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Beinn Narnain and Beinn Ime

PostPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2018 10:18 pm
by chazmacq
Plan A for today was to join up with some of the gang from my local hill walking club who were going to ascend Ben Lui. Due to a poor nights sleep I missed them at the meet up point arriving later than arranged. However the day was still young (7:45) and I was all dressed up with no where to go I decided to head on up to the hills and opted for Ben Narnairn and Ben Ime in Arrochar.

Arriving at the car park I paid my fee and got ready to hit the hills. Before I go further I’ll just add that yesterday (Saturday) I took my bike out for a ride testing the new tyres I bought the day before and completed a 24k ride.

After setting up my apps to log the walk and getting the route downloaded from walkhighlands I set off on the path and headed right when path met the dirt track as I had missed the earlier cut off which led through the undergrowth. I caught up with the path fairly quickly and headed up the steep verges staying close the stream. The guide indicated that (weather permitting) there would be some good views to be had when looking back down but unfortunately the cloud cover was quite low so not overly spectacular.

The going was relatively slow owing to the steep,boggy terrain and aforementioned cycle taking its toll on my legs so the scrambling sections were a welcome relief. Referring to the guide the indication was that the Cobbler could be seen to the left but again I was thwarted by the cloud cover. I pushed on tackling some more scrambling sections.

When I passed over Cruach nam Miseag and when I reached the prominent rock buttress I was seriously considering heading back down. The path mentioned on the guide had been covered by snow and the visible tracks led up and through the buttresses in a vertical climb. I steeled my reserve and attached my crampons took a deep breath and climbed on up.

Trig point reached it was on to Ben Ime which involved a slight descent before heading up a further 400 metres. I took advantage of the conditions and slid down most of the way to the bealach (a maneuver repeated for the descent of Ben Ime) saving time and me poor legs.

There’s not much to say about Ben Ime it’s pretty much a long slog up a big boggy hill with a pretty well defined path to keep you right. When looking at it from Ben Narnairn it looks intimidating and is described as “Although a steep and rocky mountain from most viewpoints” and certainly gave me pause for thought. But again the walk report is spot on describing it as as broad and soggy. I can definitely vouch for the soggy aspect of the hill as my boots were completed soaked by this point.

2nd trig point of the day reached and it was time to head back down, sliding when and where possible. As i descended I noticed a Coastguard helicopter flying by Beinn a Mhanaich (opposite side of Loch Long and the hills I was on) and also an emergency shelter back up the hill. Turned a quick 180 and headed towards the shelter, when in earshot shouted a quick hello and was relieved to hear that all was well and the occupants were just having a quick brew.

The descent back to bealach was uneventful and a well defined path brought much relief to my soggy socks. The path continued all the way back down to the car park.

For the most part of the day I was on my own and it was only when heading up Ben Ime did I start to meet fellow climbers. As always fellow climbers are quick to give advice or exchange pleasantries unfortunately none of the people I met were the owners of the Camelbak flask I picked up when I started up Ben Narnain!
According to the walk report the trek normally takes 6-7 hours in summer time, my time was 6hrs 26 minutes (and burned 5742 calories!!) so given that winter still has to let go I think I did ok.

Re: Beinn Narnain and Beinn Ime

PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2018 1:25 pm
by Exioce
Well done. We followed you up the exact same route a couple of hours later and saw a single set of crampon tracks. The buttress route up was particularly hairy - there is apparently an easier route off to the right - in retrospect there were a few tracks heading that way but at the time it looked no easier. We met several groups of people coming back down after abandoning the route at that point.
Fish and chips by the loch side afterwards 8)