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Arrochar Alps

Arrochar Alps


Postby Morag M » Sun Jul 04, 2010 5:13 pm

Munros included on this walk: Beinn Ime, Beinn Narnain

Date walked: 02/07/2010

Time taken: 10 hours

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Hi everyone, just to let you know how I got on on Friday. My hubby Andrew and I set off to tackle Ben Vane, Beinn Ime & Beinn Narnain feeling very motivated we left the car park at Inveruglas opposite the power station at about 11.30am. I had a route printed off from scottishport.co.uk and A had his compass.
We walked along the road past the power station then soon turned left onto the tarmac road which lead under the railway, we kept on this road, passed the electric substation, somewhere along this road we turned left and passed a dam, just after the dam was a gate with a wooden stile which we climbed over and passed a brick shelter on the right hand side, we carried on this path until it came to an end, there was a memorial plaque at the end of this road, not knowing where to go now we crossed the stream and headed into the trees, no path obvious to us, we started to climb a mountain which we believed was Beinn Narnain, this was slightly hairy (at times on all fours), however the views were terrific, (my camera does not do them justice - will have to get a new one) when we reached the top we were sure we were on Narnain (however asked a couple who were at the top just to confirm) it was extremely windy on the plateau, we explored the summit for a while - found this great fun, we then headed off down Narnain in the direction of Beinn Ime, going up and down was not hard, and we soon arrived at the top of Ime, we headed to the right first to the small pile of stones, then we took the left up the path to the highest summit, at this time the mist came down and it was raining, we sheltered a bit in this summit, views were magnificent when the mist cleared, then as we were still feeling fairly fit we decided to head for Ben Vane, we left Ime and headed down the grassy slopes of I don't know where, there was no obvious path, very hard going, the rain came down heavier and we decided to leave Ben Vane for another day - (really my hubby's idea, although I don't think we would have found it anyway It was hard going making our way down to the bottom, we had to keep going up and down as there were a lot of steep drops, eventually we got near the bottom and could see a stream, we tried to walk along side of this (we knew we were heading in the right sort of direction) it was too marshy (no path), we eventually came to pine trees and headed toward them, we clambered along a metal type fence at the side of them, to avoid getting out feet stuck in the boggy grounds, after a while we headed off to the right then came to the dam that we had passed on the way up, however we were on the wrong side and had to clamber down rocks (at this point I did not think I was going to make it) we literally had to slide down these rocks on our backs, eventually our feet hit the road on which we had came up from I did not know whether to laugh or cry at this point (my hubby was singing Valdaree, Valdaraa), we arrived back at our car at 10pm soaking wet and glad to be alive. . If anyone can help tell me where I went wrong and where I was walking I would grateful.
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Re: Scary time in Arrochar Alps

Postby kinley » Sun Jul 04, 2010 6:07 pm

That sounds an interesting day - I wonder what a GPS track of your walk would look like.

Sounds as though a fair bit of work is needed on the navigation side of things. 8O
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Re: Arrochar Alps

Postby Paul Webster » Sun Jul 04, 2010 6:20 pm

Getting from Ime to Vane is very steep and pathless, best left to the very fit and/or experienced (at least it was years ago when I linked them). Sounds like you had a bit of a nightmare day to say the least:o

If anyone can help tell me where I went wrong and where I was walking I would grateful.


Not sure anyone is going to be able to work that out.

There is lots of info on map reading in the skills and safety section - might be worth practicing some of the skills on better days where you can see where you are going, or considering a course.

To post photos, there is an 'add photograph or map' tab below the window where you type in your post.
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Re: Scary time in Arrochar Alps

Postby skuk007 » Sun Jul 04, 2010 6:48 pm

sarahkirsty wrote: not knowing where to go now we crossed the stream and headed into the trees, no path obvious to us, we started to climb a mountain which we believed was Beinn Narnain,

Agree with Kinley about the navigation thing, I would say the above is where it probably started going wrong. :)
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Re: Arrochar Alps

Postby tomyboy73 » Sun Jul 04, 2010 6:58 pm

well done anyway, when you`re just starting out on the hills it can be a bit of a hit and a miss,even with map and compass, and i`m still at that stage. put it down to experiance and don`t let it put you off going out again. The main thing is getting back safely. When we got to the top of ben narnain we couldn`t see a thing for clouds, and you start to wonder if you`re heading in the right direction, but soon enough we found our way to ben ime. :)
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Re: Arrochar Alps

Postby RadMan » Sun Jul 04, 2010 7:41 pm

Was it something like this you did? :?

