I was spoiled by my better half for my birthday and taken away for the weekend to the forest lodges in Ardgartan. Great accommodation and with its location perfect for bagging some hills.
We had planned on not walking until the Sunday given the weather forecast but after waking on Saturday morning it looked like it would be a decent enough day so decided to go for it.
We were a bit later starting than we would have liked but started walking about 9.30ish. The plan was to go for Narnairn, Ime and potentially the Cobbler on the way back depending on the time.
We decided to the follow the WH route and take the more direct path up the front face of Narnain, I had been up the Cobbler a few weeks ago and didn't fancy the never ending path through the forest more than once in a day!
Crossing over the road we turned off the main path almost immediately and found ourselves in some pretty heavy forest. On the way back I realised we'd come off the main path about 50 yards too early and had to do a bit cross country to join back up with the intended path!
Once we had found the proper path we made quite good progress, the path is easy enough to follow though quite steep in places. The recent rainfall also meant that the burn that the path follows was flowing heavily and there was a few wet areas. Easy enough to follow especially with the old concrete bases of the power line.
We popped out the forest and started to get a better idea of the height we had gained looking back to Arrochar. We could now also see the front face of Narnain properly for the first time, quite an intimidating view from this side!
We pushed on up the path which was pretty much a staircase at this point, through the ferns and onto the mountain proper. The weather was still holding at this point though there were a few very brief showers. Most of the rain was coming from the West so the mountain was shielding us from the worst of it.
We reached the first shoulder and got some good looks back over Loch Long and at Ben Lomond. Cooper also found one of the few peat bogs on the flatter section, I look away for a minute and next thing I know he's changed colour! He has a real talent for sniffing out the mud!
Coming up to this section had required a little bit of scrambling here and there but nothing too major.
The spearhead now was looming out of the cloud, looking very moody. We dipped down slightly and the path then takes you round to the left hand side before climbing very steeply. This part to the West looking towards the Cobbler was the most exposed of the whole walk, nothing too worrying but a bit airy! Once through this section the path takes you back to the centre of the spearhead and follows a gully up to the side of one of the big buttresses. Again there was some big steps that Cooper needed a little lift up over but all in all pretty manageable. The final obstacle overcome we walked on and achieved our first summit. It had taken us bout 2.5 hours to this point, the steepness probably slowing us down slightly. Not many views at the summit as the cloud had closed in at this point, though there were a couple of breaks where we could see over to Ben Lomond and the Cobbler.
After a break for some tea and sandwiches we headed over and started the descent on the other side of Narnain. This was a decent enough path though we branched off slightly down a fainter path that people had been taking to cut the corner over to Ime. It was still quite steep and we had to watch our step as with the rain the rocks were a bit slippery in places.
There had been a bit of discussion if the weather had closed in of leaving Ime and just heading back when we got to the junction of the paths but I don't think either of us was really going to pull out. We reached the bealach and pushed on immediately toward Ime. Through the gate and we started to ascend, it was slow going at first but after about half an hour of slog I felt we had broken the back of the climb as we had gained a fair amount of height. It was at this stage the weather really did come in! Heavy rain coming from the SW and as we ascended into the cloud visibility was cut down greatly. IT was a good path though so there was little chance of losing our way and it was a case of "hood up, head down" and carry on upwards. In all it was only just over an hour or so to the summit so we were glad we had soldiered on. Another quick pit stop and we started heading back down. There were occasional gaps in the cloud so even though we couldn't see for miles we still got some cracking views of the alps themselves.
Back down to the gate and we were glad to be on the much flatter terrain of the main path. We headed past the Cobbler, too wet and tired to attempt it. We finally came to the forest and after many switchbacks we were very glad to see the car!
At almost 8 hours it had been our longest day in the hills yet! A great day and we were happy we had only a 5 minute drive back to the lodge and the hot tub!
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