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Beinn Narnain, Beinn Ime....If only I'd remembered the map!!

Beinn Narnain, Beinn Ime....If only I'd remembered the map!!


Postby lomondwalkers » Fri Feb 18, 2011 8:57 pm

Munros included on this walk: Beinn Narnain

Date walked: 17/01/2011

Time taken: 6 hours

Distance: 13.25 km

Ascent: 1325m

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Actually did this walk just under a month ago, can laugh about it now, but it fair knocked the confidence out me for a while. It was one of those familiar low cloud days when I headed up to Arrochar, parked up and got the kit on, nice wee start to the day.... the parking meter wasn't there :thumbup: So crossed the road onto the familiar path, then veered right to head, almost instantly up the front of Narnain. Had already approached Narnain from the other side from Bealach a'Mhaim, so was looking forward to finally coming face-to-face with The Spearhead. Got to the junction of the path that leads to the weir at Allt a'Bhalachain, views were still none to shabby over to Ben Lomond, Ben Reoch & Tullich Hill and down Loch Long
SDC14839.JPG
Ben Lomond
SDC14840.JPG
Ben Reoch & Tullich Hill
SDC14843.JPG
Loch Long


Carried straight on up at the junction of the path, and was soon starting to get in amongst the scrambly stuff, and at this point, no snow, and even better views down Loch Long as it makes its way down towards the Clyde
SDC14849.JPG
A wee warmer for Spearhead Gully
SDC14853.JPG
Loch Long 2


Got to around the 800m mark and the day started to liven up as I hit the snow line and found myself among the clouds, knew it wouldn't be long now until I would be at The Spearhead (if i managed to find it, as visibility was getting poorer with every step)
SDC14867.JPG
Nice and rocky now
SDC14868.JPG
Play misty for me anyone??


Lots of rocks and boulders now which was plenty of fun, and the ice axe was now well and truly getting tested, yours truly grinning like a cheshire cat :D and then finally I met with The Spearhead, which was looking fab through the mist, unfortunately, it wasn't looking so fab in my pictures.....best of a bad bunch....
SDC14873.JPG
The Spearhead


The gully had surprisingly little snow in it, so didn't hang about and scrambled my way up, good times!! :D
SDC14875.JPG
Gully
SDC14877.JPG
and from above

and then in search of the trig point through the mist and what was becoming an increasingly unfriendly wind on the summit plateau, then success...no snowman this time though, and i sure wasn't getting the gloves off to build one :lol:
SDC14878.JPG
Summit Trig

Headed down to Bealach a'Mhaim, and that folks, is where the good times ended!!!! Instead of being sensible and calling it a day having done Narnain the fun way, NOOOOOOO I now got ideas above my station, and the lure of doing Ime was too much. No map???? Ach there's a path up it, ach I got myself up Narnain no problem, I'm having fun, lets go....... BIG MISTAKE!!! Yes I followed the path for a while until the snowline, then followed some prints in the snow....they must lead to the summit afterall???? Not the ones I followed, they just led to nowhere then disappeared, now you'd think that this was most definitely the time for a relative newcomer to this walking malarky to call it a day, regrettably I didn't, and what my wee legs didn't know at this point was that it was going to cost them a 5 mile trek from Glen Croe back to the carpark. Stupid here decided to carry on and that "up" was the general direction to go in visibility like this....
SDC14882.JPG
All white!!


Going got very steep in pretty deep snow at parts, and crampons would defo have been required here for a more sensible walker, and thankfully I decided to call it quits before I got into any more trouble than I was already in. I got my compass out (yay me for remembering that!!!) and tried to get myself down in a generally Southward direction. Wasnt too many problems staying on my feet, but on occasions when i did slip it was easy to see how a walker could trigger off an avalanche, which was rather unnerving. Eventually got down from the snowline, gradually out of the clag.... to my dismay, it looked nothing like where I had ascended from. I couldn't see much of the hills around me, so couldn't quite work out where exactly I was, which I'm not afraid to say scared the s**t out of me. In my head, I knew I couldn't be totally lost, but in those first few minutes from coming out the clag I had images of myself having to find shelter for the night as I only had about an hour of daylight left. I urged the clouds to lift if only for a brief moment and give me a gimpse of The Cobbler. Decided to plonk my ass on the soaking grass and compose myself. I could see a stream to my left, so that would probably lead me down, but down to where??? I tried to think of the map which I've studied in great detail over the last few months, and the only logical explanation was that I'd come off Beinn Ime to the Southwest rather than South, and if I headed South now I should hopefully find my way down to the a83. The stream flowed roughly in the same direction as I was heading, so decided to follow that and hope for the best. Got to the point where the stream ran fairly flat and managed to pick up a path, good news I hoped to myself. Time was getting on and I was definitely going to be screwed if this didn't work out....then the heavens cleared briefly, allowing me a glimpse of the distinctive shape of The Brack in the distance, and I thankfully knew I was heading in the right direction. I picked up the pace from here and eventually caught sight of the a83 below me... cue hands in the air moment!! Finally got myself to this bridge (which turns out to be at the South end of Ime's adjoining Corbett, Beinn Luibhean)
SDC14885.JPG
Bridge over troubled water????


