong breeze and the strengthening sun would soon clear the clouds away and so I set off under the railway in a most hopeful mood.
My good mood increased when I startled a deer in amongst a spruce plantation and when my destination peak came into view, although still shrouded in cloud at the top, I managed to feel even better about my prospects for the day. After a short fall into a stream which only dampened my spirits slightly (it was quite a humorous episode to be fair) I soon started on the very steep ascent. The going was tough but speedy and so before I knew it I was approaching 800m and the snow line was reached. Up until that point it had been quite good fun knowing that I was the first person of the day on the hill but with the path disguised by fresh snowfall the higher reaches soon became very difficult. A few deep breaths and a little bit of careful scouting meant that I soon found the way but it was still an extra challenge made even more testing by the thickening cloud cover. At the top, the marker cairn was fantastically decorated by swirling ice and snow patterns but the strong (and bitter) wind meant that it couldn't be enjoyed for long!
On the descent I found a better path, and probably the best one, which was easier to see from above and then followed my bootprints from the way up, although I did eventually cross paths with a fellow walker who was then going to enjoy the peak all to themselves. To finish off my day I spotted some heath milkwort, round-leaved sundew and butterwort along the side of the forestry track at the base of the hill, before a refreshing cup of tea from the cafe at Inveruglas car park.

Re: All alone on Ben Vane

PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 11:30 pm
by Gavin Canavan
Great report, sounds like you had a lovely day and it’s good that the cloud and icy winds didn’t dampen your spirits; I'm hoping to do this hill in a few weeks, get some photos up! :)

Re: All alone on Ben Vane

PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 11:58 pm
by weescotsman
Did this one yesterday in glorious sunshine and a light breeze, didn't even see a whiff of snow so must have fresh overnight. For all that it's the smallest munro in terms of height, it's not the easiest with the party I was in taking several breaks due to the steep ascent. Glad to have got it out of the way.....