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Ben Vorlich & Beinn Narnain - spot the difference!

Ben Vorlich & Beinn Narnain - spot the difference!


Postby Alteknacker » Thu Apr 03, 2014 3:42 pm

Route description: Ben Vorlich via Loch Sloy

Munros included on this walk: Beinn Narnain, Ben Vorlich (Loch Lomond)

Date walked: 29/03/2014

Time taken: 9 hours

Distance: 19.03 km

Ascent: 2026m

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Who said that all mountains have their own character? With 30 - 50m visibility, I think it's something of a challenge to distinguish one trig point from another!

Not that we started out expecting it to be quite as bad as it turned out to be. MWIS was indicating a cloud base around 600m, lifting during the day, but possibly lower around Loch Lomond. Possibly...!!!

So why even start, especially with the long drive to get there on Friday night???

Well, some people have something to answer for. After reading Black Panther's reports (Feb 17th and March 22nd) - and drooling over the fantastic pics, I could restrain my impatience no longer (Black Panther, you have much to answer for.....!!!).

So we planned to do the Inveruglas 4 - Ben Vorlich, Ben Vane, Beinn Ime and Beinn Narnain - imagining that optimism, hope and tensely crossed fingers would force the cloud base higher.

It didn't!


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


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At 07.00am it didn't look that promising. Cloud base below 500m as we started up towards the Ben Vorlich ridge.

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Looking back at Loch Lomond, just before we get into the clouds, it looks pretty murky...

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This is pretty representative of conditions above 500m for the whole day. Still, it gave us excellent orienteering practice.

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We hadn't fully taken on board how uneven the ridge is, so route finding was really quite a challenge. Maybe I should get one of those new fangled GPS things that I keep seeing people with... However, we stuck rigidly to our compass bearings, and, slightly to our surprise, arrived exactly at the trig point.

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Going back we decided to follow the path down to the Loch Sloy dam, since it was clear that there are some pretty hairy cliffs on the Loch Sloy side. At one point I broke through the snow, and one left leg disappeared up to hip level, giving my right knee a nasty twist. Shortly afterwards the same thing happened to Frank. A salutory reminder of the risks of walking in snow....
On the way down we started to meet a few people coming up the path. And then as we descended below 500m, the Loch Sloy dam came into view through the mist.

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We stopped to shed some layers. And I very cleverly managed to leave behind our map. Unfortunately, I didn't discover this until we got to the bottom of the hill...
Even this view of the bottom half of A'Chrois didn't provide any consolation.... In these conditions, carrying on without a map was not an option, given that these hills were new to us. So we decided to go back to civilisation to try to buy another map. As it turned out, the only place we could get one was Arrochar, and it was now getting too late to attempt to summit all 4 munros. So we changed our plans.....

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...and decided to do only Beinn Narnain, starting from Arrochar.
Looking back across Loch Long at Cruach an t-Sidhein and Beinn a'Mhanaich, the cloud base didn't seem to be lifting very much, and people we met coming down from The Cobbler reported absolute white-out conditions.


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


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So we flogged through the clag, taking bearings every few minutes, and eventually arrived without event at a trig point, that didn't look very distinguishable from the one we'd paid a visit to in the morning...
One really needs to be fond of trig points!

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Coming back down, the sun tantalised us by almost appearing from time to time - The Cobbler is up in the mist on the right hand side.

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But not enough to reveal the tops - The Cobbler is still in the mist.

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Looking back at Beinn Narnain and A'Chrois at 17.30, tops still in the cloud. Fortunately....

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... we just happened to chance upon a building of the greatest architectural, historical and cultural interest in which to round off the day.
Over a half of shandy we decided to try to be more patient next time...
Last edited by Alteknacker on Tue Oct 04, 2016 11:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Alteknacker
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Re: Ben Vorlich & Beinn Narnain - spot the difference!

Postby jmarkb » Thu Apr 03, 2014 6:52 pm

I'm impressed you had the energy to start again from sea level on a day like that!

There's no way to break this to you gently, but the summit of Ben Vorlich is actually the cairn 200m north of the trig point: so you have a good excuse to go back and see the view!
jmarkb
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Re: Ben Vorlich & Beinn Narnain - spot the difference!

Postby Alteknacker » Thu Apr 03, 2014 11:32 pm

jmarkb wrote:I'm impressed you had the energy to start again from sea level on a day like that!

There's no way to break this to you gently, but the summit of Ben Vorlich is actually the cairn 200m north of the trig point: so you have a good excuse to go back and see the view!


Yes, I noticed that on the map, but didn't feel to purist about it because time was tight, and we were still aiming at getting up all 4 munros at that stage. That is, until some half-wit dropped the map....
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Alteknacker
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Posts: 2971
Munros:169   Corbetts:29
Hewitts:237
Wainwrights:100   
Joined: May 25, 2013
Location: Effete South (of WIgan, anyway)

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