Climbing

Beinn Chabhair

Apparently this is supposed to be a boring hill, but i found it anything but. It was a cracker! Scorching hot (27 degrees) temperatures made me a bt worried about whether it was a good idea to be going climbing, but weather like this is rare so i wanted to make the most of it. We took the route up behind Beinn Glas farm campsite - looks nice but the toilets were reeking though. Pretty steep going up through the trees beside the waterfall, could be a good location for some autumn photos when the burn has a bit more water in it.

Popped out into a wide valley with Beinn Chabhair looking miles away on the horizon. Day was starting to heat up so we stopped for a break and demolished the sausage rolls. I was carrying 3 litres of water (2 in platypus) and 1 in a bottle so i downed the bottle and filled up from the burn. Looked pretty clean and vie not got the shits so it must be ok.

ben chabhair0

ben chabhair0

The next part of the walk was really easy, but you could see it would be hellish after a lot of rain because it was pretty boggy even after this weeks baking temperatures. We gradually made our way up alongside the burn and spotted a few pools which would be handy to cool off in later. Got up to the Loch and turned right up a faint path to the ridge.

I thought that once we got to the ridge it would be plain sailing, a bit like Beinn Vorlich… but no it was up and down, over and round and generally a lot longer than i thought it would be. Jo wasn't too sure if she wanted to go on as it was roasting hot at this point, but seeing a guy overtake us and then appear on the summit 10 minutes later spurred her on!

We got up to the top 4 hours after setting off, was aiming for three hours but the heat probably had an effect. Didn't have any tablet either! It was cracking at the top- really nice cool breeze and great views in every direction.

ben chabhair1

ben chabhair1

We headed down to the pool we spotted on the way up, it was heaven! just floating about, cooling off! After that it seemed to take ages to get back down. The breeze had dropped and the valley was roasting. Jo was really tired on the way down and i felt bad for dragging her up another hill!

ben chabhair2

ben chabhair2

A couple of cokes in the bar sorted us out though. Drove back down Loch Lomond. The views were stunning, its such a beautiful country in the sun… then we hit a traffic jam. This aways seems to happen when its hot, traffic was backed up from Inverbeg to Balloch! We did a u-turn and drove back to Tarbert and then down past Faslane. First time Ive been there - its shocking. What a waste of money. Billions spent on nuclear weapons which we will never use, and stored in scotland within 20miles of its biggest city. Its criminal, and to think they want to spend more money on this pointless deterrent when we're in a recession. Makes me livid.

Finished the day with some clownfood in Dumbarton McDonalds and nearly got attacked by a Rotweiller. Mad place.

Ben Vane

Another great sunny day (is this the summer?) today! Headed up to Inveruglas with Jo on my first longish drive in the car… first time getting up to 60mph! Was ok until we hit the windy road around Loch Lomond, didn't really enjoy that. Still getting used to driving, sometimes feels really weird. Got to Inveruglas at about 9, lots of people milling about. putting on jackets, packing bags etc Overheard a guy talking to his mate saying that they were gonna do all the Arrochar Alps and then head over and do Ben Lomond. In one day. Either they were superfit, had printed their maps at the wrong scale or were talking shite…. i think it was the third option.

We made good time up the path past the power station and turned off on the route to Ben Vane which follows the path to Succoth via Glen Loin. I was going to do this when i climbed Ben Ime by coming down via Ben Vane. Sooo glad i didn't do it. i would have been a wreck at the end of it.

Headed up the boggy, soon to be very steep path with a big convoy of people ahead of us. I dont expect to have the hills to myself, but i do like a bit of solitude! Its  a steep hill Ben Vane and i was relieved to have a wee rest at the cave. Jo was doin really well considering she hasn't done a munro for years…she wasn't even out of breath. But then she doesn't smoke.

We eventually caught up with the convoy and overtook them just before the wee scrambly bit. They ended up all following us and i managed to lead them up the difficult bit…. oops. There were quite a few false summits so the summit was a relief. Great views all around, Ben Nevis prominent on the northern horizon looking like a dusty whale. We sat around eating lunch for an hour, my mouth on fire with far too much horseradish sauce on my roast beef sandwich!

ben vane0

View back to Ben Lomond

ben vane1

Eating

The way down wasn't that great, don't particularly like steep descents, but it was over pretty quickly. Feeling fitter after every trip now, getting a real buzz off it as well. It helps that all my climbs have been in decent weather, not too sure if i can be arsed climbing these hills if there isnt a view.