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Feeling the pain on Ben Vane

Feeling the pain on Ben Vane

Postby LailaQuiche » Mon Sep 10, 2018 9:47 am

Munros included on this walk: Ben Vane

Date walked: 29/08/2018

Time taken: 4.93 hours

Distance: 12.4 km

Ascent: 986m

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I decided to go for a wee mid-week walk by myself and chose Ben Vane, a hill that had previously defeated me and my friends. We were unable to find the starting point up Ben Vane and were ill prepared with no map so ended up wandering aimlessly for several hours before giving up and climbing Ben Vorlich. Learning from my mistakes, this time I went armed with a map.

The walk in fairly eases you in and is not too taxing. The top of Ben Vane, and the other neighbouring hills, were shrouded in clag and I was not feeling hopeful about getting any decent views at the summit. I plodded on none the less, hoping that the forecast would prove true.


I found the subtle path that leaves the main track and heads up towards Ben Vane with no problems this time. I trundled along through the bog and it wasn't long before the steep ascent begun. And when I say steep...it is STEEP. I really struggled to motivate myself and felt like I was taking a very fitful pace up the steep incline. I felt like I was constantly stopping to catch my breath. The week before I had positively skipped up Ben Wyvis and had marvelled at my increased fitness...Ben Vane sucked all this confidence from me and I felt incredibly slow and out of puff. I had a sit down on a rock for a bit to have a few energy boosting snacks and give myself a slap around the chops. I carried on picking my way up - every time I looked back at my previous resting spot I felt like I had made hardly any progress at all. Some men coming down offered some encouragement and informed me that Ben Vane is one of the steeper ones. This cheered me up a bit. They also advised me to take some path branching to the right to avoid the scramble. I begun to find my stride a bit as I neared the top. Lots of false summits awaited but I was mentally prepared for these! I did NOT manage to avoid the scrambles and tackled these with the finesse of a drunk octopus.

One of many false summits

I finally made it to the top which rewarded me with a nice clagless summit! I could see plenty of clouds swirling in the distance and felt chuffed for persevering despite my lack of mental motivation. I spent about half an hour eating my pieces and soaking in the surrounding landscape. I felt very at peace.





I started getting chilly so begun the treacherous descent. My poor knees were not a fan and there was a lot of slipping and sliding on the way down. It was a relief to get back to the level path that leads back to the main road.

Despite the fact I felt like a snail, I was surprised to see that I hadn't been quite as slow as I thought and had made it back to the car park in relatively good time considering my mental anguish!
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Re: Feeling the pain on Ben Vane

Postby Coop » Mon Sep 10, 2018 3:56 pm

Cheeky wee hill is Ben Vane.
I read that Ben Vane as well as Beinn a Ghlo were earmarked for path repairs lower down.
That'll help with that boggy start.
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Re: Feeling the pain on Ben Vane

Postby ArgyllGoSlow » Mon Sep 10, 2018 9:59 pm

Feeling of peace - just what I was telling someone today about that feeling on top of a hill.
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Re: Feeling the pain on Ben Vane

Postby johnscot55 » Tue Sep 11, 2018 11:09 am

I had an identical experience on Beinn Tulaichean last week. The steep climb on boggy, grassy ground sapped the strength out of my legs (and, like you, confidence) and I ended up stationary for longer periods than I was walking. Even modest targets (the next rock etc) usually ended in failure. Fortunately, we both got a second wind :D .
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