The title for this blog probably breaks most if not all of the trades description act for as most of you know, I don’t actually dash anywhere, especially when I’m on a hill! That said however, our trip to Beinn Ime yesterday was in a sense, a bit of a dash as up until mid afternoon the day before, we had no intention of going walking. The forecasts seemed to have been suggesting wet and very windy weather for Thursday but when Nita double checked early Wednesday evening…. it seemed like the rain wouldn’t actually arrive until the end of the day.
Not wanting a silly early start as Nita had been working a night shift on Tuesday and didn’t get much in the way of sleep on Wednesday, we opted for going for a walk in the Arrochar Alps ….not much more than an hour and a half drive from Irvine. The forecast had actually suggested there would be 90% chances of a cloud free Munro, but when we reached the side of Loch Lomond at just after 9am, everything was dark and gloomy with heavy banks of cloud shrouding all the hills above about 500 metres. I have to say we weren’t at the time too happy with Geoff Monk at MWIS….. but we should have known better as, given another hour and the tops where clear. And we used that hour by stopping at Luss and treating ourselves to a bacon roll and a cuppa ….so not bad after all! My apologies to Geoff and his team at MWIS for ever doubting them!
Our target for the day was Beinn Ime, a hill we’d first climbed back in 1998 and one we’d revisited on five or six other occasions over the years. It makes for a very pleasant wander through spectacular scenery and as you start at sea level and end up at just over 1000 m ….it gives your legs a good stretch. We haven’t actually walked the path up past The Cobbler and Beinn Narnain to Beinn Ime for probably four years and it was amazing to see how much the lower sections of the path had changed in this time. What had been saplings have grown and the big views you used to have out over Loch Long, have for the most part, been hidden behind foliage. What you lose on the bigger scale however, you make up on the smaller scale. Numerous wild flowers decorated the sides of the path almost all the way up to the edge of the forestry and from that point the views of The Cobbler and Beinn Narnain grab your attention. The path itself has eroded quite badly in places despite it only being a little over 10 years old I think. The top surface seems to have been washed away in places but it still makes a pretty easy way to gain height and get up into these spectacular mountains.
I had expected the path to be quite busy at this time of year but in fact we only saw a few other folk throughout the day and the busiest spot was actually the summit of Beinn Ime itself. Even so, there was only a few folk and they soon headed off back down and Nita and I had this lofty quiet spot to ourselves …… with the exception of one lone sheep and a couple of Ravens. It had taken us about four and a quarter hours to the top and so we had plenty of time to sit and enjoy the views which, despite the generally grey skies, were pretty extensive. Nita could make out Ben Nevis to the north but it still had its head in the cloud. Most of the rest of the hills were clear just as MWIS had forecast.
Our return back down to the car was in increasingly gloomy light but the rain held off and I have to admit that I felt quite smug…. our lazy start and second breakfast in Luss paid off…. cloud free tops by the time we started walking and still dry eight and a half hours later on our return to the car. A perfect day in the hills.