Sunrise to sundown

Route: Beinn Narnain and Beinn Ìme

Munros: Beinn Ìme, Beinn Narnain

Date walked: 21/11/2021

Time taken: 10 hours

Distance: 13.4km

Ascent: 1399m

Beinn Narnain and Beinn Ime were the weekends Munros. The six of us setting out this weekend to take on two of the Arrochar Alps mountains got up bright and early and at 05:45 set off from Glasgow to the Succoth car park. Arriving at about 06;30 we readied ourselves for the day ahead and come 06:45 set off up the hill. We followed the walk highlands route, following the long straight path (straight on the map) up to Beinn Narnain. Possibly my favourite part of the entire day, walking up the path which was turned into a river by the previous days rainfall.

The walk up to this point was mildly challenging in the dark, but the torches shone the way for us. After a short while the sky was brightening but the sun hadn’t yet poked its head above the mountains to our east.

The start of the path up Narnain (from the zig zag path)

The eastern skies begging to light up

Is it a path, is it a river??

Continuing up this section we eventually broke out of the trees and were greeted with some amazing hues of orange as the sun peeked over the hills to our east.

Beautiful colours on show

The sun minutes from showing itself

The sun peeks above the horizon

As we reached the end of the long straight path as shown on the map we took a left for a few minutes, playing it safe we decided to follow the path on the map rather than the route on WalkHighlands. Twenty minutes later we would realise this was a mistake as the WalkHighlands route followed a much better path, although not marked on the map. Rather annoyingly it was at this point of the walk where I realised that my boots have seemingly sprung a leak...off to Tiso this week for me.

A short horizontal walk before climbing up Creag an Fhithich

Following the OS map "path"

Shortly after, we re-joined the actual path that would take us up to the summit.

The main path

We followed the path upwards to the top of Cruach nam Miseag, the mound just before the Narnain summit climb, and were followed by the rising sun providing more stunning views to the east.

Looking east over Arrochar with Ben Lomond standing tall

The five others heading up the hill

Some rock to be clambered up

This section of the walk was an enjoyable climb with some rock to be traversed and some boggy patches underfoot.

Some rock to be clambered up

We eventually reached the top of this mound with Beinn Narnain’s summit coming into full view. A small descent back down before the final climb gave us some time to stop and take in the amazing views of Loch Long.

The summit of Narnain coming into view

Looking down towards Loch Long

The final part of the ascent up Beinn Narnain was brilliant. We were faced with some very steep terrain, requiring some climbing which really added some intensity to the walk.

The steepness shown as I looked down from the path onto a lower section

The path bending round towards some more rock

A final rocky section to be walked thorugh before the terrain flattened

We eventually reached the summit of Beinn Narnain at around 11:20 and were greeted by some stunning views. What amazes me is the difference in the terrain between these hills and those closer to home, Mayar/Driesh, Lochnagar and Glenshee Munros. The steepness of the west coast mountains certainly isn’t replicated in the ones closer to home. We decided not to have an early lunch at the top as there was an icy wind strong enough to take the skin off your face. A few obligatory summit photos and we were on our way.

Approaching Narnain summit

Summit shelter with Ime in the background

Descending down into the Bealach a' Mhaim we encountered a sheltered spot which meant only one thing, time to eat. A much needed fuel stop prepared us for the final climb of the day to the 1011 metre point of Beinn Ime. Passing through the gate at the bottom of the Bealach we began the much shallower climb up Ime. A more gradual ascent than Narnain, this climb didn’t take nearly as much time or energy as the first Munro but by this point we were much more exposed to the wind so we were well wrapped up in layers by this point.

The gate at the Bealach

A quick water break halfway up

Looking back down the path towards Narnain

Shortly after, at about 14:20, we reached the top of our second Munro, Beinn Ime. Again, freezing so we didn’t spend too much time there. A few photos and we were off back down.

Pauline at the top of Ime

A blanket of frost covering the summit

Having got our second Munro of the day, we headed back down the path into the Bealach a' Mhaim and took another 5 minutes for a last snack before heading down the valley between Beinn Narnnain and the stunning Cobler. Had it have been summer and we had more light it would have been a fine addition to include this Corbett but it will be there for another day. We headed down the path, into the sunset.

Looking towards the Cobler from the Bealach with the path heading up it's side

The path winding it's way down between some boulders

Another large boulder to be passed on the descent

Looking back towards the Cobbler, a fine looking mountain.

Passing the dam on the way down

A beautiful sunset

The path eventually reached the woods. By this point it was getting quite dark. out with the torches again. This day was my first where there has been darkness and again it was great to experience something different.

Walking down the path through the woods

Another shot, note the brightest "star" in the sky is in fact Jupiter

At about 17:30 we reached the car park again and our day up the hills was done. In all honesty I didn’t think we'd get the 2 Munros done due to the daylight issue but gladly we did. I will have to come back up here and get the Cobler done as it looks like a fine mountain that would perfectly accompany Narnain and Ime in a days hike. As always, another fine day up the hills, now home for a chippy.

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Activity: Hill Bagger
Place: Dundee

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