walkhighlands

Share your personal walking route experiences in Scotland, and comment on other peoples' reports.
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.

Ime Scared!

Ime Scared!


Postby Rossco » Sun Aug 19, 2012 1:37 pm

Route description: Beinn Narnain and Beinn Ime

Munros included on this walk: Beinn Ime

Date walked: 17/10/2011

Time taken: 4.5 hours

Distance: 6.4 km

Ascent: 945m

Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).

I'd wanted to climb Beinn Ime for a while as I failed to do it the same day I completed my first Munro; Beinn Narnain, as I had to limp back to the car with an injury cutting the walk short. Ever since then, I've always thought of it as the one that got away and it was time to right that on this wild day in October.

I had been checking the weather for a few days before the walk and realised there was going to be a lot of snow around the Loch Lomond area. Seeing as I'd only started walking a few months before, I hadn't been out in the snow yet so thought this would be the perfect chance to acclimatise myself to it before some real snow came later on in the year. So armed with not a lot more than my usual summer walking gear I (stupidly) headed out into the unknown.

Rather than head up the same route as before from Succoth, past the Narnain Boulders, I decided to attack Beinn Ime from another angle to mix it up a bit. So I opted to start from a layby near Butterbridge at the other side of this group of hills and follow the Allt Beinn Ime up the majority of the way.

It was absolutely pelting it down when I started. Just the kind of crazy weather I love but NO SNOW! :( I wasn't too happy about this but the forecast did say it was to start later in the afternoon so my hopes were still high and off I went. There is a gate and dirt track to follow for a short way from the road which quickly leads to the river.

Image
Easy start - Beinn Ime (1011m) by Rossco 7, on Flickr

Image
Cross the fence by Rossco 7, on Flickr

Image
Beinn Ime (1011m) and the Allt Beinn Ime by Rossco 7, on Flickr

After getting so far following the river, the ground started to level out slightly and I could see up to the Bealach a' Mhargaidh which is where I would descend from. I'd ascent from the north side though so headed left here aiming towards Glas Bhealach higher up.

The cloud had been low all day and wasn't moving so when looking straight ahead I couldn't see the top of Ime and when looking back to the amazing Beinn an Lochain, I couldn't see much of that either. But the views now were fantastic compared to what would come later!

By this point, I could faintly see the start of some snow up the top. It didn't look like much but I was excited at the thought of how much could fall over the next few hours.

Image
Bealach a' Mhargaidh by Rossco 7, on Flickr

Image
No easy way up Beinn Ime (1011m) by Rossco 7, on Flickr

Image
Split Rock by Rossco 7, on Flickr

Image
Up towards Glas Bhealach by Rossco 7, on Flickr

The higher up I got towards Glas Bhealach the more ferocious the wind and rain became. I was soaked right through by now and was feeling a bit dejected as the snow just hadn't materialised as I'd hoped for so I took shelter in a crack between some large rock formations and gathered the strength to push on further. It's at these points in the walk I sometimes wonder to myself "What the hell am I doing up here!?” I could be sitting at home all warm and dry but where is the fun in that!

So after a minute or two of self-doubt hiding between these rocks, I got back on my feet and powered on. Within minutes I'd reached Glas Bhealach to be met finally with some well overdue snow! :D This was what I ventured out for today. I was surrounded by the brilliant white shine of falling and lying snow on the ground. So much so that I could barely see where I was going anymore so the map and compass were out and needed to see me safely to the top.

By the time I finally reached the summit, the snow was really coming down and was several inches thick all over. I took a walk over to the second summit just to say I'd been there then went back to the real one to have my lunch taking cover from the cold wind behind the summit shelter and built a small snowman to keep me company.

Image
A place to shelter by Rossco 7, on Flickr

Image
Snow inbound by Rossco 7, on Flickr

Image
At the summit of Beinn Ime (1011m) by Rossco 7, on Flickr

Image
Me on Beinn Ime (1011m) by Rossco 7, on Flickr

Image
Secondary summit on Beinn Ime by Rossco 7, on Flickr

Image
Summit snowman by Rossco 7, on Flickr

The next hour or so was where the realisation of just how dangerous the hills can be when you aren't prepared for or used to walking in tricky conditions. I had always planned to go south west off the summit for a while until I reached the area of the map marked with Bealach a' Mhargaidh as it looked a fairly easy descent going by the contour lines and then I could follow some of the streams back to where I peeled off on my original descent.

For some reason I didn't do this though. Whether it was being too cocky and not realising how steep the ground I was on was or just plain stupidity I'm not sure but I pretty much headed straight down the west face of Beinn Ime without going very far south first to reduce the steepness of my descent. Before long I was clambering around rocks covered in snow descending some really steep ground all with terribly low visibility and no crampons or ice axe for safety.

