Having only joined the site recently I thought I should contribute by submitting a walk report.
My walking buddy has been bagging munros for a couple of years now and has climbed most of the southern mountains so I need to climb these ones in between my walks with him. The obvious place to go was the Arrochar Alps as they are close to home and there isn’t much daylight this time of year so didn’t want to drive too far north. I have already climbed Ban Vane so the options I had were either Vorlich or Narnain and Ime. This would be munro’s no 12 and 13 for me and my first solo climb.
The weather forecast was just OK when I checked it on Sunday evening so decided on Vorlich as I thought it would be easier to navigate on my own if the weather closed in however it changed dramatically the following day to bright blue skies and very good chance of cloud free summits so I changed my plan and headed to Arrochar to climb Narnain and Ime.
I arrived in the carpark in Arrochar and went to pay my £9 (yes £9!) for parking only to find the parking meter was out of order. I took a quick photo of it just in case an ambitious parking attendant gave me a ticket. I was off to a great start and I hadn’t even left the car park yet. #winning
I left the car park at 9am and I crossed the road and onto the track and after about 20 metres took a hard right and climbed up the side of the stream towards Ben Narnain. It was extremely steep and it couldn’t really be described as a path so after 10 minutes I checked the GPS to make sure I was on the correct route and sure enough I was. I kept going through the forest having to stop to get my breath back now and again. I reached a track that I crossed and continued my route until eventually I cleared the forest. I had only walked about 1km at this point but had climbed 350ft already. The rest of the climb must be easy now?
The route did flatten out a bit for a section of the walk but ahead you can see what coming. The route I followed turned right over some very waterlogged ground which gave my new gaiters a good test before taking me up a steep rocky section. Again I had to check on the GPS if I was still on the correct route as I wasn’t anticipating a challenging scrabble. This section was probably my favourite, it felt like proper climbing to me (anything that requires the use of my hands to help my climb is proper climbing to me). It would probably not even be worth mentioning this scrabble in the summer but when the rocks are damp with a thin layer of ice on them it required full concentration. I’m still not convinced this was the correct route to take but it took me to where I wanted to go. At the top of this section the terrain levels out somewhat before the final climb to the top comes into view.
The final climb to the summit of Narnain was a rocky ridge with a couple of rock scrambles to navigate. There was nothing complicated about it but with a steep fall to your left and slippery ice underfoot it still required some thought as to how to tackle it. The summit of this mountain was like nothing I has seen before. It is a very large flat rocky area with 3 separate cairns and a trig point. It would be a great place to film a sci-fi movie. The views were fantastic and the cobbler and Ben Lomond were looking great.
From the summit of Narnain, it is a pretty easy climb down the northwestern side over a boulder field towards Ben Ime. There isn’t much to say about climbing Ben Ime from here apart from it is about a 400m climb through soggy marshland. Its ok though, the views would be worth it wouldn’t they? No they wouldn’t. A single lone cloud floated over the summit just as I reached it and there was nothing to see from up there apart from that is………a brocken spectre and what looked like a white rainbow over the top of it! I’ll be honest here and say that I had never heard of a brocken spectre in my life but the 2 guys I met on the summit pointed it out so I took a photo.
The walk back to the car park was easy along a path the whole way and got back to the carpark at 2.15pm. 5hrs 15mins in total.
Travel and Coronavirus
Temporary Coronavirus restrictions and travel advice applies until Monday 26th October.
Click for details
Share your personal walking route experiences in Scotland, and comment on other peoples' reports.
Warning Please note that hillwalking when there is snow lying requires an ice-axe, crampons and the knowledge, experience and skill to use them correctly. Summer routes may not be viable or appropriate in winter. See winter information on our skills and safety pages for more information.