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Ben Vane, The Friendliest Munro - Ever

Ben Vane, The Friendliest Munro - Ever


Postby Gordie12 » Sun Jul 26, 2015 11:31 am

Munros included on this walk: Ben Vane

Date walked: 25/07/2015

Time taken: 5 hours

Distance: 14.1 km

Ascent: 949m

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After yesterday's outing there was a risk of trench foot if I took out the same boots so my back up pair made a rare appearance.

I fancied a single Munro outing today and not too long a walk in, Ben Vane seemed like a perfect choice. The forecast was good so hopefully a better day in store.

With the alarm going off at 5am I was parked up at Inveruglas and walking before 8am. I wanted to get there early as I wasn't sure how many parking spaces there would be and no doubt on a sunny Saturday morning they would be in demand.

1.jpg
A'Chrois from Inveruglas Car Park


2.jpg
Ben Lomond


There is a good path along the side of the main road for most of the kilometre south before leaving the noise of the road behind and heading up the road to Loch Sly and under the railway line. The tarmac road gains height fairly quickly but it's a good leg stretcher to start the walk with. At a power station I carried straight on and shortly afterwards came to a section of road with a number of cows straddling it with their young calves so a small detour was required. At this point I joined a chap who was heading for Ben Vorlich so we walked together till my turning point half a mile short of Loch Sloy.

About thirty yards after crossing a small bridge my track climbing the lower slopes of Ben Vane was in front of me and the real climb was about to start.

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5.jpg
Looking down on Loch Sloy dam


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The lower slopes are pretty wet and a bit of bog hopping is required but it doesn't take long to get past and on to firmer ground.

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Looking down on the bog


8.jpg
Loch Lomond, Arklet & Katrine


9.jpg
Looking over to A'Chrois


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Loch Sloy dam


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Loch Sloy dam zoomed


There is now a good stony path to follow, quite steep in places but with the views opening out to the south and east, really enjoyable.

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It took a while but eventually the views to the north opened out in front of me but there was still a bit of cloud cover around so a little bit limited.

Ben Vane has a couple of false summits but with the views opening up and a breeze on my face it felt like I was getting closer to the top.

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On the last climb just short of the summit the path took me round to the left and there was a difficult rock to negotiate with little in the way of footholds but once up this it was a quick walk to the top. If doing this hill again I would probably pick a more central route up this last bit to the top.

20.jpg
Two cairns on Ben Vane summit


The views from the top were brilliant, having been on Ben Lomond twice in clag it was great to finally get views down Loch Lomond to the islands to the south. To this point I had only seen the guy close to Loch Sloy and one other person who was at the top at the same time as me, that would change on the way down.

With most Munros I don't hang around for long on the summit but today was different so time for a sandwich and a drink while I had a good look around. I don't know this area at all so I was looking to see some of the hills I would be coming back to do.

Reluctantly, it was time to head back down and I would be taking it easy as it wasn't a hill to rush (apart from the views there are plently of places where it would be easy to trip or slip).

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On the descent I'm not sure how many people I chatted to but everyone was incredibly friendly and very chatty (maybe they were looking for an excuse for a break as they plodded uphill), this included one guy who asked me if I thought the bog would have dried out by the time he got back down :? :? :?

With all the chatting it actually took me longer to get down off the hill than it did to climb it but the weather and the views were great so I didn't mind.

24.jpg
Too warm to bother with blocking the road now


25.jpg
Looking back to Ben Vane


By now the cloud had cleared off Ben Vorlich and several people seemed to be heading in that direction.

Heading back down the tarmac road it was a really easy finish back to the main road and the car park.

26.jpg


Having done a couple of Munros the day before I was just looking for a short walk today and this hill was basically picked at random as it seemed to fit the bill so it was a real surprise that I enjoyed it as much as I did.

