Saturday, 13 October 2012
Maintaining Mountain Fitness (5)
I decided that this weekend, I would try to "bag" the Munros of the Arrochar Alps. Ben Vorlich on Saturday, and the other three on Sunday. On Friday night I parked up somewhere just outside Edinburgh, and by Saturday lunchtime I was at Inveruglas, ready to attempt Ben Vorlich.
Now according to the SMC Munro's book, there is no one standard route up Ben Vorlich; and according to the OS map there is no path. So I followed the hydro road as far as the transformer station, then took the higher road (they're marked on the map as tracks ... but they are both, in fact, metalled roads) to somewhere like NN 313095, and then I just turned left and headed up the slope until I gained the ridge. Then I headed along the ridge until I reached the summit (pictured).
It was a bright, clear day - just perfect for mountain walking - and as I made the ascent I had some pretty spectacular views of Ben Lomond, Loch Lomond, Loch Arklet and Loch Katrine. As I approached the summit, however, I discovered that the map had lied and there WAS a path. I decided to follow this back down, and it took a course just West of the ridge line before turning down the little corrie in grid square 2910 and meeting the metalled road at about NN 294105. I was glad to have this path for the descent ... but I was also glad not to have known about it when making the ascent, because I think the views from the East side of the ridge were FAR superior to those from the West side.
Returning to my van, I met an American couple at Inveruglas. They had been walking on the West Highland way, and had covered the ground from Rowardennan to Inversnaid that morning before taking the ferry across to Inveruglas. After spending some time at Inveruglas, they had decided that there wouldn't be enough daylight to return to Inversnaid and walk on to Inverarnan and so they were waiting for a bus to get them to their overnight spot. We got talking about this and that, and do ya know what? I think we may just see them on the 2014 Challenge (as overseas first timers, they'll be accepted just so long as they get their entry to John in time ...)