I could actually see The rest and be Thankful carpark about a mile or so along the a83, that's how far along the road I was, and knew my already weary legs were in for a long walk back to the car (I even drove round a week later to measure the distance :lol: 4.7 miles!!!).

It pained me to write this report, as it makes me look like a bit of a plonker, but hey ho, I WAS a plonker for carrying on with no map, no crampons etc etc, but if it stops just one person inexperienced or otherwise carrying on when the alarm bells are starting to ring, then it's a report worth doing. I think it's a better walker that turns back when they've reached their limit. Thankfully nothing other than my pride was damaged, but it could so easily have been different. Glad to say that after a wee break I'm back doing what I love, but my days on the hills at the moment will be geared towards improving my navigation skills (IE taking the damn map with me!!! :lol: but in all honesty, the same thing may well have happened even if i'd had the map). Hopefully this experience will make me a better and more responsible walker in the future. Here's to completing a round ;) Inn Pinn.... My a**se :lol:

Anyway, enough from me & stay safe people.

If you got this far, cheers for reading :)

Dave

Anyway, enough from me & stay safe people
Last edited by lomondwalkers on Mon Feb 13, 2012 10:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Beinn Narnain, Beinn Ime....If only I'd remembered the map!!

Postby Merry-walker » Fri Feb 18, 2011 9:11 pm

Ach... no snowman????

You know, you remind me.. of me... :lol: :lol: :lol: kinda thing I'd do :D
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Re: Beinn Narnain, Beinn Ime....If only I'd remembered the map!!

Postby lomondwalkers » Fri Feb 18, 2011 9:23 pm

:lol: :lol: Hopefully not the kinda thing I do again in a hurry :shock: At least I lived to tell the tale :lol:
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Re: Beinn Narnain, Beinn Ime....If only I'd remembered the map!!

Postby Merry-walker » Fri Feb 18, 2011 9:29 pm

:lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Beinn Narnain, Beinn Ime....If only I'd remembered the map!!

Postby yokehead » Fri Feb 18, 2011 9:52 pm

Excellent, worth waiting for! :D 8) A really great report and thanks for describing your woes so honestly! :D

You know, despite all the planning and preparing I think sometimes an error is very valuable to bring things together. I'm not suggesting that we all need to go astray or have some other problem on the hill, but it's when things don't go according to plan that reality hits - this can be serious and there's many things you need to consider. I've been there, and at the end of the day it's experience gained. I've always liked Hamish Brown's quote something along the lines of 'experience is the sum total of your near misses'. My view anyway. S**t can still happen.

So now I've got the crampons and axe, the bothy bag, spare clothes and food and the headtorch. Still no guarantees in that of course. The winter skills also helped a great deal. Most of all the more you do the more you learn, there's no short cut to that.

Keep enjoying, hope you get some clag-free days! :)
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Re: Beinn Narnain, Beinn Ime....If only I'd remembered the map!!

Postby NickyRannoch » Fri Feb 18, 2011 10:25 pm

Reminds me of my own experience doing mayar and dreish a couple fo years ago.

left map in car, remembered about 20 minutes into walk but had done them so many times i didnt bother going back. fast forward 5 hours and i'm having to pick a route down the winter corrie in the gathering gloom having got lost trying to descend dreish in zero visibility following sheep paths.

got a real fright that day and i don't even go to the shops without map, compass, bivvy and headtorch and a note in car now.

wouldn't encourage people to get in these situations but they can be a great learning curve.


"experience keeps a dear school but fools will learn in no other " :D
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Re: Beinn Narnain, Beinn Ime....If only I'd remembered the map!!

Postby fingeez » Fri Feb 18, 2011 10:27 pm

Nice report there :)

Least you got off safe and sound and abit wiser for it. Im guessing the extra 4.7 miles will make it a lesson that sticks in your mind haha :)

Reminds me of being at the top of Ben Hope in Sutherland in thick cloud and as i was leaving the summit cairn i almost forgot about obligatory summit pic so went back to take a pic or 2, then just turned and started walking without checking in what direction, until i got to steep cliffs and though uh oh this wasnt the way i came up and not knowing if i'd went West, North, or East only option was quick walk back to summit cairn and get bearing then go in the right direction hahaha

Ross
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Re: Beinn Narnain, Beinn Ime....If only I'd remembered the map!!

