I arrived at Inverglus car park around 0900 on a damp saturday morning full of anticipation at the day ahead. I crossed the road to the power station and headed up path on main road towards tarbet for a few hundred metres. I turned right on wee tarmac road over gate then up hill and under rail bridge and proceeded on tarmac road for around a mile and a half to wee bridge on left. The green sign at bridge says Glen Loin Loop and also Arrochar. After crossing bridge I walked for around 50 metres and turned right over burn and made the mistake of climbing couple of small hills between Beinn Vorlich and Ben Vane. After rerouting to start my climb up ben Vane I decided to climb up the steep due to taking wrong route ! It was a very steep ascent which was quite tricky due to snow further up ! I couldn't walk so clambered and scrambled my way up and hands were soon frozen due to snow. At one point I wondered if this was such a good idea but there was no way I was going back down due to the sheer steepness so I struggled on. An hour later I reached the footpath and headed up the easier route which was getting deeper with snow.
I could see a group of walkers in the distance and knew I was on the right track to reach the top. It became more of a climb the further up I got and the snow got deeper and the climb more exciting. I met a couple of walkers who were coming down and it was great to see other humans and had a nice wee chat with them. They advised me I was 20 minutes from the top which was a relief as I had no idea until that point how far I had to go. We headed in our seperate directions and I came to a fork in the path and decided to follow the footprints on my right which was the harder route. I had to climb a 10 foot rockface which was covered in snow but I made it and was relieved not to slip as it was tricky and I had no ice axe or crampons on ! I then caught my second glimpse of the group ahead of me and 10 minutes later reached the summit. I met the 4 walkers who had been ahead of me and we all had lunch at the top and one of them shared a wee swig of whisky which was much needed.
Fifteen minutes later I started my descent and joined the 4 fellow walkers along the way. One of them told me this was his 175th Munro and I felt humbled as it was only my 8th. The descent was quite tricky for quite a bit due to the snow and ice but around an hour and a quarter later we reached the bottom. I then realised that if I'd only walked another 75 metres up the road at the beginning I wouldn't have got lost and would have saved an hour. We then walke the mile and a half back to the car park where they headed home and I headed for the cafe for a hot cup of tea and a big slice of carrot cake. The perfect end to a good day in the Arrochar Alps.
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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.