At 915m it only just makes it as a Munro but it packs a punch and is tougher than a lot of higher hills and the views really are worth the effort. Having never really walked in this part of the country (apart from Ben Lomond) I'm now looking to get back again as soon as possible and if the weather is decent next weekend it might be time to head for Beinn Ime and Beinn Narnain.
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Re: Ben Vane, The Friendliest Munro - Ever

Postby dav2930 » Wed Jul 29, 2015 7:58 pm

Nice report that with some great photos - those Arrochar hills, and the views from them, are very photogenic aren't they? Ben Vane is indeed quite a steep and rocky beast I seem to remember. As you say it's a good one to do on its own for a short day, having no easy links to other ridges or summits. I did the same some years ago on a very wet and murky day when I fancied doing something but didn't wan't to spend too long up high. I found the ascent surprisingly satisfying even though I couldn't see a thing, so it's nice to see the views I missed! :)
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Re: Ben Vane, The Friendliest Munro - Ever

Postby katyhills » Wed Jul 29, 2015 10:25 pm

Glad you enjoyed your day on this lovely hill. The Arrochar hills are my 'local' ones and I've done them many times, including another outing in spring. I can thoroughly recommned doing Narnain via the Spearhead and going across the ridge to A'Chrois. Not many people bother with that ridge so it makes for a nice peaceful route.
Lovely photos and a nice report to go with them :)
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Re: Ben Vane, The Friendliest Munro - Ever

Postby spiderwebb » Thu Jul 30, 2015 6:48 am

Must be something with cows blocking roads :lol: Lovely pics, nice to see what it looks like as it was a tad wet on my visit, and the bog definitely wouldn't have been drying out that day :lol: It is a steep one too, pretty much straight up but with plenty of interest higher up even in the clag :D
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Re: Ben Vane, The Friendliest Munro - Ever

Postby Gordie12 » Thu Jul 30, 2015 7:28 pm

dav2930 wrote:Nice report that with some great photos - those Arrochar hills, and the views from them, are very photogenic aren't they? Ben Vane is indeed quite a steep and rocky beast I seem to remember. As you say it's a good one to do on its own for a short day, having no easy links to other ridges or summits. I did the same some years ago on a very wet and murky day when I fancied doing something but didn't wan't to spend too long up high. I found the ascent surprisingly satisfying even though I couldn't see a thing, so it's nice to see the views I missed! :)


Hi dav2930

Thanks for your comments.

I thought about adding on Ben Vorlich but it looked like a fair old climb back up so decided to head back another day (it's not going anywhere).
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Re: Ben Vane, The Friendliest Munro - Ever

Postby Gordie12 » Thu Jul 30, 2015 7:30 pm

RTC wrote:Smashing report and photos of a very nice hill. You're right about it being friendly. I was up it a couple of months ago on a sunny Saturday [not many of them this year] and met loads of people who were happy to stop for a chat. At the top I even met a fell runner whom I've met often in the Ochils.


Thanks RTC.

Hoping to go back and do Ben Vorlich soon, if everybody blanks me then it must be the hill that's friendly and not the area.
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Re: Ben Vane, The Friendliest Munro - Ever

Postby Gordie12 » Thu Jul 30, 2015 7:35 pm

katyhills wrote:Glad you enjoyed your day on this lovely hill. The Arrochar hills are my 'local' ones and I've done them many times, including another outing in spring. I can thoroughly recommned doing Narnain via the Spearhead and going across the ridge to A'Chrois. Not many people bother with that ridge so it makes for a nice peaceful route.
Lovely photos and a nice report to go with them :)


Thanks katyhills.

My knowledge of the area is rubbish so not sure at this stage where the Spearhead is (I enjoyed Ben Vane so much I went straight on to the OS website and bought the maps I need to cover the Arrochars but they haven't arrived yet).

I was planning to do Narnain and Ime with The Cobbler thrown in if time allowed but assume this would rule out your route? Also looking to do them on a Friday as it sounds like they would all be busy hills at the weekend.
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Re: Ben Vane, The Friendliest Munro - Ever

Postby Gordie12 » Thu Jul 30, 2015 7:38 pm

spiderwebb wrote:Must be something with cows blocking roads :lol: Lovely pics, nice to see what it looks like as it was a tad wet on my visit, and the bog definitely wouldn't have been drying out that day :lol: It is a steep one too, pretty much straight up but with plenty of interest higher up even in the clag :D


I think it's written in to their contracts that for half a day they need to stand in the middle of C class roads and look menacing :lol:

You probably did this with Ben Vorlich at the same time, I was a bit of a woose :lol: :lol:
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Re: Ben Vane, The Friendliest Munro - Ever

