Sat 4 jan 2014 - Ben Narnain by the tourist route
Caught the West Coast Campbelltown bus from Buchanan St Bus station at 6.35am
Arrived at the Succoth car park at 7.45am in the pitch dark.
Had a few words with some 'kindred spirits', who were getting geared up and like myself were keen to be first up to the summit.
Opted to take the 'tourist route' up Narnain as I had forgotten my sticks n' steaks and had no crampons to tackle the possible icy, slippery conditions encountered on the alternate route.
We waved our goodbyes and set of on our separate ways, but we did cross paths on the other side of Narnain - as they were coming down, I was going up the easy route. It's a small, world!
Reached the bench which overlooks Arrochar in 10mins. After a quick stop to adjust my gear, I continued along the path for about 50 mtrs to the sub-station and then right at the wooden, blue ringed waymarker post and carried on up the zigzag forest path for another 25mins at a moderate pace before breaking out of the tree-line and onto the weir/dam.
Carried on up the well maintained path, past the Narnain boulders until I reached the junction at the foot of the three hills in this area, namely Ben Ime, Ben Narnain and the iconic Cobbler. This spot can also be used to access Ben Vane and Ben Vorlich and it's usually at this point I review my planned route and decide which hill/ hills I feel up to tackling and also assess the weather, general fitness and well being, time and gear I have with me before committing myself to the next objective.
I decided to bag Narnain for the 5th time and enjoyed stopping to take random 'selfies' of the day, the surrounding scenery and mountains all the way up the slopes of Narnain capturing Ime and the Cobbler in the background as well as the snowy/ icey conditions encountered on the day.
Ben Ime in the background
The Cobbler in the background.
It was 'ice station zebra' conditions at the top with crunchy snow underfoot.
Full winter ski gear on, thought the ski goggles were a bit OTT , but they actually did come in usefull on the way back down when the sleet was driving into my face, wipers would have been usefull as well
Took some snaps of 'randoms' of the day on the path back down which was fairly busy with everyone coming of the hill at the same time before it started getting dark.
It's always encouraging to see Ben Arthurs Bothy on the other side of the loch where your guaranteed a good pint to rejuvinate and swap tales of the day with other 'kindred spirits'.
Downside was I'd been having such a good time on the hill, ambling about with no real time schedule in mind that I just missed the 2 pm bus back to Glasgow and had to suffice with some steakpie and a Guiness at the Arrochar Hotel until the next bus at 6pm. But didn't mind really as that is what a good day is all about - no time pressures just good memories and cold beer.
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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.