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Friday night out on Ben Venue

Friday night out on Ben Venue


Postby malky_c » Mon Jun 01, 2015 4:25 pm

Route description: Ben Venue from Loch Achray

Grahams included on this walk: Ben Venue

Date walked: 29/05/2015

Time taken: 3.5 hours

Distance: 10 km

Ascent: 750m

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Grahams: Ben Venue.
Date: 29 and 30/05/2015.
Distance: 10km.
Ascent: 750m.
Time taken: 3 hours, 30 minutes
Weather: Sunny, overcast, windy, showery.

Another weekend down in the Southern Highlands. After dropping Gill off at her friend's place (with instructions to return by Sunday lunchtime, I headed over the Campsies to the Trossachs. Ben Venue is an early hillwalking achievement for many people, but up until now it has eluded me. I parked up in the carpark at the west end of Loch Achray shortly after 7pm. I could get up and down before dark, then find somewhere to park up and sleep, but this didn't appeal much, so I packed up the tent and stove and set off to camp somewhere en-route.


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Loch Achray:
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Ben Venue from near the car park:
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The path wound through the trees and joined the Loch Katrine dam access road, before crossing the Achray water and climbing up through the woods. I'm rather enjoying these jaunts south - my main memories of the Southern Highlands tend to be lots of people, expensive carparks and slow roads full of campervans. But although I still believe we have the best scenery up here in the north, I have missed countless gems elsewhere.

Ben A’an:
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Ben Ledi and Loch Venachar:
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The path was well made, and continued up through mostly felled forest. At the edge of the stumps, I was out in upper Glen Riabhach, which has a bit of a reputation for bogginess. Not feeling the need for this, I followed in the tracks of some other forum users and turned right onto the southern shoulder. It was steep but dry, and the views opened up much quicker than they would have done in the glen.

East across the Menteith Hills:
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Loch Achray and Loch Venachar from near the eastern summit:
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Towards Ben Lomond:
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East again – light on the Ochils:
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I crossed the slightly lower eastern summit and made my way to the high point. It was a little grey, but there were still shafts of sunlight scattered about. Although the breeze was rather chilly and a shower was on the way, I decided to camp up high, and found a grassy platform on the eastern side of the west summit.

End of Loch Katrine:
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Weegieland:
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West up Loch Katrine:
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Should have put my gloves on as my fingers were numb by the time I had the tent up! Just in the nick of time too, as the shower reached me just as I was crawling inside.

Looking down on the end of Loch Katrine:
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…with tent:
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I cooked dinner while it rained, then took another wander to the summit afterwards. No impressive sunsets this evening, but it was nice to be there.

Last light:
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Despite the ground sloping rather steeply in two different directions, and some more wind and rain, I got a reasonable sleep. Up before 6 am, but not early enough to catch sunrise. Nice light though, and some melting ice on the outside of the tent. Is it really almost June??

Possibly Stob Binnein –view from the tent door in the morning:
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Not a bad spot:
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Loch Katrine:
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Ben Lomond across Beinn Bhreac:
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After coffee and another trip to the summit, I packed up and set off. I decided to drop straight down to Loch Katrine on the steep NE slopes. No real sign of a path. One thing that was to surprise me repeatedly this weekend was how little some of my lines appeared to be walked. I'm sure Ben Venue could be within the top 10 most climbed hills in Scotland, but one of the most obvious ways up had little evidence of being used. Perhaps on hills that have really obvious paths, people are even less inclined to explore off the beaten track than usual? Or maybe there was a path and I missed it :oops: .

Tent from near the summit of Ben Venue:
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Crianlarich hills with Stob a’ Choin in front:
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Glad I went down this way - a little steep and slithery lower down (and possibly murder once the bracken is back up), but there were great views over the Crianlarich hills and Loch Katrine the whole way down. If the weather had been worse last night, then I would happily have camped somewhere down here.

Down to Loch Katrine:
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Bealach nam Bo:
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There was an easy climb over a fence before meeting the path shown on the map which heads back to the east end of the loch. A couple of boggy bits aside, this was a gorgeous walk. Soon I was back on the outward path.

Walking back to the car:
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I was back at the car before 8 am, and hadn't seen a single person since setting off the previous evening. Definitely a hill I'd do again if in the area - some of the western tops (such as Beinn Bhreac) looked worth a visit too. I was off to Loch Achray next to do a ridiculous route that would pretty much finish me off...
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malky_c
 
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Re: Friday night out on Ben Venue

Postby Collaciotach » Mon Jun 01, 2015 7:08 pm

I enjoy reading about your evening wanders :D

S'math a rinn thu :clap:
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Collaciotach
Mountain Walker
 
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Re: Friday night out on Ben Venue

Postby Graeme D » Mon Jun 01, 2015 9:20 pm

A very fine way to spend a Friday evening Malcolm! :clap: :clap: :clap:
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Graeme D
 
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Location: Perth

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