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Ben Vane

Ben Vane


Postby paamx » Fri Mar 11, 2016 11:13 am

Route description: Ben Vane, from Inveruglas

Munros included on this walk: Ben Vane

Date walked: 10/03/2016

Time taken: 5 hours

Distance: 13 km

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Now I start this report by stating that I'm very much a novice at this hill walking malarkey, having only completed a couple of munros and corbets prior to this walk!
I had a week off work and determined to fill my lungs with fresh air and do something physical I decided why not bag another Munro?! I left the choice of Munro to a friend (who has slightly more experience than myself!) and Ben Vane was chosen.
After reading the walking guide and looking at the maps on this site I was a bit dubious about the whole thing, feeling that it might be out of our depth. However as I am a known over worrier my fears were swept away and I was assured it would be fine :shock: haha
We couldn't have been luckier, from sunrise to sunset the sun was shining high in the sky meaning we would have more daylight hours to complete the walk in woo! :D

ImageUntitled by pamela jeffrey, on Flickr
The approach to Ben Vane is a canter! We walked up the road chatting away, looking at the snow topped hills and imagining how good our sandwiches would taste in a couple of hours when we got as close to the top as we could manage!
We followed the map and instructions from this site and approached from SE shoulder. The first stage wasn't exactly easy but we managed and then we put our 3 brains together to work out what would be he safest route to take.
Having followed well worn paths on the other munros my eyes were searching back and forth- nothing I could make out to be a path at all!
We headed off again and before we got any higher we took a pit stop to take in some of the stunning views!
ImageUntitled by pamela jeffrey, on Flickr
ImageUntitled by pamela jeffrey, on Flickr

ImageUntitled by pamela jeffrey, on Flickr
We carefully planned our next ascent and started off. This is when I realised what a tricky Munro Ben Vane is. You can't appreciate how steep some sections are until it almost hits you in the face. I'm sure we had a few moments of climbing up sections on our hands and knees as it felt it was the safest but we were doing it and keeping within our limitations. Unfortunately we forgot to pack the watch that would give us our elevation so we don't really know exactly how many feet up we managed.
The snow was lying fairly thick in some places and we did not have any equipment to deal with it so we had to agree that the summit was not achievable for us that day!
ImageUntitled by pamela jeffrey, on Flickr

I stopped well below the other two as the height and the steep climb were concerning me (I have definitely watched far too many mountain rescue, emergency rescue shows!). They peered over the top of another rock but were greeted with layers of snow so we decided to turn back and return back down to the lovely picturesque spot we had stopped at previously.
ImageUntitled by pamela jeffrey, on Flickr
The terrain looking down Ben Vane looked completely different to coming up. We managed to climb down a fair part but then we encountered snow and could not remember how we approached the area on the way up. By this point I was full on having a freak out inside my head and could hear my mothers "I told you so" echoing very loudly! Haha
Further to our right we seen small stream which at this point was our only way to follow down.
I will never underestimate the value of bum shuffling ever again! After we passed this point the terrain levelled out slightly and we stopped for lunch.
ImageUntitled by pamela jeffrey, on Flickr
Nobody said it out loud but I think at this point we all the same thought in our heads - "what the hell were we thinking!"
All in all it took us just over 5 hours to reach our summit ( not too far from the real summit) and we all had a well deserved pat on the back!
I know that some people may read this and think how silly we were and yes at points I thought the same but we always ensured we walked within our limitations, stuck together and planned our route in the safest way possible!
I would never take not reaching the summit as a failure as I learned so much climbing Ben vane.
1. Team work is essential as is preparation
2. My knowledge of the hills and hill walking is poor and I would hate to walk another Munro not having adequate baseline knowledge.
3.Stay calm (I'm sure the other girls wanted to murder me for my constant "what are we aiming for? What's our approach" chat but it helped me keep calm having some form of plan)


Totally worth it for views like this
ImageUntitled by pamela jeffrey, on Flickr
Last edited by paamx on Fri Mar 11, 2016 2:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
paamx
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Re: Ben Vane

Postby basscadet » Fri Mar 11, 2016 12:58 pm

Och that sounded brilliant, no shame in finding you have bit off more than you can chew, thats how you (well all of us) learn :wink:
Looks like you are ready for ice axe shopping 8)
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Re: Ben Vane

Postby rockhopper » Fri Mar 11, 2016 2:07 pm

Well done for trying and even more so for stopping and turning back. I'm sure many of us have got to points when we ought to stop - the key is to know your limits. All good experience and you'll know even more next time. Ben Vane may be the smallest munro but it can be a lot harder than many of the munros especially in winter - cheers :)
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Re: Ben Vane

Postby paamx » Fri Mar 11, 2016 2:45 pm

basscadet wrote:Och that sounded brilliant, no shame in finding you have bit off more than you can chew, thats how you (well all of us) learn :wink:
Looks like you are ready for ice axe shopping 8)


Haha I think I will take baby steps and try something a little more to my size! I've edited with some photos (my computer skills are as good as my hill walking ones!)
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Re: Ben Vane

Postby paamx » Fri Mar 11, 2016 2:48 pm

rockhopper wrote:Well done for trying and even more so for stopping and turning back. I'm sure many of us have got to points when we ought to stop - the key is to know your limits. All good experience and you'll know even more next time. Ben Vane may be the smallest munro but it can be a lot harder than many of the munros especially in winter - cheers :)

Thanks for your reply! Definitely feeling proud that we managed as much as we did and didn't have an absolute mental tizz about it! Haha
Think I'll stick to something smaller until the better weather comes in :D
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Re: Ben Vane

Postby katyhills » Fri Mar 11, 2016 5:14 pm

Thoroughly agree with rockhopper - knowing your limitation is important. There's no shame in turning back and returning another day. It's good to learn from it all and next time you'll be better prepared. You looked like you enjoyed the bum shuffling!

Ben Vane is often underestimated because it's one of the lowest Munros, but it's testing enough - especially under snow.
Lovely hill and one I've done many times at different times of the year. I'm sure you'll go back and enjoy the 'football pitch' plateau at the summit :D

Almost forgot - your last photo is beautiful. Worth it all for those views isn't it? :)
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Re: Ben Vane

Postby jamesb63 » Fri Mar 11, 2016 7:34 pm

Ben Vane is a beautiful hill and a great climb ,like the other say at least you knew your limitation :clap: :clap:
get a number of hills under your belt in summer months before tacking any munros in winter
it is a different beat this time of year ,get out and enjoy it will become addictive :lol:
There are plenty smaller hills you can do this time of year weather pending
Also take a navigation course could be a life saver :wink:
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