Third Taste of Winter - Knackered on Narnain!
by dooterbang » Mon Dec 18, 2017 5:09 pm
Route description: Beinn Narnain and Beinn Ìme
Munros included on this walk: Beinn Ìme, Beinn Narnain
Date walked: 15/12/2017
Time taken: 6 hours
Distance: 9 km
Ascent: 1000m10 people think this report is great. Register or Login free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).
This route pulls up through the woodland following a line of concrete blocks that were originally supports for a cable railway used during the construction of watercourse diversions forming part of the Loch Sloy hydro-electric scheme. Where the concrete blocks cease, the path continues up Beinn Narnain's craggy south ridge.
Parked up and ready to start at 08.30hrs. The car park was covered in ice which made it difficult to get out of it, almost put my crampons on Eventually reaching the other side of the road I joined the new zig zag path which most people use, however after 25m I took a slight path right and followed a stream up through the woodland.
Breaking out of the woodland & looking back to Loch Long
Ben Lomond on the left.
It was easy going through the woodland but that soon changed once in the open, the fresh snow in abundance and generally waist deep The sun was now revealing itself from above the Luss Grahams
Fresh virgin snow ahead.
It was soon very clear to me that today's walk was going to be rather strenuous and epic, however I do like to challenge myself
Going forward quickly became very difficult and extremely slow going, actually felt I was heading back to the car park . The wind was increasing and spindrift was cascading across the white slopes. But I was having fun, and there wasn't anyone to be seen
It got deeper
Its hard to put into words the physical exertion required to walk through such snow depths, its a relentless pursuit that doesn't get any easier. Many times I felt stuck in the snow, only able to move by actually crawling across certain sectors as not to sink. My route up was ever changing in trying to source the easiest ascent.
After a while I hit the crags! I was sure this would be equally testing, especially route finding.
A lone tree taking refuge in the lower crags.
There are many false summits doing this route, but they do provide an alternative view of the Cobbler.
Did I mention it was freezing...some proof of same
Over halfway (usually up & down by this time) and I felt I was getting slower! The last time I felt this slow was at 3000M up Mulhacen!
And yet another false summit, but again a wonderful view of the Cobbler
I realised my plan of adding A'Chrois was not going to happening, I'd be overjoyed just to reach Narnains summit
After a few false summits, endless crawling, and numerous stops to admire the surrounding views I reached the last steep craggy section. I knew from previous outings this would be pretty difficult due to fresh snow and no distinct path to follow.
I stuck to the left of the crags and methodically worked my way through them. Twice I turned back due to impassable icy slabs of rocks to navigate a safer route. I eventually followed a crest of crags to reach a slightly steep gully which would take me to the summit
After 4+ hours I reached the summit of Narnain It was pretty wild on top so I didn't hang about. I'd decided to walk off the usual ascent route which leads down to the popular path to access these mountains. Met two blokes who had done the Cobbler first, they decided to descend my ascent route.
Narnian summit with Beinn Ime in the distance.
I got off the summit plateau, dropping down the Northern face slightly, and had a bite to eat. I was starving by now! The wind was still ferocious but I was well wrapped up In the distance I could see a lone wolf (actually a walker) making there way up to the summit.
Views from my lunch spot.
The lone walker soon reached me. A fellow NHS worker (originally from Poland), like me promoting physical exercise to maintain good mental health...saying that she was slightly crazy though We decided to walk out together and had some good chat. She even took a photo of me
It was a joy to walk out on the good path after my efforts beforehand. Met the two other guys from Narnain summit again, plus another bloke who had done Ime. We had some chat, everyone buzzing on being out on such a beautiful but testing day. . . well depending on route of choice
This was by far the toughest walk I've done in a long time, but I absolutely loved every minute of it. Waist deep soft snow provides a very different physical test to the usual compact stuff, but as I said earlier its good to challenge ourselves from time to time . Looking forward to more of the white stuff and more mini adventures
by ancancha » Mon Dec 18, 2017 8:22 pm
Long endurance aerobic exercise good stuff
by malky_c » Mon Dec 18, 2017 10:10 pm
I prefer to avoid this sort of knee-deep wading stuff, but it does happen from time to time - not easy!
Good to see you out and about again
by EmmaKTunskeen » Tue Dec 19, 2017 11:53 pm
by richardtiplady » Fri Dec 22, 2017 12:39 am
by Alteknacker » Fri Dec 22, 2017 10:53 am
But: clear, freezing, sunny - brilliant! Seems we had similar experiences.
Ben Vane was pretty fine on the Saturday also, but again took ages...
Good to see you in authorial mode again...
Walkhighlands community forum is advert free
Can you help support Walkhighlands and the online community by donating by direct debit?