Sunday, 29 August 2010

Beinn Narnairn, Beinn Ime and The Cobbler August 2010

The next day I drove back up to Loch Lomond, this time I parked in Arrocher and I started out only intending to do Ben Narnairn and Ben Ime. Most of the guidebooks recommend you follow the 'tourist path' for the cobbler and once you get to the bealach between Naranairn and Ime you then tackle each in turn. But this 'tourist path' would drive you to drink and cheap women!!!

Instead as soon as you cross the A83 to start this abomination there is a small overgrown path that branches off the tourist route and climbs very steeply through think forest, following the old concrete railway sleepers, straight up the Loch Long face of Ban Narnairn.

For the first 30 minutes it very boggy and you have to pick you're carefully as the path disappears a few times. Once you break free from the trees its easier as you now walk on a gravel forest trail path. Looking back the views are fantastic and once again I had been extremely fortunate with the weather today. Ben Narnairn, as i discovered has several (dozen!!) false tops. Not so much 'are we there yet?'...more 'where is the ****ing top?' (Sorry mum!!)

I then came across a memorial cairn to Charles Paterson (Founder of Arrocher Mountain Rescue), beutiful spot to sit and rest.
So you climb over several knolls and craggy tops and ledges and eventually you reach a grassy plateau (not the top), and BANG!!....there, like a big slap is the Cobbler in all its majestic glory. It's a mysterious looking mountain.

On I trudge, more craggy scrambling, reaching the 'Spearhead Gully', an exciting scramble which has the most amazing views. And once you breach the gully you reach the barren flat summit plateau and you also get you're first real view of Ben Ime today.
To get to Ben ime you have to decend a steep grassy rock strewn bealach, which was a bit slippy in places. Once at the bottom, you have to cross the bealach, which was like a swamp and some. Then the climb up Ben Ime, which I'm afraid i found after the crag hopping on Ben Narnairn was pretty boring in comparison, but was a means to an end. It was on this section of my walk that I met the first people of the day, the only people of the day. It's a fairly straight forward accent of Ben Ime. A zig zagging boggy path which takes you about three quarters the way up. The last part is thankfully on a solid rocky path which leads you to the summit hump and the small stone shelter marking the top. I had lunch here briefly with the two guys I met on the way up here. I was enjoying the view so much across to arrocher and Loch Lomond that I nearly didn't notice the big black rain clouds approaching from the north. Time to make a run for it!!
I scampered down back towards the bealach to join the 'tourist route' that takes you past the Cobbler back to Arrocher. As i reached the junction of the paths I stopped and looked up at the Cobbler. Well seeing as i'm here........
The clouds weren't getting any closer for now so i thought i'd risk it and lollop up the Cobbler. I've done the Cobbler a few times but never from the path that climbs it from behind. I've done it from the face that we all know from postcards. It's a good stepped path all the way up to it's craggy summit. There wasn't a soul up here either. I suppose with it being a weekday (Friday) most folk were slaving away at work. This is when my shift pattern can really pay off, getting all this grandeur to myself. King of the Castle. The Cobbler is an awesome little mountain. I decended on the Rest and be thankful side and worked my along the thin path down the glen, parellel to the river and tourist path a few hundred metres away. It got very boggy the lower I got and then i felt the first spits of rain. Jacket and hat on. Leg it. It pelted down. I crossed the river at the wee dam onto the tourist path and quickened my stride. I was getting well wet now. But i really wasn't too fussed it had been a great couple of days up here. I'm not a Munro Bagger, but its a sense of achievement every time you summit a lump. Another tick on the list.

I've got a day of rest before the Paisley 10K, hopefully i've not taken too much out of the legs for Sunday..........

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