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Big Trouble on Little Mountain: Ben Venue from Loch Ard

Big Trouble on Little Mountain: Ben Venue from Loch Ard


Postby Chris Mac » Wed Jul 19, 2017 11:46 am

Route description: Ben Venue from Ledard Farm

Grahams included on this walk: Ben Venue

Date walked: 17/07/2017

Time taken: 4.5 hours

Distance: 11.1 km

Ascent: 768m

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Ben-Venue-from-Loch-Ard.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts

Glasgow Fair Monday, sunshine, shorts on, only one thing for it and we set off mid-afternoon for the Trossachs, knowing the late nights mean we'll be back down with plenty of light to spare, plus the head torches were packed anyway.

I planned on Ben Venue as it was about time I visited and having climbed a few surrounding ones I knew i'd be in for some great views. I was also sure it would be well within the capabalities of Y.... it was, but more on this later!

The drive to the parking spot at Ledard Farm to start this walk gives a great view of Ben Lomond straight ahead but keep an eye out for the lodges then the farm is right next to it and you should see a lay-by on the left before a gate into the field. Make sure you park away from the gate though.

We saddled up and set off, you'll hear the burn on the left and sheep on the right:
ImageDSC_617 20170717_143148 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Before you reach the farm keep an eye out for the gate on the left, with a handy sign for hillwalkers. Through and over the wee footbridge and follow the path north with the Ledard Burn on your right now as you head up Ledard Glen, past water features a plenty:
ImageDSC_0618 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

On a sunny day this is a lovely walk on a decent path, the sunlight filtering through the trees kept everything sparkling:
ImageDSC_0622 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

It's not as boggy as some make out but then it was a dry day and i've been up Ben Lui so it felt like nothing to me... however the other half was having none of it due to getting out of the wrong side of bed in the morning! :roll: :lol:

After this gate...
ImageDSC_0626 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

ImageDSC_627 20170717_144859 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

...and before the view back to Loch Ard and over to Dumgoyne opens up:
ImageDSC_0628 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

I was forced to note that the path kind of ended with a faint path up a steep part of hillside just visible. We clamboured up, it was half path half bog-stream... remaining in an upright position, but reaching the proper path again at the top meant more expletives regarding the boggyness of the route.

My route on the OS map showed us slightly deviating from the path and I wouldn't know why until the way back....

So on we went, one of us enjoying the scenery and conditions very much... :lol:
ImageDSC_0631 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

My thinking was, very hot day, start the walk in the shade of the woods. I stand by this decision! :D
ImageDSC_632 20170717_150350 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

As the path continues, a glimpse of some of Ben Venue's tops come into view at the top of Ledard Glen:
ImageDSC_0633 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Beinn Chochan (L) and Beinn Bhreac (R):
ImageDSC_0635 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

After about an hour of walking we cleared the woods and the path ahead could be seen sneaking up to the twin tops ahead then would turn right and go round the corner to the bealach:
ImageDSC_0638 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

ImageDSC_0642 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

At the Ledard Burn crossing point, looking back towards Glasgow:
ImageDSC_0646.1 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

We check out the waterfall just before the "bridge":
ImageDSC_0647 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

ImageDSC_0649 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Surely the corrogated iron bridge must wash downstream after every rainfall? :crazy: :lol:
ImageDSC_0658 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

The path quickly reaches a stile:
ImageDSC_0659 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

On crossing and following the path next to the fence, the tiny bird you can see on the fence was making an almight racket and flying frantically about, not sure what we did to upset him, perhaps nesting nearby so we moved swiftly on...
ImageDSC_0661 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

The beautiful sounds of nature, the occasional angry bird cheep, the wind gusts carrying curse words at choosing this route would occasionally break the perfect hill silence on the final section of path towards the bealach....
ImageDSC_0664 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

I found that the further ahead I raced the more the silence took over... :wink:
ImageDSC_0668 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Small cairn:
ImageDSC_0669 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Doing grand but having a break:
ImageDSC_0674 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Knowing that the view north will soon open up I can't wait around and continue on to see what mountain view delights await me...
ImageDSC_0675 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

I reach the final stile and braw Ben Venue and it's many craggy summits shows the way ahead, and it looks like rocky scrambling path fun, perfect! :D
ImageDSC_0677 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

I wait at the stile for the grumpy one to arrive and again I am informed of displeasure at my choice of walk, choice of route and choice of hill.... :shock: ...

I am asked if this is the summit ahead, it is I confirm, more grumbling...
ImageDSC_0679 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

We head along the path and with every step, just past Meall Odhar, the Crianlarich Munros and other nearby hills come into view... nice!
ImageDSC_0689 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

As does Loch Katrine and the view north, now we're talking... well the view was anyway! :lol:

Full glory:
ImageDSC_701 20170717_165504 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Complaints about the path and further grumbling about tiredness and anything else that came to mind that could be blamed on me soon awoke me from my mountain view bliss.... :wink:

ImageDSC_0704 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

But not before I spot Ben Lui, Beinn a' Chleibh & Beinn Chabhair in the distance:
ImageDSC_0705 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

More zoom shots of the Munros to the north with Stob a' Choin also looking grand:
ImageDSC_0706 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Stob Binnein dominating the view as always, still one of my favourite hills:
ImageDSC_0707 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Loch Katrine down below, i'd later find out that a work friend was enjoying the weather in a cove way down below:
ImageDSC_0708 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Beinn Bhreac behind us as we traverse along the path which is a little exposed on the left, only a tiny bit of path scrambling involved, not a patch on Stacach ridge from Goatfell to North Goatfell which we did a few months ago, but you wouldn't know from the displeasure voiced in my direction!
ImageDSC_0709 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

