walkhighlands

Ben A'an an' a banana

Route: Ben A'an

Date walked: 11/12/2017

Time taken: 2.5 hours

Distance: 4km

Ascent: 340m

0.jpg


Popular Ben A'an's only an hour's drive from our house but somehow we'd never climbed it. A freezing, sunny Monday seemed like the perfect day to do it, though we were hoping the paths wouldn't be too icy. Before getting there though, we had to drive over the Duke's Pass - we were slightly nervous about this given the -6C temperatures on the drive north from Glasgow. The steep ascent from Aberfoyle had been freshly gritted and was no trouble, but the gritter had turned around at a layby just beyond the summit of the pass, leaving the remainder with a heavy frost, perhaps a dusting of snow, and some large areas of water ice where streams had run across the road (check out the layby to the right on the photo above :shock: ). The views were undeniably stunning though in the morning sunshine:

1.jpg


2.jpg


Fortunately we made it to the parking area for Ben A'an without incident, where I wolfed down a banana so I wouldn't be walking on an empty stomach (see, there's an excuse for the report title!). There was one car already in the car park. The temperature had shot up to a balmy -2C here. Two welcome surprises: a very tame robin looking for food which actually hopped inside our car boot as we were putting on our walking boots, and the following:

3.jpg


What a shame! Not... anyway, onto the walk:


ben-aan.gpx Open map in GPS Planner  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts



We were carrying some cheap, novelty shoe grips in our rucksacks (given to us as a present last winter, but we'd never used them), but there was no snow down here, and the paths were mostly ice-free at first. There are basically three stages to the walk: a steep initial ascent, then a flatter stretch, followed by a steep final climb. The path all the way to the top is excellent:

4.jpg


Some beautiful ice sculptures in the adjacent burn:

5.jpg


First proper view of Ben A'an's rocky profile:

6.jpg


Ben Venue:

7.jpg


And from further up:

8.jpg


Approaching the final climb:

9.jpg


Back to Loch Achray:

10.jpg


Approaching the summit:

11.jpg


Near the top, the path headed across a more shady aspect, with a little snow and lots of ice - care needed.

12.jpg


13.jpg


14.jpg


I'd seen plenty of photos of the summit view, and it more than lived up to the hype: amazing.

15.jpg


16.jpg


17.jpg


18.jpg


19.jpg


We stuck around for around 20 minutes or so, before the wind got up. Given it was probably well below freezing, that was our cue to head down. Time to try out those shoe grips... except we should have actually checked they fitted in advance. One pair were fine, but mine were too small, so I had to be extra careful on the descent. Whoops...

20.jpg


A fantastic and very short walk at barely more than an hour to the top - I can't think of many hills which give such a reward after such a short ascent :D

Click to mark this as a great report. Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).

Comments: 2



Fishy business by the River Earn

Attachment(s) Date walked: 08/12/2017
Distance: 10km
Ascent: 80m
Comments: 3
Views: 163


Winter wonderland at Ben Gulabin

Attachment(s) Corbetts: Ben Gulabin
Date walked: 25/11/2017
Distance: 6km
Ascent: 450m
Views: 180


Lazing around Loch Leven

Attachment(s) Date walked: 11/11/2017
Distance: 21km
Ascent: 90m
Views: 123


Deteriorating conditions on Chochuill & Eunaich

Attachment(s) Munros: Beinn a'Chochuill, Beinn Eunaich
Date walked: 02/11/2017
Distance: 14km
Ascent: 1220m
Views: 167


Up the Bishop from behind

Attachment(s) Sub 2000s: Bishop Hill
Date walked: 22/10/2017
Distance: 7km
Ascent: 410m
Views: 154


Avoiding Brian in the Lothians

Attachment(s) Date walked: 21/10/2017
Distance: 10km
Ascent: 10m
Views: 151


Smuggling into Alva Glen

Attachment(s) Date walked: 11/10/2017
Distance: 3km
Ascent: 200m
Views: 245


Chatelherault - walk in the woods

Attachment(s) Date walked: 01/09/2017
Distance: 8km
Ascent: 180m
Views: 210


A second liason with Strathaven

Attachment(s) Date walked: 17/08/2017
Distance: 5km
Ascent: 100m
Views: 183

denfinella


User avatar
Location: Glasgow
Activity: Walker

Munros: 52
Corbetts: 31
Grahams: 14
Donalds: 11
Wainwrights: 6
Hewitts: 11
Sub 2000: 45



Filter reports


Statistics

2017

Trips: 43
Distance: 410 km
Ascent: 18480m
Munros: 12
Corbetts: 5
Grahams: 2
Sub2000s: 4

2016

Trips: 52
Distance: 348 km
Ascent: 18137m
Munros: 6
Corbetts: 9
Grahams: 4
Donalds: 3
Sub2000s: 8

2015

Trips: 78
Distance: 551 km
Ascent: 25600m
Munros: 11
Corbetts: 2
Grahams: 2
Donalds: 2
Sub2000s: 13

2014

Trips: 42
Distance: 352 km
Ascent: 13893m
Munros: 6
Corbetts: 4
Grahams: 1
Donalds: 6
Sub2000s: 8

2013

Trips: 56
Distance: 504.75 km
Ascent: 17738m
Munros: 7
Corbetts: 4
Grahams: 3
Sub2000s: 7

2012

Trips: 1
Distance: 11 km
Ascent: 775m
Munros: 1


Joined: Mar 19, 2012
Last visited: Dec 15, 2017
Total posts: 815 | Search posts




Walking can be dangerous and is done entirely at your own risk. Information on the forum and in walk reports is provided by individual users. It is each walker's responsibility to check information and navigate using a map and compass.