This route had been planned for a good number of weeks.
Finding the time to travel up from York to do it was the problem.
Jessica was working the weekend 19-20th, I had some work to do in Glasgow, and my parents were happy to look after Chase for a few days, so I travelled up with Chase on the train on the Wednesday, planning to do this walk on the Saturday before heading back home on the Sunday. I invited my younger brother, Stuart, who took me up on my offer.
We arrived in Arrochar just after 10:00 and after a toilet break and cup of tea from the "Pit Stop Diner" we made our way round to the car park at the foot of the Cobbler Path. The weather was mild and overcast, with light shower being on the forecast.
We started off at 10:30, the drizzle starting just a few minutes after we did. I had planned to tackle Beinn Narnain 1st, Beinn Ime 2nd and, if my legs had anything left, The Cobbler 3rd. We climbed the old Railway Track, missing out some of the twists and turns on the lower Cobbler Path. We joined the Cobbler Path a bit below the Dam but missed the track back across to the Beinn Narnain front ascent. We couldn't be bothered to double back so we changed our plans and opted to complete our route in reverse order.
As we continued towards to foot of The Cobbler, the clouds and mist has dropped right down to the point where neither mountain (Ben Narnain or The Cobbler) were visible above their lower slopes.
If fact, The Cobbler couldn't be seen at all.
As we left the main Cobbler Path to start our climb of the front, visibility was less than 50ft but we were quite happy out in the rain. It was mild and there was little wind, so a great Scottish Summers Day in all.
We reached the Centre Summit at 12:30, quickly took a few photos for record purposes and then tried to get some shelter while we had our lunch. There were a few other people about, we could hear them but couldn't see them (visibility was no more than 20ft at this point).
I wanted to continue down the back, using the Main Cobbler Path to take me round towards Beinn Ime, but Stuart had had enough. (This was his first hill walking trip in years) I agree to call it a day and to head back down the way we had ascended, leaving my 2 Munros for another day. Ten minutes after this thought, and about 100ft lower down, the weather broke, the cloud lifted and The Cobbler showed itself to us properly for the 1st time.
By the time we had reached the main path, I had decided that there was still enough time to "bag" the Munros but Stuart was still for heading home.
A couple more snaps, and he bounded down the path; back to the car and my flask of hot tea. I turned the other way and made my way up the path between The Cobbler & Ben Narnain, ready to climb my main targets for the day. When I reached the track leading from the Cobbler Path across to Ben Ime and Ben Narnain, the sun way out, the sky was clear and my 2nd mountain was looking pretty big.
"I COULD DO THIS" The climb up Ime was a steady walk and I arrived at the Summit at 15:00. I sat at the cairn, enjoying great views in every direction, listening to a group of about 20 Mancunians commenting on the lack of Scots "enjoying their own mountains". I made sure they knew at least 1 Glaswegian was making the effort, although they were a bit confused when they realised I lived in York.
They headed off towards Ben Vane, so I was on my own again; re-tracing my steps (not literally) back down the track to start my ascent up Ben Narnain.
Not much to report on for my climb up Narnain, apart from the fact The Cobbler was now basking in the sunshine and the faint voices of people enjoying the sun and views on its Tops could be heard as I climbed alone. I was a little jealous, of the views they must have been getting, not of the crowds.
I reached the Summit of Beinn Narnain at about 16:00 and had the entire mountain to myself for a good 10 minutes. Even then, only 4 other walkers appeared.
I had some fun, balancing my camera on one of the rocky outcrops above the Cobbler path, trying to set the self-timer to give me enough time to scramble round to another outcrop for a descent picture for my records. 1st attempt caught just my boots, 2nd got my back, 3rd time did the trick.
I didn't use the normal front route back down, instead opting to make my way down the scramblers route (left of The Spearhead on the way up) and continued down the side of the mountain picking the path of least resistance as my route. It was a big boggy in places but had me back on the Cobbler Path, just above the dam by about 17:00.
I pushed myself to make it back to the car park by 17:30 (giving me a total time of less than 7 hours). More importantly, I was now travelling home by train and they were leaving Tarbert & Arrochar station at 18:02 or 20:02.
I reached the car park to meet my 7 hour goal and had to push myself to make it the station for the 18:02 train.
After 3 mountains and 5500ft, I couldn't let 1.5 miles in 30 minutes (on the flat) beat me. It almost did, but I made it to the station and onto the platform just as the train was rolling in. I sat down; fell asleep and the 70 minute train journey lasted all of 7 minutes in my memory.
I arrived in Queen Street Station at 19:20, just enough time for a Fish Supper on Queen Street, before catching the train back to Gartcosh.
A very enjoyable day out.
Cheers for the company Stuart, it was fun to spend some time with you.
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