Postby pollyh33 » Sat Feb 19, 2011 12:09 am

Well done you guys. My husband and I did these two back in September. We followed the directions given on WH which was to go straight up Ben Narnain! What a climb! Those gullies were a joy! At one point my husband had to shove my backside up through a really narrow gap, I was stuck!!!!
016.JPG
025.JPG

As we reached the summit we met two guys coming down as they were amazed that we had taken such a steep ascent. It wasn't until we looked down at the alternative route that we realised how easy it could have been! Beinn Ime was an absolute breeze after Narnain. We returned to the car via the low level track and it took ages! So I'm glad that WH had pointed us in the short, sharp direction because otherwise it may have been a long easy peasy unchallenging day!!!
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Re: Beinn Narnain, Beinn Ime....If only I'd remembered the map!!

Postby rockhopper » Sat Feb 19, 2011 12:52 am

:lol: How many of us can say we've never been in that sort of situation....not many I'd guess 8)

To quote.....Good judgment comes from experience, and often experience comes from bad judgment..........but then again....If experience was so important, we'd never have had anyone walk on the moon. :lol:
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Re: Beinn Narnain, Beinn Ime....If only I'd remembered the map!!

Postby xpfloyd » Sat Feb 19, 2011 12:21 pm

Nice report mate and glad you got back safe. I imagine everyone on here must have done something a bit silly at one point or another, I know I have. At least you fronted it up and like you say it may help someone else not make the same type of error

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Re: Beinn Narnain, Beinn Ime....If only I'd remembered the map!!

Postby tomyboy73 » Sat Feb 19, 2011 12:41 pm

ha ha, so when are you going back up ben ime ? yeah, think we`ve all been there, but we should always remember, turning back is not a failure. I think half the time i`ve been out i haven`t completed what i`ve set ot to do. It`s always good to realise when enough is enough and head home while you still can. like others have said you learn from experiences like this and hopefully it doesn`t happen too often. like you i often go out myself and it is easy to think " i`ll just go another wee bit" then that leads to another wee bit and before you know it it`s dark :shock:
anyway glad you enjoyed beinn narnain, probably my favourite hill at the mo having recently been up there again in the snow :D
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Re: Beinn Narnain, Beinn Ime....If only I'd remembered the map!!

Postby snodland » Sat Feb 19, 2011 11:01 pm

Hello Lochlomondwalkers

The best phrase I saw in your very fine report was "Decided to plonk my ass on the soaking grass and compose myself". Often the best thing is to stop and think. Clearly - looking at the stream - you did.
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Re: Beinn Narnain, Beinn Ime....If only I'd remembered the map!!

Postby lomondwalkers » Sun Feb 20, 2011 12:38 am

yokehead wrote:Excellent, worth waiting for! :D 8) A really great report and thanks for describing your woes so honestly! :D

You know, despite all the planning and preparing I think sometimes an error is very valuable to bring things together. I'm not suggesting that we all need to go astray or have some other problem on the hill, but it's when things don't go according to plan that reality hits - this can be serious and there's many things you need to consider. I've been there, and at the end of the day it's experience gained. I've always liked Hamish Brown's quote something along the lines of 'experience is the sum total of your near misses'. My view anyway. S**t can still happen.

So now I've got the crampons and axe, the bothy bag, spare clothes and food and the headtorch. Still no guarantees in that of course. The winter skills also helped a great deal. Most of all the more you do the more you learn, there's no short cut to that.

Keep enjoying, hope you get some clag-free days! :)


Cheers Yokehead, haven't heard the Hamish Brown quote before, but it works for me :) At least now i will be far more wary of the conditions, and making a point of getting out there and getting some quality time working on the navigation... with a map in future :lol:
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Re: Beinn Narnain, Beinn Ime....If only I'd remembered the map!!

Postby lomondwalkers » Sun Feb 20, 2011 12:45 am

NickyRannoch wrote:got a real fright that day and i don't even go to the shops without map, compass, bivvy and headtorch and a note in car now.



:lol: That sounds like a plan I should follow :lol: I guess sometimes the hills just like to remind us who the boss is. I guess moments like these don't do too much lasting harm as long as we learn from them. At least it hasn't put us off :D
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Re: Beinn Narnain, Beinn Ime....If only I'd remembered the map!!

Postby lomondwalkers » Sun Feb 20, 2011 12:51 am

fingeez wrote:
Least you got off safe and sound and abit wiser for it. Im guessing the extra 4.7 miles will make it a lesson that sticks in your mind haha :)


Ross


Cheers Ross, that extra 4.7 miles will hopefully be a constant reminder to stay within my limits, so most definitely a wee bit wiser and a few more grey hairs :lol: Thanks for sharing your experience :D
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