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Lost in Mist - My Humour, My Dignity and Direction.
by SassenachCelt » Tue Sep 24, 2013 8:27 pm
Route description: Beinn Narnain and Beinn Ime
Munros included on this walk: Beinn Narnain
Date walked: 21/09/2013
Time taken: 7.5 hours3 people think this report is great. Register or Login free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).
Oh what is it about those Arrochar Alps? - every time I go into the Succoth Car Park am I going to face a pea soup of mist! One day, perhaps, one day, I tell myself quietly. Determined to ascend the hill from the Arrochar side of the hill and following my map, we sought Muriel's 'M25 motorway' track to find instead a rocky, muddy waterfall of a route through some woodland which rose steeply ahead of us. Claire gambolled up the hill ahead of my more tortoise-like pace as the scrambling started before the tree line was cleared.
The hill was enveloped in a sea of fog ahead and it was clear that this was going to be a challenge to navigate in the mist and drizzle, not helped by the autumnal nip to the air. As a novice in map reading and navigation, this would prove to be a trying and sobering experience. Stopping for any length of time was turning me cold and draining my vigour, confidence and temperature.
I fell heavily in the by now boggy ground on the ascent - it was not the last fall or slip I would make on the day which drained my last vestiges of humour as my trusty old right boot began to let in water. It was difficult to tell the difference between Creag Na Fhithich and Cruach nam Miseag as false summit followed false summit - The only thing I had to guide me was the path beneath my feet. Which when is was firm and rocky was my friend but when marshy and wet was a curse.
By the time we reached the buttress of The Spearhead, which I'd been looking forward to with the great picture in the walk descriptor on this site, I was miserable, humourless and really just going through the motions. Claire was, in complete contrast, really enjoying herself , stopping for a photo on some indistinguishable cairn - which we thought was the top of Narnain at the time - .....
only for more craggy peaks appear like shark fins out of the misty skies. I thought back to Muriel's comments about the false summits and began to curse her cheery pixie face - (Sorry Muriel) Eventually after some more scrambling we reached the cairn at the summit of Beinn Narnain
The obligatory summit photos taken we then had to negotiate through thick fog how to get off the summit and down to the Bealach a' Mhaim. The night before the walk I had done some bearings and we quickly found the top of the path. What we soon found though is that the path is indistinct in parts, especially in the conditions we were attempting it in. As the drizzle started to cloud my vision through my glasses, I started to slip even on the stony ground. I was now unable to continue with my glasses on. slowing me down further. As the slopes became softer and boggier on the lower slopes I started to spend as much time on my bahookie as on my feet,
I started to throw my dummy out the pram on the third or fourth fall on my behind and tell anyone aloud - but mostly Claire - I am never gonna do this again. Having lost confidence in where I was on the descent and without distinguishing feature to orientate myself - we found ourselves at the fence at the foot of Beinn Ime. My bad mood was complete.
Thankfully some voices came through the gloom and we meet some walkers descending the slopes of Beinn Ime, en route to Narnain. Under their expert guidance they helped us find the junction of the paths back down the glen between the now invisible Narnairn to our left and The Cobbler to our right.
At last I had the end in sight and the walk down the path gave me time to reflect on the day and the events. My mood improved and after taking off the wet socks/boots/shirts and replacing with the dry clothes in my bag I started to think that this was just a bad day on the hills. Over a pint of lager shandy I apologised to Claire for being a grumpy bugger and we started to plan out next walk. Which Munro should we try? This revival I can only put down to the enthusiasm of Claire who had a brilliant day.
Today I learnt a great lesson - the weather is always to be treated with respect but you have to expect changes - but the challenge of climbing a hill in the worst weather makes the good days on the hills all that better.
by celt54321 » Thu Sep 26, 2013 6:19 pm
by SassenachCelt » Thu Oct 03, 2013 3:46 pm
celt54321 wrote:well done celt for getting to the top in crap conditions i was lucky wene doing this hill and ime,it was so hot i was dipping my hat in all the wee burns just to keep cool.with the autum upon us your sure to get some nice crisp days with great visability .hope you have better conditions for your next trip.
Thanks for taking the time to read through my pain in the Arrochar Alps. It has not deterred me - next stop Ben Vane but thankfully from the Inveruglas Car Park
by Silverhill » Thu Oct 03, 2013 6:17 pm
Glad you haven't been put off! I'm looking forward to your next report.
by PeteR » Sat Oct 05, 2013 11:12 am
Well done for making the summit though I once descended via your route up. Oh how I got (very) wet. I might have given up at the time if I'd been going up that way, so hats off to you
by SassenachCelt » Fri Jun 20, 2014 4:34 pm
Thanks for your encouragement - have now ticked off 11 of these Munros - but support is always needed in online and IRL terms