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A good climb on a lovely day - Ben Venue

A good climb on a lovely day - Ben Venue

Postby Handknittedbagger » Tue May 30, 2017 11:01 am

Route description: Ben Venue from Loch Achray

Grahams included on this walk: Ben Venue

Date walked: 27/05/2017

Time taken: 4 hours

Ascent: 725m

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Due to a wee tumble off of my pushbike during the week, I decided to limit myself to an easier climb this weekend. I had attempted this climb a couple of years ago, but had abandoned due to poor weather and very poor under-foot conditions. Determined to tick this on off my list it seemed like a sensible 'easier' climb to attempt, despite my painful hip.
I arrived in the car park at Loch Achray around 9:45, with hardly a cloud in the sky and the temperature rising. The car park, given it was a holiday weekend, was surprisingly quiet, however obviously this was a plus rather than a minus, as I was expecting parking issues when I set out. I commenced the walk around 10AM.
I remembered from the last attempt that there was quite a walk in to this mountain, however it was lovely with the weather so good and the smell from the firs was lovely. There was also a slight breeze, just enough to keep the midges and flies to a minimum, thank god!
The path is good and very clear in the early stages and climbs gently through the forest and onto the start of the climb. You then follow a forestry track for a fair distance, slowly gaining height as you progress through the glen. On my last attempt, this path came to an abrupt end, following a short length of duck-board and abandoned you in the middle of some very boggy land, however, there has been extensive work done on the path, similar to that up Ben Ledi and it has been extended well up the hill almost to the summit, meaning that there is a clear and tidy path to follow. I remember that part of my reasons for abandonment on the previous climb had been the lack of a clear track through some very wet and boggy stretches and the creation and improvement to the path is a godsend in my opinion.
The path became quite steep and required a little more effort, but the weather was so nice that it did not seem like much of a trial and it was a total pleasure to climb. The path then reaches a cairn, the reason for which is not clear and then you head right for the final ascent to the summit. A wee bit scrambly in places, but nothing too technical. Caused me more difficulty on the way down, due to my damaged hip than it did on the way up.
I reached the summit just about midday and although there was now some cloud the weather was still bright and warm. I took the statutory 'selfie' and some views and had some biscuits and coffee, before starting the descent.
As this is Scotland, within 15 mins of reaching the summit, I felt the first few spots of rain, despite being unable see anything resembling a rain cloud in the sky. Heavy thunderstorms were forecast and I was to experience these on the way home, but it still amazes how quickly the weather can change. I began the descent, which took me longer than usual, however, fortunately the rain never developed beyond some very minor spitting and i got to the car dry, with another mountain conquered!

In summary, the improvements in the path have made this a pleasurable hill climb and one that I would not hesitate to recommend and I would certainly do again in the future.
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