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Beinn Narnain: our first Munro

Beinn Narnain: our first Munro

Postby andreww18 » Sun Mar 26, 2017 8:32 pm

Munros included on this walk: Beinn Narnain

Date walked: 25/03/2017

Time taken: 7 hours

Distance: 15 km

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Having decided to take up hillwalking and set ourselves the challenge of trying to conquer at least some Munros, we opted for our first attempt on a glorious March Saturday morning with Beinn Narnain the target.
Setting off from Succouth car park at 6.30am with my 13 year old son (his first Munro too) and my brother and his friend (they'd tried 3 times this winter to climb Narnain and The Cobbler only to be beaten back by the weather), we immediately diverted off the main path and chose the steeper route up through the trees. Having researched the route (on this great site and elsewhere) we knew this would gain us height quite quickly and avoid the zig-zag path leading up to the Narnain Boulders beneath The Cobbler.
Our chosen route was actually part path /part stream but it made for an enjoyable & entertaining climb and before too long we crossed over an access road. We then continued up the path on the opposite side of the road. You'd be forgiven for missing it because it doesn't look much like a path and starts off really steeply. But it's there alright, and the big benefit of it is that once you break through the tree line you're already quite high.
Up ahead looked quite daunting with some pretty sheer looking rockfaces and the path ahead being difficult to spot. But as we continued up, we managed to pick our way along the path which by this time was beginning to pick up some snow and ice.
We were aiming for the Spearhead route up onto the summit and it felt like we were never getting there, with a couple of false summits to deal with. But the ideal opportunity to catch our breath, sip some water, get some food on board and admire the absolutely 9 carat views back down Loch Long and over to Ben Lomond. Some really great spots on this route and hardly another soul passed us by until we got very near the top.
There's some scrambling to do to get up to a small undulating plateau just below the Spearhead where we reckoned we had another 150-200m to go.
Some of the remaining snow (the rising temps by 9am meant we were delayering because we were all overheating in the lovely sunshine but still having to be careful because of some remaining drifts) meant we had to be really careful where we placed our boots, but we just took our time and slowly and steadily made our way up.
The buttress which leads up to the summit is a terrifying sight to novices like us. But we knew, again from reading the various reports from others, that the path penetrates the Spearhead and winds its way beneath it and then around the right hand-side. So we picked our way up and I have to say it was the most rewarding thing I've ever done... standing at the foot of the huge craggy piece of rock wondering how are we going to get up that... and then working out your route and going for it.
A couple of guys had gone by us and we were able to spot the them on the two different routes they seemed to be taking.
A pretty steep and sheer section at the start soon began to level out and we bore left onto the summit plateau. Stopping for a breather at the top of the Spearhead (and for a photo) the view was absolutely first-class, especially on a day when there literally wasn't a cloud to be seen.
A quick and pretty flat walk up to the trig point and we had our first Munro under our belts. Handshakes all round and some photos, before taking in the view. Ben Nevis and the CMD arrete looking amazing to the north and Arran to the south (we think) and every top for miles around felt like it was in touching distance.
We made our way off on the slope leading down towards Bealach a'Mhaim and the slopes of Beinn Ime, with our intention being to claim a second Munro of the day. The descent down towards the gate which takes you up onto Ime was again pretty interesting with lots of snow and ice patches to navigate around or over, in amongst the boulders.
Once we started off up Ime we realised we were probably being a bit over-confident and over-ambitious so we came back down and decided to leave her for another day. The boggy and eroded path was too much for us by this time but she's not going anywhere and we'll be back.
We took the path down between Narnain to our left and The Cobbler to our right. We stopped for a bit at the stair-case side of the Cobbler and watched what felt like hundreds of people head up. We also stopped for a bit at the Narnain Boulders which i'd read a lot about. We even spotted a small herd of deer up on Narnain's slopes.
Compared to the climb up Narnain and the splendid isolation at the summit the path which follows the river up from the car park was mobbed by this point with what felt like half the population of Greater Glasgow deciding for a jaunt to the Cobbler. A bit of a culture shock compared to Narnain's rocky summit.
So all told: We left at 6.30am, reached the Narnian summit at 10am, were at the foot of the Cobbler at 12 noon and back at the car by 2pm. Temp when we started was zero. The temp at the car park at 2pm - 17 degrees! We were surpised at how on the way up there was hardly any wind but on the summit the temp took a dive and the wind whipped up, chilling us quickly - thank goodness for a flash and some soup!
So our first Munro bagged. Some aching limbs. A bit of sunburn! But a real sense of achievement. A return visit to Ime and The Cobbler definitely on the cards. Probably early to avoid the crowds. And I hope many more summits to come.
Narnain's summit.
Ascent of the Spearhead
Looking over Loch Long
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Re: Beinn Narnain: our first Munro

Postby Mal Grey » Mon Mar 27, 2017 8:06 pm

I enjoyed reading that, the enthusiasm shone through. Congrats on hopefully the first of many :clap:
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Mal Grey
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Re: Beinn Narnain: our first Munro

Postby andreww18 » Tue Mar 28, 2017 8:10 pm

Mal Grey wrote:I enjoyed reading that, the enthusiasm shone through. Congrats on hopefully the first of many :clap:

Thank you very much! I enthusiastically got out of bed at 4.15am to make sure we had an early start and the slopes to ourselves pretty much. Can't wait to do the next one.
Posts: 34
Munros:48   Corbetts:1
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Re: Beinn Narnain: our first Munro

Postby Coop » Tue Mar 28, 2017 8:13 pm

Narnain is a great summit, cairns, windshelter, trig point, good views. Well in
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