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Beinn Ime - and why they are called the Arrochar Alps

Beinn Ime - and why they are called the Arrochar Alps

Postby Stevie Foster » Thu Mar 18, 2010 12:52 am

Route description: Beinn Narnain and Beinn Ìme

Munros included on this walk: Beinn Ìme, Beinn Narnain

Date walked: 01/03/2010

Time taken: 8 hours

Distance: 15 km

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Beinn Ime
1011metres - 3317 feet
Chose this walk as it was located a relative short drive from Glasgow and I always wanted to walk the Arrochar Alps in the snow and Beinn Ime was one in particular I always had in mind. The day was looking promising, the sun was up and the skies were clear blue, and I was getting really excited in the car on the drive up. Was this too good to be true I pondered, as over the last year every climb we did apart from one, mi amigo Isaac and I had endured blizzards, driving rain and misty low cloud on all our ventures into the mountains. Isaac wasn’t going to hold his breath though as we headed out of Glasgow, but I was being a bit more optimistic. Having checked and rechecked all the weather forecast sites, I was ecstatic like all my lottery numbers had all come up and was in a state of disbelief of the chance of a clear day.
Ben Ime 2010012.JPG
Me on path with view of Matterhorn - Sorry The Cobbler

Started from the car park ideally situated at the beginning of the walk on the banks of Loch Long facing Arrochar. You pay a small fee for a ticket but it is worth it for the days parking. Cross the road and it leads you to the start of the walk. The first part of this walk always gets my heart pumping and after about twenty minutes I was sweating like a ... and stripping off all the layers I had put on anticipating a cold frosty start with a chill wind. The jacket , the fleece, the neck scarf etc – it was all creating a big pile in the middle of the path as 2 other walkers passed by – I smiled – they gave me a strange stare, as unknown to me Isaac had just jokingly told them out of my earshot that I was the 'naked munroist' just getting prepared. HaHaHa. I wondered why they bolted up ahead of us so quickly!!! Now down to my merino wool T., shades on and a slurp of water, I felt more comfortable now and ready to get going as the sun was shining and not a cloud in the sky, snow under my feet and a mountain ahead, a deep breath, a good buddy by my side – wow -what a feeling.
View over Arrochar

I sensed this was going to be a good day as we started off keeping on the steep well walked rough track and puffed our way up those first 200 metres till the path levels off a bit and the going gets decidedly easier. Then suddenly rising before you Ben Arthur (The Cobbler), Ben Narnain and Beinn Ime come into view and you really discover why they call this group the Arrochar Alps when they are covered in snow. The Cobbler resembles the Matterhorn as it proudly stands aloof like a postcard from the Alps.
Ben Ime 2010010.JPG
Ben Artur (The Cobbler posing as the Matterhorn)

A path by previous walkers had been trodden into the snow making the going a hell of a lot easier in the knee high snow covering around us. We spied a couple of climbers with skies on their backs heading a slog through the deep snow up Ben Narnain. We reckoned they would be knackered by the time they got to the top, but at least they had the off-piste skiing to look forward to on the way down.
Ben Ime 2010019.JPG
View back from path

The steady slow rising path follows the burn on the way up between Narnain and The Cobbler and we stopped to take a couple of shots and chat with another walker to admire the splendour before us and comment on the excellent conditions to be walking in.
Ben Ime 2010020.JPG
View over to Ben Lomond

After some steady progress we passed between the Cobbler and Ben Narnain and stopped at the level ground at the fence to have a well earned coffee break and a snack before the ascent of Beinn Ime which lay ahead. We took time to enjoy the scenery around us as this was going to be a day of revelling in our good fortune without too much rushing up the mountain.
Ben Ime 2010028.JPG
Issac on the flat with the back of the Cobbler

After our break we were now ready for the tackling of Beinn Ime itself. The path was now more faintly visibly trodden and we used our knowledge, map and GPS download from walkhighlands.co.uk (thanks guys for a great website) to keep us right on the now steepening ascent.
Ben Ime 2010032.JPG
The slopes of Ben Ime with The Cobbler in background

The slopes do slightly vary and the snow depth too, making the old leg and thigh muscles do a bit of work out, but in all a fairly steady steep climb which is what I love bout Beinn Ime. The sometimes boggy area on Beinn Ime during the Spring and Autumn was now frozen over, making it a lot easier and more pleasurable straight forward ascent.
Ben Ime 2010060.JPG
Beinn Ime

Ben Ime 2010037.JPG
Isaac on the last ridge

Making it to the first peak it is a straight forward small flattish ridge jaunt to the cairn/trig top and the spectacular views over Loch Lomond and the Trossachs, and the impressive Ben Lomond with its snow covering on one side, and then turning the full 360® for a WOW panorama on such a clear day. But if you took yur glove off you soon found out how really cold it was.
Ben Ime 2010054.JPG
At the top of Beinn Ime

We sat and had lunch and a cappuccino and thought ourselves lucky, as we took in and marvelled at the beauty of our surroundings from such a splendid vantage point over this part of Scotland.
Ben Ime 2010048.JPG
Splendid view of Ben Lomond

Ben Ime 2010047.JPG
View over Loch Lomond and Trossachs

It was all too soon to depart our mountain window to a Scottish winter wonderland, and head back down to the car before it got dark. But if I don’t get another good day in the mountains again this year, then this day will make up for it for the rest of the year.
Ben Ime 2010049.JPG
Wonderfull Winter Wonderland Day

Ben Ime 2010050.JPG
View over to the Argyll and Cruachan Ridge

Isaac Beinn Ime 004.jpg
View over Arrochar at dusk

What a GREAT DAY we had, and it is special days like this you remember for the rest of your life, you shared with such a good buddy – mi amigo Isaac.
Ben Ime 2010043.JPG
Me and Isaac at the top on Beinn Ime
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Stevie Foster
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Re: Bein Ime - and why they are called the Arrochar Alps

Postby mountain coward » Thu Mar 18, 2010 9:37 am

My God, you did have a superb day! I've never seen most of those views, especially that shot of the back of The Cobbler (wondered what it looked like) as, although I've done all those, it was in complete clag all the way round!
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Re: Bein Ime - and why they are called the Arrochar Alps

Postby Paul Webster » Thu Mar 18, 2010 10:15 am

Stunning stuff - maybe the best photos I've seen of these hills :D
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Paul Webster
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Re: Bein Ime - and why they are called the Arrochar Alps

Postby Alastair S » Thu Mar 18, 2010 1:54 pm

Yes, stunning photos of a clearly great day :D
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Re: Bein Ime - and why they are called the Arrochar Alps

Postby ricardo » Thu Mar 18, 2010 10:52 pm

you definately had the best weather compared to what i had on saturday. ours couldve been alot worse so we had that to be thankful for. it's amazing when you get pictures in winter under blue sunny skies, well done 8)
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Re: Bein Ime - and why they are called the Arrochar Alps

Postby monty » Mon Apr 05, 2010 1:01 pm

Great report with great pictures and an added dollop of humour. (the naked munroist) :lol: :lol: :lol:

Re: Bein Ime - and why they are called the Arrochar Alps

Postby Stevie Foster » Thu Apr 08, 2010 12:25 am

Unfortunately myself and Isaac have seen the Naked Munroist on Schiallion and it was one of the weirdest experiances we have had on the mountains. We didn't now where to look while chatting to him, but just laughed all the way down off the mountain. All i can say is 'brave man' or just 'a nutter'. All he had on was a pair of boots, rucksack on his back and a compass and a broad smile on what was a chilly cloudy day. Hey it takes all sorts and you never know who you will meet on a mountain in Scotland.
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