The final day of a sweltering hot week off from work found me in Arrochar with Beinn Narnain in my sights. It was my first Munro and in the 18 years since then i'd climbed it several times almost on a par with my ascents of its iconic neighbour, The Cobbler. What was always a factor in my love of the Arrochar Alps apart from the cracking views was the ease of access and journey time from where i live in Hamilton and in the latter half of this weeks temperatures i just couldn't face an epic drive anywhere, hence Arrochar.
After meeting up with Marc AKA nephew # 1 in the main Arrochar car park we set off towards the zigzag access path at around 10am when temperatures were already rising fast. By the time we emerged from the trees it was getting hot and i was relieved when we turned off the main path and began walking along the fairly level dirt track towards the top of the original hill access route at the base of Narnain. It was here we encountered a hill path construction crew and their multiple big white bags of stones, i didn't envy those guys today.
The rest of the climb up to Cruach nam Miseag was definitely a slog in that heat for me anyway as Marc was constantly racing ahead then looking back no doubt checking to see if i was still alive !
Once we were on the crags a cool breeze took off a bit of the heat but there was never any shade and the sun was really hammering down so i was glad i packed extra liquid in lieu of my usual fleece and waterproofs. The views of The Cobbler from here were great with almost every detail visible.
The breeze completely disappeared heading down towards the Spearhead area and the brutal heat returned making the scrambling section a bit of an effort, again Marc was in his element here even looking for harder ways up !
Once we were out of the gully the breeze came back and remained for our entire stay on the summit where the views never get old for me.
Our return route was the northwest path over the boulder field where we linked up with a newish looking path which led down to Bealach a'Mhaim and the main gravel track back to Arrochar which seemed to last forever in that heat.
The Arrochar Alps was where i also introduced Marc to proper hillwalking with The Cobbler several years ago followed by his first Munro Ben Vane and he has gone on to do a few more including Ben Nevis but i think he was pleasantly surprised by Beinn Narnain today despite the heat.
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