The way ahead:
ImageDSC_0712 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

The path turns right leaving us with an undulating and rocky final section to the summit:
ImageDSC_0716 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

We reach the junction where the tourist path joins up and the twin tops are just out of reach. On the way along my statement that we hadn't taken the tourist path did not go down well :lol: so at the junction it was "suggested" that we head back down that way as there was "no way in hell i'm going back down that boggy route"... unfortunately my describing and pointing out where we were on the map, where the tourist path took you and where the car was parked didn't exactly improve the situation!! :crazy: :lol:

Fortunately my advice was taken and Y would start reluctantly heading back the way we came, again so close to the top and leaving me to do a quick solo summit... i'm noticing a pattern here: Beinn an Lochain, Beinn Ime (Stu)... are my walks really all that bad?! :lol:

With common sense prevailing I continue on and race to the summit, stopping for the occasional cracking photo such as this small cairn on the way:
ImageDSC_0717 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Not yet, keep going... (if you don't like false summits you won't like Ben Venue):
ImageDSC_719 20170717_172350 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

As I burn the legs on the final ascent the view west finally opens up to reveal Ben Lomond and the Arrochar Alps:
ImageDSC_0722 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

ImageDSC_0723 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

ImageDSC_0724 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Made it... to the summit cairn, the actual summit rock is right next to it. Looking back at the way up:
ImageDSC_0726 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Glorious:
ImageDSC_0728 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

ImageDSC_0730 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

View from summit cairn to summit rock and trig point east top beyond. I decide to give this a miss to give me something to head up on a return visit:
ImageDSC_0733 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

To the north east I can make out Ben Lawers and the Tarmachan Ridge:
ImageDSC_0735 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

I pop over to the summit rock next to the cairn, shown here along with Ben Lomond:
ImageDSC_0736 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

The view is amazing, as expected, even if it is too "hazy"...
ImageDSC_0737 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

ImageDSC_0738 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Arrochar Alps to the west with the unmistakable outline of Ben Arthur and Beinn Ime towering above the rest:
ImageDSC_0739 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Loch Katrine:
ImageDSC_0740 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Ben Challuim is now visible in the far distance to the north:
ImageDSC_0742 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

To the east is Loch Venachar and Ben Ledi:
ImageDSC_742.00 20170717_173624 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

South East top:
ImageDSC_742.01 20170717_173626 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

South towards the Campsies and Glasgow:
ImageDSC_742.02 20170717_173628 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Benvane, Stuc a' Chroin and Ben Ledi, it probably won't be too long until these three are climbed...
ImageDSC_742.10 20170717_173644 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

I could easily have stayed up there all day but as it is nearing 6pm I decide to make haste back down Ledard Glen to catch Y...

ImageDSC_0743 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Return path, i'm sure I can spot her walking along, time for another speedy (but careful) descent...
ImageDSC_0746 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Meall Bhreac, one to explore on a future return visit, plenty of tops to choose from on Ben Venue!
ImageDSC_0748 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Path to the bealach:
ImageDSC_0749 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

ImageDSC_0750 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

After the path cairn I catch up with Y and we make our way back down to the car:
ImageDSC_0753 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

The bees are out in force today and loving it:
ImageDSC_0763 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

The walk back is fast and efficient with no incidents as we cross the Ledard Burn again:
ImageDSC_0765 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

The descent:
ImageDSC_0766 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Up on the hillside to the left I spot a large herd of deer and manage to snap a few shots:
ImageDSC_0767 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

The return path through the woods seems a lot easier on the descent but I know why on the way down while checking the map, our route should have turned left at a certain point to avoid the path/bog/climb we had earlier. At the junction some close inspection reveals this cryptic and well hidden fence post with the remains of a sign and replacement text and arrow not really doing the best job of directing you to the upper path!
ImageDSC_0772 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Ah well at least others will now know, take the upper path to the left when you reach this point!

Dumgoyne says cheerio as we head down the final section to the gate:
ImageDSC_0778 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

I much prefer the view of the Campsies from the north, maybe i'm just too used to seeing them regularly from the south....
ImageDSC_0779 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Gate:
ImageDSC_0780 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Trees, burn:
ImageDSC_0786 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Pool:
ImageDSC_0787 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

In no time we reach the road at 7:20pm to be met with another good view of Ben Lomond:
ImageDSC_0800 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Back at the car all is well with the world again, now that we are no longer on the wee mountain! :D

A large herd of Geese next to Loch Ard say hello:
ImageDSC_0813 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

On the drive home we stop off at what looks to be the only public bit of the loch you can sit on, a tiny square of beach:
ImageDSC_0821 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

We say cheerio to Ben Lomond:
ImageDSC_0831 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

The next day I was informed that it was just a "bad day" for more reasons than one and that my walk wasn't as bad as previously advertised! :lol: I am still encouraged to find more hills with good paths and no bogs for future walks.... aye good luck with that, you've just ruled out 90% of hills!!! :lol: :lol: :lol:

In summary, I had a belter of a time on Ben Venue even if my summit time was rushed yet again. I'll definitely be back again to check out some tops and go via the tourist route. I'll maybe go solo when it comes to visiting all the tops though.... :wink:
Last edited by Chris Mac on Thu Mar 29, 2018 11:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Chris Mac
 
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Re: Big Trouble on Little Mountain: Ben Venue from Loch Ard

Postby ArgyllGoSlow » Fri Jul 21, 2017 6:14 pm

Very funny report. I related to it as a grumbler and was recently up Ben Lui where I 'enjoyed' the mud
ArgyllGoSlow
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