I kept checking back to my GPS to make sure I was going the right way but looking back now I would probably have been safer to just bail left and head south following the contour of the hill until it wasn't such a steep decline. But I didn't do that, I kept going straight down as slow and as carefully as possible.

The snow at this side of the hill wasn't as thick as on my ascent and was quite slushy now too so it was hard to keep grip with my non winter boots! I slipped a few times but quickly adjusted to save myself. This gave me quite a fright but I was determined to get down so kept going with even more care but then out of the blue I lost my footing completely on what I think ended up being some loose scree. I'm trying not to exaggerate here for dramatic effect, I've went over this in my head quite a lot but I slid at least 30ft downhill with no control at all to stop myself. 30ft might not seem a lot but when the ground is that steep and the snow that slushy, you travel very fast on your bum straight downhill! I had one walking pole with me that day which I managed to dig in and help bring myself to a stop along with the slope easing at that particular section. It really was a lucky escape as there were still large rocks and steep drops all around me this high up. I'm still not sure how I managed to stop so fast but a lesson was learnt that day.

For someone who takes a lot of photos when up the hills I didn't take any from the summit until well after that fall as I was just so focused on getting down and also a bit shaken up at the time. The further I got down towards the path I was previously on at the start of the day, the snow eventually started to clear which pleased me greatly!

Image
Escaping the snow by Rossco 7, on Flickr

Image
Almost back on green grass by Rossco 7, on Flickr

When I was near the bottom, I looked back to see what I had done that day. Beinn Ime was covered in snow from head to toe and none of the hills around seemed to have much on them in comparison apart from Beinn Luibhean beside me. It really was as if I got what I wished for that day with my own personal snow storm

Image
Beinn Ime (1011m) covered in snow by Rossco 7, on Flickr

Image
Beinn Luibhean (858m) by Rossco 7, on Flickr

I continued down back to the road the same way I came up which was very uneventful just as I had hoped for after the last hour or so! I was on the north side of the river though this time for a bit of variety and couldn't find anywhere to cross it the whole way down. I got to the bottom a few hundred yards past where I parked the car and still couldn't find anywhere to cross so just walked through it with my boots still on, desperate to finish the day and get home! I took a video of me walking through it but thought I better not show it here as there was some choice language when the freezing cold water filled into my boots as I waded through! :lol:

All in all, a scary yet enjoyable day in the hills that I have taken valuable lessons from and hope others do too if they plan on taking their first steps in the snow this winter. Be prepared!


Beinn-Ime.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts



Beinn Ime Profile.png


http://www.everytrail.com/view_trip.php?trip_id=1330319
User avatar
Rossco
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 183
Munros:129   Corbetts:12
Grahams:6   Donalds:4
Sub 2000:7   
Joined: Apr 18, 2011
Location: Stirling, Scotland

Re: Ime Scared!

Postby dogplodder » Sun Aug 19, 2012 1:55 pm

That's quite a story and good of you to share as it's a situation all too easy to get into. It must have felt more scary being on your own too. Good thing you had your pole to stop yourself on your 30 foot slide! :shock:
User avatar
dogplodder
 
Posts: 3676
Munros:231   Corbetts:57
Grahams:17   
Sub 2000:25   Hewitts:5
Wainwrights:9   Islands:23
Joined: Jul 16, 2011

Re: Ime Scared!

Postby Stuart Angus » Sun Aug 19, 2012 5:46 pm

That's the exact route I took for Ime..............the first time me and my buddy got blown off the Glas Beahlach, (and I do mean lifted and blown about 30 feet) so I know from experience how windy it can get there..........managed to get up it a couple of weeks later though........without the wind that time let alone snow :D
User avatar
Stuart Angus
 
Posts: 288
Munros:81   Corbetts:6
Grahams:3   Donalds:2
Sub 2000:8   Hewitts:3
Wainwrights:4   
Joined: May 3, 2011
Location: Glasgow

Re: Ime Scared!

Postby Rossco » Wed Aug 22, 2012 11:02 pm

Yeah I toyed with the idea of not being so honest as it's embarrassing to say how stupid I was. But it's entertaining to read and will hopefully be a lesson to other people. :)
User avatar
Rossco
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 183
Munros:129   Corbetts:12
Grahams:6   Donalds:4
Sub 2000:7   
Joined: Apr 18, 2011
Location: Stirling, Scotland

Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).



Walkhighlands community forum is advert free

We need help to keep the site online.
Can you help support Walkhighlands and the online community by setting up a monthly donation by direct debit?



Return to Walk reports - Scotland

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: MJ Miller and 23 guests