You would have been better coming from the Arrochar side and just doing the two. 3 was maybe a bit too much as you are just starting out.
If i was starting from where you did then i would have done Ben Vane and called it a day at that.


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Re: Arrochar Alps

Postby iainwatson » Mon Jul 05, 2010 11:27 am

i would still class myself as relatively in-experienced so it would be wrong of me to point out where this walk went wrong but what i will say is that by your report you were totally un-prepared and this could have led to a serious if not fatal accident.i dont know how long you have been a member on here but i cant understand why you never seemed to have read anyone else's reports of this area or even printed out someone's report and followed it? i reckon your extremely lucky and suggest your should get proper maps,learn to read a compass and prepare properly for your next walk,you would enjoy it so much more and be much safer.
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Re: Arrochar Alps

Postby davidmhodgey » Mon Jul 05, 2010 1:56 pm

Ach most people do stupid things when they start out. Sounds like you had a nice wee adventure! I don't see how you could get hurt around there. I mean, if it's too steep, head back. If you're in water up to your neck, head back, if cows start staring at you, head back.

Probably best to study the map in relation to where you're parking before you leave, that way you'll have a vague idea of the topography and can check as your suspected position against landmarks (there are lots of them around there).
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Re: Arrochar Alps

Postby mountain coward » Mon Jul 05, 2010 2:42 pm

Yeah :) I would also recommend you do some kind of navigation course but if you have the mind of a sieve and the memory of a gnat (like me) you will do best to take what works for you best from it... e.g. what I generally call 'navigation' consists of: a very detailed study of the contours to work out the least steep way down the hill (due to my mountain cowardice :D ), a thorough understanding of 'handrail features' to navigate by in bad visibility, basic compass knowledge (but I never navigate on bearings - just basic compass headings, e.g. North, NW etc. - nor do I ever do pacing/timing etc. as I can't remember how many paces I can do in a distance etc.). I then have my bottom line as being that: if it's a more difficult mountain to navigate in bad weather, e.g. featureless, I only do it in settled good weather (still doesn't mean you won't ever get caught out)...

So to sum up, if it's a bad forecast or a dubious one, I stick to things with good handrail features, like following an escarpment or line of cliffs to a summit and back - something you can obviously see in a mist...

Hope that helps some...
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Re: Arrochar Alps

Postby iainwatson » Mon Jul 05, 2010 2:45 pm

I don't see how you could get hurt around there.



sorry but just really disagree with that point,it sounds as if she took a pretty treacherous route to get to Narnain and could easily have fallen(through exhaustion or confusion) and really hurt herself,to be on all fours climbing a mountain is hard enough without the fact she didnt know where she actually was and had no way of being able to find out.

think about it,if she had injured herself,where would she have told the rescue teams to get her? somewhere in the arrochar hills?

i am certainly not trying to put her off and would encourage her to keep going but with the proper research and skills to do so.
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Re: Arrochar Alps

Postby Paul Webster » Mon Jul 05, 2010 2:47 pm

I'm a bit mystified as to the attempted route up Narnain :shock: can't see there is any sensible way of getting up to a bealach with A'Chrois through the forestry etc.

I think where you went wrong was with the route choice. Really best to stick to the main established routes on decent days to gain experience and try to improve / learn map-reading from there.
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Re: Arrochar Alps

Postby mountain coward » Mon Jul 05, 2010 2:49 pm

davidmhodgey wrote:Ach most people do stupid things when they start out. Sounds like you had a nice wee adventure! I don't see how you could get hurt around there. I mean, if it's too steep, head back. If you're in water up to your neck, head back, if cows start staring at you, head back.


:lol: Like the cows bit... but cows are normally fine. You just have to remember a few rules... make sure they are cows and don't have that little tuft under their bellies :lol: remember that, apart from being in a bunch, which makes them feel brave, they are basically still scared of you so if you turn and square up to them if they charge you and make a loud noise and make threatening movements with your arms, they will invariably back off... The only exception to this (even with a cow in a bad mood) is if they have calves or you have a dog... in that case keep well clear!

But be assured, cows think it's great fun to all charge at you across a field in a wild bunch - they will only mow you down if they can't stop in time though! :lol:
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