Unexpected walk, due to road closure on Loch Lomond north of Tarbert. Meant Ben Vane was no longer possible. Been a long time since I had walked Beinn Narnain, pre-digital indeed, so decided to do the circuit if at all possible. I didn't want to go up the steep way though, so walked up the Cobbler path then walked up Beinn Narnain from the west. The path up was covered in patchy snow and plenty of ice as its usually wet. Managed to avoid putting spikes on till I got to the bealach where the path divided for the Cobbler and the two munros. From here it was carefully avoiding the ice on the path up to the top. Still good walking conditions, nothing too treacherous, snow only an inch or so deep and the ice was easy to see.
Loch Long & Cobbler by Joe Kincaid, on Flickr
At the top was a bit windy as you'd expect. Had passed quite a few people who'd come up the front and they all said it was doable even if a little bit of a scramble. So decided to give it a try for a different view on way back.
Spearhead & Cruach nam Miseag from top by Joe Kincaid, on Flickr
At the buttresses it is quite a drop looking down, but could see the footprints and took my time stepping down the track. Going between the buttresses was the steepest part, but there were other drops that required care further down.
Narnain buttress on descent by Joe Kincaid, on Flickr
Exhilarating stuff though and so glad I decided to do it. Looking back up to Spearhead from Cruach nam Miseag doesn't really give you a feel for what you've just done.
Got some shelter and had my late lunch. Hot soup for a change, lovely.
Loch Long from Cruach nam Miseag by Joe Kincaid, on Flickr
From here a few more steep drops to be negotiated and plenty of ice around. The spikes do their stuff though and I kept to grass as much as possible. The car park is visible and the trees to be walked through. Started to snow a little and the sky was getting heavier looking. Didn't hang around and dropped down as fast as I could safely go. Started to get wet and boggy near the top of the hydro line. Took my spikes off here on one of the blocks. The path is just a muddy stream all the way to the bottom, so not the greatest of walking after all the lovely snow. As with going up, it seems like you are never getting through the trees. The track is a welcome sign but still a bit to do and the path is literally in the burn from here. No ice though so some compensation. Relieved to finally hit the track and then the road. A great walk even if unexpected. In the car park, the snow came on a bit heavier. I'd made good time.
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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.