Our blog - Arrochar Alps, 5-6 May'18

A blog of our mountain adventures in Scotland, hiking, biking, rock-scrambling and more !

Arrochar Alps

5-6 May 2018
Two days of guided hiking up the Munros in the Arrochar Alps in the Southern Highlands. Kevin Woods was leading....

Day 1 - Ime and Narnain

I was out with David, Laura, Vicky, Mark and Andrew on day one. The weather was unvarying: low, clinging mist and drizzle. The day's forecast was not optimistic.

We left the cars at the head of Loch Long and approached the Munros Beinn Ime and Beinn Narnain from the switchbacking tracks above the loch. Visibility was appalling, but the hill paths here are very good. We entered thick mist at a few hundred metres, then saw very little all day! I simply had to tell them that the Cobbler was rearing ever closer above our heads, and yes, it did look really spectacular if only we could see it.

We climbed Beinn Ime first, which is a long boggy plod to the top. In contrast,Beinn Narnain now benefits from an excellent track now extending almost to the summit. It is still in construction and great to see, because this mountain really needed it. More mist and drizzle met us on the summit, so we bee-lined back into the glen to get out of it! The main goals for the day were achieved, and we opted to leave the Cobbler out. I suggested to everyone it should be climbed on a great weather day when you can wander around the crags, clamber over dry rock and see the views. It's worth waiting for!

Day 2 - Vane and Vorlich

Julia joined our team on this morning of low clinging mist. But not to worry; the forecast was for it to disperse by mid-morning!

We wandered into the hills from Inveruglas, and as forecast it all broke up when we were climbing the long rise to Ben Vane. The sun appeared, gentle and warm as in the springtime. We watched mist steaming off A'Chrois, Ben Lomond rose as a cone above a carpet of cloud.

The summit of Ben Vane was a bit windier, so we didn't hang around too long, dropping north immediately off the summit into a gully. In time, this flattens out to a plateau on the side of the mountain where we had lunch. Then, crossing the dam below, we went to the foot of Ben Vorlich for the big climb of the weekend! The mountain rises in a single 2,000-foot trackless slope. It's a real marathon and a treadmill! A great effort from everyone to make the climb; the summit ridge was a breeze by comparison – literally; we got a quick summit snap in the blasting wind then headed down the normal Vorlich path to regain the approach track. We were back to Inveruglas in the afternoon sun and for mugs of tea in Tarbet!

More photos by Kevin Woods and David Uren are here on Flickr.

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