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Early starts are the best

Early starts are the best


Postby Icaruss » Mon Jun 12, 2017 11:39 am

Route description: Beinn Narnain and Beinn Ime

Munros included on this walk: Beinn Ime, Beinn Narnain

Date walked: 18/05/2017

Time taken: 6 hours

Distance: 14.2 km

Ascent: 1395m

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As a father of a 1.5 year old, It`s not often I find time to go for a long wander. And when my wife and the little fellow went to visit her parents for a week, I thankfully took to opportunity to add 2 munros to my very humble list. I was starting a new job after the weekend, so decided to leave my then current job a day early and go on an adventure with my trusty dog, Bodhi.

I woke up a very confused Bodhi, at 5 in the morning and set off for Arrochar. Bodhi is a rescue dog and is most likely a mix of collie, lab and lurcher. (Although your guess is as good as mine). This gives him the interesting temperament of being full of energy and at the same time a couch potato. However he loves exploring. And thanks to him I found a love in being outdoors and away from it all.

Having only done one munro, Ben Lomond, which follows an easy to follow track to the top, I was a bit nervous about going slightly off track. But I had studied the route, downloaded GPX file to my phone and read most of the reports. So as I arrived, with only a few clouds in the sky, I was feeling confident.

When I arrived Loch long was looking very pretty in the early morning sun. I quickly stuffed a croissant in my mouth, got Bodhi ready and walked into the wild.

I followed the track for about 5 seconds, veered of the right and followed the little stream through the trees. By this time I had led Bodhi off the lead and he was bouncing about, not knowing there was still a lot of ground to cover. It’s not really a path that I followed, but more a stream with from time to time a concrete blog. And it goes straight up! Quite early on I was huffing and puffing and feeling a bit anxious about my current physical condition. Dragging myself higher, I promised myself to instead of sinking in the couch once the little fellow is put to bed, to go for a run.

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But the views over Loch Long and towards the Cobbler were awesome.

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As I climbed higher, clouds followed me and overtook me. They looked like a river flowing up. The Cobbler disappeared and soon I was surrounded by fog. I presumed as long as I was going uphill, I was going in the right directing.

A few scrambles required me to pull Bodhi up and both us of were having a good time. I do quite enjoy the camaraderie that has grown between us, which most dog owners can relate to.
Walking with a collie of lead does keep you on your toes. A retired shepherd ones told me, "Bodhi has a great herding instinct but whatever else is in him, **** him up." I wasn’t sure what he was talking about at the time but over time have discovered that Bodhi cannot stand it if sheep are not grouped. I don`t trust his recall once he is on a mission to rectify this, so I kept a close eye out for them. Climbing up I managed to get him on the lead each time we encountered sheep, and Bodhi reluctantly followed up.

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Once to the top of Beinn Narnain, the clouds had lifted. The views around us were imposing. Chilly as it was, I found recluse in the cairn, ate shortbread and threw salami pieces at Bodhi.

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Climbing down to the summit of Beinn Ime a little bit was the easy part but going up Beinn Ime was tough. Not seeing any path, I went in a straight line up which turned out to be annoyingly boggy for most of climb. I was exhausted when I could finally ring the bell at the top. And again amazing views.

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Going down I was wondering whether I could manage to do the Cobbler as well. But as I saw the ascend I had to do to reach the top, I decided to do this some other day, and went on my merry way down.

So far I had only seen one person, when going down Beinn Narnain. He had greeted Bodhi enthusiastically. I however was barely got acknowledged. Most likely this person, just like me, wanted to enjoy some solitude.
As I walked down along a now well established path, I met more and more people. Hill walkers, whether this is become they are a certain type of people or whether they welcome a little break by petting any random dog that comes along as an excuse, adore Bodhi. He is very well aware of this and will race up to anybody with a big loopy grin. At some point he was surrounded by 5 girls all commenting on what a lovely dog he was. When I urged Bodhi to come along, some of them even gave me resentful look.

As we descending the clouds disappeared and I was becoming quite hot. This easy walk downhill was a good calm down and I smiled at the people struggling going up, telling them they were almost there. I stopped briefly to do a bit of bouldering on one of the Narnain boulders. But I couldn’t get enough grip with my boots and didn’t feel like going barefoot. Maybe next time I ll bring my climbing shoes as well.

Near the bottom of the path there is a small weir where I ate the last of my food. I looked back at the Cobbler and decided this would be my next walk.

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Icaruss
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 1
Munros:17   
Sub 2000:1   
Joined: Jun 2, 2017

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