Postby spiderwebb » Thu Jul 30, 2015 8:05 pm

Gordie12 wrote:
spiderwebb wrote:Must be something with cows blocking roads :lol: Lovely pics, nice to see what it looks like as it was a tad wet on my visit, and the bog definitely wouldn't have been drying out that day :lol: It is a steep one too, pretty much straight up but with plenty of interest higher up even in the clag :D


I think it's written in to their contracts that for half a day they need to stand in the middle of C class roads and look menacing :lol:

You probably did this with Ben Vorlich at the same time, I was a bit of a woose :lol: :lol:


:lol: Yes I think your right....with Ben Vorlich and Narnairn all 3 in the rain but still had a great day :D :D
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Re: Ben Vane, The Friendliest Munro - Ever

Postby spiderwebb » Thu Jul 30, 2015 8:07 pm

Correction not Vorlich but Ime and Narnairn :D
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Re: Ben Vane, The Friendliest Munro - Ever

Postby katyhills » Fri Jul 31, 2015 8:53 pm

Hi Gordie - if you want to do all three at Arrochar (Cobbler, Ime and Narnain) you head up the usual path from the car park at Succoth but go up over the 'end' of Narnain and do the whole ridge along to the summit. There's a few different ways of doing it - I followed the path roughly as far as the weir, taking the path (right) which skirts round the bottom of Narnain. It meets up with a path you can take more directly from Succoth , and you then head up over the end of Narnain. Lots of nice twists and turns and ins and outs, but nothing too tricky.
The Spearhead is the final ascent to the summit plateau and it's a much more interesting route than going to the bealach to do the three ascents. You then descend to the Bealach a' Mhaim from which you can go up Beinn Ime and The Cobbler before returning to the car park by the path.

I'm sure there will be plenty of route descriptions on here so hopefully you can have a go at them all some time. :)

You can do a similar thing on Ben Vorlich by heading up over the end to gain the whole ridge
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Re: Ben Vane, The Friendliest Munro - Ever

Postby Gordie12 » Sun Aug 02, 2015 3:21 pm

katyhills wrote:Hi Gordie - if you want to do all three at Arrochar (Cobbler, Ime and Narnain) you head up the usual path from the car park at Succoth but go up over the 'end' of Narnain and do the whole ridge along to the summit. There's a few different ways of doing it - I followed the path roughly as far as the weir, taking the path (right) which skirts round the bottom of Narnain. It meets up with a path you can take more directly from Succoth , and you then head up over the end of Narnain. Lots of nice twists and turns and ins and outs, but nothing too tricky.
The Spearhead is the final ascent to the summit plateau and it's a much more interesting route than going to the bealach to do the three ascents. You then descend to the Bealach a' Mhaim from which you can go up Beinn Ime and The Cobbler before returning to the car park by the path.

I'm sure there will be plenty of route descriptions on here so hopefully you can have a go at them all some time. :)

You can do a similar thing on Ben Vorlich by heading up over the end to gain the whole ridge


Hi katyhills

Thanks for the info - I've got a couple of weeks holiday coming up soon so hopefully I can get a decent day out (once the front and back doors are varnished, the window frames painted, gates painted, garden weeded, bench varnished plus whatever else is on the boss's list that I'm still to find out about :( :( :(
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Re: Ben Vane, The Friendliest Munro - Ever

Postby katyhills » Sun Aug 02, 2015 5:26 pm

Gordie - only so many hours in the day eh? :wink:

It makes a real difference when you get a great day for a walk.
I was on Beinn a' Ghlo yesterday but didn't get away with a right drenching on the approach and final ascent to Carn nan Gabhar, although the hellish walk back through the bogfest was the real low point. Got some good photos along the ridge though. When I've got time I'll have a go at doing a walk report :)
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Re: Ben Vane, The Friendliest Munro - Ever

Postby dogplodder » Sun Aug 02, 2015 6:52 pm

This hill punches above its weight. Lovely photos - we were in clag at the top so nice to see what we missed. :wink:
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Re: Ben Vane, The Friendliest Munro - Ever

Postby ancancha » Sun Aug 02, 2015 7:07 pm

Amazing what some sunshine does for the impression of a mountain :lol:
Looking forward to doing this one in the near future, and getting up close and personal with the grand Loch Sloy dam 8)
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